Welcome to Alabama
Alabama lies in the Deep South, as its nickname, the 'Heart of
Dixie', proclaims. It is rich in all that the South is known for:
natural beauty, down-home food and hospitality, but it carries the
proud legacy of the civil rights struggle as well. The state was
the site of the landmark Montgomery bus boycott and the 'Freedom
March' led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Alabama's varying landscape and personality make it a
destination of both non-stop activity and laid-back escape. At its
southern tip, the sugar-white sand and crystal clear waters of the
Gulf Coast beckon. Alabama's beaches, unlike those of neighbouring
Florida, are free of amusement parks and large-scale
commercialisation. Instead, there are the stately antebellum
mansions and gardens of Mobile as well as the rolling farmlands and
quiet towns of the southeast.
Further north, the pace of life picks up in sleek Birmingham,
with its great jazz, and the Talladega Superspeedway, which can
seem like a small city itself during NASCAR racing events.
Alabama's northernmost region is situated at the foothills of the
Appalachian Mountains, overflowing with stunning views, lakes,
waterfalls and caverns. In autumn, when the trees blaze red and
gold, it is a paradise for campers, hikers and mountain bikers.
Alabama has a strong, sometimes fanatical, sports culture as
well. It is home to the country's most heated rivalry in American
college football, between the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide
and the Auburn University Tigers. During the Iron Bowl, when the
two come together in a season-ending clash, the entire state enters
into a frenzy of competitive spirit.
Information & Facts
The average annual temperature in Alabama is 64°F (18°C), with
the northern counties experiencing cooler temperatures and the
southern counties having relatively warmer temperatures, influenced
by the Gulf of Mexico. The average summer temperature is 79°F (26°
C) and the average winter temperature is 48°F (9°C). The best time
to visit Alabama would be in summer or autumn, outside of the
tornado season and when visitors can witness the fiery colours of
the autumn leaves. Snow occasionally falls in the northern regions
and frosts are periodic.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
GMT -6 (GMT -5 from March to November).