When most people envision the state of Alabama, they think about a laid-back area in the United States that doesn’t offer much to visitors. The fact of the matter is, however, when you visit Alabama, you will find many things to do.
Alabama is rather unique in that it caters to those who want an exciting, eventful vacation as well as to those who would simply like to sit back and watch the world go by. Of course, it is also a state that is rich in cultural heritage and the history of the state is certainly well worth your attention.
This review of the top 25 things to do in Alabama will help to introduce you to the state and will certainly whet your appetite for what it has to offer.
1. US Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville)
This unique Museum, located in Huntsville, is the perfect stopover for anyone that has a love of science or space travel history. It outlines the US space program and includes a number of key artifacts that are certain to be a highlight of your visit.
It is commonly known as Earth’s largest space Museum and since 1970, it has thrilled visitors with over 1500 artifacts associated with space exploration. Those artifacts include those of the Apollo program, the Space Shuttle program and Army aircraft and rocketry. It is also the home to 2 different camp programs that can extend your enjoyment of this attraction.
2. Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (Opelika)
What could be closer to a vacation than a great round of golf? If you are visiting the state of Alabama, you have the opportunity to tee off from one of the most renowned collections of championship golf courses in the world.
The Robert Trent Jones golf Trail construction project had its beginnings in the 1980s. It is the brainchild of Dr. David Bronner, who was inspired by the popular movie Field of Dreams and a desire to help the state of Alabama. He wanted to do more than simply build a single golf course; he wanted 378 holes at 8 different sites throughout Alabama, all of which would be constructed at the same time.
In the end, the Robert Trent Jones golf Trail included 26 golf courses, with some 468 championship holes at 11 sites throughout the state. You haven’t golfed until you have golfed in Alabama.
3. Birmingham Zoo (Birmingham)
This zoological Park, home to more than 200 species and 800 individual animals is spread out over approximately 122 acres in Birmingham, Alabama. Each year, more than 470,000 visitors come to the Birmingham zoo to watch the animals and to take advantage of the programs that the zoo makes available.
From its early start in 1955, it had a few exotic animals that were first kept at a firehouse. Eventually, it grew to the point where a park was established. Some of the top exhibits include the Predator Building, Primate Building, Kangaroo Kontry, Flamingo Lagoon, Alligator Swamp and the Sea Lions Splash Show. There are also camel rides available in the spring and summer.
4. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park (Mobile)
For those who are interested in naval history, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is certainly well worth a visit. After the USS Alabama was ordered scrapped in 1962, the park was eventually established in 1977. The battleship, itself, is a US national historic landmark and there are several other vessels on site, including the USS Drum (submarine), which is also a US national historic landmark.
Both the USS Alabama and USS drum are World War II era vessels. There are also additional features at the battleship Memorial Park, including a river patrol boat used in the Vietnam War, bomber and fighter planes and various pieces of military equipment. It is also home to both a Korean War and Vietnam War Memorial.
5. McWane Science Center (Birmingham)
Established in July, 1998, the McWane Science Center is an interactive, state-of-the-art location where both children and adults can explore the world of science around them. The building itself is more than 9000 square feet and inside, you will find a number of interactive exhibits, as well as an IMAX Dome theater and the Challenger Learning Center.
More than 500,000 artifacts were brought from the Red Belt Museum at the establishment of the science center. Included among those artifacts are those of Native American descent, as well as fossils and precious minerals. Some of the highlights of the science center include dinosaur fossils (Mosasaurs and Appalachiosaurus), as well as an 80 foot fossil whale, which is the state fossil of Alabama.