Alabama in Pictures: 22 Beautiful Places to Photograph
Alabama is a scenic state with iconic symbols of rich history and culture at every turn. Scenic beaches showcase the coastal side of Alabama, with an abundance of waterfront photo opportunities, like the relaxing Gulf Shores beaches, to quiet inland lakes that are tranquil, especially during the early morning light.
Lush forestland is blanketed in color in the fall, while the small towns and expansive cotton fields provide peaceful agricultural landscapes. Whatever vibe calls to your photographic creativity, Alabama has many beautiful places to inspire it.
1. Gulf Shores
Sunsets on Alabama's Gulf Shores are some of the best in the state. The brilliant orange sky just before nightfall makes a peaceful sight. During the daytime, the Gulf Shores beaches are filled with activity, with vacationers enjoying the surf and pelicans looking for fish.
2. Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The oversized lily pads at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens are just some of the many visual elements worthy of being in photos. Elaborate gardens and glass houses display an array of plants and flowers from around the world, from tropical rain forests to deserts.
- Read More: Top Attractions in Birmingham, AL
3. Daphne Bayfront Park Pier
The pier at Daphne Bayfront Park is usually filled with people enjoying Mobile Bay. Sunset brings a tranquil scene, with the full spectrum of colors reflected onto the water. Capture images from the pier or just above it to showcase the quiet scene at nightfall.
4. DeSoto Falls
DeSoto Falls is a powerful waterfall that drops 100 feet into the pool below near DeSoto State Park. The waterfall is close to the small Alabama town of Mentone and is a stunning sight, especially during the autumn sunrise or after a heavy rainfall, when the water has its most volume.
5. Cotton Fields
It is not difficult to find cotton fields in Alabama, and they make nice photographs with their tiny buds of white stretched across farmland in the state. The natural cotton balls look like a coating of snow in the fields and make beautiful photos, both as a broad shot of a plantation or a close-up shot with a macro lens.
6. Cheaha Overlook
The Cheaha Overlook at Cheaha State Park near Montgomery is a favorite spot for photographers. The park sits at the highest point in Alabama, so the views from the overlook are vast and serene. There are many scenic spots in the park that have spectacular views, especially at sunset.
7. Alabama State Capitol, Montgomery
The Alabama State Capitol building in Montgomery is one of the most photographed structures in the state. A popular shot is to capture the capitol building from the long roadway leading to it, but there are plenty of angles to use to frame it, like shots from the side that include some of the surrounding gardens and landscaping.
- Read More: Top Attractions in Montgomery, Alabama
8. Birmingham Skyline
The Birmingham skyline and freeway system are great places to play with long-exposure photography for some creative shots. Dusk to early nightfall is the best time to capture the depth created by the varied height of the buildings. Dusk has the perfect skylight to capture the dramatic red and white lights of highway traffic.
9. Covered Bridges
The historic wooden covered bridge at Green Mountain Park near Huntsville is one of only 11 left standing in the state. The reflection of the water below it is a beautiful scene, especially during the fall season with the changing colors of the leaves.
10. Jubilee Parkway
The view of Jubilee Parkway Spanish Fort is a great perspective of the area. Two bridges take Interstate 10 across Mobile Bay and a wide shot of the parkway shows the impressive transportation infrastructure.
11. Orange Beach
Orange Beach has one of the best shorelines to capture, especially at sunset. The boardwalk that leads to the famous white sands at Orange Beach provides the best access to the water, but it also makes for a nice subject in photographs.
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12. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
For historical imagery in Alabama, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile has plenty. Both the inside and outside museum exhibits have photographic opportunities, including the grand battleship in the water, which is a National Historic Landmark.
- Read More: Top-Rated Attractions in Mobile, Alabama
13. Alabama Forests
Fall is the best time of year to see Alabama forests become colorful trails that almost look like candy from afar. There are forested areas in the northern part of the state that will change color, creating lush hues of yellow, red, purple, and brown.
14. Alabama Bayou
The Alabama beaches get plenty of photographic attention and for good reason, but the swamps of the Alabama bayou create some stunning imagery, too. The evening skies have electric colors and reflect on the murky waters, with the added texture of swamp grass creating a beautiful scenic shot.
15. Little River Canyon
The Little River Canyon National Preserve near Fort Payne is more than 14,000 acres of wilderness and one of the most beautiful places to photograph in the state. Head to the Wolf Creek Overlook at sunrise to get the morning light rising over the forested hills and valleys in the preserve.
Beachcombers love looking for shells in the sands along the Alabama shoreline. The wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors of shells washing onto shore from the ocean is exciting, providing different photographic options with every new morning. There are many beaches in Alabama with an abundance of seashells.
- Read More: Top-Rated Beaches in Alabama
17. On the Ocean
While there is much to photograph on shore in Alabama, there are great photographs waiting in the ocean waters, like dolphins frolicking off the Alabama coast. It is easy to book a sightseeing charter to drift in the local waters and capture photos of the local wildlife.
18. Magic City
The rustic and iconic industrial backdrop of Birmingham, also called Magic City, is a nod to the area's past in the iron and steel industries. Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark that was an iron plant from the late 1880s to the early 1970s. Today, it is a recognized structural landmark in the city.
19. Space and Rocket Center
Alabama has deep ties to the United States space program, and you will see references to that throughout the state, from visitor welcome centers along the highway to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Space enthusiasts and anyone interested in science and exploration will enjoy seeing the many rockets and artifacts at this museum.
20. Floating Branches (Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle)
Of all the wildlife in Alabama, the red-bellied turtle is one of the most recognized and seen. The freshwater turtle can often be spotted sunning itself in the morning on tree branches protruding from the water. The native species is the official reptile for the state of Alabama.
21. Natural Bridge & Ghost Creek Falls
Alabama's natural attractions are beautiful, like the Natural Bridge and Ghost Creek Falls, which are off the beaten path near the town of Grant in the northeast part of the state. The naturally formed bridge is 25 feet long and believed to be the remnants of a collapsed cave. Ghost Creek Falls flows near the geological formation.
22. Historic Southern Homes
Historians who enjoy architecture need only drive through Alabama to get their fill of impressive Southern homes. Many of the grand homes in the cities and countryside plantations are preserved properties worthy of photos. Some towns with historic homes that reflect 1800s Southern charm and architecture include Mobile, Birmingham, Tuscumbia, and Eufaula.