Alabama Travel 2018

Happy New Year!

I hope that the final days of 2017 filled you with family memories, yummy foods, and hope for all the possibilities that 2018 might offer.

And if you're like me, experiencing that goodness while also feeling pretty banged up from the past two years, I wish all those things for you, only harder. Let's put on our boxing gloves, lace up our boots and work hard for decency, and fall in love just a little bit more with our little dot in the universe and its people.  

The end of a year brings lots of reflection, but the first day of a new one always puts me in planning mode. We've got some big (for us) travel plans on the horizon, but I've been really happy with some of the day trips and local events that have filled our calendar. So on New Year's Day I focused on the close-to-home exploring that has generated so many memories for our family and asked myself, "What's next?"  

In short, we're taking it county by county. Alabama's got 67, and I aim to visit them all in the next 52 weeks, seeking out some of the best ways to spend a day in each region.

I hope that framing our plans in this way pushes us to explore spots we've overlooked, to dig a little deeper in familiar territory, and to gain a more concrete understanding of our home state's diversity.

And I hope that you'll come along for the ride. If you've read this far, I would love any suggestions: What are the best things to see, do, eat, learn about in each of those 67 counties?

We're out the door to Jefferson county in just a bit. But before we head off for a new year of adventuring, here's a look back at some of our favorite moments from the last.

 Oak Mountain hike on a balmy January day

Oak Mountain hike on a balmy January day

 Local playground crawl

Local playground crawl

 Friday ice cream dates at Ingram Farms

Friday ice cream dates at Ingram Farms

 First Pizitz Food Hall visit 

First Pizitz Food Hall visit 

 Hike to King's Chair

Hike to King's Chair

  Beauty and the Beast  at Coyote Drive-In

Beauty and the Beast at Coyote Drive-In

 Druid City Arts Festival

Druid City Arts Festival

 Weekend at The Loft at the Winchester Manor

Weekend at The Loft at the Winchester Manor

 Flipping all switches and pressing all buttons at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Flipping all switches and pressing all buttons at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

 Cathedral Caverns

Cathedral Caverns

 Birmingham Zoo

Birmingham Zoo

 First taste of honeysuckle for the year

First taste of honeysuckle for the year

 Second breakfast with The Southern Frenchie

Second breakfast with The Southern Frenchie

  Testing out the Osprey hydration pack at Oak Mountain

 Testing out the Osprey hydration pack at Oak Mountain

 Lazy day by the Black Warrior River

Lazy day by the Black Warrior River

 Annual blueberry picking at Leavelle Farms

Annual blueberry picking at Leavelle Farms

 Relaxing for a moment at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios

Relaxing for a moment at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios

 Eating ice cream from Trowbridge's on the street in Florence

Eating ice cream from Trowbridge's on the street in Florence

 View from the birding tower at Perry Lakes Park

View from the birding tower at Perry Lakes Park

 Red Mountain hikes

Red Mountain hikes

 Peavine Falls

Peavine Falls

 Lowe Mill

Lowe Mill

 McWane Center

McWane Center

 Lunch date at Central Mesa

Lunch date at Central Mesa

 Browsing at Ernest and Hadley

Browsing at Ernest and Hadley

 Peach Park, an annual tradition

Peach Park, an annual tradition

 Floating around at Lake Lurleen

Floating around at Lake Lurleen

 The beautiful downtown Birmingham

The beautiful downtown Birmingham

 The whimsical downtown Northport

The whimsical downtown Northport

 Pepper Place

Pepper Place

 Big Spoon Creamery

Big Spoon Creamery

 Kentuck Art Night

Kentuck Art Night

 Southern Makers at Sloss

Southern Makers at Sloss

 Van de Graaff Park

Van de Graaff Park

 St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival

St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival

 Fiesta Birmingham

Fiesta Birmingham

 Making art at Moss Rock Festival

Making art at Moss Rock Festival

 Ornament blowing at Orbix Hot Glass

Ornament blowing at Orbix Hot Glass

 Pre-holiday sing-along shenanigans at Capitol Park

Pre-holiday sing-along shenanigans at Capitol Park

 Holiday movies at the Alabama Theatre

Holiday movies at the Alabama Theatre

  The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe  at the Bama Theatre

The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Bama Theatre