What is Alabama Known For? 14 Things Alabamians Love About Themselves

Written by Kaleigh Moore
Updated: August 21, 2023
Share on:


Also known as the “Cotton State,” Alabama is awash with sprawling fields painting the landscape. The things that Alabamians love about themselves are as diverse as the state’s history and culture. From their finger-lickin’ barbecue to their toe-tappin’ country tunes, this vibrant land of sweet tea and Southern hospitality offers a melting pot of traditions that Alabamians hold near and dear to their hearts. 

14 Things Alabamians Love About Themselves
Stunning natural beauty, great food, and nice people – Alabama has it all!

Join us on this whirlwind tour as we unravel the Yellowhammer State charm. Get ready to discover the hidden gems that make Alabama a true treasure trove for its residents.

1. They Say “Sir” and “Ma’am” a Lot

Alabama residents take pride in their warm and friendly nature. This is evident by their frequent usage of the terms “sir” and “ma’am” in conversations – a habit deeply rooted in their culture. Visitors may be surprised by how often the locals use these terms in everyday interactions. 

Using “sir” or “ma’am” goes beyond showing respect; it’s a way to demonstrate politeness. Alabamians place great importance on treating others with kindness and thoughtfulness. Incorporating these words into their daily lives creates a welcoming atmosphere for all.

Contrary to what some might think, addressing someone as “ma’am” or “sir” in Alabama isn’t an insult, nor does it imply stuffiness. Rather, it’s a genuine display of politeness that quickly becomes second nature to residents and visitors alike. In addition, children often call adults “Miss” or “Mr” followed by their first name, further emphasizing their respectful upbringing and the community’s emphasis on good manners.

A Welcome to home sweet home Alabama.

Alabamians place great importance on treating others with kindness and thoughtfulness.

©Allard One/Shutterstock.com

2. Prepare for Some Great Southern BBQ

In Alabama, barbecue is a way of life. Alabamians love the rich flavors, smoky aroma, and tender meat cuts that define Southern BBQ. This love affair with barbecue has deep roots in the state’s history and culture.

Over time, various barbecue techniques have emerged in Alabama. Each region boasts a unique style, adding to the state’s BBQ diversity. From North Alabama’s tangy, vinegar-based sauce to South Alabama’s sweet, tomato-based variety, these regional differences make Alabama BBQ an experience worth savoring.

The secret to Alabama’s mouthwatering BBQ lies in slow cooking. Alabamians smoke meats to perfection. This time-honored tradition imparts a distinct flavor and tenderness that sets Southern BBQ apart.

Community gatherings and family reunions in Alabama often revolve around barbecue pits. These events strengthen bonds and create lasting memories. The shared love for BBQ brings people together, transcending generations and backgrounds.

White sauce, a mayonnaise-based concoction, is a true Alabama original. Created by Big Bob Gibson in 1925, this unique sauce pairs perfectly with smoked chicken. Today, white sauce is a staple at Alabama BBQ joints, showcasing the state’s innovative spirit.

A plate of hot wings with some white sauce on the side.

Community gatherings and family reunions in Alabama often revolve around barbeque pits.

©AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock.com

3. College Football is Like a Religion

In Alabama, a deep-rooted passion binds its people – college football. It’s not merely a sport; it’s one of the things Alabamians are super passionate about. It unites individuals from various backgrounds. College football’s significance in Alabama’s culture cannot be overstated enough.

It bridges the gap between diverse communities as fans passionately support their beloved teams. This enthusiasm is most evident on game days when the state is excited.

Two powerhouse teams dominate Alabama’s college football landscape – the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama and the Auburn University Tigers. These teams offer pride and entertainment and contribute to shaping the state’s identity during the season. The electrifying atmosphere in packed stadiums and fans’ resounding cheers create unforgettable memories.

The legendary rivalry between Alabama and Auburn is known as the Iron Bowl. It has become an emblem of the state’s identity. This annual face-off showcases Alabamians’ intense love for college football. As loved ones gather to watch the showdown, spirited discussions and good-natured banter ensue, reinforcing connections within the community.

An American football with the Alabama flag on it .

The Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama and the Auburn University Tigers dominate Alabama’s college football landscape.

©BERMIX STUDIO/Shutterstock.com

4. Unexpected School Closures

Unexpected school closures in Alabama bring joy to young students; they offer them a break from their daily activities. These special days off allow pupils to relax, have fun, and share the collective thrill with their classmates.

Alabama school closures are often caused by severe weather, particularly snow. Since snowy conditions are uncommon in the state, it lacks the necessary infrastructure to manage it. No snowplows or salt trucks are available, and residents are not used to navigating icy roads. Consequently, even snowfall can result in cancellations, delays, or early dismissals.

Although these abrupt schedule shifts can frustrate parents, the student’s safety remains the utmost priority. School officials prefer to be cautious rather than jeopardize their students’ well-being. Ultimately, ignoring the happiness these surprise days off bring Alabama’s young learners is difficult, even if the weather only sometimes follows through.

 A map of Alabama on  Grade school chalkboard.

School closures in Alabama are often caused by severe weather conditions, especially snow.

©Ezume Images/Shutterstock.com

5. Fantastic Beaches on the Gulf Coast

Another thing Alabamians love is their fantastic Gulf Coast beaches. Alabama’s shores, particularly Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, and Dauphin Island, provide picturesque beach experiences. 

These destinations are perfect for soaking up the sun and embracing the waves. Despite a small coastline, Alabama boasts miles of turquoise waters and soft, white sand. Clean and well-maintained, these beaches promise a relaxing vacation. Indeed, the stunning scenery is enough to captivate any beach lover.

In addition to beautiful beaches, dolphin boat tours are popular among families. Dolphin spotting along the Gulf Coast is a delight, adding another dimension to an already memorable experience.

A photo of a beach during sunset.

Alabama boasts miles of turquoise waters and soft clean white sand.


6. Accessible Civil Rights Sites 

Alabama is a state with a rich history and numerous civil rights landmarks. These are some of the sites that honor the brave individuals who fought for equality and justice:

Montgomery: Rosa Parks Museum

Begin your journey in Montgomery at the Rosa Parks Museum. This museum celebrates the woman whose actions sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, inspiring people everywhere.

Selma: Edmund Pettus Bridge

In Selma, visit the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Civil rights activists marched across this bridge on Bloody Sunday, advocating for voting rights. The bridge symbolizes strength and perseverance.

Birmingham: 16th Street Baptist Church

The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham holds deep meaning for Alabama. Despite the tragic 1963 bombing, the church remains a place of worship and unity.

Montgomery: Civil Rights Memorial

Montgomery’s Civil Rights Memorial honors those who died fighting for equal rights. Maya Lin’s stunning design is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made for justice.

Anniston: Freedom Riders National Monument

Lastly, visit the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston. This site pays tribute to the courageous activists who faced segregation and violence while promoting racial equality.

A sign of Montgomery street.

Alabama is a state with a rich history and is home to several civil rights landmarks.

©Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock.com

7. It’s Uncrowded

Another thing that Alabamans love about their state is its free, uncrowded nature. Residents appreciate Alabama’s free space, thanks to its low population density. It’s a welcome change from the hustle and bustle in many other states.

Moreover, the beautiful rolling green countryside contributes to Alabama’s charm. This landscape creates a serene atmosphere that locals adore. It’s easy to see why Alabamians are proud of their state’s natural beauty.

The uncrowded and tranquil environment ranks high among the things Alabamians love. The combination of low population density and stunning scenery explains why residents cherish Alabama’s calm, stress-free lifestyle.

An aerial view of Alabama.

Alabama has a lot of free space thanks to its low population density.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

8. They Love Saying “Y’all”

Alabamians say “y’all” a lot. This catchy word, a contraction of “you all,” defines their Southern drawl. It rolls off the tongue, making conversations more exciting and fun.

Additionally, “Y’all” simplifies communication. Instead of saying “you guys” or “you people,” Alabamians opt for this friendly, informal pronoun. It’s no wonder newcomers quickly add “y’all” to their vocabulary.

Moreover, this term influences daily interactions in Alabama. It injects warmth and camaraderie into any conversation, creating an instant bond between speakers.

Imagine a Northerner visiting Alabama. They might be surprised when greeted with a hearty “How y’all doing?” But soon enough, they’ll embrace this Southern expression, feeling right at home among the locals.

Furthermore, “Y’all” unites people from different backgrounds. Whether in trailer parks, mansions, or academic halls, you’ll hear Alabamians proudly using this term. It transcends social classes, bringing everyone together under a shared Southern identity.

A photo of Downtown mobile Alabama.

Alabamians love saying y’all a lot.

©Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock.com

9. Exciting Destinations 

Among the reasons that Alabamians love their state is its prime South location. This central spot offers easy access to exciting destinations. First off, Nashville is just a short drive away. Known for its vibrant music scene, it’s a must-visit city. Next up, New Orleans delivers unique culture and cuisine.

Atlanta boasts urban excitement and world-class attractions. Moreover, Asheville is captivating with its artsy vibe. Gatlinburg’s natural beauty and outdoor activities are irresistible. Savannah delights visitors with its historic charm. The city of Charleston offers a rich history and southern hospitality. Orlando’s theme parks guarantee unforgettable family fun.

Alabama’s proximity to these renowned locations provides endless adventure. It’s no wonder it’s a favorite of Alabamans in their state.

A panoramic photo of the skyline of Alabama.

Alabama’s prime location unveils exciting destinations such as Asheville, Nashville, and Savannah.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

10. Yard Sales And Flea Markets

Alabama takes center stage every August with the World’s Longest Yard Sale. This colossal event spans Fort Payne to Kentucky, offering a treasure trove of items waiting to be discovered. Participants journey from near and far to partake in this exhilarating sale extravaganza. Yard sales and flea markets don’t just happen annually in Alabama. You’ll find them all year round, catering to the insatiable appetite for bargain hunting.

These bustling markets embody the Alabamians’ love for scoring a great deal. They revel in unearthing hidden gems amidst heaps of merchandise. The unmistakable sound of haggling fills the air as shoppers and vendors unite over budget-friendly finds.

An image of Alabama Downtown mobile.

Every August, Alabama takes center stage with the world’s longest yard sale.

©Christian Hinkle/Shutterstock.com

11. The Peanut Festival and Peanuts

Annually, the Peanut Festival in Dothan, Alabama, brings excitement to the state. This event highlights the deep connection between Alabamians and peanuts, a crop that defines their culture. The festival showcases the many ways residents enjoy this beloved legume.

Alabama’s history is linked to peanuts through George Washington Carver’s innovative research at Tuskegee University. This connection contributes to the state’s high peanut production. At the festival, attendees can savor various peanut treats, like boiled peanuts and peanut brittle, and unique dishes, such as peanut butter burgers.

The festival also offers educational experiences related to peanuts’ cultivation and history. This knowledge fosters a greater appreciation for the crop. Alabama’s farmers take immense pride in their peanuts, passing down farming traditions through generations.

Peanut - Food, Peanut - Crop, Plant, Harvesting, Crop - Plant

The Peanut Festival in Dothan, Alabama highlights the deep connection between Alabamians and peanuts, a crop that defines their culture.


12. Grits As A Main Dish For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner

Grits are another thing Alabamians love. This versatile dish, made from ground corn kernels, is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner staple. When boiled to perfection, grits can be seasoned and spiced to suit any palate.

Transitioning from breakfast to lunch or dinner is a breeze with grits. In Alabama, shrimp and cheese are popular additions beyond the morning meal. These tasty ingredients elevate grit to a satisfying main dish.

A true Alabamian knows that frying grits are a no-go, except when making grit patties or grit cakes. These unique variations showcase creativity and love for this classic dish. Grits are truly a part of Alabama’s culinary identity.

buttered grits with biscuits in rustic setting top view

Grits are a major staple of Alabamian food.

©Lynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock.com

13. The SEC Network

In Alabama, “SEC” is short for the Southeastern Conference and not the Securities and Exchange Commission. Established in 2014, the SEC Network swiftly became one of the things Alabamisns love. 

Firstly, the SEC Network showcases Alabama’s passion for sports. It covers various college sports events, allowing fans to stay connected with their favorite teams. Moreover, this network unites Alabamians through their shared love for sports.

Secondly, the network’s comprehensive coverage of games and events is impressive. They provide in-depth analysis, expert commentary, and exclusive interviews. Fans can get an inside look at the strategies and performances of their beloved teams.

Lastly, the SEC Network contributes to Alabama’s local pride. The state’s sports teams have a long successful history, and the network highlights these achievements. As a result, Alabamians feel proud to support their home teams on a national stage.

The SEC Network has become integral to Alabama’s culture since its inception. It connects Alabamians through their love for sports, offers extensive coverage, and boosts local pride. Undoubtedly, this network is something Alabamians cherish about themselves.

Alabama football game

The SEC network showcases Alabama’s passion for sports.

©thatlostdog–, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

14. Bagging A Deer

Alabamians take pride in their hunting skills, especially when bagging a deer. Indeed, they eagerly anticipate the arrival of hunting season. Their passion for this outdoor activity is a defining aspect of their identity.

Deer hunting is among many popular pursuits in Alabama, as turkey hunting attracts enthusiasts. The thrill of tracking and capturing these elusive birds adds to the excitement. Hunting is an integral part of Alabama’s culture.

Interestingly, Lower Alabama (L.A.) offers a unique hunting opportunity – alligator hunting in late summer. This challenging and exhilarating experience further showcases the diverse wildlife available in the state.

 A deer .

Deer hunting is one of many popular pursuits in Alabama.

©Tom Reichner/Shutterstock.com

Embracing the Heart of Dixie: A Celebration of Alabama’s Pride

Alabama embraces its unique identity with pride and enthusiasm. The various elements comprising its rich tapestry contribute to residents’ sense of unity and belonging. This strong bond among Alabamians fosters an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality for visitors. 

It nurtures a deep appreciation for the state’s distinct heritage and charm. This unwavering love for their home sets Alabama apart, making it a remarkable and unforgettable place for all who experience it.

Summary of 14 Things Alabamians Love About Themselves

What They LoveWhy They Love It
1They Say “Sir” and “Ma’am” a LotPoliteness and manners are very important to them
2Prepare for Some Great Southern BBQThey love to cook and they love to eat – recipes are passed down and treasured
3College Football is Like a ReligionFootball games are a great reason to get together
4Unexpected School ClosuresIt’s a treat to stay home from school unexpectedly
5Fantastic Beaches on the Gulf CoastAlabama beaches are some of the most beautiful in the country
6Accessible Civil Rights Sites Civil rights activists are honored at several nationally known sights
7It’s UncrowdedThe beautiful landscapes are not heavily populated
8They Love Saying “Y’all”Alabamians opt for this friendly, informal pronoun
9Exciting DestinationsAlabama is located close to lots of popular destinations
10Yard Sales And Flea MarketsThey are fun places to buy and sell your treasures
11The Peanut Festival and PeanutsGeorge Washington Carver and peanuts are celebrated
12Grits As A Main Dish For Breakfast, Lunch, And DinnerThey are mighty good
13The SEC NetworkThe South-Eastern Confernce dominates college football
14Bagging A DeerParents pass down their hunting skills and rifles

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock.com

Share on:

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.