If you like big ships and American history, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is a must-visit. The USS Alabama Battleship is docked along the waterfront and it is a great floating museum. The 680-feet battleship takes more than two hours to see completely but visitors are encouraged to stay the entire day and see all the attractions. Apart from the Battleship, visitors can also visit the USS DRUM Submarine that is located close to the Battleship. The USS DRUM is the oldest submarine on display in the world and it does require two or more hours to see completely. The Park is also home to more than 25 beautiful military aircraft that include Tomcats, Hornets, and Blackbirds. Other attractions include the park memorials, the military equipment on display, and the recreational area for visitors.
This tourist community has bounced back after the 2010 BP oil spill and it has returned to its pre-spill beauty. The town has beautiful beaches with pure powder sand that makes them truly unique. Now that the beaches are back to normal, visitors can enjoy deep sea fishing, sports fishing, boating cruises, water sports, and other activities related to the beaches. The community also has two beautiful golf courses that are in high demand with pro golfers as training pitches. Other attractions in the area include the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the Craft Farms Pelican Place, and a water park called Waterville USA.
This state-of-the-art museum and aquarium is a great way to entertain friends and family. The 9000-square feet Center has four floors of interactive exhibits that have captured the attention of more than 10 million visitors since opening its doors in 1998. The exhibits include artifacts of native american tribes, preserved biological specimens, rocks and minerals, and many types of fossils. The science center is dedicated to preserve and understand the natural wonders of Alabama. For more interactive experience, there is an IMAX Dome theater playing educational documentaries like Mysteries of the Unseen World, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is spread over 112 acres and is open all through the year. More than 400,000 visitors toured the garden in 2008 alone and the count continued to increase as the garden expands its exhibits and displays. At present, the garden have a butterfly park, an aquatic display, fern display, wildflower garden and nature center. Visitors may love the Biblical garden featuring plants mentioned in the Bible, the Dogwood trail featuring dogwood trees including a hundred year old dogwood transplanted to the site and the Vegetable garden providing useful tips to the home gardeners.
Alabama has a complex history. The area was colonized by indigenous people of varying culture much before Europeans reached the area. By the 16th century, the European settlers colonized the area. By the 19th century, prosperous Southern planters bought in slaves from Africa to work on their plantations and this resulted in a huge mix of cultures and races in the south-eastern states. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute catalogs all these intricate cultures and the way they interacted with each other to gain their independence. The museum catalogs the struggle that started in Birmingham and how the freedom struggle progressed from there. The museum also holds regular exhibitions, traveling exhibits, and musical shows for locals and tourists.