8 Hotel Ideas for Your Next Alabama Weekend Getaway

Alabama will amaze and surprise travelers looking for a quick getaway.

First-time visitors planning a weekend getaway to Alabama are in for a surprise. The state has a lot to offer with its verdant mountain vistas, silky white-sand beaches, big city happenings, idyllic small towns, important historical sites, and plentiful natural wonders.

From the mountains to the coast to the rolling plains, here are some notable destinations to consider for your Alabama getaway (any Grateful Dead fans here?), along with select recommended accommodations.

A Weekend in Birmingham: The Magic City Regains its Mojo

Once a ghost town after dark, downtown Birmingham has become a hot spot in the 21st century. Old buildings and entire blocks have been refurbished and are now home to trendy restaurants, retail spaces, residential lofts, hotels, and cultural establishments.

An anchor of this rebirth is Railroad Park, a 19-acre urban green space. Across the street from the park, Regions Field is the new permanent home of the city’s beloved minor league baseball team – the Birmingham Barons – after a decades-long stint in the suburbs.

Good People Brewing Company, a craft brewery next to the stadium, is a popular hangout. Pizitz Food Hall features a multitude of international food vendors. The McWane Science Center delights families with young children, while the Alabama Theatre and the Lyric Theatre are beautiful historic venues for taking in contemporary performing arts.

All are within easy walking distance to the Elyton Hotel. This AAA Four- Diamond property in a historic skyrise has a popular rooftop bar with one-of-a-kind views of the city. Guests will appreciate the refined stylishness, modern décor, and impeccable service.

The Empire , Autograph Collection

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (753 reviews)

Fairhope: A Mayberry-Like Retreat For Artists and Anyone Else

Perched on a bluff of the bay, Fairhope is an artsy enclave with a Mayberry-like feel. Many famous writers, musicians, and artists have called Fairhope home over the years, including Sherwood Anderson, Rick Bragg, Jimmy Buffett, Fannie Flagg, and Winston Groom. It’s been said that Fairhope is home to more published authors per capita than any other city in the nation. That creative spirit draws a lot of intellectuals and unconventional folks to town.

The quaint downtown is filled with boutiques, cafes, coffee shops, galleries, and of course, bookstores. It’s a short walk to the waterfront pier and park where there’s a beach area to spread out a blanket and while away an afternoon on an uncrowded strand.

There’s a well-appointed carriage house rental downtown, next door to a coffee shop and across from a popular restaurant. The studio set-up has a queen bed, a kitchen, and a comfortable living area with a smart TV.

Carriage House Studio Heart Of Downtown Fairhope

9.4 Excellent (200 reviews)

A Weekend in Mobile: Check in to "The Little Easy"

The port city of Mobile is known as “the Little Easy.” Like its cousin (the Big Easy) two hours to the west, Mobile has a centuries-long history that pre-dates the United States. Mardi Gras was first celebrated in the New World in Mobile, not New Orleans. The celebration continues today with a months-long Carnival season leading up to Fat Tuesday. Parades galore and masquerade balls occur throughout town during this time.

A lesser-known activity near town is exploring the Tensaw Delta where five rivers flow into the bay. The launching point for tours is the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center. Here, the city seems far away, even though the skyline remains visible. Finish the day with a burger and a beer at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club. Founded in 1946, it’s one of the best bars in the state.

Stay at the Fort Condé Inn, a bed and breakfast boutique housed in Mobile’s second-oldest home. Elegantly restored with spacious and comfortable accommodations, the inn is the centerpiece of a gaslamp neighborhood adjacent to downtown. A full breakfast is included with your stay.

4 star accommodations in historic downtown Mobile

9.6 Excellent (1974 reviews)

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores: Where the Sands Squeak Beneath Your Feet

The twin coastal cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores surprise a lot of first-time visitors unaware that Alabama has beaches worth visiting. The silky white sands on this short stretch of the Gulf Coast are every bit as fine as those next door in Florida. The cities are separated by Gulf State Park, a go-to spot for all kinds of coastal activities – including fishing and sightseeing from one of the longest piers on the Gulf of Mexico.

Go beyond the beach to explore miles of backcountry along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Take a paddling excursion or a dolphin- watching cruise on the back bays and bayous. Cruise the Intracoastal Waterway, stopping for fresh seafood and boat drinks at many points along the way.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park isn’t any ordinary Hilton – it’s a special property with intensive green initiatives to help protect a fragile coastal environment. Plus, it’s right on the beach. The lack of development in its state park environment makes for a quiet and relaxing coastal getaway.

The Lodge At Gulf State Park, A Hilton

Gulf Shores
9.0 Excellent (2053 reviews)

Montgomery: Shakespeare and an Inspiring Civil Rights Legacy

A few decades ago, the thought of Alabama’s seat of government becoming a notable tourism destination was a laughable notion to many. After the Alabama Shakespeare Festival became one of the more successful permanent Shakespeare festivals on the planet, people weren’t laughing anymore. Today, the ASF is still going strong from its location inside Blount Cultural Park. The park is also home to the Mongomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Montgomery is the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where MLK served as pastor during the bus boycott of 1955-56, offers daily tours. The Rosa Parks Museum sits adjacent to the spot where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, thereby sparking the movement. A newer site, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, commemorates the victims of lynchings in the United States. It’s an emotional and eye-opening experience.

The Renaissance Montgomery is close to everything downtown. It’s a large upscale chain hotel with a full-service spa and personalized concierge service. The hotel’s pub is a great gathering spot for locals and guests.

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (2140 reviews)

A Weekend in Mentone: Log cabins and Waterfalls on a Mountain Plateau

High atop the Lookout Mountain Plateau, Mentone is an old-school mountain town with loads of charm. Many of the businesses are housed in log cabins. You won’t find any chains here, only mom-and-pop establishments catering to those who come for the homespun character and scenic vistas. It’s a natural wonderland in the ridge-and-valley section of the Southern Appalachians.

Nearby, DeSoto Falls plunges 104 feet over a rock outcropping into a wide pool below. A short distance downstream, the Little River Canyon National Preserve (one of the deepest gorges east of the Mississippi) contains more waterfalls and overlooks with views worthy of your Instagram page.

Three Bears Lodge is an ideal getaway spot for a family. The log cabin comfortably sleeps six, has an outdoor hot tub, and lots of porch space for taking in the woodsy mountain surroundings. You’re also minutes away from all the major outdoor attractions.

Three Bears Lodge - The Essence Of Mentone

10.0 Excellent (689 reviews)

Auburn and Opelika: The Loveliest Villages (and Golf Links) on The Plains

It surprises many to learn that Alabama is a prime golfing destination sought out by golfers from around the globe. They come to play the links of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Auburn/Opelika boasts some of the more popular and scenic courses on the trail at its Grand National site. The three courses at Grand National consist of 54 holes running around Lake Saugahatchee.

Auburn and Opelika each have easily walkable downtowns with lots of shopping, dining, and nightlife. Auburn is home to Auburn University, so expect a younger crowd with nightlife options that appeal to students. In Opelika, the nightlife is geared more towards those who are well beyond their school days.

The Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort has rooms with balconies offering unspoiled views of the lake and the links at Grand National. Enjoy the palatial indoor/outdoor pool area, a spa, and a large tennis facility to complement the golf experience at this highly-rated resort. Downtown Opelika and Auburn are less than eight miles away.

Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa at Grand National

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (661 reviews)

A Weekend in Huntsville: Rocket City Has Much More Than Rockets

Huntsville is well-known as an outpost of NASA. The most popular tourist attraction in town is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. It’s worth a visit, but there’s more to the city than rockets.

In the burgeoning neighborhood of West Huntsville, old schools and factories have been converted into leisure spaces with lots of dining, arts, and entertainment options. Lowe Mill contains many working artists’ studios, galleries, a theater, and performance venues.

For dining, craft beer, and entertainment, Campus No. 805 has many options on the campus of a former high school. Yet another adaptive reuse development in the same neighborhood is Stovehouse, an old stove factory now manufacturing leisure with its food vendors, shops, bars, and open-air stages for live music.

Check out the nearby vacation rental Hummell House if traveling with a large group. You’ll have the entire renovated house to yourself. Part of the quiet Old Town Historic District, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown Designer Home Close to Everything in Huntsville

9.7 Excellent (138 reviews)