South Alabama

South Alabama

"This article is about the region; for the university, see University of South Alabama"

South Alabama is a term used to describe various parts of southern Alabama. Its usage does not however reflect a strictly defined geographic region. The most general description of the area would be all Alabama counties south of the Black Belt.

However, the largest population center of Mobile, Alabama, often makes the argument that South Alabama refers only to the extreme southernmost parts of Alabama. This is reflected in the name of the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile.

Following that usage, South Alabama is properly applied only to the two counties which border the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay: Baldwin County and Mobile County. The area is characterized by extensive wetlands, but also by long, sandy beaches which are very conducive to tourism. Many deluxe golf courses have been developed in the area in recent decades.

Because Mobile and Baldwin Counties tend to use South Alabama with exclusivity, other parts of southern Alabama, particularly the Florida-border counties from Escambia County over to Houston County often humorously prefer to be called Lower Alabama if a regional name must be given. Traditionally, the south central and southeastern parts of the state have less in common with the Mobile area than they have in common with Southwest Georgia and the Black Belt region. Alternative names include South Central Alabama, Southeast Alabama, and the Wiregrass.

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