16 Places in Alabama That Will Take Your Breath Away

Alabama is rich in Civil Rights Movement history as well as a diverse range of natural landscapes for visitors to enjoy. If you’re planning a trip to the heart of Dixie, make sure you head to these 16 breathtaking spots across the state.

Noccalula Falls Park

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Noccalula Falls is an incredible 90-foot waterfall that is well worth a visit for anyone in Alabama. The surrounding gorge and park also offer a “botanical garden, pioneer homestead, nature trails, picnic areas and a year-round campground,” according to Sweet Home Alabama.

Little River Canyon National Preserve

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One of the deepest river gorges in the U.S., Little River is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, with great opportunities for kayaking and hiking. There are also some breathtaking scenic drives for those who want to see a little more of the area. Make sure you take time to check out Little River Falls. 

Dauphin Island

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This island is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with many species calling it home or traveling through during the spring and fall migrations. Visitors to the island can also enjoy the peaceful beaches and explore the historic Fort Gaines. The Sea Lab Estuarium also offers insights into local marine life.

Sipsey Wilderness

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This area of stunning natural beauty is very popular with hikers, and Wilderness Connect says that the park offers “twelve established trails, all rated easy to moderate.” There are also numerous waterfalls to explore, and the area is actually known as the ‘land of a thousand waterfalls.’

Cheaha State Park

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Head up to Alabama’s highest point, Cheaha Mountain, which offers panoramic views over the park. While you’re up there, visit the Bunker Tower, a historic stone building that sits at the top. You can take part in a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and swimming within the park.

Mobile Bay

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Rich in history and culture, the waterfront has plenty on offer for visitors to the area. Taste the fresh seafood and enjoy a sunset over the bay. Make sure you keep an eye out for the vibrant festivals that are often held in the bay, too.

Cathedral Caverns State Park

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Take a tour of this impressive cavern, known for its huge entrance and beautiful formations. According to Alabama State Parks, the cavern is home to ‘Goliath,’ which is “one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.”

Gulf Shores

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The white sandy beaches of the Gulf have something to offer everyone. Relax on the shore or get involved in a variety of water sports before heading out to enjoy fresh seafood in local restaurants and bars. The Gulf State Park also has lots of space for camping, as well as some great nature trails.

Mount Cheaha

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Climbing or driving up to the summit of Mount Cheaha is well worth it for the stunning views of the Talladega National Forest. This is particularly popular for photographers, especially during the fall when the leaves turn vibrant reds and oranges.

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

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This wildlife refuge is home to a huge variety of species, including American alligators. It also offers some great opportunities for birdwatchers, especially during the winter months. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking, fishing, and boating among the stunning scenery.


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Selma offers visitors insights into key parts of American history. You can walk across the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge, which was a key site in the Civil Rights Movement. The city also has the National Voting Rights Museum, where you can learn about the struggles that were faced while fighting for the right to vote.

Russell Cave National Monument

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One of the best areas of archeological discovery in the Southeast, the National Park Service says that during the 1950s, “archeologists uncovered a large quantity of artifacts representing over 10,000 years of use in a single place.” Why not take a guided tour to learn about the prehistoric cultures and people of the area?

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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If you’re visiting Alabama, make sure you take a trip to stroll through the 67 acres of beautifully themed botanical gardens. Each space has been created to reflect the diverse plant life that Alabama has to offer. The garden also has the largest public horticulture library in the U.S., which visitors can explore.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

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Another fantastic botanical garden to enjoy, visitors to Huntsville can enjoy diverse plant collections and themed gardens as they wander through. There’s also a butterfly house, making it an ideal family day out. The gardens run various festivals and educational workshops throughout the year, which are well worth checking out.

Bankhead National Forest

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Known for its incredible scenery and impressive biodiversity, this vast expanse of wilderness has plenty of trails on offer for hikers. You are also able to camp in a variety of designated areas. While you explore the forest, look out for the hidden waterfalls.


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One of the most famous places in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery is an insightful and thought-provoking place to visit. The Rosa Parks Museum and Freedom Rides Museum give an in-depth education on the history of the city, and you can also visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

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