• 66°
Hartselle Enquirer

Stay in state this fall break

By Staff
Rep. Ronald Grantland, Guest columnist
Although it may not feel like it outside, autumn is officially here. Last week marked the official end of summer, and it's hard to believe that school has been in session for nearly two months. I remember back when I was in school, class got out around Memorial Day and went back in around Labor Day. Nowadays, it seems our children have just weeks instead of months of summer vacation.
One of the byproducts of a short summer vacation is the creation of the fall break. The first week in October marks the beginning of fall break in many Alabama schools, and nearly all school systems will have a break sometime during the month. With a couple of days off from school and, hopefully, a decrease in temperature, Fall break is a great time to get out and experience all that our state has to offer.
When you think of tourist destinations, you probably think of Disney World in Florida or our nation's capital. However, you should really look at Alabama. Our state is beginning to take advantage of all the resources it has been blessed with and is creating its own homegrown tourism industry.
Tourism is very important to Alabama. According to the Alabama Department of Tourism and Travel, over 20 million people visited Alabama last year, generating $7.3 billion for the state and creating over 150,000 jobs.
Tourism also provided $548 in state and local tax revenue, which goes to fund our public schools. So by vacationing in-state, you can do your part to improve the schools for all of Alabama's children.
Probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about autumn is fall foliage. Luckily, Alabama has some of the best around. Beginning Oct. 1, the Department of Tourism will begin updating the leaf conditions in most of Alabama's state parks on their website.
From Wheeler Park to Cheaha Park and all across the state, Alabama's state parks are absolutely beautiful this time of year and something that everyone should take advantage of.
Early fall is also a wonderful time to experience the Alabama gulf coast. Fortunately, much of the coast escaped Hurricane Katrina with little to minor damage. All of our beaches are open for business and are nearly 100 percent operational and Mobile is rebounding as well. Although the U.S.S. Alabama is still under construction, many other events such as the National Shrimp Festival, the Mobile Bay Fest, and Bellingrath Gardens' "Octoberfest" are just a few reasons to get back down to the gulf coast.
Alabama also offers a wide variety of events for the sports enthusiast as well. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a series of world-renowned public golf courses throughout the state and offers first-class golf at a reasonable price. The newest addition, Ross Bridge in Birmingham, is a beautiful facility and is sure to be a delight for any golf lover. However, golf isn't the only sport that is perfect for autumn. Whether you're a serious fisherman or just looking for an enjoyable way to spend a fall afternoon, the Alabama Bass Trail presents some of the country's best fishing and a good time as well.
For the history lover, Alabama's Civil Rights Trail offers a unique insight into one of the most turbulent, yet fascinating periods in the history of the state.
The trail has just been redone and showcases marquee stops at some of the state's most famous areas of the civil rights era in Montgomery, Birmingham, Tuskegee, and Selma. In addition, the Tourism Department has just published a new brochure for the trail.
As you can see, our state has a wide variety of places and activities and many more that I haven't mentioned. For more information go to www.800alabama.com or call 1-800-Alabama. This fall break, stay in Alabama and enjoy all that it has to offer. By doing so, you can help ensure that our schools get better and our homegrown tourism continues to grow for many years to come, no matter how short the summers may be.

News

Christmas in the Park enjoyed in Falkville despite rain

News

Somerville woman arrested after threat made in Priceville

News

Officials: Escaped Morgan inmate apparently caused his own death

News

Majority leader Stadthagen sees strength in election of 26 republican legislators

News

Lacey’s Spring community fighting proposed rock quarry

News

Hartselle students participate in character expo

News

Authorities: Gifts in unlocked cars a tempting target so take preventive measures

At a Glance

Three arrested for theft of vehicle in Hartselle

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Christmas parade to be held Thursday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Some concerned over new Hartselle superintendent hire  

At a Glance

Town of Falkville to hold Christmas in the Park Sunday

At a Glance

Hartselle Holiday Market returns Saturday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

x