This is a place rich with history that shaped much of America as we know it, from the Civil War to civil rights. Two major universities can be found here (the Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers are some of the proudest college fans in the country) and it's serves up some of the best down-home seafood in the South. One of the most notable things about Alabama: its diverse landscape. Almost tropical along the Gulf Coast, it turns urban toward mid-state and mountainous in the north. Along the easternmost side is the River Heritage area, home to Montgomery and Auburn. The good news? This state isn't that big - and it's a ton of fun to drive your Alabama rental car through.
A spring break hot spot for both college kids and families, Gulf Shores seems at first like it should belong in Florida. Stretches of white beach, fabulous weather and great seafood joints make this area of Alabama both laid back and luxurious. Head out for a dinner of catfish and hush puppies one night, then spend the next day on the golf course - unless you'd rather foe deep sea fishing, of course.
Next up, get your NASCAR fix farther north. Does the name of this speedway sound familiar? It is the namesake of "Talladega Nights" starring Will Ferrell. It's big and fast, thanks to its special pitch, making it a popular tourist attraction (and earning it the name "superspeedway"). While sitting in the stands on race day is ideal, you can also take a bus tour. You unfortunately can't take your Alabama rental car for a spin on this speedway, but it's still worth a visit. Located just north of the city of Talladega off AL-77 and is 45 minutes east of Birmingham on Interstate 20 East.