As one of the oldest states in the U.S., Alabama has seen a little of everything. From playing an integral role in the Civil War, World War II, and then later the Civil Rights Movement, Alabama has always played been at the forefront of American politics. Today Alabama is even known for its little piece of the Space Race.
Throughout all the trials and tribulations, Alabama has also always been known for infectious “Southern Hospitality,” so on a trip to Alabama, you’re bound to run into helpful and kind people who’ll go out of their way to help a stranger.
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
The museum has a collection of almost 700 vintage and modern motorcycles and as well as a substantial collection of Lotus and other race cars. With over 1,400 motorcycles spanning over 100 years of production, the Barber collection represents 200 different manufacturers from 20 countries. Showcasing the unique design of each individual piece, this epic display reveals the fine art of the motorcycle. The museum also features the world’s most extensive collection of Lotus cars.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Visitors to Birmingham shouldn’t miss this famous museum which educates visitors about the history of civil rights in America. The extensive interpretive museum and research center is located in the Civil Rights District of Birmingham near the 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park. Birmingham’s unique role at the center of the Civil Rights Movement is showcased in this informative and engaging museum.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is 112 acres. The gardens include a seasonal butterfly house, and aquatic, annual daylily, fern, herb, perennial, rose, and wildflower gardens, as well as a nature path and collection of Flowering Dogwood trees. Sections of the garden include: Nature center which overlooks Little Smith Lake, houses the open-aired butterfly house. Biblical garden, featuring plants mentioned in the Bible. Central Corridor has a perennial garden, aquatic garden, and bulb and annual garden.
McWane Science Center
The McWane Science Center is an interactive museum and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder.The adventure intensifies in the IMAX® Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of breathtaking films on a 5-story-tall screen.
McWane Science Center has a number of permanent exhibits that are a regular part of the science education experience. A few to mention are Just Mice Size, Explore! Collections Center, Alabama Dinosaurs and Sea Monsters, Nature Scope and much more.
Little River Canyon National Preserve
This beautiful area is located atop Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne and DeSoto State Park. The Little River Canyon National Preserve was created in 1992 to protest what is often called the nation’s longest mountain top river, the Little River. This long mountain top river is also considered one of the cleanest and wildest waterways in the South. Little River Canyon is also one of the deepest canyons east of the Mississippi. The entire region of Little River is a popular destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.
Top Things to do in Alabama
Southern Museum of Flight
The Southern Museum of Flight is a civilian aviation museum in Birmingham, Alabama. The museum features nearly 100 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings. In addition, the Southern Museum of Flight is home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame, which presents Alabama Aviation History through collective biography.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
One of the most visited and most entertaining spots in Alabama is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, near Huntsville. This museum which opened in 1970 is sometimes called “Earth’s largest space museum.”
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is both educational and fun making it the perfect destination for children of all ages. The museum features a full exhibit on the Apollo program as well as many other exhibits and unique artifacts. Visitors should plan to visit the Spacedome Theater, Rocket Park, and the Education Training Center. This unique mega museum is also the home of a space and aviation camp.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
One of the most exciting and educational tourist sites in Alabama used to be one of the most dangerous. The U.S.S. Alabama Battleship was first commissioned in 1942 and it served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The ship was retired in 1962 and today it is a National Historic Landmark.
Visitors to the battleship can walk the decks of the ship, go below deck, tour a World War II submarine, and view cockpits of combat aircraft. Also on site visitors can see tanks, a Vietnam River Patrol Boat, and a plane similar to the one flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Birmingham Zoo
The Birmingham Zoo is home to approximately 950 animals from many continents, including many endangered species nestled on 122 acres. At Birmingham zoo you will find ostriches and flamingos to vultures and endangered white-naped cranes, more than 300 birds nest here. The Zoo’s sea lions show off their grace during demonstrations.
Rhinos and hippos are tons of fun with a memory to match their size. Rub a real rhino horn or spot a not-so-skinny dipping hippopotamus. The African Savanna is home to some of the wildest beasts around. The Zoo’s Savanna features lions, zebras, ostriches, and giraffes. The Reptile Building is full of reptiles and amphibians.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
A true Alabama favorite isn’t a cave or museum its 32 miles of white sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are premier destinations for visitors and locals interested in enjoying some of the prettiest beaches around.
The Gulf Shores is the perfect destination for relaxation or taking part in a handful of fun activities including golfing, hiking, and deep sea fishing. Visitors also enjoy visiting Fort Morgan where a Civil War Battle took place.
Things to do in Alabama
From hiking trails and spectacular geologic formations to the cornerstones of the American cultural identity, Alabama has a little of everything. Tourists in Alabama can enjoy a range of attractions of geologic, scientific, cultural, and historical importance. For a serene outdoor experience, head to one of the famous cave systems or the Little River National Canyon. To explore the amazing historical and cultural significance of some major Alabama cities.