It’s no secret that Alabama is full of sprawling natural landscapes, rich history and southern charm. WorldAtlas, the original online geography resource, listed seven of Alabama’s most beautiful cities that “will make one feel right at home”. Keep reading to find out where.
Who is WorldAtlas?
With a worldwide readership of 165 million, WorldAtlas reaches a global audience. According to their website, WorldAtlas launched in 1994, when there were only 2700 websites on the internet! Today, they’re one of the largest publishing resources in geography as well as other topics like sociology, environment and travel.
Let’s see which seven cities WorldAtlas deemed the most beautiful in the state (in no particular order):
WorldAtlas has nothing but good things to say about Mobile’s historic charm and scenically-embraced attractions. Home of the country’s first Mardi Gras in 1830, Mobile got a shoutout for its historical and cultural sites, antebellum architecture and bustling activities.
Must-visit attractions include the Mobile Carnival Museum, the USS Alabama battleship, the Old Church Street Cemetary and Battle House Renaissance.
Looking for more Mobile fun? We’ve got you covered:
- 10 best brunch spots and cafes in the Mobile area
- 3 museums you won’t want to miss in Mobile
- 6 holiday-themed events in Mobile you need to plan for now, including Halloween
It’s not called The Magic City for nothing. Birmingham got props for being culturally rich and “an absolute dream come true” for visiting families. With an ideal mix of entertainment for all ages, Birmingham is full of art museums, theaters, concert venues, annual festivals and regular events that bring vibrancy to its streets.
Founded in the late 19th century, Birmingham boasts an industrial past as a leader in iron and steel production and a pivotal setting for the civil rights movement. The Birmingham Museum of Art got a shoutout as a wonderful place to peruse, along with Red Mountain Park and the popular Sidewalk Film Festival.
War Eagle! Auburn isn’t just home to one of the state’s most popular football teams, it’s an incredibly-scenic city that WorldAtlas dubs a “definitive bucket-list item for anyone visiting Alabama.” Right on time for the season, Auburn’s spectacular fall foliage was mentioned, along with its affordable housing and rent prices.
With an equal dose of natural beauty and “out-on-the-town” entertainment, WorldAtlas recommends spending time outdoors in the wonderful Chewacla State Park, along with the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center. Plus, local favorite hangout The Hound was mentioned for its rustic charm.
Discover more Auburn has to offer:
- Ultimate guide to 13 Auburn + Opelika coffee shops
- Auburn University student’s first-hand experience of an exciting game day
- 13 must-try cheap eats for under $10 in Auburn
4. Dauphin Island
Set off the coast of Mobile, Dauphin Island came out on top as one of the state’s prettiest cities. It’s no wonder why, Dauphin Island is lined with clear blue waters, powdery white sands and gorgeous oaks that attract tourists from all over.
Wondering where to visit? WorldAtlas points history buffs towards Fort Gaines, which played an active role in the Civil War.
Dauphin Island Public Beach got a shoutout for its long boardwalk, and the Sea Lab Estaurium was mentioned as a quaint family visit to learn about local animals. Plus, bring your appetite to visit Lighthouse Bakery for a renowned cinnamon bun, or Skinner Seafood to dine on locally caught fish.
Fairhope is one of Alabama’s most stroll-worthy cities, spread scenically along Mobile Bay’s banks. While it’s a small city, it has much to offer, including a copious downtown area, boutique shopping, local stores, fine-dining establishments, casual restaurants and a vibrant bar scene.
Endless perusing is in store, with picturesque streets lined with interesting museums, cute coffee shops and more. The Fairhope Museum of History and the Fish River Grill were mentioned as must-visit spots.
There’s more to explore in Fairhope:
- 5 reasons to love downtown Fairhope (with pictures!)
- The best way to spend a day in Fairhope, AL
- 5 locally owned businesses and restaurants to check out in downtown Fairhope
6. Gulf Shores
WorldAtlas calls Gulf Shores a “little piece of heaven”, and we have to agree. With the white sands of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores boasts Florida-like views and beaches without the crowds. For fans of shopping, The Wharf shopping center has all you need, from local businesses to an entertainment complex with a zipline course.
The beaches aren’t the only draw to the Shores, the city also has a fantastic and diverse entertainment scene. Must-stops include world-famed honky-tonk Florabama Roadhouse, Fisher’s Upstairs Restaurant Orange Beach, historic Fort Morgan, Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and more.
Plan your next trip to Gulf Shores:
- Gulf Shores is a better vacation spot than Destin, Florida, says Washington Post article
- 7 outdoor activities you need to try now in Gulf Shores
- Gulf Shores named one of the most affordable (and best) beach locations in the country
Naturally, our state’s capitol rounded out the list. Brimming with history, especially stemming from the civil rights movement, Montgomery is a beautiful city to visit. The Civil Rights Memorial Center, Rosa Park Library and Museum and Alabama Shakespeare festival were highlighted.
WorldAtlas says Montgomery is “dripping with Alabama culture in the famous culinary scene and thriving arts”. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has a permanent collection of over 4,000 pieces for culture fans. On the must-see list is the National Historic Landmark of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and the nine-room parsonage under a mile away, where Martin Luther King Jr. and his family resided.
Check out what’s buzzing in Montgomery:
- 7 museums you need to visit in Montgomery
- Montgomery ranks second best city for Black-owned businesses in the nation
- Montgomery lands $600M beverage production and distribution complex