The State of Alabama took me by surprise as I arrived with no expectations and didn’t know what to anticipate.
It was a real wild card state in the United States’ Deep South that I didn’t know much about.
I left Alabama amazed by the sheer beauty of the national parks, the nature and the vast array of waterfalls available.
If you love the outdoors, Alabama is a must-visit destination on your Deep South road trip.
Here are my suggestions of what you should explore on your visit to the State of Alabama.
Go on a road trip around the Deep South and the State of Alabama
This road trip to Alabama is part of a bigger road trip around the Deep South of the United States that I undertook together with Scott Tisson from Intrepid Escape.
The road trip that we did took us to the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee to cover the whole Deep South area.
I would recommend a duration of one week for this Alabama section of the road trip, which will be the focus of this blog post.
Making the complete road trip along with the other states will take you around a month to complete.
So you could just do this one-week suggestion, combine two states and do two weeks, or visit all four states in the Deep South in a month.
If you have more time, you can extend your trip to six weeks to give yourself more space and time in each state, but a good week in each state will be enough to cover everything mentioned in this article.
Hike around the Little River Canyon National Preserve
The Little River Falls are a must-see natural attraction in the Little River Canyon National Preserve.
At almost 14 metres tall, Little River Falls demonstrates the power of water, with Little River carving its way through the sandstone bedrock and creating the beautiful canyon surrounding it.
The flow of the falls varies depending on the season. The river is low in the summer and autumn, exposing the picturesque sandstone beneath while leaving pools of water perfect for wading in above the falls, and a wonderful swimming hole below the falls.
It mostly rains in the winter and spring, which makes the waterfall show its true glory.
This mini waterfall, formed by water cascading over a sandstone ledge the width of the river is a popular swimming spot in the summer.
The paved Little River Falls parking lot on Highway 35 provides access to the falls.
You can also enjoy the Little Falls Trail which is an easy 0.75-mile hike that leads to 137 stone stairs that descend down the canyon to the river.
Go for a scenic driving tour of Little River Canyon Rim Parkway
Take a drive along the 11-mile road called the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway along Highway 176.
Enjoy the eight overlooks, which provide views of waterfalls, dramatic rock walls, lush green trees in the spring and summer, and vivid reds, oranges, and yellows in the autumn, and the river carving its way through the canyon below.
A highlight drive to add to your road trip around Alabama.
Stay at the DeSoto State Park Motel
Check in at DeSoto State Park Motel which is a 16-minute drive from Little River Canyon. DeSoto State Park Motel is a beautiful state park retreat adjoined by the Lodge & Mountain Inn Restaurant in Fort Payne.
Enjoy the peace and relaxation of Lookout Mountain Alabama right outside your door.
A fantastic location so you can easily reach the heart of the action.
Don’t miss out on the hearty American style breakfast buffet served every day to gather some much needed fuel for your hikes around Alabama.
Stop off at the photogenic DeSoto Falls
The DeSoto Falls, which is close to the DeSoto State Park Motel, is one of Alabama’s most photographed attractions.
The waterfalls are so photogenic you might end up dropping your camera phone over the edge, so be careful!
DeSoto Falls is also one of the tallest, standing at 104 feet, and is one of the most visited waterfalls in the State of Alabama.
The waterfall has a concrete dam above the falls, which was built in 1925, making it Alabama’s first hydroelectric power plant, which is a bit of interesting historical information for the history buffs.
Pass by Cherokee Rock Village
Located along Lookout Mountain, the sandstone boulders of Cherokee Rock Village are a premier rock-climbing location in the country.
The site has everything from gentle rising broad boulders that may be enjoyed by a novice climber to vertical rocks for the experienced sport climber.
This is also the location where the movie Failure to Launch, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey, was filmed.
The best part of Cherokee Rock Village has to be the surrounding views that you can enjoy from this look out point.
See the Noccalula Falls
There are loads of waterfalls to be discovered in Alabama, and another one to check out would be the Noccalula Falls which cascades over 90 feet into the Black Creek ravine.
Enjoy a perfect sunset at Cheaha State Park
If you’re looking for the ultimate sunset spot in Alabama, you can find it in Cheaha State Park. The park is a total of 500 acres with loads of space to explore.
All you have to do is simply pay a one-off parking fee for park entrance, park up and find your perfect sunset spot.
Also hike over to Bald Rock for some fantastic vista views looking over the incredible forests of Alabama; the outdoors is truly special here.
Exploring the city of Mobile and the Mobile–Tensaw River Delta
Did you know that Mobile is the birth place of Mardi Gras and was the first place in the States to host the festival?
Mobile is full of good vibes, and there’s a fun party street with great bars to discover and an incredible cuisine full of amazing dining spots you simply have to check out.
If you’re doing a road trip around Alabama, you will want to end up in Mobile located on the Mobile River which is close to the river delta and wetland area of Mobile–Tensaw River Delta.
Dauphin Street Oyster House
If you’re looking for a great spot to sink some beers and tuck into some local oysters, head on over to Dauphin Street Oyster House.
The highlights include the deep-fried oysters as well as the amazing shrimp selection.
The hushpuppies and green tomatoes are pretty good too. This spot is a must dine experience in Mobile.
Mobile airboat tour ride around the Mobile–Tensaw River Delta
If you’re visiting Mobile, you have to explore the Mobile–Tensaw River Delta, and I couldn’t recommend a better way of doing it than by going out on an airboat tour.
Whizz around the delta in this super fun adrenaline fuelled airboat piloted by a skilled guide.
The Mobile–Tensaw River Delta is the second largest delta in the United States of America, and your guide will do their best to showcase the diverse species that can be found around the waters in the area.
If you get lucky you will be able to spot baby gators as well as the big ones too.
USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park
A visit to Alabama wouldn’t be complete without first visiting Mobile’s number one attraction, the USS Alabama in the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.
Still intact in all it’s glory, jump on the deck and walk around the many floors of US Navy history.
In addition to the USS Alabama, you can explore many other different military vehicles on display around the park.
There’s even a presidential helicopter!
Kayaking with WildNative Tours’ Captain Chris Wiber
One great way to explore the Delta is by kayak, and I highly recommend taking a tour with a local guide so you can learn a thing or two about the local wildlife.
Book your kayaking trip with WildNative Tours, and Captain Chris Wiber can show you around.
The great thing about exploring the Delta by kayak is that you can move calmly across the water without disturbing the bird life in the area.
I managed to spot a nesting osprey as well as a large selection of other local bird species.
Grab lunch at Felix’s Fish Camp
Grab lunch at Felix’s Fish Camp. This is a must-dine spot in Mobile with an incredible menu full of local dishes.
Order a plate of the popular shrimp and grits with a side of hushpuppies, and don’t forget the greens.
This location is a seafood heaven, so be sure not to miss it.
Thank you for reading my blog post about exploring Alabama
Thank you for passing by and reading my article all about Alabama and how best to explore the state on a road trip.
I hope you found all the information super useful towards your trip planning, and I wish you an amazing trip to Alabama.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me, and I will be more than happy to help.
This article was done in collaboration with the State of Alabama to promote road trips in the Deep South.
On our road trip across the Deep South, we continued from Mobile, Alabama towards New Orleans, Louisiana. Check out my guide to NOLA to continue the road trip adventure.