National Parks Traveler – The Alabama Five-Step: Come Be Surprised

When someone says the word, “Alabama,” what do you imagine? For most, the melody of “Sweet Home Alabama” pops into their head, or scenes from the movie by the same name. For me, most of what I pictured stemmed from the popular television show “Hart of Dixie,” centered around a young doctor moving to the state in search of a mystery father – not exactly based on reality.

What I didn’t know until I moved into the next-door Florida Panhandle was that Alabama is an ecologically diverse, beautiful state, stretching from sugar-sand coastline to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. During a five-day break from my usual work and graduate school schedule, my husband and I came up with an ambitious plan: visit all five of Alabama’s national park sites in a single week.

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