Alabama, the 22nd state to join the Union, is dubbed the Yellowhammer State. This southern state has moderate temperatures even in the coldest months of the year, with average monthly lows never dipping below freezing and average monthly highs ranging from 57.6°F in January to 92.7°F in July. Alabama is steeped in history and activities, offering must-see options to appeal to all.
Civil Rights Landmarks
Montgomery, Alabama is known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement. When Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, her choice became a catalyst for change. Today, Montgomery is home to the Rosa Parks Museum. Alabama also features a number of other significant civil rights landmarks, including Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, which was used as the headquarters for protesters. Other civil rights sites of note include the Civil Rights Memorial, Kelly Ingram Park, the Freedom Riders National Monument, and the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.
Military and Historic Landmarks
Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan were built in the early 1800s. Both were Civil War battle sites and feature historic exhibits. Other historic Alabama military sites include The Fort of Colonial Mobile and Fort Toulouse-Jackson Park. The USS Alabama Battleship offers visitors a chance to see the USS Alabama, a battleship used in WWII, as well as WWII submarine the USS Drum. A trip to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site offers a chance to learn about this historic Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American fighter pilots that took to the skies in WWII. Another historic site to visit is the Crooked Civil Creek War Museum.
Creek, Yuchi, Shawnee, Chickasaw, and Cherokee tribes had been using Oakville for over 12,000 years when Celtic settlers arrived in the early 1700s. Oakville was a popular hunting territory for these tribes. The Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center is an archeological site dating back to 10,000 BC. The ceremonial mounds were constructed by the tribes and featured significantly in the Indigenous people’s culture and religion.
Moundville Archeological Park offers visitors a chance to see what remains of what was once one of the largest prehistoric communities in the region. For a different type of historical experience visit Old Cahawba Archeological Park. Cahawba used to be the capital of Alabama and is now a ghost town.
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Montgomery was the first capital of the Confederacy. The President of the Confederacy spent months living in a Federal-Style building in 1861. Tourists can visit the preserved First White House of the Confederacy, as well as historic churches and bridges. The Greek Revival-style Christ Cathedral Church was built from 1832 to 1840. The Cathedral of Saint Paul features a Neo-Gothic style and was completed in 1893. Alabama’s Clarkson Covered Bridge dates back to 1904 but had to be rebuilt after it was damaged in a storm in 1921. The Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge originally dates back to 1900, but was moved and rebuilt after damage in 2005.
You can stay busy simply by touring the abundance of state parks in Alabama. Alabama’s biggest battle of the Civil War happened in Blakely. Visitors to the Historic Blakely State Park can see the battle site and the locations of ancient Indigenous settlements. Activity options include boat tours, horseback riding, hiking, and camping.
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Cathedral Caverns State Park boasts one of the largest stalagmites in the world and a frozen waterfall. If you enjoy hiking or mountain bike riding then you will want to check out Oak Mountain State Park. It is the largest state park in Alabama and the activity options including skiing, golf, swimming and nature programs.