Like most of the South, Alabama’s summers are long, hot, and humid. The temperature and humidity start to build in May and peak in July and August with temperatures in the 30s (Celsius). Northern Alabama tends to be a bit cooler with its state parks and low mountains.The winds from the Gulf of Mexico keep the winters mild in southern Alabama and slightly cooler in the north. There can even be a light snowfall in the north.The hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 and can be particularly intense along the coast.
When to fly to Alabama
The Gulf Shores draw visitors year round. There is a large number of public golf courses, and people play throughout the year, although the courses are often less crowded on hot summer afternoons.
Mobile’s Mardi Gras, the oldest in the country, usually starts in February, 40 days before Easter. The city is always busy for the festival, and this is when most visitors step off their Alabama flights.
The autumn colours in the mountains are at their most glorious during October.
Most visitors avoid Alabama in the heat and humidity of the summer, particularly July and August.
Getting around Alabama
Some say the best way to get around Alabama is to rent a convertible and cruise with the top down. If you prefer air conditioning, renting a car is still the best way to get around the state.
Amtrak trains from New York and Atlanta make stops throughout the state, and there are bus services connecting major towns and cities. The larger cities have small airports and the Dothan Regional Airport also provides flights within Alabama.
Taxis are available in the cities, as are buses in the larger cities.
Alabama insider information
- There are many museums throughout Alabama if you want to pursue the trail of the civil rights movement. The Rosa Parks museum in Montgomery is based on the site of her arrest and tells of the events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott; in Tuskegee is the Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Centre; in Montgomery you can walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where marchers were attacked on Bloody Sunday in 1965 - the route is now a national historic trail.
- There are more than 20 state parks in Alabama, with facilities for camping, boating, hiking or fishing. The alapark website has details about them all.
- Old Alabama Town in Montgomery is a collection of well-preserved 19th and 20th century buildings set in downtown Montgomery. The buildings have been restored to show how the original settlers of Alabama would have lived – from those who inhabited the most magnificent townhouses to the rural pioneers.