10 Best Places to Visit in Alabama


Alabama offers a variety of tourist attractions suitable for people of all ages and interests. It’s a culturally rich region where you can explore the birthplace and former creative workspace of musician W.C. Handy, appreciate architecture and design at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rosenbaum House Museum, and view remarkable collections at the major art museums in Montgomery and Birmingham.

Alabama is also blessed with beautiful natural attractions, especially along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Mobile Bay, where tourists will find state parks, nature preserves, and scenic sandy beaches. In addition to history and nature, curious individuals can explore science at the family-friendly McWane Science Center or witness some of the world’s most advanced technology at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.


On This Page:

  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Civil Rights Historic District
  • Civil Rights Memorials of Montgomery
  • W.C. Handy Home and Museum
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House Museum
  • Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks
  • USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
  • Mobile Bay
  • McWane Science Center
  • Gulf State Park


1. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Civil Rights Historic District

 Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Civil Rights Historic District


The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute extensively explores the events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, featuring permanent and temporary exhibits that illuminate various facets of Birmingham’s and America’s struggles through dark periods. This gallery includes participation in diverse aspects of the Civil Rights struggle, starting with the peaceful societal movement that paved the way for change. A defining moment occurred on September 15, 1963, with the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a tragic event orchestrated by the Ku Klux Klan that claimed the lives of four girls. This incident spurred the urgent passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Located at the intersection of six paths, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute anchors Birmingham’s Civil Rights District, encompassing a six-block area. Additional memorials in the area include Kelly Ingram Park, the Fourth Avenue Business District, and the Carver Theatre.


2.Civil Rights Memorials of Montgomery

Civil Rights Memorials of Montgomery


In Montgomery, there is a revered black granite vesper that commemorates those who lost their lives during the Civil Rights Movement. The memorial is located on a square plot near the Civil Rights Memorial Center, where visitors can explore educational exhibits and displays like the Wall of Tolerance.

Another significant site in Montgomery is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, spanning six acres and dedicated to African Americans who endured racial terror and other national injustices. The memorial features sculptures, bas-reliefs, and over 800 pillars representing counties where lynchings occurred. It honors various figures of the Civil Rights Movement and serves as a poignant reminder of the nation’s history of racial inequality and the ongoing struggle for justice and reconciliation.


3. W.C. Handy Home and Museum

W.C. Handy Home and Museum


The W.C. Handy Home and Museum in Florence, Alabama, is situated in the log cabin where the celebrated composer W.C. Handy was born and raised. Known as the “Father of the Blues,” Handy was instrumental in bringing blues music to the mainstream, with iconic compositions like “Beale Street Blues” and “Memphis Blues.” This humble log cabin is where he lived and created some of his most renowned works.

The museum not only preserves the cabin where Handy spent his early years but also celebrates his profound influence on American music. Visitors are transported back in time as they explore the origins of a genre that has shaped music worldwide.

The museum features an impressive collection of original sheet music, personal papers, and memorabilia that provide insights into Handy’s life and legacy. Among the most treasured exhibits are his personal trumpet and piano, the very instruments he used while composing his timeless songs.

In addition to the static displays, the museum often hosts events and educational programs that delve into the history and evolution of blues music. This includes live performances, lectures, and workshops that honor Handy’s enduring impact on music.

W.C. Handy’s contributions go beyond music; he was a pioneer who influenced the cultural fabric of his time. The museum serves as a cultural hub for Florence, celebrating Handy’s legacy and his role in American music history.

The W.C. Handy Home and Museum is a must-visit for music enthusiasts and historians alike. The site is open to the public year-round, offering a rich, immersive experience that connects visitors with the roots of the blues.


4. U.S. Space and Rocket Center

U.S. Space and Rocket Center


The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville is an exciting attraction for all ages, showcasing the world’s largest collection of space vehicles in one location. The center, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, offers a range of exhibits, interactive experiences, and educational programs. Visitors can explore the rich history of the space race, NASA’s advancements, the International Space Station, and future space missions.

The center provides a comprehensive look at the evolution of space exploration, from the early days of the space race to the latest developments. The exhibits include information on the history of NASA, its achievements, and the future of space exploration.

Visitors can enjoy multimedia presentations at the National Geographic Theater or the Spacedome IMAX. These theaters feature captivating shows about space exploration, allowing visitors to experience the wonders of the universe.

A full-scale model of the ISS is on display, offering a detailed look at the life and work of astronauts on the station. Visitors can explore this model to gain insights into space living and research.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center offers a variety of activities and educational programs throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in space. For the latest information on operating hours, upcoming events, and tickets, please check their official website or contact the center.


5. Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House Museum

Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House Museum


The Rosenbaum House was built in 1939 by Frank Lloyd Wright for the newlywed couple Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum. Located in Florence, this house is the only structure in Alabama designed by Wright. It is constructed of cypress, glass, and brick. The Usonian design features a flat, multi-level roof and board-and-batten walls.

The house contains the original Wright-designed furniture. The Rosenbaums were the only owners and residents of the Rosenbaum House until 1999, when it was purchased and restored by the City of Florence. It is the only Wright house in the Southeast that is open to the public.


6. Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks

Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks


Montgomery hosts several significant civil rights memorials where participants and events of the movement are commemorated. Among them, the most notable is the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, which served as a meeting place for early civil rights supporters and was once a spiritual home for a young Martin Luther King, Jr., who lived with his family from 1954 to 1960. Today, it has been restored to its original relevance and is publicly accessible as the Dexter Parsonage Museum.

The Rosa Parks Library and Museum is located downtown near the site of Parks’ arrest at the city bus stop, where it tells the story and showcases an excellent display of civil disobedience. Displayed artifacts include her original fingerprint from the arrest, court documents, photographs, and a restored 1955 Montgomery city bus used in protest by civil rights supporters.

Another significant historical site is the Freedom Rides Museum, located at the former Montgomery Greyhound Station, which was the site of the 1961 Freedom Riders’ attack who initiated bus travel from Parks.


7. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

 USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park


The main attraction of the Mobile Memorial Park is the USS Alabama battleship, commissioned in 1942 during World War II. This BB-60 battleship, nicknamed “The Mighty A,” was decommissioned at the end of World War II. Visitors can explore many parts of the ship such as the captain’s cabin, bridge, mess hall, and engine room.

As part of the park, there is also the USS Drum, a submarine used during World War II, which is also available for viewing.

Additionally, the park features various aircraft such as the B-52 bomber and the A-12 Blackbird stealth aircraft, along with various military equipment like tanks and weaponry. The park serves as a memorial honoring all those who served in the armed forces, whether in World War II or more recent operations.


8. Mobile Bay

 Mobile Bay


Mobile Bay is a scenic area located in the coastal region of Mobile Bay, Alabama, known for its appeal to both locals and tourists throughout the year. The area encompasses maritime and historical attractions.

Located within the bay is Dolphin Island, a barrier island that features a unique connection with a small town. The island offers plenty to see and do, including the historic Fort Gaines, which dates back to the early centuries and served as a significant post during Mobile Bay’s wartime. The island also hosts a sandbar popular for shallow wading and a bird sanctuary.

Fairhope, another notable destination east of Mobile Bay, is known for Fairhope Pier, a popular spot for fishing. The city offers various outdoor recreational activities such as golf, tennis, and cycling amidst picturesque surroundings.

Further nearby, the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve provides a rich habitat for residential wildlife, managed with a natural cave-like structure for ecological living. Visitors can explore its boardwalks and trails independently or with a guide.

South of Mobile Bay’s southeastern shore lies Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Gulf Shores is a top Alabama resort destination known for its beaches, offering plenty of activities for couples, families, and solo travelers alike.


9. McWane Science Center

 McWane Science Center


The McWane Science Center in Birmingham is a popular family tourist destination featuring various exhibits and interactive experiences that inspire learning through fun activities for both children and adults alike.

One of the center’s most popular attractions is its aquarium, where various marine and aquatic life habitats are showcased. This section also emphasizes the importance of water and water-related technologies.

Additionally, the center highlights achievements in art and technology through various immersive exhibitions that explore multiple fascinating subjects. The center also houses an IMAX theater, showing different films daily.


10. Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park


Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores is a popular destination for both campers and day-trippers, offering a wide range of amenities and over two miles of white, sandy beaches.

The Nature Center offers free classes and activities such as guided nature walks, encounters with animals, fishing lessons, and other enjoyable educational programs led by naturalists and park rangers. Recreational facilities include volleyball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a swimming pool with a splash pad, as well as rentals for bicycles, kayaks, paddle boards, and guided Segway tours.

The park also boasts 25 miles of paved hiking trails, accessible to cyclists, and a championship golf course. Visitors on a day trip to Gulf State Park can enjoy all of these amenities for a nominal vehicle entrance fee.