north-south along Interstate 65 in Alabama may wonder if there
are any cities in the state. Huge rural areas separate
Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile, and it's a fact
that two-thirds of the state is covered by forest land. The
"Heart of Dixie" is characterized by smaller communities; no
mega-cities like Atlanta or Houston sprawl through its pine
woods. And while life moves a little slower in Alabama and the
residents speak with a distinctive twang, don't mistake this
state for a backwater.
From the space-age research being conducted in Huntsville to
the busy seaport of Mobile, Alabama is playing a vital role in
the nation's technological development, and contributes heavily
to its economic base. Recreational venues span the spectrum from
the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores to the tree-covered
mountains of Cheaha. History wafts through the air here like
perfume from a magnolia.
You probably didn't know that Mardi Gras started in Mobile
200 years before New Orleans adopted the celebration as its own,
or that Alabama was the first state to erect a statue to an
insect, the Boll Weevil Monument. Enjoy the whimsy and celebrate
the progressiveness of this state they call "the Beautiful."