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All About Alabama
Ask anybody and the typical answer you will get is that there is nothing in Alabama that is of special interest to the tourist. Yet tourism happens to be big business in the state and is, in fact, the state's biggest industry, generating well over $10 billion in revenue each year.

The key to Alabama's attractiveness as a tourist destination is above all its rural and agricultural orientation punched with great hospitality, delectable cuisine, top notch hotels and resorts, and a globally well-known events calendar with many festivals and performances thrown in.

For tortured souls tired of city lights, Alabama is the place to reclaim your sang-froid. From the fresh, crisp air of the mountains and lakes of north-central Alabama to the glistening sun-soaked beaches of the state's southern Gulf coast, the state has a whole dazzling array of attractions to offer to the tourist seeking solace in Nature's arm.

It is also a state with a rich history and heritage. So, whether it is just a weekend trip or a longer vacation, smart folks check out Alabama before deciding where to head when the well-earned break comes. And I say 'smart' folks, because a vacation in Alabama doesn't hurt your pocket – you can have a wonderful time at a much lower cost than comparable vacation spots!

From museums to flea markets, from golf to motor sports or greyhound racing, from battleship Alabama to the US Army Aviation Museum, and even natural history museums and the estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama has something to offer to tourists of every taste and predilection.

For bargain hunters, Fleamarket Mobile offers the biggest opportunity with it being the largest such market on the Gulf Coast. Similarly for those interested in education and museums, there is something for everybody. Natural history, political history or military history – you name it and there are museums that will satisfy your curiosity.

For culture lovers there is the Alabama Shakespeare Festival which is the only professional theatre in the United States that has a live-in acting troupe which stages a rotating repertory of classical works. Then there is the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Musuem. Don't forget Ivy Green, the birthplace of the legendary Helen Keller.

There is a lot for sports lovers too. While the Alabama Sport hall of Flame highlights the feats of such sporting greats as Jesse Owens, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Barber Vintage Motorsports Park and Museum are a must visit for auto freaks. And, of course, there is the Birmingham Greyhound Race Track for those interested in dog racing.

For a state that has given us such literary masterpieces as To Kill a Mockingbird, there is a lot for the literary minded. But leaving aside the more serious stuff, the stout-hearted tourist looking for literary entertainment of the macabre kind can also try their luck at collecting the innumerable ghost stories that Alabama folks are wont to tell. So, if you are looking for an outing that you can enjoy without bothering too much about the hole in your pocket, think Alabama!
About the Author
Author of this article is Jim Hartley. For more information visit: Key West Inn.
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