8 Cool things to do in Alabama’s ‘Heart of Dixie’
They say great songs travel, and Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Sweet Home Alabama” really puts this south-eastern U.S. state on the map. Alabama, which was also significant to the American Civil Rights Movement, may not be one of the most traveled states in the United States but it has its share of attractions, cool sights, and unusual things.
Here are some of the top things to do in Alabama to enjoy your time here.
1. Check out the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Situated in Mobile, Alabama, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park gives you a peek into World War II history that still lives here. At the entrance, you can buy a ticket and then proceed to take a self-guided tour of the USS Alabama and the USS Drum Submarine, both of which have been declared National Historic Monuments. Later, visit the nearby park where you can check out many artifacts including tanks and artillery, and the Aircraft Pavilion.
2. Stroll in the serene parks of Gulf State Park
Gulf State Park is a public recreation area situated on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Complete with camping grounds, cabins and cottages, a beach pavilion and two miles of beaches, there is plenty to do here. The state park's 6,500 acres is home to much of the state’s wildlife. If land activities don’t interest you, you can go in search of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico!
3. Enjoy a hands-on experience with the animals at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Located in the city of Gulf Shores, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to more than 500 animals! A great place to take your kids to, this park offers many hands-on experiences with kangaroos & other critters. Animals like bears, leopards, lions, tigers, wolves, monkeys, and macaws call this place their home and a visit here is a must while in Alabama.
4. Check out the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama is often called "Earth's largest space museum." Showcasing rockets, achievements, and space-related artifacts of the U.S. space program, this museum opened in 1970 after America’s second manned mission to the moon. Displaying more than 1500 pieces, their extensive collection includes rockets, engines, spacecraft, simulators, and hands-on exhibits.
5. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Treat yourself with 68 acres of lush gardens when you plan a visit to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Situated in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, these gardens are located adjacent to Lane Park and feature over 12,000 different types of plants that can be seen in the 25 unique gardens. There are more than 30 works of original outdoor sculptures and miles long walking paths. Some of the top garden features include Long Life Lake Bridge, The Taylor Gate, Torii, Granite Garden Fountain in Blount Square, and The Friendship Bell.
Not a big fan of the outdoors? Alabama has some amazing all-inclusive resorts too!
6. Visit the McWane Science Center
This science and research museum is a must visit for all the science buffs! The McWane Science Center in downtown Birmingham, Alabama is a state-of-the-art science center and an aquarium that also features a 280-seat IMAX Dome Theater. Spread over 4 floors, these museum features many interactive exhibits and artifacts. Its World of Water exhibit includes more than 50 species of marine and freshwater aquatic life that are indigenous to the state of Alabama.
7. Enjoy the views of the Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay is an Alabama treasure! An inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, extending 35 miles north, Mobile is kinda special. The original Mardi Gras celebration was founded right here, back in 1703. The city has so much to do. You can take walk along the boardwalk in Point Clear and watch the sunset, enjoy Mardi Gras, enjoy a land and water tour of downtown Mobile, and much more.
8. Camp at the Bankhead National Forest
The William B. Bankhead National Forest is one of Alabama's four National Forests and home to Alabama's only National Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey Fork. This forest features hiking trails, waterfalls and many other recreational opportunities like horseback riding, boating, fishing and more. An RV Park and Campground here make camping even more fun.
Check out the perfect tourist guide for the state of Alabama.
There's always something happening in Alabama, and this list is just the start of it.