If you love Southern charm, laid-back attitudes, sweet tea, and delicious comfort food, there are few things better than a weekend getaway in Alabama. This southern state has big-city attractions to keep you entertained, quaint towns to make you feel welcome, and lovely natural areas to take your breath away. Better yet, these top destinations in Alabama are just a short drive away and easy to explore in just a couple days. Here are our favorite weekend getaways in Alabama.
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Birmingham is the biggest city in Alabama, so of course there’s lots to see and do here for a weekend trip. This is a wonderful weekend getaway for people who live in small towns and rural areas and who are looking for excitement and non-stop entertainment. There are some excellent craft breweries and restaurants in town, as well as museums like the Vulcan Park and Museum, McWane Science Center, and the Birmingham Zoo. Other fun stops on your weekend journey are Red Mountain Park, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Arlington Antebellum Homes and Gardens.
Our favorite place for a beach-themed weekend getaway in Alabama is Orange Beach. This coastal city and nearby Gulf Shores are ideal for family vacations and romantic getaways. Here you can get active with water sports like boating and water-skiing, ride on a Ferris wheel, and watch live performances on stage. The Wharf is a popular place to be in Orange Beach, as well as the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, Gulf State Park, and Adventure Island. Orange Beach’s coastal location also makes it a haven for foodies, especially if you love seafood, because there are lots of great seafood spots around with waterfront views.
Head to the border of Alabama and Georgia to visit the quaint town of Eufaula, which is brimming with history and charm. This is a place to come and relax and learn about the region, and it’s also a prime spot for fishing. Bass fishing is particularly popular in the Eufaula area of Alabama. Make a point to visit the Lakepoint Resort State Park, Shorter Mansion, Fendall Hall, and the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge while spending your weekend in Eufaula.
Not only does this city have a lovely name, but it also has a lovely vibe with scenic views of the Mobile Bay. Foodies enjoy visiting the Fairhope Brewing Co. and Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek for local fare. Other top things to do here are the Fairhope Municipal Trail to get some exercise and the Fairhope Museum to learn about local history. It’s also worth checking out the The Mill, the Alabama Eastern Shore Trail, the Eastern Shore Art Center, and the local antique shops while you’re here for a weekend getaway.
The Alabama town of Florence is located near the Tennessee River and offers a nice break from big-city life. Take your time to browse the downtown shops and also make a point to check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House. There’s also the Pope’s Tavern Museum, the Indian Mound and Museum, and the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts to explore. Fishing is a popular weekend activity near Florence, and the nearby Alabama Barn Quilt Trail is a favorite destination among crafty travelers.
Mobile is a city along the Gulf Coast of Alabama and a family-friendly place for a weekend trip. Top city attractions are the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park and the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also fun to check out the Mobile Carnival Museum, the Mobile Botanical Gardens, and the Alabama Contemporary Art Center while you’re here for the weekend. Recommended restaurants in Mobile include Dauphin’s for upscale seafood with a view, Callaghan’s Irish Social Club for a burger and beer, Panini Pete’s for vegan options, and Serda’s Coffee Co. for a morning boost of caffeine.
The city of Huntsville, Alabama is a great family weekend destination thanks to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center here. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to catch a performance at the Von Braun Center or even take a hot air balloon ride for a romantic excursion high above the ground. You can also spend your weekend at Monte Sano State Park, the Hays Nature Preserve, and the popular Straight to Ale Taproom while you’re in Huntsville.
Mentone is a peaceful and picturesque town that’s easy to fall in love with in Alabama. It makes for an excellent couple’s getaway because of the landscape views and romantic vibe. People who enjoy the outdoors also love weekend getaways to Mentone because Desoto State Park is nearby for hiking and Little Falls River is nearby for kayaking. There are also some nice shops to explore downtown, and the Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort is nearby for your year-round recreation.
Montgomery is the capital of Alabama, which means it’s an ideal place to go for the weekend if you enjoy history and city attractions. Start your weekend trip at the capitol building or the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and then make your way to the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum later in the day. The Dexter Parsonage Museum/Dr. Martin Luther King Home, Rosa Parks Library and Museum, and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice are other key historic spots to check out. Montgomery also has a zoo and riverfront park to see with the kids.
The last great weekend getaway we’ll mention here is Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is a sports fan’s dream destination. Bryant Denny Stadium is the place to be to cheer on the home team, but for a break from the crowds, check out the Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market and the flowers at Capitol Park. Catch a performance at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, explore the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Visitor Center and Factory Tour, and go for a stroll along the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk. There’s also a children’s museum and an art museum in town to keep famines entertained.