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Just 250 miles from north to south, Alabama ranges from the fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls, and lakes of the Appalachian foothills to the subtropical bayous and white beaches of the Gulf Coast. Despite its turbulent past involving the civil rights movement, the state has modernized rapidly in recent decades.
Alabama's share of the Gulf coastline has an abundance of fine white-sand beaches and clear blue waters. The coast veers inward to the port city of Mobile - a classic pre-Civil War southern city that features hundreds of antebellum buildings in a tree-shaded centre.
Alabama saw many battles during the American Civil War and much struggle during the American Civil Rights Movement. Time has moved on though, and Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma all have historical monuments honoring those who struggled for civil rights. Montgomery, the capital, has a museum with information about the civil rights movement.
For leisure activities such as swimming and sunbathing or cultural activities like artistic performances and fine dining, the French-influenced coast around Mobile, (much the same as the more famous French founded city, New Orleans), offers many such attractions. In northern Alabama, the foothills of the Appalachians offer pristine lakes for swimming and fishing, as well as hiking trails.
Most of Alabama is best seen by car. Going from the Appalachians to the Gulf Coast can be accomplished in a matter of hours.
The state’s capital, Montgomery, and its largest city, Birmingham, offer daily flights to many cities around the United States. Birmingham is also served by Amtrak.