Beat The Heat – Alabama Edition

Beat The Heat – Alabama Edition

Posted at Mon, Jul 31, 2023 11:00 AM

It’s no secret that Alabama summers are among the hottest in the country. With average midday temps pushing 90, we don’t blame you if you’re looking for relief!

The good news: there’s no need to cross state lines to cool off. Alabama is filled with attractions that’ll keep you and yours cool and happy no matter what the thermometer brings -- from tried-and-true options like a cool cone of ice cream to crowd-pleasing adventures like a day at the brand-new Tropical Falls Indoor Water Park.

Slap on some sunscreen. Break out the short sleeves. Let’s beat the heat together.

Flee To The Sea

Flee to the Sea

Beach. Summer. No two words match better.

This summer, join crowds of swimsuit-clad Alabamians at one of the state’s most popular beach spots: Gulf Shores, located on the Gulf of Mexico. Claim a spot somewhere along the 32 miles of white sand beaches to spread out, construct a sand castle and take a dip in the cool, calm Gulf waters. 

You could also take to the sea on a dolphin cruise with a company like the family-owned Cetacean Dolphin and Sailing Cruises for some spectacular views of the Gulf.

Other ocean oases include:

  • Dauphin Island. Sunrise, sunburn, sunset, repeat. Known as the sunset capital of Alabama, Dauphin is a Mississippi-Alabama barrier island accessible via the Dauphin Island Bridge or Mobile Bay Ferry. The 7-mile island’s two main beaches, West End and East End, are pristine, natural and dog-friendly. Let the dog days of summer begin!
  • Point Clear. Looking to cool off while avoiding the crowds? This tiny beach town overlooks Mobile Bay and provides a quieter energy than bustling Gulf spots (but with the same clear, cool water). After a refreshing beach day, stop by the historic district, where Punta Clara Kitchen has sold homemade fudge for 70 years.

Grab a Sweet Treat

Grab a Sweet Treat

No hot day is complete without an icy treat. It’s a summertime law.

Do you go bananas for a banana split? Does a root beer float float your boat? What about a Holland soda, a tulip sundae or an Amsterdam Royale? From shakes to scoops to everything in between, Mobile’s historic Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe offers it all. 

Although the shop first opened in 1969, current owners Cammie Wayne and her husband Larry began making all their own ice cream in 2011. Today, it’s the only ice cream manufacturer in Mobile, and anything you order from Cammie’s counter was handmade at its creamery on Halls Mill Road. 

Plus, everything from the cookies in the “cookies and cream” flavor to the brownies in “brownie delight” are made from scratch. It’s a delicious level of homemade.

Other sweet treat destinations in Alabama include:

  • Big Spoon Creamery. This small-batch, artisan ice cream company, founded in 2014,  was named the best ice cream in Alabama by Food and Wine in 2021 (no surprise considering the founders -- a married couple -- both have a background as professional chefs). Big Spoon has three locations in Avondale, Homewood and Huntsville, with vegan options at each location, so ice cream lovers across the state and the dietary spectrum can try groovy flavors like salted cantaloupe sorbet and sweet corn blackberry.
  • Summer Snow. Sammy Sanders opened his little blue snow cone hut outside Alberta in 1988. Today, he sells hundreds of cups of the frozen treat to Alabamians every day in flavors ranging from basic (lemon, grape) to innovative (cherry limeade, strawberry cheesecake). 

Freshwater Fun

Freshwater Fun

All beached out? No sweat -- say goodbye to the Gulf and take a dip at one of Alabama’s other water attractions.

Did you know one of USA Today’s top 12 human-made adventures in the world is right in Phenix City? Whitewater Express, a rafting company with outposts in Alabama and Georgia, offers a wide selection of rafting tours for novice paddlers and raft veterans alike.

The popular Classic Trip, perfect for beginners and open to children 7 and older, brings paddlers out on the Chattahoochee River to experience the world’s largest urban whitewater rafting course. 

Under the direction of a professional guide, you’ll paddle through rapids like Pemberton Falls, spot some wildlife and cool off with a dip in the natural lazy river Habitat Float.

Or try one of our other favorite spots for watertime fun:

  • Hippie Hole. Officially titled “Martha’s Falls,” Hippie Hole is a local favorite swimming hole in Fort Payne’s Little River Canyon, 90 minutes east of Huntsville. A short, easy half-mile hike takes you into the canyon, but the sunbathing, cliff jumping and shallow-water wading will be well worth your time.
  • Waterville USA. This H2O-based attraction in Gulf Shores spans 20 acres and includes an amusement park and escape room, but the waterpark is its claim to fame. Kids will enjoy venturing onto the 17 slides, plus there’s a wave pool, a lazy river, a kiddie area, Shrimp Boat Village and a Flowrider.

Explore the Great Indoors

Explore the Great Indoors

Staying in the comfort of AC is a time-honored way to beat the heat, and indoor entertainment can’t get much better than Birmingham’s McWane Science Center.

The museum’s crown jewel is its five-story iMax Dome -- the only one in the Southeast. Book a ticket to watch your favorite films rendered in crystal clear form with laser technology.

Looking to keep your kiddos occupied? Check out the World of Water Aquariums, the Shark & Ray Touch Tank and the Bubble Room -- where kids can curate their own bubbles in shapes from square to triangular.

Square bubbles and laser-generated movies? It’s almost too sci-fi to be true!

Plus, a few more indoor gems:

  • Tropical Falls Indoor Waterpark. The only indoor water park in Alabama, Tropical Falls (just north of Gulf Shores) is secured underneath a convertible glass roof. The whole family can enjoy attractions like 75-foot-tall slides, the all-new Big Water Bay wave pool, and the Coastal Curl surf simulator. Keep an eye out for the Tropic Falls mascot Tuki the Toucan, who stops by the park periodically to showcase his dance moves. Fact: it’s impossible to be in a bad mood while dancing with a toucan.
  • Alabama Theatre. Built by Paramount Studios in 1927 as a movie showcasing palace, today the theater hosts over 150 live events and film screenings every year. Bring the kids along to catch a movie in the summer film series, which includes old family classics that your kids will love seeing and you’ll love seeing again.

© 2024 Mullinax Ford of Mobile | Privacy Policy

*Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained on this site, absolute accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This site, and all information and materials appearing on it, are presented to the user "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. All vehicles are subject to prior sale. Price does not include applicable tax, title, license.

Privacy Policy| Privacy Requests