When most travelers visit the Southern United States, they don’t often first think to go to Alabama. More often than not, they’re interested in heading to somewhere urban like Miami. However, this is actually a pretty great spot to visit. After all, there’s a reason they call it Sweet Home Alabama!
Welcome to the Heart of Dixie, where the rich history of the Civil Rights Movement intertwines with Southern charm. Come and enjoy beautiful Gulf Coast beaches and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Alabama offers a delightful mix of cultural heritage, outdoor experiences, and hospitality that captivates all who visit. You’ll also enjoy a rural atmosphere throughout the state that offers up a charm and local feel that’s hard to beat. There’s plenty of good ol’ Southern food.
Like museums? They have the world’s largest space museum. If you’re into sports, they’re home to an awesome college football culture, plus NASCAR. Golfing is popular, and history is rich.
Let’s have a look at the best resorts in Alabama:
1. The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection
Located in Point Clear, Alabama, this spot is a picturesque beauty. Near Fairhope, it’s close to the beach, but has enough amenities on site that you may never want to leave at all. You’ll find the spa is on point, the golf club is unrivaled and there’s a ton of activities for both parents and kids to enjoy. Fancy some tennis? There are 10 courts. Want to check out the shoreside dining? You’ve got it.
There are 550 acres of property on the Bay, and the space definitely has a history of its own. Want to find out more? You’ll have to visit! And I know you want to, with 9 restaurants to choose from you won’t want to leave. Southern Roots features a menu with estate-grown farm-to-table cuisine to create a sustainable chic yet casual experience. While the Local Market Deli offers an array of delectable sweet treats and is the perfect place to grab a coffee.
2. Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa
The Renaissance hotel brand is known for being millennial-friendly and exactly what you want for a great time that’s Instagram-worthy. So, the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa does not disappoint, whether you’re planning for an Alabama destination wedding, or you’re just wanting to get away for the weekend.
Keep in mind, this is the only resort in all of Birmingham, so this is the highest luxury in the town. Other special features? They have the 5th-longest golf course in the entire world, which has been recognized by Golf Digest. The spa is great, and when you’re ready to see the sites, they’re perfectly situated to get you to wherever you need to go. Enjoy multiple pools, waterslides, waterfalls and bar service at the pool. Plus, there’s tennis and great views from the private balconies!
3. Perdido Beach Resort
The Perdido Beach Resort is more of what you’d think of when you think of a traditional beach resort. You’re right on the shore in Orange Beach, which faces the Gulf of Mexico. There are more than 300 luxury guest rooms, all with private balconies. In addition, you’re right within a popular tourist destination, so you can easily reach all of the attractions you’re after, once the sun sets and you’re looking to enjoy the area off the beach.
4. Kiva Dunes Resort & Gulf
If you’re wanting more of a private getaway, you can try out Kiva Dunes, which is in Gulf Shores and on its own private beach. In addition, you can choose to stay in your own private condo while there, so that you get a little added touch of exclusivity. There are three pools, a top-rated golf course and a beach club for dining and spa treatments. There’s so much for you to enjoy while there, that you’ll never want to leave!
5. Chesnut Bay Resort
But maybe you want something a little less beach-centric, and a little more nostalgic. If a lakeside getaway complete with all the classic Americana touches you’ve seen in the movies, book a stay at the Chesnut Bay Resort on Weiss Lake, in Northern Alabama.
Choose from a variety of different accommodations, and then enjoy two pools, tons of lakefront and gorgeous forests surrounding the entire getaway. They even accommodate groups, in case you’re planning a family-wide event, and, of course, it’s totally family-friendly. Plus, there’s all the lake activities, such as boating and fishing.
6. Caribe Resort by Prickett Properties
Back to the beach! On Orange Beach, Caribe the Resort offers lots of luxury in a kid-friendly atmosphere. Situated between a bay and the ocean, there are great views, no matter which room you’re in (though you’ll definitely want to try one of the suites — they’re fantastic!). There are lots of kid-centric activities too, from the pools, water slides, lazy rivers, you name it.
The resort has 30 acres on the peninsula and you can choose from a variety of rooms and condos, before enjoying the saunas, tennis courts, five-star restaurants and more.
7. Turquoise Palace
Their motto is “when only the best will do,” so arrive at this Spectrum Resorts property expecting just that. Lounge on the white sand beaches in front of two glass towers behind you, which house several different types of accommodations. They range from three bedrooms, all the way up to five, and all come with the great amenities and guest services offered resort-wide, so you can enjoy luxury no matter what size family you’re bringing along on your travels.
Plus, you get the great benefits of having your private lodgings combine with all the amenities of a resort. For example, you can arrange for them to stock your fridge with all your favorite groceries before you arrive. You can also get a wristband to take with you to the beach or the pool, and then just use it to swipe and pay, without having to drag around your wallet. Have laundry? They’ll do it, and even straighten up your room.
It’s the combination of the best of both worlds!
8. Gulf Shores Plantation Resort
The Gulf Shores Plantation Resort is very similar and offers a combination of resort luxury with the convenience of your own private condo on the resort grounds. This is one of the places on the Gulf Shores that families come back to time and time again, and make it into a summer family tradition. Young couples come for romantic getaways, then bring their kids later in life, and then later their grandchildren.
There are a ton of different types of accommodations to choose from. No matter where you’re staying on the resort, though, you can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, saunas, game rooms, tennis courts, basketball courts, shuffleboard courts, kiddie pools, jacuzzis, putting greens, libraries, fitness facilities and more.
9. Grand Bohemian Mountain Brook
Now this is a property that’ll take your breath away. Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, this is on the smaller side, but is so luxurious that the amenities seem almost endless. Each guest room and suite has its own style, and is outfitted with custom furnishings and marble bathrooms. The spa is right there for your convenience, as it a farm-to-table luxury dining experience on the roof, great for views.
There are guest classes available on fun topics such as wine blending and cooking, or you can just relax by the pool instead. Additionally, you’re very close to all of the nearby attractions, as you’re just outside of the city of Birmingham.
10. The Renaissance Battle House
Located in Mobile, this is another Renaissance property that is filled with modern class, elegance and a nice bit of history. You’re right near all of the Mobile attractions as well as many golf courses, and you can enjoy the spa, rooftop dining and the pool. There are three restaurants, live music and plenty of private spaces for when you want to get away from everyone else. Plus, this places oozes Southern charm.
11. The Westin Birmingham
Westin is a hotel brand that’s been becoming more and more popular with the younger set, partially thanks to their great new features and their lovely amenities. The Westin Birmingham is located right within walking distance of some of the city’s top spots and is centrally located in an upscale area for dining and entertainment.
There are almost 300 rooms for you to choose from, as well as a variety of even more upscale suites. The dining is great, the pool is relaxing and there’s everything you could want right within easy reach.
12. Marriott Shoals
Located in Florence, Alabama, this Marriott property is an upscale option in an area where you may not be expecting it. You’ll find a relaxing atmosphere, with all the amenities that you’ve come to expect from the name Marriott, including private balconies for every room, views of the Tennessee River, a luxury spa, great dining and easy access to the nearby golf courses, so you can work on your game.
Understated elegance abounds here, so you’ll feel comfortable and at ease, no matter why you happen to be visiting this tiny city in the northwest corner of the state.
13. Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza
In Mobile, you’ll find the upscale Renaissance, which is a popular pick for businessmen who need to get to the directly connected convention center, can meet all of your luxury hotel needs. You’re right next to the nightlife attractions, as well as the historic destinations.
There’s a great outdoor lounge, in addition to the other dining, and you can really soak in downtown Mobile without really doing anything at all. It’s all right there at your fingertips!
14. The Westin Hunstville
Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas…er, Alabama…anymore! The Westin Hunstville is so gorgeously designed that you’ll swear you’re somewhere all glitz and glamour, like, maybe Europe, perhaps? But, really, you can’t miss the greenery-enclosed entrance, the crystalline pool with the posh columns…it can’t be beat. Sophisticated and elegant, it’s very easy to see why this hotel is the only AAA Four Diamond hotel in the area.
Plus, it’s great for business, if you need to head to the local research park, or if you want to head to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, which is just nearby. They’re even making the hotel better than ever, by undergoing some renovations, which will appear over the coming months. Upgrades will occur in the guest rooms, public spaces and dining, as well as in the suites, and they’re even adding a ballroom! In addition, they’re adding an Element property to the top floors of the hotel, which can be used as an extended-stay option, so you can stay longer than a week while enjoying the comfort and class that the hotel affords. And millennial-friendly amenitie including but not limited to a workout gear and clothing rental option, so you can rent a fresh pair of sneakers, gym shorts, whatever, with no effort at all.
15. Auburn Marriott Opelika
Located on Lake Saugahatchee and near Auburn University, you’ll love the Auburn Marriott Opelika for any of your college football trips, or just because. Enjoy local shopping, golfing at the nearby three golf courses for a total of 54 holes (you can even book some lessons!), and all of the amenities that the hotel offers right within its walls. There are indoor and outdoor pools for a resort feel, eight separate tennis courts, multiple dining options and more.
You’ll have everything you and your family need for a relaxing getaway in a non-beach region of Alabama that still has a lot of its own appeal. One of the new summer offerings is the Camp Soaring Summer, which is a free gift to guests, allowing them to choose from a menu of fun summer camp-like activities and classes, such as golf, tennis, hiking, biking, live music events, vampire events and bird of prey shows. It’s all included and all family-friendly so you can live your summer vacation to its fullest!