What is it like to live in Alabama?

How far is Alabama from Mississippi

I moved to Alabama at the age of 3.

I also lived in Seattle for 4 years and Mississippi for 8, but Alabama is home.

Ive traveled to 47 states and 15 countries, so I bring a realistic and somewhat worldly view to the conversation.

Living in Alabama is awesome, so long as you develop thick skin (Ill explain that in greater detail below).

,Why is Alabama awesome?n,Cost of living is low, even in metropolitan areas.

In the Birmingham metro area, 3-4 bedroom houses are easy to find in the $150-200K range.

Many are in nationally ranked public school systems.

,Quick access to both the beach and the mountains.

From Birmingham I can be at the Gulf of Mexico in 4 1/2 hours, and Tennessees Smoky Mountains within 5.

,People are nice.

People are very nice.

Southern hospitality isnt overblown hype, nor is it something people of Alabama feel forced into.

Its just how we are.

,Food, wine, and beer are king.

Whether you desire Meat & 3, steaks, or seafood, the freshest food can always be accessed.

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named one of the Top 50 restaurants in America.

Due to changes in beer laws over the last few years, an explosion of award winning breweries have sprung up throughout the state.

Two on-premise tap houses opened in Birmingham in 2011 alone.

Birmingham is also home to the largest Southeastern food blogging conference in the Southeastern US.

,Were all about the outdoors.

Lakes, rivers, hiking, biking, jogging, hunting, fishing and even snow skiing (yes, snow skiing).

Most cities, large and small have quick access to Alabamas multiple outdoor options.

Birmingham is currently working to build a walking/running/biking trail that runs throughout every neighborhood in the city.

,Sports, sports, and more sports.

Alabama is the undisputed college football capital of the world, and its probably the most amazing part about living here.

Its more than just a game to most Alabamians, its an identity.

We talk about it year-round.

Racing is also huge as both the Talladega Superspeedway and Barber Motorsports Park reside in East Alabama.

Both attract hundreds of thousands of visitors at NASCAR, IndyCar, Superbike, and additional races each year.

Four cities have minor league baseball teams, and Birmingham is currently building a multi-million dollar baseball park in downtown.

Hoover also hosts the Southeastern Conferences annual baseball tournament, in addition to the 2011 & 2012 National Collegiate Athletic Association Mens College Cup, the final four of soccer.

In addition, there are 11 different courses for the world famous Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

,Music galore.

Due to proximity to Nashville and Atlanta thousands of musical acts travel to Alabama each year.

Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores is the states largest musical event, attracting big names from around the world.

,Wide-ranging climate.

All four seasons are experienced in Alabama.

It does snow once or twice per year, but rarely sticks around for more than 3 days.

Summers are warm.

.

.

really warm in June and July.

Though its the humidity, not the heat that will get you.

,Proximity to major cities.

Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Memphis are, for the most part, close.

n,nHonestly, the worst part about living in Alabama is having to deal with outsiders who lack familiarity with the state.

The states reputation as a racist hot spot might have been warranted at some point in history, but not anymore.

Alabama is an amazing place that is using the downfalls of its past in order to create a better future.

,I love my state, but more so than that I love how far my state has come, and where my state is headed.

,UpdatenA couple of days after posting my answer, The Atlantic produced the following piece on Birminghams music scene: How Birmingham Became an Indie Rock Destination - http://www.

theatlanticcities.

com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/02/how-birmingham-became-indie-rock-destination/1329/

U.S. map

Its actually not hard to see how they messed this up.

Im no graphic design expert, but it looks like this map had each state as an individual unit - thats how they colored specific states but not others.

Im guessing the graphic designer tried to move the map on the image, but accidentally grabbed all the states except for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

The rest of the map got moved, but those states stayed where they were, and apparently no one noticed.

,Why Virginias Delmarva Peninsula is red, whereas the rest of the state is gray, is another matter.

I guess the designer incorrectly thought the Peninsula was part of Maryland instead of Virginia.