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 except some great college football. The fact of the matter is, however, when you visit Alabama, you will find many things of interest for the whole family.
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.
I spent a nice few days in Alabama and was pleasantly surprised by the rich history and the great food. Below are a couple of places you should check out if you are traveling to Alabama.
US Space and Rocket Center
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center holds one of the world’s largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia and is one of the top Alabama attractions. Here, visitors can learn all about space from the historic Space Race through the evolution of the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station. The collection includes the capsule from Apollo 16, the Gemini and Mercury capsule trainers, a Skylab solar array, interactive exhibits, and space travel simulators. The center also features traveling exhibits, and guests can enjoy daily movies on the city’s only full-dome IMAX® Theater or on the National Geographic Theater’s high-definition screen.
Golf and The Gulf
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.
One of the best-kept secrets about Alabama is its beautiful white-sand beaches. Many people forget that there is a coastline in Alabama that is part of the Gulf of Mexico, one of the most beautiful blue sky clear water coasts in the United States. One great place to visit is Gulf State Park, activities at the state park include hiking. biking, fishing, exploring, geocaching, paddling, swimming, picnicking, parasailing and kayaking just to name of few. They have a campground as well as a lodge, cottages, and vacation rentals. The park is located within driving distance of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley, Fairhope and Mobile, Historic Blakeley State Park and The USS Alabama.
Civil Rights History
Alabama played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement and there are numerous historical sites and museums to visit throughout the state. You could actually plan an entire vacation around visiting these sites.
Located in the Historic District of Selma, Alabama at the foot of the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the scene of “Bloody Sunday,” Turn Around Tuesday, and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march, the National Voting Rights Museum is a reminder of the importance of voting and stands as a monument to those who fought for the right to exercise the most basic of American rights, voting.
Freedom Rides Museum located at the former Montgomery Greyhound station, where history was made as the Freedom Riders got off their bus on May 20th, 1961 also while in Montgomery, visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, and the Legacy Museum.
The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument covers 18 acres in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama. The monument was established by the Proclamation of President Obama in 2017 in order to protect and commemorate the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement and the importance of Birmingham in the struggle. The park is still in development, but visitors are able to visit the major historic sites associated with the monument: The 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, the A.G. Gaston Motel, Bethel Baptist Church, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Thinking of Moving to Alabama?
The cost of living in Alabama is lower compared to other states. As a matter of fact, Alabama is ranked as one of the top 10 cheapest states to live in.
You’ll find great deals in cities and urban areas, and many enterprising real estate owners have realized the huge benefits of renovating older-style homes and buildings which is why Birmingham real estate is booming. So sure, the outside of the building might be that 1800-style brick masonry with a scorch mark on the side from a centuries-old fire, but the inside might be a beautiful loft with refinished wood flooring and a vaulted ceiling with a skylight, all for a very low price.
Looking to start a career or change jobs. According to MarketWatch the highest paying fastest-growing job in Alabama is a software developer. Other jobs in demand include computer-controlled machine tool operators, airplane assembly, electrician, machinist, web developer, environmental engineer, human resource managers, and all healthcare-related jobs will continue to grow as the population continues to age.
Whether you are looking to vacation or looking to relocate, Alabama has something I am sure you will find of interest.