Alabama was somewhere which I had never really considered visiting before and so it was quite exciting for me when my colleague Richard Radcliff Trice invited me down to his home state for a week of fun. I didn’t really know what to expect from this trip to be honest, other than Richard I had never really spoken to anyone who had been to Alabama before, at least not for a vacation. And so I accepted with gusto and I am glad to say that I had the most wonderful week down there. If you haven’t been before here are 5 things which you are sure to love in the Heart of Dixie.
US Space and Rocket Center
The Smithsonian partnership museum is based here in Huntsville and it has one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia in the world. This is one of the top Alabama attractions and we visited here in the first day of my time there. I have always enjoyed looking at artifacts from the space race and this place is chock full of them. The collection is awesome and so is the incredible IMAX theater which showcases space related footage.
Fort Morgan Museum
This part of the USA has seen its fair share of conflicts and this fort which was built in 1819 has also seen more violence and battle than most would care to imagine. This fort was the largest military base in the state for over 20 years and after it was abandoned in 1944, it has since been truanted into an incredible museum, like a place which has been frozen in time.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The educational and cultural research center is designed to promote a far greater understanding of the civil rights developments in the state and it is a fascinating display which exhibits the struggle which many have had to protect their human rights. This is a sobering exhibit which is worth seeing during your time in Alabama, for no other reason than to understand more about how this state came to be what it is today.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
Two words which I very much fear in the English language are botanical and garden, more-so when they are placed together. This one in Alabama however changed my mind completely, a rich and spacious place with aquatic gardens, wildflowers, nature trails and many specialist gardens, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Huntsville and it was the perfect afternoon activity.
Alligators fascinate and scare me in equal measure so I was over the moon to go and visit Alligator Alley here in Alabama. It is a farm which is designed to be a natural environment for the alligators, and a visitor center in one. Here there are more than alligators to see and you can find an amazing nature walk which will show off turtles, ospreys, frogs, owls and all manner of other beautiful beasts.
If you are in Alabama, these are the places I’d recommend that you check out.