Traveling can be fun and exciting, and there is no better place to do it than right here in the U.S.A. However, deciding where to go and what to do can become challenging, especially with fifty states, and 1000’s of attractions around the country. A good place to start is the great state of Alabama.
Alabama first became a state on December 14, 1819, making it the 22nd state and being almost two hundred years old there is a lot to see and do.
1) Noccalula Falls: Noccalula Falls is considered to be one of Alabama’s beautiful natural parks and even comes with it’s own legend, a story of love and loss. In the early years, Noccalula Falls was known as Black Creek Falls, where a group of Indians resided. The chief’s daughter, a beautiful woman sought by many, was promised to a rich chief. Noccalula, the beautiful young lady, was in love with another and pleaded with her father. He was a poor warrior so her father refused and banished him from the tribe before forcing Noccalula to marry the rich chief. On the day of the wedding, Noccalula strinken with grief, threw herself over the waterfalls edge. The chief, devastated by the lost of his daughter, renamed the falls after Noccalula.
The Noccalula Falls has a breathtaking view, falling 90 feet from the mountains ledge, but the falls are not the only attractions. The Noccalula park also a display of the pioneer’s living condition. A train ride, which takes visitors throughout the park can not only visit the display but also explore the animal habitat.
The animal habitat, which originally opened in 2000 as a small petting zoo, has since grown into a very educational and enjoyable site that includes a small deer name Rambo. Rambo may not be very small anymore but when he first came to the park he was all alone, on the side of the ride, standing next to his dead mother.
While there, you and your family can spend a relaxing day having a picnic or visiting some of the shops and restaurants on site. There is also a lovely garden, train rides, and many more exciting sites.The cost to visit the park begins at $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 4-12 and children under the age of 3 gets in free.
2) Burritt on the Mountain: Considered to be the Jewel on the Mountain, Burritt on the Mountain is nestled on the top of the Monte Sano Mountain. Within this jewel sit’s the 167-acre mansion of Dr. William Henry Burriet. Burritt, a well known physician and inventor, resided at the estate which is now a historical museum. Visitors can visit the his and learn about the life of Burritt, as well as, explore exhibits on the life of the Southern Cumberland.
After visiting the museum, visitors can take a leisure stroll on the Burritt trail. The Burritt trail travels around the mountain, giving site-seers a chance to see lime stone foundations and historical coal mines.
Finally, visitors can stop into the park and explore the lives of the southern farmers from the 19th century. That park showcases the lives of the farmers from clothing to hands on activities.
The cost to visit Burritt on the mountain begins at $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and military, $5.00 for students, $4.00 for children and anyone under two gets in free. The mountain adventure also includes concerts and other events at an additional cost.
3. Trail of Tears: The Trail of Tears began almost two hundred years ago when the Native Americans were forced to relocate from the Southeast to Indian Territory. During the travels, many bands of Indians took different routes from land and water. The ‘death march’ as it was called, was to be the beginning of the pain and torture for the Native Americans. While many would die from diseases along the way, others would be slaughtered or tortured.
However, the term Trail of Tears did not come from the Native Americans were traveled in silence, but from the witnesses who would shed tears for the marching Indians.
The trail travels through nine states, including Alabama, totaling 2,200 miles. The Trail of Tears is free to travel, and if you come around the right time you can be apart of some of the traditions including the annual motorcycle ride.
4. Old Mountain State Park: The Old Mountain State Park is an estimated 10,000 acres, making it the largest park in Alabama. The park is a great site to go camping on but also houses many activities for family and guest.
Some of those activities include golfing, driving ranges, horseback riding, hiking and biking, petting and exhibit farms, fishing and swimming.
There are also a number of locations to enjoy a relaxing picnic or even staying at one of the many cabins on site.
While there visitors can see the Alabama Wildlife Center, a hospital for orphaned and injured animals, and the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, a interactive exhibit and laboratory.
The cost of the park will vary, giving the activities, starting at free events and going on up.
5. Birmingham Botanical Gardens: The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the largest museum in Alabama with over 10,000 plants. The garden spreads 67.5 acres contains unique gardens, outdoor sculptures, miles of paths, and much more.
The garden is open daily and offers free admission making it one of the most visited attractions in the State of Alabama.
6. Huntsville Museum of Art: The Huntsville Museum of Art was named one of Alabama’s top ten destinations because of its visual arts center. The center is not the only reason that makes the Huntsville Museum of Art one of the top ten. Within the walls of the museum are seven galleries and exhibits.
The cost of the museum begins at $8 for adults, $4 for children 6-11, $7 for students 12 years old, seniors, and military/educators.