Our state is filled to the brim with lots of history and cool spots. Here’s your guide to some of the most unique places in Alabama.
1. Montgomery- Hank Williams’ Grave
See a true site of history in Oakwood Cemetery. Hank Williams Sr.’s and his wife’s graves are located here, and they’re hard to miss. These tall granite gravestones sit atop a kitschy astroturf plot, possibly due to super fans stealing blades of real grass as souvenirs according to Roadside America. Hank’s grave is engraved with carvings of his guitar and boots, as well as lyrics to some of his most popular songs.
2. Montgomery- Wright Brothers Flyer Replica
Lots of people don’t know this, but the famous Wright Brothers actually founded and opened a flying school in Montgomery in 1910, which eventually became Maxwell AFB. This full-scale replica of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane is a tribute to the Wright Brothers Flying School and can be seen overlooking the Alabama River at Wright Brothers Park.
3. Millbrook- Jackson Lake Island
Jackson Lake Island is a great place to camp and explore, but it’s also home to the remains of the fictional town of Spectre from Tim Burton’s Big Fish film. There are lots of great photo ops here, plus a family of friendly goats.
4. Hope Hull- Alabama Safari Park
Have you ever dreamed of going on a real wildlife safari right here in Alabama? You can do that and more at Alabama Safari Park in Hope Hull. Drive your own car through 350 acres filled with zebras, emus, and more. You can even buy a bucket of food and feed the animals right from the comfort of your car. When you’re done with the safari, check out the petting zoo and the kangaroo walkabout. Make sure to feed the giraffes while you’re there!
5. Scottsboro- Unclaimed Baggage Center
Ever wonder what happens to unclaimed baggage that gets lost at airports? A lot of it ends up right here in Alabama at the Unclaimed Baggage Center. Nearly 7,000 new items arrive on a daily basis, and almost all of them are for sale. There are a few special items on display in the Unclaimed Baggage Museum, like the Hoggle puppet from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.
6. Birmingham- Vulcan Statue
Birmingham’s Vulcan Statue is the tallest statue ever made in the United States. It stands at 56 feet tall and features an observatory deck where you can see all of Birmingham. This statue was actually created for the 1904 World’s Fair, and it mimics the iconic Colossus of Rhodes statue.
7. Birmingham- Sloss Furnaces
Sloss Furnaces is a retired industrial factory that now stands as a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. The complex’s oldest building dates back to 1902, and several of the buildings hold engines that date back to the early 1900s. If you want to know what industrial life was like in the 1900s, this is the place for you. Concerts, festivals, and metal arts classes are also held at Sloss Furnaces today.
8. Delta- Cheaha Mountain
Cheaha Mountain is the highest point in Alabama— 2,407 feet above sea level, to be exact. Visit Cheaha State Park to see and hike around this mountain. The state park features lodging, camping, and miles of gorgeous trails.
9. Seale- Museum of Wonder
Drive through the Museum of Wonder to see Butch Anthony’s eclectic collection of animal bones, rusted metal, and so much more. While you’re there, keep an eye out for the world’s largest gallstone and a supposed authentic Bigfoot footprint.
10. Childersburg- DeSoto Caverns
Take a guided tour of one of Alabama’s coolest cave systems at DeSoto Caverns in Childersburg. These caverns contain natural waterfalls, one of the largest accumulations of gemstone quality onyx in North America, and much more. When you’re done touring the caverns, check out family-friendly attractions like the Lost Trail Maze and Wacky Water Golf.
11. Cullman- Ave Maria Grotto
This unique collection of miniature models in Cullman spans over four acres. Each model resembles a world-famous location and was hand-built by Brother Joseph Zoettl from 1912 to 1958.
12. Florence- Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
If you’re interested in architecture, the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House is a must-see in Alabama. Designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright himself in the 1930s, this house is open to the public for tours and highlights the greatest components of American architecture.
13. Cherokee- Coon Dog Cemetery
Established in 1937, the Coon Dog Cemetery in Cherokee is the final resting place of many hunting coon dogs and is the only cemetery of its kind in the entire world. According to the website, more than 185 coon dogs from all across the United States are buried in this spot.
14. Clanton- Big Peach Water Tower
This giant water tower resembles a peach and pays homage to Chilton County’s claim to fame: peaches. It’s located near several fruit stands and restaurants.
15. Decatur- Cook Museum of Natural Science
The Cook Museum of Natural Science recently won first place in USA Today’s Best New Museums category. This hands-on, immersive museum features exhibits that cover space, geology, and the Earth’s different biomes.
16. Gulf Shores- Souvenir City Shark
Next time you take a beach trip to Gulf Shores, make sure you stop by Souvenir City and take a picture at the iconic open-mouthed shark entrance. According to Roadside America, you can take a look at what the shark has “eaten” once you’re inside shopping for your souvenirs.
17. Mobile- Mobile Carnival Museum
Many people think Mardi Gras started in New Orleans, but it actually started right here in Mobile. Visit this museum to learn all about the origins of Mardi Gras carnivals and see tons of Mardi Gras costumes, historical photos, parade floats, and much more.
18. Summerdale- Alligator Alley
Located in Summerdale, Alligator Alley is home to over 200 alligators, from hatchlings to adults. You can walk through the swamp area on an elevated boardwalk and see tons of these amazing creatures, and you can even feed them pellets from the gift shop if you want. Once you’re done with the walk, you can hold a baby alligator, see other animals like tortoises, and watch a live alligator feeding.