The April edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine spotlights several Alabama attractions. The first appearance by Alabama attractions comes in the “Stay List” of 150 hotel properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean region recommended by the magazine. Criteria for the list include location-inspired architecture, ambiance, amenities, eco-stewardship, and an ethic of giving back to the community. The first two hotels listed are both from Alabama: the Battle House and the Mentone Springs Hotel.
From the National Geographic Traveler article “Check in Now! – the stay list of 150 hotels you’ll love”:
Battle House, Mobile, Ala. Recently renovated downtown historic hotel one block from bay. Once a destination for debutantes and politicians (including Jefferson Davis and Woodrow Wilson). Elaborate moldings, portraits of kings, ballroom, and dining under magnolia-blossom stained glass ceiling. www.rsabattlehouse.com
Mentone Springs Hotel, Mentone, Ala. Restored Queen Anne Victorian hotel built in 1884 known for the restorative powers of its mineral spring water. Formal gardens, wraparound porch, fireplaces in suites, queen beds in all rooms. www.mentonespringshotel.com
The April edition of National Geographic Traveler also features a special map supplement- “Driving Tours Appalachia- ribbons of ridges and historic paths.” Alabama has four driving tours featured on the glossy pull-out map: the Hallelujah Trail, the Natchez Trace Parkway, the North Alabama Birding Trail, and the Lookout Mountain Parkway.
The Hallelujah Trail was developed by the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and links 32 century-old historic churches and synagogues in North Alabama. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile National Scenic Highway running through the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The North Alabama Birding Trail is a series of 50 roadside stops that help travelers spot the eastern woodland birds and waterfowl that flock to and through North Alabama. The Lodge at Gorham’s Bluff and Lake Guntersville State Park are both recommended as choices for overnight stays along the trail. The Lookout Mountain Parkway runs from Noccalula Falls in Gadsden to Chattanooga, covering the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. A detour to the Little River Canyon National Preserve outside Fort Payne is recommended.