Half an hour south of Birmingham, Alabaster is the prototypical American suburb. More than 80% of households own their homes — a far higher homeownership rate than the 68% for the U.S. as a whole. It helps that the median home here costs $192,000, more than the typical home in Alabama, but almost 30% less than the national median.
Town spirit is on full display at CityFest, Alabama's largest free music festival, which typically happens on the first Saturday in June. The event was canceled this year, but is scheduled to return on June 5, 2021. Past performers have included band Sister Hazel and “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery. The city’s annual Christmas parade is one of the largest in the state. Last year’s theme was “A Storybook Christmas,” and the event’s grand marshals were the state champion Thompson High School football team. — Samantha Sharf