Life in Alabama
It’s easy to imagine that with 52 miles of coastline, the Alabama beaches would be one of our state’s best-kept secrets. Nevertheless, families from all over the world come to enjoy the multitude of benefits of our pristine beaches. Sugar-white sand and turquoise waters represent just the icing on the cake. Experience deep-sea fishing and the roaring night life of Orange Beach; relax on Dauphin Island, known for its bird-watching and historic Fort Gaines; discover the numerous boutiques, cafes, art galleries and panoramic views of Fairhope; and visit the parks, historic sites and museums in Gulf Shores.
Because the state touches the Gulf of Mexico, the ample opportunities for mountain sports might come as a surprise. But the Cumberland Plateau stretches across Alabama, and the southern segment of the Blue Ridge Mountains dips into the state as well. This mountain range lays claim to Cheaha Mountain, Alabama’s highest peak with an elevation of 2,413 feet. Together, these two members of the Appalachians roll through 16 counties. State parks, lodges and restaurants, as well as untamed land offer ample outdoor opportunities for all levels.
Everything in Between
Millions of acres of forests and waterways between the mountains and beaches make Alabama an outdoor person’s dream come true. Whether it’s a multi-day hunting or fishing expedition, a rafting trip or just a weekend camping outing, there’s no better place than in Alabama.
Alabama’s warm climate makes it an ideal location for golfers of every experience level. The state is home to acres of well conceived, beautifully maintained courses, including the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. This collection of championship golf courses includes 468 holes at 11 sites. Courses in the Trail have been, and continue to be, destinations on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour.
It’s the South, so of course we’re known for our comfort food. But we’re much more than hearty biscuits and gravy and juicy barbecue. In fact, Birmingham recently claimed the No. 1 spot on the Zagat’s Restaurant Guide list of “America’s Next Hot Food Cities.” The recognition comes as a result of the diversity in cuisine and dedication to the craft of fine dining. Alabama carries the reputation of processing the most oysters of any state in the country. Multiple James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants call our state home. And poor soul food is both an oxymoron, and a sin in Alabama.
The quality of well-being starts in the home. According to the U.S. census, as of 2013 the median sale price for homes in Alabama was 31 percent lower than the national average. That means you have more power to choose the style, size and location of your home. In which school zone would you like to live? Near restaurants and shopping destinations? Far from them? You decide in Alabama.
Alabama is dedicated to improving quality of life. This mission has led to a national ranking for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) hospital on the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list since 1991. The UAB hospital has been magnet-designated since 2002 and is certified as a level one trauma center. More than 200 UAB specialists appear on the annual list of “best doctors in the U.S.” each year. Around the state, Alabama is home to 120 health center delivery sites owned and operated by 16 nonprofit corporations in 55 counties. These health centers had an overall economic impact of $150 million in a recent study and supported 2,000 jobs across the state.
College football is a religion in Alabama, but this community builder and commitment to athletic achievement marks only the tip of the vast iceberg of colleges and universities. Ten Alabama colleges appear on the Forbes list of America’s Best Colleges. The 2011 U.S. News & World Report Colleges Rankings report included five Alabama universities as national doctoral research universities. And this wealth of knowledge is spread across every part of the state.