Alabama Travel Destinations

LITTLE RIVER FALLS- LITTLE RIVER CANYON NATIONAL PRESERVE : Little River Falls is located off Highway 35 next to the bridge in Gaylesville, Alabama (the bridge is the boundary between Gaylesville and Fort Payne). This is the first stop to make on your scenic tour of the park entering from the north. The formation of Little River Canyon begins here with the 45-foot waterfall. The amount of water going over the falls depends on the amount of rainfall. In the winter and early spring the water level is high. Kayakers love this time of year because they can Kayak the river. During the summer and early fall, the water level is much lower. No matter the season; Little River Falls is a very beautiful plase to visit.
Info: www.nps.gov/liri
DeSOTO STATE PARK- Desoto Falls: Stop by and see falls that plung 104-feet. Dense woodlands, seasonal wildflowers and spectacular views await. Also available are a resturant, meeting rooms, motel, chalets, cabins, campground, picnic area, nature center, hiking, pool, ADA-accessible playground, and boardwalk trail. Info: www.alapark.com/desotoresort
CATHEDRAL CAVERNS STATE PARK: Originally called Bat Cave, Cathedral Caverns was opened to the public by Jacob Gurley in the 1950's. The cave was renamed because of its catedral-like appearence. Purchased by the state in 1987, it was opened as a State Park in the summer of 2000. The first feature most people notice about Catedral Caverns is its massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126-feet wide and 25-feet high, a possible world record for commercial caves. The grand entrance is only the beginning, inside the cavern are some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created including "Goliath"- one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45-feet tall and 243-feet in circumference. Cathedral Caverns features many amazing sites; a "cavman" perched atop a flowstone wall, a "frozen" waterfall, a large stalagmite forest and a most improable formation- a stalagmite that is 27-feet tall and 3-inches wide. The cave maintains a comfortable 60-degrees year round; which makes it an excellent field trip for school, church or other groups. The park itself encompasses 493 acres, and there are marked hiking trails available for those wanting to enjoy the outdoors. Info: www.alapark.com/cathedral-caverns-state-park  
THE VETERANS MEMORIAL MUSEUM, HUNTSVILLE: The Veterans Memorial Museum, one of Huntsville's little-knowntreasures, can be found just off Airport Road across from the city's municipal golf course. It occupies a relatively nondescript pale blue building formally used as the Huntsville city jail. Anyone who ventures to visit the museum will know they are in the right place when they see the restored "Huey" helicopter, Vietnam era river partrol boat, and a variety of armored personnel carriers on displays, although impressive, barely set the stage for the amazing collection of vehocles and memorabilia awaiting inside. Info: www.memorialmuseum.org or 256-883-3737  
U.S. SPACE & ROCKET CENTER, HUNTSVILLE: Home to Space Camp, Aviation Challenge Camp, and Robotics Camp the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is the largest spaceflight museum in the world. Its large rocket and space hardware collection is valued in the tens of millions of dollars. From America's first satallite, Explorer 1, to next generation space vehicles like Sierra Navada's Dream Chaser, the museum showcases the past, present, and future of human spaceflight. The U.S. SPACE & Rocket Center serves as the Official NASA Visitor Center for Marshall Space Flight Center and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Info: www.rocketcenter.com or 1-800-637-7223
OLD EASLEY COVERED BRIDGE, ONEONTA: Located 1.5 mi. from S.S. 231 in Blount County, this one-span town bridge was built in 1930. All 95-feet of its single span are preserved for enthsiastic back-wood travelers or for those searching for treasure of a nostalgic era.
Info: www.blountoneontachamber.org or 205-274-2153 
HORTON MILL BRIDGE, ONEONTA: Built in 1935, this is one of the highest covered bridges in the nation, standing at 70-feet above the Black Warrior River. It is also one of three which still exist in Blount County, Alabama's Covered Bridge Capital and home of the Covered Bridge Festival each fall. Info: www.blountoneontachamber.org or 205-274-2153
NOCCALULA FALLS PARK, GADSDEN: These falls cascade 90-feet over Lookout Mountain ledge into a lush ravine. Home to Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge, the park features botanical garden, pioneer homestead, nature trails, picnic areas and a year-round campground.
Info: www.cityofgadsden.com or 256-549-4663
HISTORIC FORT GAINES, DAUPHIN ISLAND: The well-preserved ramparts of Fort Gaines have guarded the ebtrance to Mobil Bay for more than 150 years. Now a fascinating historic site, the fort stands at the eastern tip of Dauphin Island where it commands panoramic views of the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The fort was recently designated as one of the Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites in America due to on-going shoreline erosion. Historic Fort Gaines is one of the key sites in the famous Battle of Mobile Bay where Admiril Farragut shouted his now-famous order, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" Fort Gaines is a pre-Civil War brick fortification built within feet of the Gulf. The fort has original cannons, a blacksmith shop, kitchens, a museum, gift shop, and tunnels. Guided tours are done in period uniform which will bring history to life including cannon firing demonstrations and blacksmithing. For added adventure, visit during special event weekends.
Info: www.dauphinisland.org or 251-861-6992
HITORIC BLAKELY STATE PARK, SPANISH FORT: Remains of earthen forts, old rifle pits, redoubts and battery sites dot the parks 3,800 acres. Following the fall of nearby Spanish Fort on the night of April 8, 1865, orders were issued to take Lakeley by assault. The general advance began at 5:25 p.m. on April 9, six hours after Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Fort Blakeley fell in the last major battle of the Civil War.
Info: www.blakeleypark.com or251-626-0798
THE WHARF, ORANGE BEACH: The Wharf is a family entertainment district located at Foley Beach Expressway and Canal Road in Orange Beach. With an array of amenities, experience hundreds of fun activities and events throughout the year. Enjoy shopping, dining, movies, a marina, amphitheater, farris wheel and more! SPECTRA, The Wharf's light and sound Spectacular is a truly unique entertainment experience.
Info: www.alwharf.com or 251-224-1000
FORT MORGAN STATE HISTORIC SITE, GULF SHORES: Scince 1834, Fort Morgan has stood as the guardian of Mobile Bay. The fort was active during four wars- the Civil War, the Spanish-American and World Wars I and II. The fort is most famouse for its role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay.Union Adm. David Farragut damn the topedoes and went full speed ahead to win the battle. The massive fort contains more than 40 million bricks and pays tribute to the skilled masons, many of who were enslaved African-Americans. The fort features an active living history prgram that interprets all the military periods and holds an annual event commemorating the Battle of Mobile Bay. The military site and National Historic Landmark is located 22-miles west of Gulf Shores. On August 5,1864, Fort Morgan played a key role the Battle of Mobile Bay before surrendering to Union forces after a two-week siege. Alabama's largest permanent military post between 1900 and 1923, the fort served during the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II. The 479-acre site contains cocrete artillery batteries constructed between 1895 and 1904 and historic military buildings dating from 1899 to 1910. Amuseum details the American military history of Mobile Point from 1814 to 1945. Exhibits feature weapons, uniforms, letters, photographs and personal items of soldiers who served the fort.
Info: www.fort-morgan.org or 251-540-5257
BRAGG-MITCHELL MANSION, MOBLIE: Built in 1855 by Judge John Bragg, The Bragg- Mitchell Mansion is a 13,000 square foot Greek Revival facing Springhill Avenue in Mobile. Bragg- Mitchell Mansion was generously donated to the Explore Center by the A.S. Michell foundation in the late 1970's to be the home of an interactive science museum. Instead of adapting the home for this purpose and potentially destroying the historic integrity of the Mansion, The Explorer Center built a separate science museum, The Gulf Coast Exploreum, and began work to restore the Mansion ot its antibellum grandeur. Info: www.braggmitchellmansion.com or 251-471-6364  
USS ALABAMA BATTLESHIP MEMORIAL PARK, MOBILE: Explore the mighty USS Alabama, winner of nine battle sters in World War II. See a Mach 3 A-12 Blackbird supersecret spy plane, the B-52 stratofortress Calamity Jane, the submarine USS Drum, an original plane that was used by the Tuskegee Airmen, plus 22 other aircraft and weaponry from all branches of the military.
Info: www.ussalabama.com or 251-433-2703
OLD ALABAMA TOWN, MONTGOMERY: Our 19th century village features completely authentic 19th and early 20th century homes and buildings that have been saved from demolition, carefully restored, and reopened to the public as a history museum. At Old Alabama Town, you will learn how early Americans of all bacgrounds lived and worked in central Alabama.
Info: www.oldalabamatown.com or 334-240-4500
THE HANK WILLIAMS MUSEUM, MONTGOMERY: Hiram "Hank" Williams career began at the age of 14 by winning a talent show at the Empire Theater in Montgomery in 1937 with his original tune WPA BLUES, the rest is musical history. Come and visit the place where the man who left his mark on the Musical world, will inevitably leave his mark on you. The museum houses Hank's 1952 Baby Blue Cadilac in which he made his finale journey, along with suits, boots, hats, ties, awards, furniture, horse saddle, portraits, records, albums and more. Alife sized statue of Hank is located in LIster Hill park in Downtown Montgomery, just across from City Auditorium where Hank's funeral service was held. "First to Last", Hank's first professional debut was in Montgomery and his final public performance was here also.
Info: www.thehankwilliamsmuseum.net or 334-262-3600  
VULCAN PARK AND MUSEUM, BIRMINGHAM: Vulcan is the world's largest cast iron statue; made of 100,000 pounds of iron and 56-feet tall, he stands atop of Red Mountain overlooking the city of Birmingham. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge, was originally created in 1904 as Birmingham's exhibit to the St. Louis World's Fair to showcase the city's booming iron industry. But, Vulcan is more than a statue. Vulcan Park and Museum features spectacular panaramic views of Birmingham and surrounding areas from an open-air observation balcony atop the statue's 124-foot pedistal. Visitors can enjoy interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits and displays that give insight into the regions geology, history and industrial growth as well as a beautiful 10-acre urban green space. With an official information center that is operated by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vulcan Park and Museum serves as the first stop for visitors to the Birmingham area.
Info: www.visitvulcan.com or 205-933-1409
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