Is Alabama a vacation destination?

Special Reports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — From the mountainous terrain of DeKalb County to the white-sand beaches of the Southern coast, Alabama’s landscapes are quite diverse.

DeKalb Tourism president and CEO John Dersham said he hears misconceptions about that state far too often.

“‘I thought you were just one level field, one level cotton field, north to south,” Dersham said.

So he embarked on a mission to expose the truth about Alabama’s biodiversity. As a professional photographer, Dersham traveled to all 67 counties in Alabama to take pictures of the most beautiful landscapes.

“All the way from the mountains of North Alabama to the extensive, world-class river systems all throughout Alabama, to the Blackbelt, to the Wiregrass, the coastal plains and the Gulf Coast,” he said.

Dersham complied his photographs across the state in a book titled “My Alabama.”

On Alabama’s southern coast, the terrain looks much different. Viva Price was on vacation with her family in Gulf Shores this summer.

“It’s accessible,” said Price. “Not really overly-expensive and you still get the nice white beach and beautiful sun that you would get on the island.”

Alabama’s beaches are becoming increasingly popular destinations.

Kay Maghan is public relations manager for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.

“What we’ve seen for the past 8 years, is every year is bigger and better than the one before,” Maghan said. “So it’s been record-setting for eight years in a row.”

In the Birmingham metro area, developments like Ross Bridge have coincided with city growth. There have been more than 13 million rounds of golf played at the luxurious part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, according to Sunbelt Golf Corporation President John Cannon.

“We came into Hoover here and developed the Golf course,” said Cannon. “And everything else then developed around it.”

The diversity of landscapes and amenities in Alabama make the state a perfect photo subject for Dersham’s “My Alabama.”

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