Just 250 miles from north to south, ALABAMA ranges from the fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls and lakes of the Appalachian foothills to the bayous and white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. Away from the water’s edge, agriculture, dominated by pecans, peaches and watermelons, flourishes on the gently sloping coastal plain. Industry is concentrated in the north, around Birmingham and Huntsville, first home of the nation’s space programme, while the farmlands of middle Alabama envelop Montgomery, the state capital. Away from the French-influenced coastal strip around the pretty little town of Mobile, fundamentalist Protestant attitudes have traditionally backed right-wing demagogues, such as George Wallace, the four-time state governor who received ten million votes in the 1968 presidential election, and, more recently Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who in the summer of 2003 was suspended for not obeying a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the state judicial building in Montgomery. While times have moved on since the epic civil rights struggles in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma – monuments and civic literature celebrate the achievements of the campaigners, and even Wallace renounced his racist views – a visit to Alabama offers a crucial reminder of just how recently those struggles were fought.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Eating Baltimore: a foodie's guide to the city

Eating Baltimore: a foodie's guide to the city

A few hours’ drive from New York City (and just one hour from Washington DC), you’ll find Baltimore. Once viewed as a gritty seaport with a reputation for …

15 Aug 2017 • Phoebe Lowndes insert_drive_file Article
The truth about tourism in Yellowstone National Park

The truth about tourism in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has experienced record-breaking visitor numbers over the past few years, but at what cost? Georgia Stephens journeyed deep into Wyoming to face the…

01 Aug 2017 • Georgia Stephens local_activity Special feature
Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

San Francisco was the epicentre of the Summer of Love, a movement intent on changing the foundations of American society forever. Half a century later, Tamara…

04 Jul 2017 • Tamara Hinson local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month