Southern Living suggests you should include these things from Alabama on your bucket list

In an enchanting feature titled “25 Southern Bucket List Experiences That Will Change Your Life,” Tara Massouleh McCay of Southern Living magazine delves into the heart of what it means to immerse oneself in the quintessential Southern way of life.

Through her insightful narrative, McCay illuminates a collection of unique Southern experiences, promising that these are not merely fleeting moments but memories to cherish for a lifetime. Among these treasured activities, several are distinctively Alabaman, showcasing the state’s rich cultural tapestry and spirited traditions.

At the forefront of these Alabaman gems is the iconic practice of tailgating at an SEC football game. While the vibrant tailgate scenes at The Grove at Ole Miss and LSU’s Baton Rouge festivities receive honorable mentions, McCay encourages exploring any of the 14 Southeastern Conference locations.

However, she particularly highlights the unforgettable pregame atmospheres found in Tuscaloosa and Auburn, Alabama. Drawing comparisons and spirited debates, such as the Capstone’s tailgate experience versus The Grove, she emphasizes that one need not be a football aficionado to savor the delicious fare and lively fellowship that epitomize game day in the South.

Next on McCay’s list is the profoundly impactful visit to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery. Following its expansion in 2021, this institution, initiated by the Equal Justice Initiative, has quickly risen to prominence as Alabama’s second-most visited paid attraction, welcoming over 500,000 visitors annually.

The museum, through a blend of interactive media, personal narratives, world-class artwork, and informative exhibits, narrates the harrowing tale of slavery in America and its enduring legacy. McCay suggests that visiting this site offers a poignant and thought-provoking journey, essential for every Southern resident and beyond.

The thrill of NASCAR racing at Talladega Superspeedway also earns its place on McCay’s bucket list. Likening the experience to prestigious events like The Masters and the Kentucky Derby, she captures the electrifying atmosphere of Talladega, famously known as ‘Dega.

Whether one chooses to join the crowd in the grandstands or embrace the full experience in the campgrounds, attending a race at Talladega is portrayed as an essential Southern festivity.

Lastly, McCay champions experiencing a genuine Mardi Gras celebration, with a special nod to Mobile, Alabama, recognized as the birthplace of this vibrant tradition.

She urges readers to go beyond the office king cake and immerse themselves in the authentic festivities of Mardi Gras, whether through attending a parade in Mobile or engaging in the celebrations throughout Lower Alabama or New Orleans. According to McCay, nothing compares to the lively and colorful spirit of a true Mardi Gras celebration in the South.

Through these highlighted experiences, Tara Massouleh McCay not only guides us through the diverse cultural landscape of Alabama but also invites us to partake in the traditions and celebrations that define the Southern experience.

Each activity, from the communal joy of a tailgate party to the reflective journey through the Legacy Museum, offers a unique window into the soul of the South, promising memories that indeed last a lifetime.

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