Tourism Tuesdays February 26, 2019

State leaders help introduce Alabama Statehood Forever stamp

Outsiders should experience Alabama for themselves

Birmingham airport is Alabama’s biggest — here’s how to navigate it with ease

From Mardi Gras to Moon Pies: 10 reasons to visit Mobile

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach: Alabama’s unexpected beach getaways

Downtown Huntsville getting another new hotel near VBC

Pursell Farms Golf Resort, a golfer’s paradise

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s former home features a suite you can rent

“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website


State leaders help introduce Alabama Statehood Forever stamp
From the article on

Several Alabama leaders gathered recently at the introduction of a stamp commemorating the state’s 200th birthday.

Among those present at the unveiling of the stamp were Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), State Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison Mayor Paul Finley and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

The U.S. Postal Service introduced the Alabama Statehood Forever stamp during the Alabama200 ceremony at the Early Works Children’s Museum in Huntsville, according to a postal service release.

“Since becoming America’s 22nd state on Dec. 14, 1819, Alabama has built a rich history grounded in the diversity, tradition and hard work of its people, and the natural beauty and wonderment of its land,” said USPS Acting Chief Human Resources Officer Isaac Cronkhite, who officially dedicated the stamp. “Alabama has been pivotal in the growth of our nation to constantly strive to be a more perfect union.”

The Alabama Statehood Forever stamp features an existing photograph taken at sunset in Cheaha State Park.

Alabama photographer Joe Miller shot the picture from the park’s Pulpit Rock Trail, and Pulpit Rock is visible in the foreground.

Orr serves as chairman of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, a group “created to guide and support the commemoration of the anniversary of Alabama’s statehood.”

Orr said the introduction of the stamp was one part of a “very multi-faceted program” conducted by the Bicentennial Commission.

For the complete article please see

Outsiders should experience Alabama for themselves
From the article by Michael Wetzel on

Kentucky native Donna Shanklin didn’t believe the negativity she have heard about Alabama before moving to the state.

“I took anything I heard with a grain of salt,” said the 57-year-old Lawrence County extension coordinator in Moulton. “I know as a Kentuckian, the outside impression of Kentuckians is negative, and I know that to be untrue.

“I was glad Alabama didn’t have a good basketball team, since I am a UK fan.”

But when she arrived here she said she enjoyed the laid-back lifestyle, “no rushing around in traffic.”

She would like to see the state prepare for the future, which she said can be accomplished if residents change their job skills as needed to succeed.

Shanklin, who enjoys gardening, visiting friends and volunteering, said the friendly people in the state are unmatched anywhere. The state’s image is often based on misconceptions, she said.

“As with most things, it depends on who you talk to as to whether Alabama has an image problem,” said Shanklin, who has lived in Alabama for about a dozen years. “I know the friends I have made and the people I interact with day in and day out would do anything for me. They have a willing spirit and want everyone’s life to be better.

“Outsiders have misconceptions about Alabama — but they are just misconceptions. They just need to come to Alabama and experience it their own selves.”

Shanklin worked in Cullman before taking the Lawrence County position April 1, 2018. She has worked across the globe.

She spent more than two years in Guatemala as a Peace Corps worker and worked in former Soviet breakaway republics as well as Sri Lanka and Nepal in the Winrock International farmer-to-farmer program, which works closely with farmers to help them better manage their crops and increase yields. She also worked in Bolivia with a Save the Children project.

Promoting healthier homes and health literacy are two of her major objectives, she said.

For the complete article please see

Birmingham airport is Alabama’s biggest — here’s how to navigate it with ease
From the article by Tracey Minkin on

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is not only an easy to navigate and recently modernized airport that’s just 10 minutes from downtown Birmingham, Alabama it also smells enticingly of barbecue from before sunrise to long after sunset (thanks to a beloved local barbecue restaurant just on the departures side of security).

Serving the thriving tourism, business, and healthcare hub of Birmingham, as well as offering access to University of Alabama and other university campuses and vacation destinations including the Gulf Coast, Alabama’s largest airport is just the right size for easy use. Airport parking is steps from the single terminal, and its one security area serves three small concourses with decent shopping, eating, and drinking.

Thanks to its $201.6 million modernization in 2014, the Birmingham airport features amenities that include dependable (and free) Wi-Fi, play spaces for children, private nursing and meditation rooms, and several striking pieces of public art, including a long wall mural of native plants and a moving photographic tribute to deceased civil rights pioneer Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth (for whom the airport was named in 2008).

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is located at 5900 Messer Airport Highway. The airport is located near Interstates 59 and 20 east of the city. (Note: Expect significant traffic delays and rerouting through March 2020 at the 59/20 interchange in downtown Birmingham because of highway construction. This will most affect eastbound travelers coming to the airport.) The airport is about 140 miles west of Atlanta, 105 miles south of Huntsville, AL, and just less than 300 miles north of the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is reached by car using major interstate highways. Ground transportation options include limousine and shuttle services, taxi service, and Uber (rates from downtown start at $11). One mass transit bus route does include the Birmingham airport, but there are no dedicated public transportation services to the airport.

It is the largest airport in Alabama in terms of passenger traffic, but it’s still wonderfully small and easy to navigate with just one terminal of three concourses (A, B, and C). Baggage claim and ground transportation are on the lower level; airline desks, shops and restaurants, a single security checkpoint, and concourses and departure gates are all contained on the upper level.

Five major airlines — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines — fly to and from BHM to 23 cities. BHM has more than 100 flights daily, and processes more than 2.6 million passengers per year.

The food and facilities suit its small size. Four baggage carousels, vending machines, ATMs, a service animal relief area and a small Starbucks are on the lower level. (The lower level also features a fascinating photographic exhibit on Rev. Shuttlesworth’s life and career as a civil rights pioneer.

On the departure level, the pre-security area has ticketing and check-in facilities for airlines, plus a Barber Motorsports-themed store that sells gifts, travel accessories, and brand merchandise from Barber. Also on the pre-security side of the airport, Starbucks sells coffee, pastries and snacks, and The Local Rustic Market features grab-and-go options.

When it comes to facilities, each of three concourses has a small but appropriate number of shops and restaurants, plus child play areas, nursing and meditation rooms, one ATM, and several major pieces of public art that feature Alabama’s history and natural environment.

One security area processes all users of the airport. On the departures side of security as part of Concourse B, an airy observation rotunda features floor-to-ceiling windows, rocking chairs and small tables and chairs. Directly across from security, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, a popular Birmingham-based chain, offers a menu of Southern dishes along with more traditional fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and bar service. A small grab-and-go outlet sits adjacent.

At the Concourse A/B intersection, a Hudson News (themed for Birmingham’s Alabama Theatre) sells the typical mix of gifts, snacks, travel accessories, and Alabama souvenirs (Roll Tide!). A small food-court-style area features Chick-Fil-A (a well-known Southern chain famed for its chicken sandwiches and which is closed on Sundays) and The Great American Bagel, which offers bagels, sandwiches, and salads. This is also the location of the sole ATM on the departures level.

Concourse A features a CNN Newsstand outlet, a Starbucks, and Birmingham Brewhouse, which has a pub-style menu and features its own craft beers.

On Concourse B/C intersection, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame shop sells collegiate merchandise so popular in this land of SEC football. A small food court area features Starbucks and Grounded in Birmingham, offering burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

On Concourse C, Ebony Newsstand sells gifts, travel accessories, and Ebony Magazine merchandise, and Talladega Grille offers tailgate-style food options and bar service in a NASCAR-themed environment.

The entire airport features free Wi-Fi (TheAuthorityLAN).

Car rental facilities at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport are located on the ground level of the parking deck, which is also the same location for picking up and dropping off rental cars. The rental car facility features the following companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless and Thrifty.

Parking at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is very accessible to the terminal entrances, ample (5,000 spaces), easy to navigate, and affordable. Hourly parking is on Level 3 of the sole parking area—a covered deck—and costs $1/hour or $24/day. Daily parking is on Levels 2, and 4-7 of the same parking deck (some sections of certain levels are not covered) and costs $1/hour and $12/day. (Parking for oversized vehicles is available on Level 1.) An Economy Lot offers 700 spaces and the most affordable rate ($1/hour and $10/day) and features complimentary shuttle service to the terminal. Valet Parking services are located curbside at the upper level and cost $16.95 per day and should be reserved online in advance.

The hotels closest to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport are the Ramada by Wyndham Birmingham Airport and Holiday Inn Birmingham-Airport (1.5 miles away, with complimentary shuttle service from 4:20 a.m. through midnight daily). The Holiday Inn has been recently upgraded and is the best bet for an “airport location,” although the hotel’s immediate neighborhood does not provide much to do outside of the use of the hotel (rates start at $103.55).

Downtown Birmingham, just 10 minutes away (although note traffic delays and detours while Interstates 20/59 are under construction), has a broad variety of hotels that also allow for access to the city’s thriving arts and dining scene.

The good news about Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport being so close to downtown is that it means a long layover can turn into a visit to a historic peanut seller, a civil rights walk, a few hours in the city’s beautiful museum of art, a platter of BBQ, hanging out at a local craft brewery, or a refreshing stroll through botanical gardens or the zoo. Birmingham is an area rich with smaller enclaves, so consider spending your time exploring areas like trendy Avondale or the boutique and café-rich villages of Mountain Brook (Crestline Village, Mountain Brook Village, and English Village). For a fascinating look at the mining and steel industries that created Birmingham, make a twin visit (if time allows) to Vulcan Park & Museum (which also has a breathtaking ridgetop view of downtown Birmingham) and the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. (Note that some of these destinations are more than 10 minutes from BHM.)

For the complete article please see

From Mardi Gras to Moon Pies: 10 reasons to visit Mobile
From the article by Nancy Stern on (Communities Digital News)

Carnival season which ends with Mardi Gras makes for great time of the year to visit Mobile. One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Mobile claims to be the first to observe Mardi Gras. The smaller town offering a more gentle celebration than their New Orleans neighbor.

Arrive a few days early to enjoy the unique and fun attractions, sweet temptations such as Moon Pies and other lively diversions.

1. Malaga Inn
The Malaga Inn is a historic hotel located within easy walking distance of many of Mobile’s top attractions. The Malaga Inn is a boutique hotel conveniently located in the historic district of downtown Mobile. The twin townhouses were constructed around 1862 at the request of two sisters.

Now, the privately owned and operated hotel has 39 rooms; each decorated with period pieces that add to the French ambiance. The Malaga Inn is definitely a unique and lovely venue from which to explore the main attractions, many of which are within walking distance

2. Trolley tour
It’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land when visiting a city for the first time. Gulf Coast Trolley Tours is a comfortable way to see the sights. The tour guides are locals familiar with their beloved city. There are plenty of interesting historical facts and tidbits on the 90-minute air-conditioned tours.

The route passes through some of the more interesting neighborhoods and includes a stop at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

3. Spot of Tea
Located In the central downtown area, Spot of Tea is a favorite among the locals and returning visitors. This family-run restaurant is known as the place to go for affordable meals and afternoon tea. A must is the Moon Pie Banana Pudding that contains layers of fresh bananas, banana pudding, chunks of Moon Pie cookies, and a mound of whipped cream.

You can also sign up for one of their Segway tours to explore some of the most interesting streets and attractions. A well-informed guide will point out historical architecture and regale you with local folklore.

4. A&M Peanut Shop
You will probably smell the A&M Peanut Shop, a fixture since 1947 before you see it. Using an old-fashioned roaster, they create a variety of nutty offerings, peanut clusters, and old-fashioned candies. You can also choose from an abundance of homemade pralines, dried fruits, and traditionally boiled peanuts. After their purchase, many will walk across the street to Bienville Square where they will feed some cute little squirrels.

5. Moon Pie General Store
Originally created in 1917 for coal miners who wanted a snack as big as the moon but one that would fit in a lunch pail, Moon Pies have become the most iconic snack in the South.

In fact, Mobilians seem to have adopted these treats as their unofficial confection.

At the Moon Pie General Store, you can indulge your sweet tooth with every flavor under the rainbow. Large and mini-size Moon Pies come in flavors of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, and salted caramel. Also offered are retro candies, hats, T-shirts, novelty gifts, toys, and Mardi Gras accessories.

6. Mardi Gras
Claiming to be the original home of Mardi Gras, Mobile gears up all year long for this celebration. Mystic societies work on their colorful floats and costumes, preparing for a raucous 2 ½ weeks of celebrations leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Locals and visitors line the streets as float riders toss prized items like toys, stuffed animals, beaded necklaces, ramen soup, wrapping paper, doubloons, and yes, even Moon Pies.

7. Dew Drop Inn
The oldest and one of the more well-known eateries in Mobile, the Dew Drop Inn (1924), is known for their famous pink hot dogs made from a mixture of pork and beef and topped with slightly sweet chili. Even their buns are sheer perfection and have a bit of crunch to each bite.

You can also order some down-home favorites like chicken n’ dumplings, fried catfish, and homemade gumbo.

8. Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe
After you have had your Dew Drop Inn hot dog, head over to Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe. Converted from a Texaco Gas Station, this Mobile tradition has been around for over 48 years. Cammie Wayne makes her own thick, rich, and delicious ice cream in dozens of uniquely created flavors. Whole cakes such as red velvet cake and birthday cake are baked from scratch, cut up in bite-size pieces, and hand mixed into the ice cream. For a nostalgic experience, take a seat at the counter and enjoy a hot fudge sundae, a milkshake, or a banana split.

9. Mobile Carnival Museum
Before attending a Mardi Gras parade, get a good glimpse of Carnival history at the Mobile Carnival Museum. The 2 1/2 story historical mansion houses some real treasures from the history of this celebration. Elegantly displayed rooms are adorned with elaborate, jeweled gowns with flowing trains; tuxedos; crowns; and scepters. Numerous photos and videos from the coronations and balls can be viewed as well. The well-stocked gift shop offers Mardi Gras gift items, favors, souvenirs, and parade throws. Guided tours are available for groups.

10. Perdido Queen River Cruise Dinner
The newly opened Perdido Queen River Cruise Dinner is a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion. After boarding the custom-made paddle-wheel boat, a whistle blows and the boat begins to chug its way up the Mobile River. A buffet dinner is served and may include selections of pulled pork, shrimp mac, and cheese, black beans and rice, vegetables and dessert. Beverages are sweet tea and a complimentary drink. Enjoy the beautifully lit skyline and the live music upstairs to dance the night away.

Whether it’s relaxing on a trolley ride, strolling through an interesting museum, or enjoying a big serving of oysters, there’s plenty to do, see, and eat in Mobile, Alabama!

This was a sponsored visit; however, all opinions herein are the authors.

For the complete article please see

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach: Alabama’s unexpected beach getaways
From the article by Nancy Stern on (Communities Digital News)

Locals here in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach say that this section of coastline is relatively unknown by the masses. Look closely at a map of Southern Alabama. Find the stretch of 32 miles of shoreline at the northern tip of the Gulf of Mexico. Here gentle waves lap the sand making it ideal for little tykes to safely splash and build sand castles. Colorful beach homes and condos dot the shoreline, many of which are available as rentals. Restaurants serving fresh oysters and shrimp along with a large variety of fish can keep any seafoodie happy. These are some of the reasons why this is quickly becoming a perfect beach getaway.

Alabama’s Mountain Quartz Beaches and Seafood
For some reason, many travelers aren’t aware that this part of Alabama’s Gulf Coast has some pristine, white sugary sand beaches. Actually, the sand comes from quartz that washes down into the Gulf from the Appalachian Mountains. This is part of what makes this such an unexpectedly family-friendly destination.

Dozens of souvenir shops with wacky exteriors line the main drag. Hundreds of inflatable water toys, beach-themed jewelry, postcards, T-shirts, bathing suits, and towels are on display enticing eager tourists.

Fresh Oysters: Six Ways to Happiness
You can enjoy seafood throughout the 27,000-acre island and at The Royal Oyster, they serve fresh local oysters ready six ways. This is also one of the only places where you can enjoy some tasty shark bytes made with large chunks of white, non-fishy tasting shark meat, battered and seasoned to crispy perfection.

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen is quite popular with snowbirds who line up early for their daily specials that include an entrée, sides, and dessert. They are known for their “mini lobsters,” also known as Royal Reds. These jumbo-sized shrimp with a characteristic red color are shipped in daily from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and are a prized commodity.

Sweet Treats on the Gulf Coast
The casual eatery called The Hangout in Gulf Shores has an extensive menu that covers all tastes. The owner’s vast collection of toys, including Pez dispensers, vintage lunch boxes, matchbox cars, and plastic dolls, are mounted on the walls of the restaurant’s interior. The gift shop offers a colorful array of T-shirts, jewelry, toys, and local beach souvenirs.

In May, the Hangout hosts an annual four-day music festival that draws about 45,000 people and boasts four band stages just steps away on the beach.

Visit The Rum Sisters for a unique dessert experience. A few years ago, Elizabeth Jones made some rum cakes using her mother’s secret recipe. She began serving her family recipe at local functions. Instantly becoming a big hit, Jones began experimenting and now offers seven varieties of her mini, petite cakes.

All are delicious and keep moist for up to six weeks, but no need to worry about that as they are hard to resist and usually devoured immediately.

Getting around
For outdoor fun, rent a Segway from Coastal Segway Adventures. After a few minutes of training, you’ll be on your way to a two-wheeled adventure. A knowledgeable guide will take you on a pleasant tour along the paved paths through Gulf Shores State Park. You can spot eagles, owls, alligators and a variety of nesting birds throughout the 6,500 acres of protected ecosystems. Most people visiting this area are not aware of this backcountry located right across from the main road of Perdido Beach Blvd.

Another way to enjoy the outdoors is to rent a bike from Beach Bike Rentals located in Orange Beach. They will help you and your family select from a variety of bikes including cruisers and tandems. Daily, weekly and monthly rentals are available and include bike helmets, baskets, and cycling computers. All bicycles are in quality condition. This allows you to explore nearly 20 miles of paved pathways, including the Gulf State Park Rosemary Trail.

For a sun-splashed holiday featuring clean, white beaches; fewer crowds; and a variety of delicious eateries, look no further than the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. One can’t go wrong where colorfully painted beach homes carry names such as Sun Kissed and Sea La Vie.

Where to stay
The Lodge at Gulf State Park is the perfect venue from which to explore the area. Rebuilt after a previous hurricane, the lodge is now a sustainably beautiful hotel. The property features clean, comfortable, rooms, several on-site restaurants and gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico.

For the complete article please see

Downtown Huntsville getting another new hotel near VBC
From the article by Paul Gattis on

A new hotel is planned on a main entrance into downtown Huntsville, adding to the area’s ever-growing room capacity near the Von Braun Center.

A Hampton Inn & Suites is scheduled to begin construction in the fall.

Plans call for a seven-floor, 150-room hotel at Clinton Avenue and Monroe Street, according to developers Vision Hospitality Group of Chattanooga. The site is vacant and is used for parking for Von Braun Center events.

Early prep work on the site has been underway for several weeks.

Huntsville city leaders have sought to expand the number of hotel rooms near the Von Braun Center to make it more attractive to host higher-capacity events.

“We are very optimistic about the direction downtown Huntsville is heading, and we are honored to be a part of this community,” Mitch Patel, Vision Hospitality Group President & CEO, said in an email to “Recently opened and newly planned mixed-use projects continue to add to the vibrancy of downtown as well as the renovations taking place at the Von Braun Center, which all bode well for the development of a new hotel. Couple that with the announcements of the Toyota/Mazda and Blue Origin plants and the well-paying jobs they will create, and it only reinforces the great story unfolding in Huntsville.”

The state’s first AC Hotel by Marriott, across Monroe from the VBC campus, is scheduled to open next month while demolition work is continuing to make room for a Curio by Hilton hotel on Jefferson Street near the courthouse square. Those hotels, along with the Hampton, are all located within a one-mile radius of the VBC.

The VBC, of course, is undergoing a $42 million renovation and expansion – which will be directly across Monroe from the Hampton hotel

And developers said the Hampton will be designed to fit in with the Huntsville growth.

“The new hotel will incorporate design elements to provide an elevated experience at the attractive Hampton price point,” Patel said in the email.

For the complete article please see

Pursell Farms Golf Resort, a golfer’s paradise
From the article by Ed & Fran Stone on

Pursell Farms Golf Resort is spread over 3,200 beautiful, rolling mountain acres in Sylacauga, Alabama. This is a golfer’s dream. FarmLinks golf course was created in 2003 to help sell fertilizer to golf course superintendents and major buyers of fertilizer. Today, the golf course is the center of a new resort offering not only golf, but also an Orvis sporting facility, Spring House Spa, hiking & biking trails, UTV Mountain Experience, and a 40-room Inn along with cottages and other accommodations.

The Pursell Family has seen lots of growth since the founding of Sylacauga Fertilizer in 1904. In the 1970’s the National Fertilizer Development Center (a part of the Tennessee Valley Authority) created POLYON, a slow release fertilizer.  The product was created and tested in Muscle Shoals and Jimmy Pursell was quick to see the advantages and improvements of this product. Sylacauga was the closest plant and gained a head start in 1985 on production and distribution.

Most will recognize one of Pursell’s products that has POLYON, Sta-Green Fertilizer that was marketed in the ’80’s.  Rather than send sales people across the nation to explain and convince farmers and especially golf course superintendents to use this “new-fangled” fertilizer, they decided to build a golf course on a 3,200 acre tract of land just outside of Sylacauga. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry were selected as the golf course architects for FarmLinks. They were known for their environmentally-sensitive designs such as Erin Hills in Wisconsin, host of the 2017 U.S. Open.

From 2003, when the course opened, they hosted some 10,000 golf course superintendents and other buyers to The Experiment-as it was called. In 2016, the fertilizer company was sold to the Canadian multinational Agrium fertilizer operation for a near-nine-figure price.

So what to do with a very high-end golf course? The decision was made to create an upscale resort for not only golfers but also people who want to get away, relax and enjoy the out of doors. Today, the Pursell Farms Resort is entertaining guests with the 18-hole FarmLinks golf course, Orvis sporting facility, Spring House Spa, hiking & biking trails, UTV Mountain Experience and upscale accommodations for families, reunions, events and golfers.

Jim Nabors, played the likeable Gomer Pyle in “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Mayberry RFD” and later his own, “The Gomer Pyle Show.” The Pursell Family and Gomer were very close. They grew up in this small central Alabama community of some 13,000. Gomer was part of CEO David Pursell’s wedding. The Old Tom’s Pub in the 40-room Inn offer Gomer’s pool table for guests to play while enjoying some libation and browsing celebrity photos.

The FarmLinks Golf Club is first-class from arrival to departure. As stated earlier, this golf course was created to showcase the fertilizer products of the Pursells-especially POLYON the slow release fertilizer. Most golf courses today use a type of POLYON because it requires less applications and releases as needed.

Playing FarmLinks was indeed a pleasure. Beginning with the first hole, the tee box is elevated and offers plenty of landing area and is a par 5, 576 yards from the tips. Rather than identify the tees with colors, they use: Longhorn (7,444 yds.), Copperhead (6,970 yds.), Whitetail (6,457 yds.), Bobcat (5,919 yds.) and Quail (5,250 yds.). Each of the holes have names such as Sawmill, Bootlegger, Desoto, etc. There’s a reason for each of the names. Most all fairways are broad with spacious landings and wide roughs. The two high handicap holes are numbers 4 and 12, both are par 4’s. Hole #4 is straight with yardage of 478 and a large ditch just short of the green demanding a high second shot to reach the green in regulation. The 12th hole is 488 yards and plays along the main road leading into the resort. Bunkers are on both sides of fairway near landing area and two bunkers on each side of green.

The signature hole on FarmLinks is number 5, a 201 yarder, with a tee box elevated some 175 feet drop. The view from the Longhorn tee allows you to not only see the green with one sand trap on the left side, but also the Gantt’s Quarry in the distance. This is a white marble quarry that provided marble to build the Lincoln Memorial and other historic features.

Overall, the FarmLinks golf course is in the same league as the Robert Trent Jones courses you’ll find throughout the State of Alabama for which there are some 24 courses from Huntsville, Muscle Shoals, Prattville to Point Clear. The Pursells have kept a few touches that deserve mentioning. In addition to the names of the tee boxes and holes on the course, they have placed an old Farmall tractor near the clubhouse and driving range. A tire swing is seen near the 15th hole and the farm atmosphere is maintained throughout the resort.  FarmLinks has been named by Golfweek in 2018 as the No. 1 all-access golf course in Alabama.

Other activities you’ll enjoy at Pursell Farms Resort
Orvis was founded in 1856.  It is a family-owned business and in early 2000, they were looking for another partner.  The Pursell Farm became the ideal spot for a second Orvis owned and operated sporting facility. Here members can enjoy hunting quail, duck, dove and pheasant as well as fishing for bass in five stocked lakes. There’s a sporting clays course along with fly fishing instruction. The public is welcome to visit the Orvis store and enjoy all of these activities even if not staying on property.

If you are looking for a quiet place with signature massage therapies, the Spring House Spa offers three spacious treatment rooms and a professional staff.

Couples or families have the option of enjoying the nearly three miles of biking and walking trails that meander through the meadows, lightly wooded areas and along a beautiful lake. Bikes are available at a modest charge.

Guests also have available the UTV Mountain Experience using John Deere Gators to explore trails and ride up to Sulfur Mountain. There is a charge for the vehicles that handle up to four people and the trek takes about 90 minutes.

Meeting planners have discovered Pursell Farms Resort offering some 12,000 square foot of meeting space with the natural beauty and amenities of the development.

Out back of the Inn, there’s a beautiful pool and sundeck allowing guests to enjoy views of the meadows and surroundings. Bocce Ball and a fitness center are also available to guests of the Inn and Cottages.

The Pursell Farm Resort is relatively new on the scene but has all the facilities to bring it to prominence in a short period of time. People will begin discovering this resort even though it is a bit off the beaten path. With its quality of offerings and true Southern hospitality with great service, it is a wonderful addition to the golf and travel business of Alabama and the Southeastern United States. Some distances from major nearby cities include: Birmingham, Alabama 45 miles, Montgomery, Alabama 74 miles, Huntsville, Alabama 150 miles, Atlanta, Georgia 140 miles and Nashville, Tennessee 240 miles.

For the complete article please see

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s former home features a suite you can rent
From the article by Joyce Chen on

Avid readers who want to live like a literary legend can now do so, with the unique Zelda Suite available as a nightly rental on Airbnb at the very affordable cost of $130 a night. The Fitzgeralds’ former home is located in the historic district of Cloverdale, in Montgomery, Alabama, and sits on the second floor of what is now known as the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum.

The apartment, which is composed of two bedrooms and one bathroom, can comfortably fit four guests, and has been refurbished to reflect the quirky opulence of the Jazz Age, with which both Fitzgeralds are so closely associated. In addition to the two bedrooms and one bathroom, the home also includes a living room, dining room, and kitchen, with modern amenities and decor meant to evoke memories of the apartment’s famous tenants: Jazz albums litter the living room space, as do pillows embroidered with Zelda’s famous quips, such as “Those men think I’m purely decorative and they’re fools for not knowing better” and “I wish I’d done everything on Earth with you.”

There’s even a balcony overlooking magnolia trees, perhaps even the very same ones that the Fitzgeralds gazed out at when they resided in the apartment between 1931 and 1932. It was at this residence that Zelda wrote her only novel, “Save Me the Waltz,” and Scott worked on “Tender Is the Night.” Their young daughter, Scottie, also lived in the home.

Guests who rent the apartment are also welcome to a complimentary tour of the museum downstairs, which boasts memorabilia from the Fitzgeralds’ heyday and creative processes, including letters, first-edition books, and 11 of Zelda’s paintings, among other things. It is the only dedicated museum to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in the world (the Airbnb rentals help to raise funds to support the nonprofit museum). It is also, notably, a stop on the Southern Literary Trail, which also includes the homes of Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Miller, and is the last of four surviving homes from the couple’s travels around the world. Prior to nesting at the Montgomery apartment, the Fitzgeralds moved around quite a bit, with residences in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Paris, among other places.

The home is especially significant because it was where the couple hoped to settle after Zelda’s first hospitalization for schizophrenia, but her father’s death in the fall of 1931 led to a second hospitalization, so their domestic dream was short-lived.

For the complete article please see

“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website
Connect with us on Facebook through the industry partners page. We want to tell you about exciting updates, hear your thoughts and know what you’re up to so we can share them with our networks.

Follow the link, give us a “like” and get connected.


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

To be removed from opt-in list.