Things to Know Before Moving To Alabama

Things to Know Before Moving To Alabama

What is it like to live in Alabama? Nicknamed as the “Heart of Dixie”, the southeastern state boasts of a rich historic past, mouth-watering cuisines, & breathtaking topography and you’re gonna love to be a part of the Alabama experience.

Before you pack the bags to the ‘Yellowhammer State’, it is important to know the state in detail. To help you out, we put together everything you need to know before moving to Alabama.

What is Alabama known for?

Alabama is rich – economically, culturally, and historically. The 52,419-square mile state is the 30th largest in the area and about 5 million people call it their home.

Here are a few facts for which Alabama is known for.

  • Alabama has a rich historic past

The state’s role in the history of the US is vital. It was the birthplace of the Confederate States of America in 1861, which led to the historic Civil War. The famous Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 also happened in Alabama, making way for the Civil Rights Movement. Many protests took place in Alabama under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr.

Interestingly, in 1836, Alabama was the first U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, more than 30 years before it was declared an official U.S. holiday.

  • The state is highly industrialized

A rich and highly industrialized state, Alabama is home to some of the best corporate offices. The major business sectors in Alabama include banking, telecommunication, power transmission. The state is the only provider of natural resources in the US required to make iron and steel and this makes Alabama the largest supplier of cast-iron and steel pipe products in the country. Check to know more about industries and top careers in Alabama.

  • Alabama has robust sports, arts, and food scenes 

Alabama played a crucial role in the development of blues, jazz, and country music around the world. In addition, the state’s sports culture is also highly vibrant that even interclub rivalries make headlines often. Football is not a sports event but a way of life in Alabama. 

The state’s hospitality is one of the best in the US. It is fueled by the delicious Alabaman cuisine rich in seafood and barbeque. Alabama is the only US state to have an alcoholic beverage as its official drink –  Conecuh Ridge Whiskey.

  • Alabama has a good education system

Alabama’s education system is perhaps one of the best in the US and the state has many top-rated colleges and universities

What are the best places to live in Alabama?

Moving to Alabama, you must settle at the best place in the state. To help you out, we’ve compiled the best neighbourhoods in the state, saving your time from searching for the best places to live in Alabama before or after your reach there

Here are the 10 best places to live in the ‘Yellowhammer State’

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Madison 49,327 3.8% $253,000
2 Mountain Brook 20,436 1.7% $628,800
3 Homewood 25,534 2.7% $347,800
4 Vestavia Hills 34,307 2.0% $376,200
5 Fairhope 21,083 4.6% $299,200
6 Pike Road 9,320 2.5% $300,000
7 Daphne 25,901 3.4% $201,400
8 Orange Beach 6,019 3.7% $297,800
9 Muscle Shoals 14,103 3.5% $147,100
10 Millbrook 15,645 3.0% $154,300
Top 10 Cities to live in Alabama

Which are the cheapest places to live in Alabama?

Often when reaching Alabama, you won’t be in a mood to shell out a big amount for accommodation, and finding a cheap neighbourhood would be the priority. Knowing this, we have compiled a list of the cheapest places to live in Alabama.

The 10 cheapest places to live in Alabama in 2023

Rank City Population Home value
1 Lincoln 6,600 $116,600
2 Tuscumbia 8,426 $108,800
3 Russellville 9,711 $93,700
4 Roanoke 5,941 $78,900
5 Attalla 5,847 $70,900
6 Hamilton 6,664 $97,000
7 Hartselle 14,405 137,600
8 Clay 9,708 $148,800
9 Pinson 7,121 $1,30,000
10 Glencoe 5,120 $142,200
cheapest places to live in Alabama

How much it cost to live in Alabama

Living in Alabama is much cheaper than most of the US states as the ‘Lizard State’ is the 12th least expensive state. The goods and services in Alabama are 13% cheaper than the national average. In addition, the state has the second-lowest property tax in the US.

Here’s how the cost of living in Alabama looks like.

Cost of living Alabama United States
Overall  82.3 100
Grocery 94.4 100
Health 102.2 100
Housing 55.9 100
Utilities 101.2 100
Transportation 85.9 100
Miscellaneous  94.5 100
Cost of living in Alabama

What to do in Alabama?

Alabama is one of the best places to call your home as the state is packed with both outdoor and indoor attractions associated with history, culture, arts, and serene nature.

Here are some of the best things to do in Alabama if you’re moving to the state:

  • Visit the US Space and Rocket Center 
  • Tour the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail 
  • Explore the Birmingham Zoo
  • Catch a glimpse of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
  • Visit the McWane Science Center
  • Tour the Gulf Shores
  • Explore the Huntsville Botanical Gardens
  • Visit the Cheaha State Park 
  • Go to see the Point Mallard Park 
  • Tour the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • Visit the Mobile History Museum
  • Appreciate the arts at Paul W. Bryant Museum
  • Take a walk through the Civil Rights Memorials of Montgomery
  • Explore Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks
  • Visit the McWane Science Center

How is the food scene in Alabama?

Alabamans love to eat and make you eat. And it is true that you won’t stay hungry anywhere in the state. From the meltingly tender BBQ pork of northern Alabama to the seafood, shrimp, and oysters of the Gulf Coast, the food scene in Alabama is rich and boisterous.

Here is a list of some of the delicious cuisines in Alabama not to be missed.

  • Grits
  • BBQ pulled pork
  • Country fried steak
  • Green fried tomatoes
  • Banana pudding
  • Fried catfish
  • Pecan pie
  • Shrimp
  • Peach cobbler
  • Skillet cornbread

Where to eat in Alabama?

When you crave to reish the authentic Alabaman cuisine, rush to a nearby restaurant that serves it hot. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top restaurants in Alabama to try the real Alabaman flavor. 

 What are the big cities in Alabama?

As you have a plan to move to Alabama, it is important to know that the state is divided into 67 counties, and includes 460 incorporated municipalities, 291 towns, and 169 cities. Just 9.6% of Alabama are urban but about 60% of the population resides here. 

We’ve got a list of 10 biggest cities in Alabama. 

Rank City Population Area (miles²) Density County
1 Birmingham 212,113 148.61 1,438.12 Montgomery
2 Montgomery 201,332 162.26  1,241.21 Mobile
3 Mobile 194,899 180.06  1,353.19 Madison
4 Huntsville 186,254 218.90 959 Limestone
5 Tuscaloosa 95,334 71.92 1,635.07 Tuscaloosa
6 Hoover 84,126 49.42 1,769.98 Jefferson, Shelby
7 Dothan 68,001 90.08  732.6 Houston
8 Auburn 58,582 61.57 1,094.43 Lee
9 Decatur 55,816 60.72 1,005.26 Morgan, Limestone
10 Madison 45,799 30.45 1,725.58 Madison, Limestone

What are the best places to retire in Alabama?

Retirees prefer locations with proximity to major cities, hospitals, outdoor locations, and entertainment. The low crime rate, supported by an affordable lifestyle and comfortable climate also play a major factor in determining retirement-friendly destinations. We’ve filtered out 10 places in Alabama that retirees prefer calling their new homes.

Rank City Population Median house value Median rent Median household income
1 Orange Beach 21,083 $299,200  $1,196 $75,197
2 Fairhope 21,083 $299,200  $1,196 $75,197
3 Gulf Shores 12,267 $243,100 $1,086  $53,476
4 Indian Springs Village 2,549 $367,200 $1,182 $119,091
5 Mountain Brook 20,436 $628,800 $1,561 $152,355
6 Vestavia Hills 34,307 $376,200 $1,218 $109,485
7 Rainbow City 9,589 $166,100 $797 $50,547
8 Falkville 1,348  $86,800 $692  $42,813
9 Foley 18,533 $177,600 $855 $43,614
10 Helena 18,463 $195,100 $1,341 $87,781

Markets and healthcare centers at retiree-friendly cities

It is important that retiree-friendly places have markets and healthcare centers close by. To help you, we’ve compiled the best hospitals and markets at top retiree-friendly places in Alabama.

The best hospitals and markets at top 10 places to retire in Alabama

City Hospitals Markets
Orange Beach South Baldwin Regional Medical CenterNaval Hospital PensacolaBaptist HospitalThomas HospitalWest Florida Hospital Rouses MarketsWalmart Neighborhood MarketBlalock Seafood Orange BeachCoastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermans MarketPalafor Market
Fairhope Family Practice Associates of Montrose PAGulf Health HospitalsMedStar Harbor HospitalMedStar Harbor HospitalSouth Baldwin Regional Medical Center  Greer’s Fairhope MarketWindmill MarketMcKenzie Farm Produce StandPierce Street MarketAhi Seafood Market
Gulf Shores Springhill Medical CenterInfirmary Long Term Acute Care HospitalUSA Medical CenterWest Florida rehabilitation Institution Hospital Rouses MarketGulf Coast Farmers MarketOyster House Boardwalk & Trading Co
Indian Springs Village MedHelp Alabama Nasal And Sinus CenterChildren’s South Paediatric Outpatient Center West Homewood Farmers MarketIrondale Farm Stand Stone Hollow FarmsteadEast Lake Market
Mountain Brook Cooper Green HospitalUAB HospitalUniversity Hospital-UABUAB Womens and Infants Pepper Place Farmers MarketLocal Source Market & GroceryPublix Super MarketHarvest Market
Vestavia Hills Princeton Baptist CenterGrandview Faculty Practice ClinicShelby Baptist Medical CenterCitizens Baptist Medical Center Walmart Neighborhood MarketWinn-Dixie-Cahaba HeightsSnapper Grabbers Land & Sea Liberty ParkPublix Super Markets-Patchwork Farms
Rainbow City Gadsden Regional Medical CenterMarshall Medical Center SouthStringfellow Memorial Hospital Rainbow International MarketGuntersville Farmers MarketWest Homewood Farmers MarketAnniston Farmers Market
Falkville Huntsville Hospital for Women & ChildrenBradford Health ServicesMadison HospitalAlabama Emg LLCSt Vincents Blount BelkKohl’sFive BelowSears
Foley University HospitalSpringfield Medical CenterHealthworks of Thomas Hospital Foley Riviera SquareTanger OutletsThe Spice and Tea ExchangeAcai Berry FashionsAmerican Eagle Outfitters
Helena Medical West Main CampusGrandview Medical CenterEncompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Shelby CountyMedical West Bessemer Health Center Helena Market DaysFarmers Markets in Shelby CountyWalmart Neighborhood Market 

What are the pros and cons of living in Alabama?

With a rich economy, spectacular outdoors, unlimited entertainment options, stunning food scene, and low cost of living, Alabama is definitely one of the most sought-after destinations to settle in. However, before you make up your mind to settle in the ‘Heart of Dixie’, it is important to know the pros and cons of living in Alabama.

To help you, we’ve put together the pros and cons of living in Alabama.

Pros of living in Alabama Cons of living in Alabama
There is a great food scene in Alabama Be on the lookout for cockroaches
There are about 60 miles of shoreline Some places aren’t open on Sunday in Alabama
Alabama has a rich history The weather can easily take a bad turn
There are tons of festivals Tornadoes and hurricanes hit Alabama every year
College football is a religion in Alabama Getting beer isn’t that easy in Alabama
It’s a great place for veterans Alcohol is banned in some counties
Low housing costs Tornadoes and hurricanes are common

How far is Birmingham, Alabama?

Birmingham is the economic center of Alabama. Knowing its distance from different US cities will help in analyzing the connectivity. 

Here’s a list of major US cities and their distance from Birmingham.

City Distance from Birmingham
Montgomery 85 miles
Tallahassee 259 miles
Dover  738 miles
Atlanta 140 miles
Austin 680 miles
Oklahoma City 624 miles
Boston 1,050 miles
Sacramento 1,957 miles
Phoenix 1,453 miles
Richmond 594 miles

Is Alabama a good place to live in?

Yes, Alabama is one of the places in the US to call home. It is the 12th least expensive state and is home to amazing museums, beaches, and historic places. In addition, it is also rich in music, arts, and heritage. The vibrant food scene is another factor that makes Alabama a great place to live in.

What is Alabama famous for?

Alabama is historically a rich state as many landmark events in US history including the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement started here. Its food scene is amazing and the outdoor recreation activities are never-ending. Despite being an economically booming state, the cost of living is extremely low in Alabama.

What is the largest city in Alabama?

Huntsville is the largest city in Alabama, spread over 218.90 square miles. It is also the most populous city in the state, with a population of 215,006.

What is Birmingham Alabama known for?

Birmingham is the economic capital of Alabama and is home to some of the major corporate companies in the US. The city is highly concentrated on manufacturing but banking, telecommunication, transportation, power transmission, and insurance are also prominent sectors in Birmingham.

Raj Kalra

A moving industry expert and an internet marketing enthusiast, I have been involved in the moving industry since 2004. Combining my passion towards technology and online marketing with my expertise in the moving industry, I've been focusing on building solutions to make your move easier. From planning to successfully executing your move, my tips and tricks will guide you all along the way. Have any questions for me? Send them to [email protected]