Tourism Tuesdays May 8, 2018

Highlands Bar and Grill named most outstanding restaurant in America at James Beard Awards
36 hours in Montgomery, Alabama
Southern charm: Billy Reid on where to eat, drink and play in Florence, Alabama
Columnist finds refreshment, release in coastal Alabama
Visitors to National Parks in Alabama contribute to state economy in 2017
New camping shelters on Bartram Canoe Trail
“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website


Highlands Bar and Grill named most outstanding restaurant in America at James Beard Awards
From the article by Bob Carlton on

The wait is finally over for Birmingham’s Highlands Bar and Grill, which tonight won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award as the most outstanding restaurant in America.

Highlands previously had been a finalist for the award for nine years in a row before winning in its 10th year.

Executive chef Frank Stitt and his wife and co-owner Pardis Stitt accepted the coveted James Beard medallion at 2018 awards ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles also won big earlier in the night, taking home the award for most outstanding pastry chef.

This year’s other finalists for outstanding restaurant were Balthazar in New York City, Canlis in Seattle, Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo., and Quince in San Francisco.

Highlands joins a select group of previous outstanding restaurant winners that includes Alinea and the Frontera Grill in Chicago, Boulevard and the Slanted Door in San Francisco and the New York restaurants Daniel, Jean Georges, Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern.

Only two of the previous 27 outstanding restaurant winners have been from cities other than New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles or New Orleans.

The James Beard Awards are often called “the  Oscars of food,” and the outstanding restaurant award recognizes “a restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service,” according to the James Beard Foundation website. Only restaurants that have been open 10 or more consecutive years are eligible.

Birmingham has also been well-represented at the James Beard Awards in recent years.

Stitt was chosen the best chef in his region in 2001, and he was one of five finalists for the most outstanding chef in the country in 2008. Also, in 2011, he was inducted into the foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, a group that includes Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Graham Kerr, Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse, among others.

In 2012, Chris Hastings of Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club won a James Beard Award for best chef in the South, and in 2010, the Bright Star in Bessemer was named an “America’s Classic” by the Beard Foundation.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards are named in honor of the late chef and cookbook author who is credited with introducing gourmet cuisine to America.

For the complete article please see

36 hours in Montgomery, Alabama
From the article by Elaine Glusac in the The New York Times:

In Alabama’s capital, you’ll find deep-fried bacon, stylish bars and revitalized neighborhoods. But the city’s real draw is its museums and other sites that focus on the evolution of civil rights.

A souvenir button sold at the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery reads, “The March Continues.” It refers to the Civil Rights March of 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, a galvanizing event that led to the Voting Rights Act protecting the rights of African Americans to vote. New projects, including the nation’s first monument to lynching, advance the equal-rights cause and make Montgomery a vital stop on any history tour of the United States. The capital of Alabama is both the first Confederate capital and the birthplace of the civil rights movement; it is where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger; and where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emerged as the movement’s leader. Today, new investment is revitalizing abandoned buildings downtown and Queen Anne mansions in nearby neighborhoods, filling them with a podcast studio, beer garden, coffee shop and galleries, places designed to encourage conversations about metaphorically continuing that march.

1) 2 p.m. Reckoning with race

According to the nonprofit legal center Equal Justice Initiative, more than 4,400 African Americans were murdered by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. The E.J.I.’s new National Memorial for Peace and Justice is the nation’s first to recognize those atrocities. Visitors to the hilltop site will initially see columns representing the 800 counties throughout the country where lynchings occurred. Perception shifts inside the plaza, revealing the steel monuments as suspended, like hangings. A twin set of 800 monuments lie in the surrounding garden, awaiting reclamation by those counties. The companion Legacy Museum downtown traces the evolution of inequality from slavery and racial terror to police violence and mass incarceration.

2) 5 p.m. Story time
The former S.H. Kress & Co. department store on the main drag of Dexter Avenue has just been renovated and reopened as the Kress on Dexter, a mixed-use development leading the downtown commercial renaissance. Now businesses and apartments share the original 1929 vintage building with restored terrazzo floors, ornate plaster moldings and the original signs for “colored” and “white” drinking fountains — stark reminders of segregation. Browse its street-level art gallery and engage with its podcast studio, Storybooth, inspired by the many Montgomery residents with vivid recollections of the Civil Rights era. Visitors to the studio, which looks like an old-fashioned telephone booth, can dial up stories recorded by locals. Sustain your tour with a cappuccino ($3.50) from Prevail Union Craft Coffee.

3) 7 p.m. Savoring the South
You know you’re in the South when bacon is deep fried and served like French fries. That dish, called fett sow fries ($16), is served with an addictive peach chutney at Central, which occupies a rustic 1890s warehouse with exposed brick walls and a bustling open kitchen. The menu marries regional classics to ethnic influences, including wrapping hot chicken in steamed Asian buns ($14) and serving rabbit confit with wild mushrooms and pasta ($28). Save room for a decadent dessert of a doughnut drizzled in bourbon praline sauce ($8).

4) 9:30 p.m. Bunker bars
The downtown entertainment district spans a few blocks of renovated warehouses close to the river, home to interesting bars where you’re likely to rub elbows with residents. Aviator Bar attracts servicemen and women from nearby Maxwell Air Force Base with its military theme: sandbag-ringed nooks with World War II vintage photos and model airplanes hanging from the ceiling. A block away, the subterranean jazz club Sous La Terre entertains night owls after midnight with live music from the keyboardist Henry Pugh. Until then, crowd around the U-shaped bar in the affiliated La Salle Bleu Piano Bar upstairs.

5) 7:30 a.m. Midcentury cafe

Get your caffeine and design fix at Vintage Cafe in the Cloverdale neighborhood. The owners of the Vintage Year restaurant across the street recently opened the cafe in a former midcentury bank, preserving the terrazzo floors and installing a floating staircase to a mezzanine seating area. In an open kitchen, chefs create dishes that go beyond breakfast standards to include a smoked salmon salad ($9) and pressed focaccia sandwich with goat cheese and pistachio pesto ($5.50).

6) 9 a.m. Civil Rights roots
The civil rights movement was already underway when Rosa Parks, a seamstress riding home from her job at a downtown department store in 1955, refused to cede her seat on a crowded bus to a white passenger, leading to her arrest, the Montgomery bus boycott and the explosion of the campaign to end segregation. Run by Troy University, the Rosa Parks Museum (admission $7.50) tells the activist’s story in multimedia displays. Artifacts include a bus from the 1955 fleet and a restored station wagon used by car pools during the yearlong bus boycott.

7) 10:30 a.m. Depth and delight
More Than Tours ($25) offer, 90 minutes of entertainment covering the past, present and future of civil rights struggles. Michelle Browder, the impassioned owner and guide, might break into a Freedom Rider song or recite a Dr. King speech near the steps of the capital. “To get rid of your preconceived ideas about Montgomery, you need a fresh pair of eyes,” she said on a recent tour, doling out red cat-eye sunglasses, her signature look, to travelers boarding her open-sided electric minibus. It zips from the riverfront, site of the ruins of a cotton slide used to load ships, to Court Square Fountain near a former slave market, the Capitol building and Dr. King’s former home.

8) Noon. To the pulpit
Dr. King was only 24 when he came to Montgomery to accept his first appointment as pastor. His handsome red brick church, now named Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, lies a block from the Alabama State Capitol presided over by a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president. Take the tour ($7.50) to learn about the affluent congregation and its role in the campaign that made its pastor a national leader. Gregarious guides may entreat visitors to speak from the podium used by Dr. King.

9) 1 p.m. Reflecting on history
The modest clapboard house where the King family lived between 1954 and 1960 has been preserved as the Dexter Parsonage Museum ($7.50). Visits begin at the Interpretive Center next door, which introduces neighbors and provides a personal chapter in the civil rights story. The 1912-vintage parsonage is furnished much as it was when the Kings lived here, and a plaque embedded in the front porch identifies a nearby crater marking the spot where the house was bombed by segregationists in 1956. Behind the buildings, the King-Johns Garden for Reflection invites visitors to spend a few quiet moments.

10) 3 p.m. Arty happy hour
If any neighborhood is poised for a comeback, it’s the nearby Cottage Hill district, home to elegant 19th-century homes. James Weddle moved from Austin, Texas, to buy a couple and has opened Goat Haus Biergarten in one of them, a restored Victorian on a bluff, where visitors may grab a lager from Ghost Train Brewing in Birmingham ($5) and sit at a picnic table on the lawn overlooking the Alabama River. Next door 21 Dreams: Arts & Culture Collective features art shows in its front rooms that serve as a gallery.

11) 7 p.m. Shakespeare in the park
Its new artistic director, Rick Dildine, aims to make the state’s biggest theater, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, even bigger by expanding its offerings. Presenting musicals, dramas, original productions and, of course, Shakespeare, its two stages share the grand grounds of Blount Cultural Park, also home to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, about 10 minutes from downtown. For over 25 years, the festival has sponsored the Southern Writers’ Project to commission and produce new plays on topics ranging from the quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, Ala., to the famous University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Upcoming shows include “Annie,” July 4 to 15.

12) 10 p.m. Nightcap and nosh
Pinched between an alley and a parking lot, Leroy Lounge offers some 18 craft beers on tap that may include a sour ale from Fairhope Brewing Company in coastal Fairhope ($6.75). Craft spirits such as John Emerald gin, made in nearby Opelika, show up in cocktails like the Clothespin with pickled beets, honey and lemon ($11). Should hunger strike, walk down the alley to its sibling hipster El Rey Burrito Lounge for a “mighty” black bean ($10.25).

13) 9 a.m. Biscuits, then books

At the bustling Cahawba House, breakfast is all about the buttery biscuits ($1 each) accompanied by local honey, organic maple syrup or local jam (each $. 75). Add apple wood smoked bacon, pimento cheese and fried green tomato to build your own sustaining ’Bama breakfast. Then head to the gracious neighborhood of Cloverdale to visit the Fitzgerald Museum, the last home of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. The pair met in 1918 in Montgomery when he was stationed at a nearby army camp in her hometown. They returned to the 1910-era home with their daughter, Scottie, in 1931 and stayed for about six months before Zelda was hospitalized for mental illness. Galleries feature exhibits devoted to the couple’s courtship, Zelda’s paintings, Scottie’s memories and Fitzgerald’s literature and decline. The curator, Sarah Powell, often guides tours, enriching the story with local details.

If you go
Hampton Inn & Suites Montgomery-Downtown occupies one of the city’s historic high-rises, putting many attractions within walking distance. Rates start around $106, including breakfast. 100 Commerce Street,

The Fitzgerald House recently put a two-bedroom apartment above the museum on Airbnb. Its period-inspired décor, including a manual typewriter and pillows embroidered with quotes by Zelda Fitzgerald, pays homage to the couple. $150 a night. 919 Felder Avenue,

In the historic Cottage Hill neighborhood, Red Bluff Cottage Bed & Breakfast offers five period rooms, including one themed to “The Great Gatsby.” Rates from $110, including breakfast. 551 Clay Street,

If you do plan a trip to Montgomery, check out these suggestions on what to pack for the trip from our colleagues at Wirecutter.

For more information please see

Southern charm: Billy Reid on where to eat, drink and play in Florence, Alabama
From the article by Barry Samaha on

Billy Reid is Southern boy through and through. The Louisiana-born designer has been lauded for bringing a relaxed, yet refined sensibility to menswear since founding his brand in 1998. Depending on the season, consumers can find a plethora of Henley shirts, linen blazers, jeans and roomy coats and jackets. The crux of his designs is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is perhaps indicative of the quite atmosphere of the South, particularly Florence, Alabama, Reid’s current residence and the base of operations of his company.

Where most of the fashion community in the U.S. resides in New York or Los Angeles, Reid has eschewed the fast-paced lifestyle for something more laidback—but nonetheless rich in culture and vitality. Florence, for those unaware, is a town deeply rooted in the music and food scene, hosting titans like The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, John Currence, Sean Brock and more. And to expand on this heritage and bring about a fashion element to Florence, Reid founded Shindig, an annual summer gathering of friends that he started a decade ago. Overtime, it has grown to become a full-blown festival, bringing together lifestyle influencers from disparate fields—from Alabama Shakes and Jason Isbell to Karen Nelson and Pamela Love to a litany of James Beard Award winners. But even without this weekend-long event, Reid professes how the sense of community that Florence fosters is an experience to be had.

What was the appeal of moving to Florence, Alabama?
Family was the primary reason. My wife grew up in Florence and is one of nine siblings, being around family was important to us. I’ve had an opportunity to live and travel to many places and the idea of being able to raise our children in a smaller community was appealing.

What makes it distinct from other cities in the South?
Florence is a community that has a rich cultural history and also has an eye to the future. Florence has amazing musical roots with Muscle Shoals Sound and Fame Studios based here. Those studios have seen the like of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Aretha Franklin among hundreds of noted others, record some of their best work in our hometown. There’s still a vibrant music scene here and cool downtown vibe. James Beard-winning chef John Currence opened a breakfast restaurant here last month. There’s a progressive young spirit to an old Southern town.

What is Shindig and how did the idea come about?
Shindig is celebrating its 10th anniversary this August. It’s a three-day, multi-layer celebration involving friends in music, fashion, food and art. Shindig began as an idea to host a weekend to introduce folks from across the country to the Shoals. We wanted to share the vibe and culture and show our work in progress. It has grown into a much bigger undertaking, but the multi layer approach is still the same with a touch more scale. Over the years, we’ve had some amazing performers at Shindig, including Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell, Jack White, The Civil Wars, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Karen Elson and Cedric Burnside. We host chef friends each year: Sean Brock, John Currence, and Ashley Christensen are some of the folks who have graciously participated thru the years. We also hold an outdoor concert in the downtown square that’s open to the public with curated food trucks from across the South. Artists such as Allison Mosshart and Danny Clinch; and fashion designers Ryan Roche, Pamela Love and M. Patmos have contributed in past years.

How do you see the event evolving?
Adding to the venue size of the music performance is something we’ve considered and expanding the sponsorship and charitable aspect of the weekend. We want to keep the intimacy while continuing to grow.

How does it represent your brand?
It truly is the lifestyle extension of the brand. Fashion, music, food and art are all passionate interests of mine and Shindig packs the sound, flavor and soul of what we’re about. It draws visitors to Florence from all over the country, but ultimately it’s an event that supports and brings our community together.

How has the city influenced your designs?
Mostly it’s confirmed that fashion isn’t regional any longer. I see folks in the Rivertown coffee shop that aren’t much different than friends in Brooklyn. The move to Florence helped me be myself, which I believe has had the biggest impact on the collection.

What are your favorite cultural attractions?
The Rosenbaum House, which was designed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and has been restored to its original condition. We’ve had the opportunity to work with them on some installations and events, a must-see. Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is still a working studio and available for tours, you can see where Keith Richards wrote “Wild Horses.” Alabama Music Hall of Fame holds many treasures within its walls including Hank Williams’ Cadillac and Alabama’s tour bus.

What are the best places to shop?
Ye Ole General Store on Seminary Street is a cool dead stock and surplus store. Alabama Outdoors has stocked supplies of outdoor apparel brands and local gifts.

Where is the place to go to relax, and unwind?
The river, or out in the woods, or one of our many parks, some are actually on the creek, or river.

Where is the best place to have lunch/brunch?
Big Bad Breakfast is wonderful and so is Rivertown Coffee and Turbo Coffee. All top-notch.

Where is the best place to go for a cocktail, and what is your drink of choice?
Odette has one of the best bourbon stock lists I’ve seen anywhere, including NYC. My drink of choice is an Old Weller 107 on the rocks. Wildwood Tavern is another fun spot downtown for a younger casual vibe and late night pizza.

Where is the best place to have dinner, and what is your go-to on the menu?
Odette is a farm-to-table restaurant that frequently changes its offerings. They’ve been making some noise nationally and we are so happy for them. I love starting with the fried oysters! Everything’s tasty.

What is the best weekend activity in the city?
Find out where there’s music, if you’re into that, and go. It’s usually someone who is accomplished playing somewhere.  And, get out on the water if you can or take a bike ride on the TVA trail. We also have 3 championship golf courses in the area.

For the complete article please see

Columnist finds refreshment, release in coastal Alabama
From the article by Paula Burkes on

Editor’s Note: The Oklahoman was hosted by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, and Geiger & Associates Public Relations.

Lower Alabama, or what locals fondly dub “the other L.A.,” is the first source of water and food for birds migrating north to nest from the Yucatán Peninsula — after 600 miles of hard flapping. It’s also the last pit stop every fall before the birds’ arduous flight south.

For one week every spring and fall, Birmingham Audubon conservationists place small numbered metal bands around the legs of avian migrants caught in nets at Fort Morgan State Historical Park. Tanagers, wood thrushes, blue grosbeaks and scores of others are logged for their species, gender and age; banded to monitor life spans, reproduction success, ecosystems and more; and then released.

Like our feathered friends, more than six million tourists a year drop into the Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan areas (population 16,000) to enjoy our own form of food, drink and release. We find it along 32 miles of the soft, sugar-white sand and clear waters that lace the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s something way welcoming about Alabamians, whether they’re die-hard “Roll Tide” University of Alabama or “War Eagle” Auburn University fans. Waitresses are authentic and as sweet as the sugar in Southern sweet iced tea.

Speaking of restaurants, musts include CoastAL in Gulf Shores, and in Orange Beach: The Gulf, Fin and Fork, and Ginny Lane Bar & Grill at The Wharf.

Casual & fine dining
All the seafood served at CoastAL comes from within 30 miles of the restaurant. Chef Chris Sherrill treated visiting travel writers to a variety of dishes featuring different shrimp. My favorite is Royal Reds, which is caught in deep Alabama cold waters and tastes like a cross between lobster and shrimp. Runners-up include colossal Alabama brown shrimp, which Sherrill prepared in a New Orleans style barbecue butter and garlic, and crispy fried pink shrimp paired with dirty rice risotto and grilled local squash.

If that wasn’t filling enough, we had dessert: beignets served like french fries with powdered sugar and chocolate sauce.

With a view of the intercoastal waterway, Ginny Lane offers the perfect setting for a lazy lunch after browsing the slew of upscale shops nearby. Whatever you choose to eat, pair it with Gulf Shores’ Big Beach Brewing Co.’s Big Beach Rod & Reel beer and/or Slap Fight IPA from Georgia’s Monday Night Brewing.

For happy hour, you got to go to The Gulf, which offers a variety of picnic tables and comfy couches for a front row view of the sunset. Their specialty drink is the mojito; they served 28,000 last year alone. I like the lime and mint version.

For eats, the Mahi-mahi taco bowl was fabulous; my second choice would’ve been the grouper salad.

Fin & Fork is more upscale, with fabulous wine and food, including crab, hush puppies-like beignets for appetizers and Ahi Tuna for an entree. There’s live music in the outside bar.

For late-night entertainment, check out the Flora-Bama Lounge on the Florida-Alabama line on Perdido Key. Specialties include BBQ fire-roasted oysters and Bushwhackers, blended frozen drinks made with white/dark cocoas, rum and coffee.

Interestingly, the Flora-Bama hosts two nondenominational church services on Sunday mornings. Parishioners can order drinks and then settle in for the sermons. Stephen Lee, the founder of my Intercoastal Safaris deep-sea fishing adventure, and his wife attend there, as well as the beach public relations manager.

Lee, 35, said his wife one Easter Sunday asked him to hold her daiquiri while she got baptized. Ha-ha. Seriously, he said the church’s beer-drinking ministry does a lot of good reaching souls who need to hear the good news of the gospels.

Lee’s Intercoastal Safaris can arrange a several-hours’ fishing trip for Pompano and other fish. (A fellow writer briefly hooked a small trout.) He also pulls together bigger extravaganzas, including bachelor parties with coordinated lodging, dining and fishing or hunting (quail and hog) arrangements. It seems Gulf Shores is the No. 2 sought-after destination for bachelor parties.

To burn off all the calories you undoubtedly will consume, consider hopping a bike. I pedaled a three-speed from Beach Bike Rentals through Gulf State Park’s pedestrian and bike-friendly trail and had a delightful time spying baby crocodiles, an eagles’ nest and more. The park has 449 camping sites, which are booked during the winter. Many families who home-school their kids take advantage of the accommodations.

I stayed in a two-bedroom, two-bath condo at Escapes! To the Shores, a high-rise on Orange Beach that is managed by 50-year-old, family-run Meyer Vacation Rentals. Rates for most places run roughly $300 to $400 a night; $2,000 a week, and $100 a night in the offseason, October to mid-March.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park, with 350 rooms; 20 suites — all with views of the gulf or Lake Shelby — is scheduled to open in November. The former state lodge, built in 1974, was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. But this new 40,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor handicap-accessible facility will be energy- and environmentally-certified and guaranteed to withstand 175 miles-per-hour winds and 19-foot waves. Amenities will include gas fire pits, a pool bar, fine and casual dining restaurants, and a high-ceiling ballroom that will accommodate 1,000. The lodge also has 20 cabins and 11 cottages. The state of Alabama has contracted Hilton Hotels & Resorts to run The Lodge and handle reservations.

For the complete article please see

Visitors to National Parks in Alabama contribute to state economy in 2017
In 2017, almost 1 million park visitors spent an estimated $40.6 million while visiting National Park Service lands in Alabama. These expenditures supported a total of 617 jobs, $16.2 million in labor income, $27.3 million in value added, and $49.8 million in economic output in the Alabama economy. Some of the sites include: Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Russell Cave National Monument, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site.

For more information please see

New camping shelters on Bartram Canoe Trail
The State Lands Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) has recently completed the construction of three new camping shelter locations on the lower delta section of the Bartram Canoe Trail in south Alabama. The Justins Bay, Mudhole Creek and Yancey Branch shelters are now available to reserve for overnight paddling trips on the canoe trail.

“The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is one of the most biologically diverse locations in the United States,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this unique way to explore the delta and experience what makes it such an ecologically important place.”

The Justins Bay location features two camping shelters connected by an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible boardwalk and kayak/canoe launch. The shelters face in opposite directions and overlook Justins Bay to the east and the Apalachee River to the west. The Justins Bay shelters are accessible from an ADA compliant kayak launch located at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Ala.

The Mudhole Creek location is the northernmost camping shelter in the lower delta section of the trail. This shelter sits just above the surface of the water and is located approximately 1.25 miles from the mouth of Mudhole Creek. Historic Blakeley State Park in Spanish Fort and Cloverleaf Landing in Bay Minette, Ala., provide the closest access to the Mudhole Creek shelters.

The Yancey Branch shelter is located on the north end of Yancey Bay in the lower delta as part of the Forever Wild Land Trust MTD-Coastal Land Trust Tract Additions property. The shelter faces north providing paddlers with an excellent view of the Delta. The Yancey shelters are accessible from Buzbee Landing in Baldwin County or 5 Rivers in Spanish Fort.

Each new shelter can accommodate up to eight people and includes a fixed dock, cooking table, benches, eye hooks for hammocks and privacy curtain.

The new camping shelters join four floating platforms that are available for overnight paddling trips on the Bartram Canoe Trail. The shelters and floating platforms are available by reservation only (limited to canoeists and kayakers). For more information or to make reservations, visit the Alabama State Lands Division Canoe Trails website

Opened in 2003, the Bartram Canoe Trail system provides paddling opportunities to explore the many rivers, streams, lakes, sloughs and bayous of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta — the second largest river delta in the U.S.

In addition to the Bartram, the Alabama State Lands Division opened the Perdido River Canoe Trail in 2016. The trail winds down 19 miles of the Perdido River in Baldwin County. At four stops along the way, paddlers can reserve one of six camping shelters. Additionally, a hiking trail parallels the canoe trail for much of its length.

The ADCNR State Lands Division performs a broad range of land management activities relating to state-owned land. Most lands managed by the Division are trust lands managed for specific purposes including outdoor recreation such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, wildlife watching and paddling.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit

“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website
Is your event recurring? If so, here’s how to submit an event that occurs weekly or monthly. Begin by entering the start date, end date, and time of event. Then, select “Repeat Event.” Choose “Weekly” and select every week or every two weeks; or choose “Monthly” and select the day of the month the event repeats. Finally, finish creating your event by adding a detailed description, photos, and video and submit the event for approval.

Need to add an event? Go to today.


Tourism Tuesdays is a free electronic newsletter produced by the Alabama Tourism Department. It contains news about the state tourism department and the Alabama tourism industry.

The newsletter can also be accessed online by going to:

To subscribe to the newsletter please contact Dwayne O’Riley at:

Alabama Tourism Department