Alabama offers plenty of attractions to keep your family busy and entertained during the summer months. Opt for a week-long adventure in the state’s capital of Montgomery to explore historical exhibits, or make a splash at one of numerous beachfront Alabama vacation rentals in Gulf Shores, Mobile, or Fairhope. When planning your next summer getaway, start with this list of 10 Alabama cities perfect for a family-friendly vacation.

1. Mobile

magnolia golf course

Summertime in Mobile presents you with warm temperatures and vacation rentals with beachfront views of the Gulf of Mexico. Get out on the water to enjoy the sunshine with a boat tour hosted by Gulf Coast Ducks or opt for some indoor air conditioning to beat the heat with a tour of the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum. Baseball season is in full swing during the summer months, so stop in at the Hank Aaron Stadium to catch a minor-league game of the Mobile BayBears.

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2. Montgomery

governor's mansion montgomery

Make the state capital of Alabama your vacation destination during the summer and add an educational component to your trip with tours of the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church where the famous preacher Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his inspirational speeches. With the sun in full shine, treat the kids to a day at the Montgomery Zoo or head over to Riverfront Park’s Beach to make a splash in the water.

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3. Florence

university of north alabama in florence

Outdoor enthusiasts who want some fun in the sun love vacationing in Florence during the summertime. This Alabama city features prime fishing opportunities at Wilson Dam, as well as boating and floating on the Tennessee River. Book your vacation rental close to the water or near the family attractions such as the Children’s Museum of the Shoals or the Shoals Theatre.

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4. Huntsville

huntsville alabama

Opt for a vacation out of this world when settling in Huntsville that is home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Take the kids on a tour of the space facility or enroll them in the Rocket City Summer Fest Camp in July. If you prefer to be outdoors, enjoy a family hike through Burritt on the Mountain when making Huntsville your vacation destination during the summer. Shop for the day at the Bridge Street Town Center, or fuel your inner artist with a trip to the Lowe Mill Arts Studio.

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5. Fairhope

magnolia beach
Source: Flickr / John Krupsky

Fairhope provides you with breathtaking views of Mobile Bay and plenty of rugged trails to explore along the Fairhope Municipal Trails and Parks Pathway. Enjoy the sunny weather when fishing off Battles Wharf or rent some canoes and kayaks from Eastern Shore Watersports to cool off during a summer afternoon. From mid-May to mid-June, Weeks Bay Plantation hosts Harvest Nights where you can pick fresh blueberries while gazing at the stars in the evenings.

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6. Decatur

wheeler national wildlife refuge
Source: Flickr / Shawn Taylor

Kick off your summer vacation over Memorial Day weekend and join in the Dalkin Festival in Decatur that features Japanese food, culture, arts and music. Decatur is a great place to book a vacation rental for your summer vacation and provides you with access to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and Point Mallard Waterpark. Head over to Point Mallard Park to let the kids expel some energy on the playground, or take a stroll through the Old Decatur Historic District to see the unique architecture on a sunny afternoon.

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7. Tuscaloosa

university of alabama library

Tuscaloosa is a popular hotspot for summer vacations with access to the Sinsey River and the gushing water at the Tuscaloosa Spillway. Take a dip in the morning and then opt for a boat cruise in the afternoon on the Bama Belle that explores the Black Warrior River. This charming city is also home to restaurants such as Evangeline’s with outdoor patios ideal for breezy summer evenings.

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8. Birmingham

barr beacon birmingham

Keep the kids sharp with an educational summer vacation in Birmingham, home to the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The Birmingham Zoo and Railroad Park offers fun in the sun during the summer months while the Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to see the blooming flowers of the season. Head over the downtown Family Fun Friday events at Railroad Park during the summer months where you and the kids can participate in athletic challenges and arts and crafts activities.

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9. Fort Payne

fort payne
Source: Flickr / Amy Meredith

Find a plethora of historical and outdoor activities to entertain the family with a summer vacation rental in Fort Payne. This Alabama city is home to Lookout Mountain with captivating views and Little River Canyon for outdoor explorations. Head over to Desoto State Park to hike the 3,500 acres of forest and then cool off in the rivers and waterfalls that run along the trails.

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10. Gulf Shores

gulf shores alabama

Gulf Shores is a mecca for summer and sun-filled adventures with access to beachfront views on the Gulf of Mexico and the shoreline trails at Gulf Coast Park. Treat the kids to an afternoon at Waterville USA or drop in your fishing lines at the Gulf State Park Fishing Pier. Blue Sky Parasail and Watersports offers parasailing adventures so you can see the beauty of this Alabama city from above while taking a dip in the water. Time your trip for the end of May and take part in Lulu Palooza, which is one of the most popular music festivals in the state.

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