Scenic Drives Of Alabama

Scenic Drives Of Alabama

Posted at Thu, May 18, 2023 11:00 AM

Alabama is a beautiful state and has no shortage of scenic roadways to lure drivers into an adventure. The question is, what kind of journey do you want? Pick a direction and head out. There are no wrong paths.

Coastal Connection

Coastal Connection

This drive around the southern tip of Alabama has something for everyone: beaches, history, authentic downtowns, wildlife and fresh-off-the-boat seafood. It’s all about a laid-back lifestyle and a truly Southern experience.

From Grand Bay, the westernmost point of the drive, you head out through pecan orchards, pasturelands and agricultural fields. When the road reaches the bay, it turns south and heads over the Dauphin Island Bridge with its stunning water views, then transports you across the barrier islands to the white sands of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

After Orange Beach, the route takes a leisurely turn back inland through Foley, Fairhope and Daphne to end at Spanish Fort in Mobile.

Length: 112 miles, from Grand Bay to Spanish Fort.

Worth a stop: Goodness, there are so many you’ll have trouble choosing. For history: Fort Gaines Historic Site, Dauphin Island. For food: you can’t go wrong on Dauphin Island, but fresh Gulf seafood is the specialty at Islanders Restaurant. For nature: Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, for the beach, nature trails, fishing pier and fabulous sunsets over the Gulf. Be sure to get your toes in the water.

Tensaw Parkway

Tensaw Parkway

This one is for nature lovers. Running north-south across Southern Alabama, the parkway is known for its biodiversity and numerous waterways from the northern edge of Mobile Bay and along the eastern edge of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. More than 500 species of plants and wildlife can be found in the delta area.

The area also showcases its rich history which stretches from early Mississippian culture through the Spanish, French and British periods to modern American.

Length: 58 miles, from Mobile to Little River.

Worth a stop: If you’re into canoeing, kayaking, fishing or hiking, pretty much anywhere is good. Seriously. Check out Blakely State Park for the hiking trails or Baldwin County’s Bicentennial Park for a working farm that shows what life was like in the 19th century.

Selma to Montgomery Historic Trail

Selma to Montgomery Historic Trail

Travel in the steps of history. This 54-mile historic trail commemorates the path of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches in support of the Voting Rights Act. It mostly follows U.S. Highway 80, and though you can zip through in an hour, plan on two or three so you can get more of a feel for the original event.

Marchers walked 12 miles a day. Don’t let that tempt you though. Pedestrian conditions along Highway 80 are unsafe and there are few services along the way.

Along the way, you can stop by a visitor center, historic markers and camp sites where the marchers, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, stayed overnight. If you’re into camping, check out Six Mile Creek near Selma, which offers boating, fishing, hunting and hiking.

Length: 54 miles, from Brown Chapel AME church in Selma to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.

Worth a stop: Pause at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where law enforcement officers violently confronted the marchers on March 7, 1965. Because of the violence, the march was delayed until March 21 with the group reaching Montgomery on March 25.

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