Enjoy an extended weekend for Columbus Day in Alabama, a state known for its beachfront views and warm fall season. When you stay at one of numerous Alabama vacation rentals, you can enjoy easy access to water sports in Gulf Shores, as well as fall festivals in Boaz, Cullman, and Pinson. Soak up the history of Alabama when visiting the state capital, or perfect your golf game at a lush course in Pelham. When planning your weekend vacation destination, consider one of these 11 Alabama cities, which are each thriving with outdoor fun and entertainment.

1. Montgomery

Head to the state capital of Alabama to unwind over the Columbus Day weekend. This city is home to historical attractions such as the Dexter Avenue Baptist church and the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum to indulge the history buffs. Soak up the warm October sun with a stop in at the Montgomery Zoo or head to Riverfront Park for some fun on the sandy beach.

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2. Cullman

Celebrate German heritage on your Columbus Day weekend getaway when booking a vacation rental in Cullman. Home to the Cullman Oktoberfest, the locals offer food vendors, a car show, beer garden and arts and crafts for all ages. While visiting this quaint Alabama city during the scenic fall season, opt for some adventure when booking a skydiving session with Skydive Alabama.

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3. Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores is a mecca for outdoor fun in the sun, but when visiting this hotspot in October, indulge in the fresh seafood at the annual National Shrimp Festival. Tap your toes to the live entertainment or browse the sand sculpture contest right on the beach. The warm October weather is perfect for sporting activities on the water with rentals from Blue Sky Parasail and Watersports.

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4. Pelham

The warm October temperatures in Alabama allow you to still enjoy water activities when choosing Pelham as your destination. Tube, kayak or canoe the waters with rentals from Blue Water Park or explore the outdoor landscapes on the trails of Oak Mountain State Park. If you’re a golfing enthusiast, Ballantrae Golf Club is the place to perfect your swing.

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5. Boaz

Make Boaz your vacation destination for the holiday weekend and join in the fun of the annual Boaz Harvest Festival in the city’s center. Let the kids indulge in the MoonPie eating contest, make your own arts and crafts and enjoy the live music as you browse more than 250 vendor booths. Treat the family to a night under the stars during the fall with a stop in at the Sand Mountain Drive-In.

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6. Fairhope

Escape the busy city for the Columbus Day weekend and admire the sparkling views of the Gulf of Mexico in Fairhope. This Alabama city is home to Battles Wharf where you can spend your afternoons fishing with the family with the sights of Mobile Bay. Get in some retail therapy in the downtown area or broaden your historical knowledge with a tour of the Fairhope Museum.

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7. Huntsville

An October weekend getaway in Huntsville gives you a chance to mingle with locals and tourists at the Pop-Up-Parks celebration. Lasting 10 days of the month, including Columbus Day, this special event features outdoor games, food vendors and live music at parks throughout the city. Huntsville is also home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center that is open for tours during the fall.

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8. Scottsboro

Get in touch with the wildlife and the sea creatures when vacationing in Scottsboro. Break out your fishing rods for an excursion with Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service before improving your par on the Goose Pond Colony Resort golf course. After taking in the October sun, head out to see the historical sites with a stop in at the Scottsboro-Jackson Heritage Center.

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9. Pinson

Opt for a weekend filled with scrumptious food, live entertainment and a fireworks show when choosing Pinson as your vacation destination for a Columbus Day weekend getaway. A vacation rental in Pinson provides you with access to the annual Alabama Butterbean Festival that even features a 5K race. While in Pinson, explore the trails of the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve and bargains at the nearby Gardendale Flea Mall and Antique Center.

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10. Birmingham

October may be a fall season, but you can still enjoy summer sports when booking a vacation rental over the Columbus Day weekend. Opt for a thrilling adventure when renting water-crafts from Padella Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or explore the wildlife at the Birmingham Zoo. The Rotary Trail is the perfect place to soak up the local fall warmth while biking or hiking.

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11. Eclectic

Choose Eclectic as your weekend vacation destination in mid-October and see the sights while attending the Alabama Cotton Festival in the downtown area. Complete with a car show, food vendors, live entertainment, and arts and crafts, this festival draws locals and tourists in droves. When hunger strikes, venture to the city’s most famous restaurants, such as Kickin Chicken and Cotton’s Alabama Barbecue.

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