Walls of Jericho

    • 01 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      walls of jericho 1 - Walls of Jericho

      © 2007 Jean Brandau licensed to About.com, Inc.

      Beautiful Scenery But Difficult Hike

      The Walls of Jericho is made up of 21,453 acres straddling the Tennessee-Alabama border used for preservation as a wilderness and recreation area. The Ranger informed us that the hike down and back would take close to six hours.

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      Shortly after the Walls of Jericho Tract was re-opened to the public, my sister and I found ourselves in the vicinity and decided to check it out, take a few pictures and “stroll” down the trail. The Walls of Jericho is made up of 21,453 acres straddling the Tennessee-Alabama border used for preservation as a wilderness and recreation area. The Walls of Jericho has hiking trails and horse trails. Both lead into the gorge. A tent-only camping area is available at the bottom.

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    • 02 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      © 2007 Jean Brandau licensed to About.com, Inc.

      It was a beautiful day and the trail looked clear and smooth. It didn’t take us long, though, to realize we were out of our element. The Ranger informed us that the hike down and back would take close to six hours!

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    • 03 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Mike Dalen gave me this advice about the Walls of Jericho Hike: “It is a long hike but if you are in decent condition and take it slow you can make it. Total distance is about 7 miles round trip. But it is no mall walk. It would be like starting on top of Monte Sano and hiking to the bottom. Then hike 3 or 4 miles on relatively flat but rocky trails. And finally, hike back up to the top of Monte Sano. You should allow 5-6 hours for the hike, wear hiking shoes, and bring 2 or 3 liters of water per person. And some snacks for fuel.

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    • 04 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      This hike is for experienced hikers in great shape….you won’t see me in any of these photos!

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    • 05 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

      The Walls of Jericho were named for a bowl-shaped canyon of rock that shoots water out of holes and cracks in the rock wall during heavy rains. It is part of a 60,000 acre tract once owned by Texas oil baron Henry Lee Carter. When he died in 1977, the Walls of Jericho were sold and closed to visitors.

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    • 06 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

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    • 07 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

      The Walls of Jericho includes the headwaters of the Paint Rock River, which is home to 17 varieties of rare mussels. Two of them are found nowhere else but the Paint Rock River watershed.

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    • 08 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      This cave at Walls of Jericho that is only accessible when the water level is down.

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    • 09 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 10 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 11 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 12 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 13 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 14 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 15 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 16 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of James Blackwood & Russ Huffman

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    • 17 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

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    • 18 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

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    • 19 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

      This breathtaking view is your reward for making the long hike down to The Walls of Jericho.

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    • 20 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      :0 - Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

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    • 21 of 21

      Walls of Jericho

      Photo courtesy of Joe Fehrenbach

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Old Huntsville Photo Album

    • 01 of 20

      4th of July Parade 1914

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      Private and Public Pictures of Huntsville’s Past

      These Huntsville photos are used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare and valuable photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 2 of 20 below.

    • 02 of 20

      Monte Sano Hotel 1890s

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 3 of 20 below.

    • 03 of 20

      Brice Mitchel Evans

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 4 of 20 below.

    • 04 of 20

      Columbus Buggy Works

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 5 of 20 below.

    • 05 of 20

      Cotton Market

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 6 of 20 below.

    • 06 of 20

      Cotton Picking

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 7 of 20 below.

    • 07 of 20

      Elks Theater

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 8 of 20 below.

    • 08 of 20

      Lyric Theater

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 9 of 20 below.

    • 09 of 20

      Molly Teal Home

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 10 of 20 below.

    • 10 of 20

      1932 Baseball Team

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 11 of 20 below.

    • 11 of 20

      Big Spring in 1895

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 12 of 20 below.

    • 12 of 20

      Big Spring Pumphouse

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 13 of 20 below.

    • 13 of 20

      Chamber of Commerce 1950’s

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 14 of 20 below.

    • 14 of 20

      Confederate Veterans

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 15 of 20 below.

    • 15 of 20

      517 West Holmes Ave in 1912.

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 16 of 20 below.

    • 16 of 20

      Aerial view of downtown Huntsville

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 17 of 20 below.

    • 17 of 20

      Airline Christening

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 18 of 20 below.

    • 18 of 20

      Alabama Playboys

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 19 of 20 below.

    • 19 of 20

      Baptizing

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

      Continue to 20 of 20 below.

    • 20 of 20

      Women at Redstone Arsenal

      Old Huntsville Photo Album

      Used with permission of © Old Huntsville Inc.

      These photos are used with permission from Old Huntsville Magazine. They were taken from Volume One of a three volume set. Each CD has over 400 pictures on it. There are hundreds of rare photographs from Huntsville’s past–from both public sources and private collections–including photos of the Civil War era, the Cotton Mills, WWII, all the way up to when Huntsville became the Space Capital of the Universe. For more info on buying the photo albums from Old Huntsville Magazine, you can email them at Old Huntsville or call (256) 534-0502.

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Cat of the Week: Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!

    • 01 of 02

      Introducing Kittens…Kittens…Kittens…

      cat of the week kittens kittens kittens 1 - Cat of the Week: Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!

      Photo Courtesy of Huntsville Animal Services

      This week Huntsville Animal Services is featuring “kittens, kittens, kittens” as their “Cat” of the Week. They are “over-run ” with kittens…so now is your chance to take your pick!

      Huntsville Animal Services has all sizes, shapes and colors, both male and female, long-haired and short. It’s kitten season and they have the perfect kitten for you and your family.

      There is one litter of six adorable babies. They are not yet ready to leave Mom, but Karen is taking names for adoptions. They are being socialized to other cats, dogs, and an active household. They have multiple colors including: Orange Male, Black/White Male, Tabby/Calico Female, Tortishell Female, Gray/White Male, Brown Tabby Female and of course, Mom who is a gorgeous Torbie/White.

      Call Karen for more information. 256.652.9229….NOT AT THE SHELTER…..SHELTER personnel will not have details as Karen is fostering them at her personal home.

      Adoption fees including sterilization, Rabies, collar, identification tag, deworming, 1st vaccination, Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS and city license (if needed) is $93.

      The kittens can not be adopted for several more weeks, they have to be 2 pounds and are only 1 pound…so, about another 3 or 4 weeks! More Huntsville Animal Services Info on Next Page!

      How to Get Reduced Spay/Neuter Vet Service

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      Continue to 2 of 2 below.

    • 02 of 02

      Huntsville Animal Services Info…

      :0 - Cat of the Week: Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!

      Photo Courtesy of Huntsville Animal Services

      Huntsville Animal Services adoption fee The cat adoption fee is $85 which includes the following:

      • Testing for and booster for

        – FVR-CP (Feline Viral Rhinotractis)

        – Aids – Luekemia

      • Bordetella
      • Deworming
      • Neuter/Spay
      • Carrier
      • Food
      • Rabies Vaccination

      We are the largest (& nicest) shelter in north Alabama. We average an intake of 175 animals per week. We are very committed to the pets on our adoption row, holding them until they can find a new home. The only time we don’t keep the pet until they get a new home is if they develop temperament issues or become very sick. We have a very large selection of cats (and dogs). We always encourage people to stop in and see what we have!

      Huntsville Animal Services

      4950 Triana Boulevard

      Huntsville, AL 35805

      Main Office 883-3782 – need basic information about adoption or a lost or found pet.

      Dispatch 883-3788 -need to file a complaint about an animal? Call this number.

      Humane Educator 883-3794 – Jeremy Eslick, to schedule field trips, presentations, group outings (scouts, church groups, civic groups, etc.), and volunteer opportunities.

      More Cat Adoptions

      How to Get Reduced Spay/Neuter Vet Service

      Fido Finder

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The U.S. Space and Rocket Center – Alabama’s Top Paid Tourist Attraction

    • 01 of 04

      Visiting the U.S. Space and Rocket Center – Overview

      The U.S. Space and Rocket Center - Alabamas Top Paid Tourist Attraction

      Sheila Scarborough/Flickr/CC 2.0

      The U.S. Space and Rocket Center, located in Huntsville, is Alabama’s top tourist attraction among attractions that charge admission. The Center, which opened in 1970 as NASA’s first visitor center, includes a museum, Space Camp, Aviation Challenge and X-Camp. Also part of the complex, an Education Training Center houses the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Education Department and Marshall Space Flight Center’s Educator Resource Center.

      The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is a state agency of the State of Alabama. The museum, which serves as the visitor information center for Marshall Space Flight Center, achieved Smithsonian Institution Affiliate status in 2002. Saturn V, displayed in the museum’s immense Davidson Center, was the first Saturn V to be displayed publicly and is the only one designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is also listed as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

      Continue to 2 of 4 below.

    • 02 of 04

      Location, Hours and Other Tips for Visitors

      The ​U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum opened in 1970 as a permanent exhibit for the hardware of the space program. The project was spearheaded by Dr. Wernher von Braun (1912 – 1977), one of the most important figures in the development of space exploration and the first director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. In 2008, the Davidson Center opened providing 68,000 additional square-feet of exhibit space, enlarging the total exhibit space within the U.S. Space and Rocket Center complex to over 100,000 square feet.

      Location of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

      • One Tranquility Base

        Huntsville, Alabama 35805

      Hours and Admission

      • The USSRC is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
      • Hours are 9 am to 5 pm.
      • Admission is charged: Individual Tickets, Combination Tickets, and Group Tickets may be purchased.
      • Parking for visitors is free.

      Tips for Visiting the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

      • Allow at least four to six hours for your visit. Consider planning additional time for special exhibitions and/or IMAX movies
      • To get the most out of your visit and avoid potential disappointment, visit the USSRC website (see below) to learn about the requirements for several of the most popular attraction (some have height, weight or other restrictions) and to determine the best ticket option for your family or group.
      • Because the exhibits and attractions are both inside and outside, remember to dress accordingly. Huntsville’s average summer temperatures sometimes top 90 degrees during the hottest months and winter temperatures average as low as 31 degrees in colder months.
      • Wear comfortable shoes and prepare for a lot of walking. (Also, note that only rubber-soled shoes are allowed on the Mars Climbing Wall.)
      • As with any sightseeing outing, plan your day to pace young children. Plan a snack and/or lunch break and consider an IMAX movie for some quiet time.

      Continue to 3 of 4 below.

    • 03 of 04

      Attractions and Things to Do

      Visitors to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center are able to see thousands of artifacts and enjoy dozens of interactive exhibits, while exploring the historical timeline of the U.S. space program, including the making of the moon rocket, the space race, the Apollo missions, the Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station and the beginnings of NASA’s Constellation project.

      Attraction Highlights

      • The Davidson Center – Described as the front door of the USSRC museum complex, the Davidson Center is 476 feet long, 90 feet wide and 63 feet high. The centerpiece, suspended 10 feet above the floor and displayed horizontally, is the Saturn V 500D/F moon rocket. Other exhibits tell the complete story of the Saturn program and explore lessons learned during the Apollo program. A few of the historic artifacts on display are the Apollo 16 capsule, space suits, a lunar rover and lander, and a moon rock obtained during the Apollo 12 mission.
      • Interactive Attractions and Simulations – Several hands-on exhibits and space travel simulations engage visitors of many different interests and ages. Some of these experiences have height, weight, age or other requirements; therefore, it is a good idea to visit the USSRC website ahead of your visit (see below) to learn about the requirements for each attraction.

        Space Shot – Rocket 140-feet straight up in 2.5 seconds and experience weightlessness followed by freefall.

        G-Force Accelerator – Spin at approximately 24 revolutions per minute and experience three times the force of gravity.

        Kids Cosmos Energy Depletion Zone – Children under the age of 8 accompanied by an adult are able to enjoy interactive fun in the Space Station.

        Apollo Cockpit Trainer – Experience what it is like to be inside the Command Service Module on an Apollo mission to the moon.

        Mars Mission, Mars Climbing Wall – Learn about the red planet and scale part the tallest volcano in the solar system on the Mars Climbing Wall.

      • Rocket Park – Rocket Park, located behind the museum, is home to an amazing collection of U.S. Army missiles and NASA rockets, plus the accurately depicted re-creation of Tranquility Base, where Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
      • Shows and Movies – Discovery Theater offers daily live shows included in the price of admission. The six-story Spacedome IMAX Theater features a large domed screen for full-length movies and space-related IMAX presentations. Tickets for movies are additional or may be purchased as part of a Combination Admission Ticket.

      Continue to 4 of 4 below.

    • 04 of 04

      Space Camp, Aviation Challenge and Programs for Educators

      In addition to offering an interesting museum experience for a day-visit, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center complex is home to the facilities for Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, X-Camp and the Educator Resource Center. The Space Camp program, which launched in June 1982, attracts applicants from all 50 states and about 35 other countries each year.

      Educational programs take place most months of the year and offer a variety of options, including residential and day camps for children and adults, as well as programs for blind, visually-impaired, deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees.

      Each program focuses on different aspects of air and space travel:

      • Space Camp – Space Camp attendees explore science, math, engineering, robotics, and more as an introductory glimpse to the exciting world of astronauts and the space program. Space Camp Website
      • Aviation Challenge – Aviation Challenge explores military aviation through educational programs for many different age groups.
      • Educator Training – The Education Training Center, which houses NASA’s Educator Resource Center, provides many resources and programs for teachers from around the nation and around the world. USSRC Education Department Website

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Alabama Theme Parks and Amusement Parks

There are two decent-sized theme parks in Alabama, Owa and Alabama Splash Adventure (although the latter is more of a water park). If it is water slides and cool relief you are after, we have a rundown of Alabama’s Water Parks. If you want more amusement park thrills and theme park fun, you could travel to nearby states. For example, Dollywood is among the theme parks in Tennessee, and Six Flags Over Georgia is the biggest theme park in Georgia. Alabama parks are listed in alphabetical order.

Alabama Splash Adventure

Bessemer (near Birmingham), Alabama

As its name implies, Alabama Splash Adventure is primarily a water park. In addition to its water slides, wave pool, lazy river, and other wet fun, the “dry” rides include a mini train, bumper boats, the Wacky Worm kiddie coaster, and its signature attraction, Rampage, a well-regarded wooden roller coaster. One price includes all attractions, and the park offers free parking, free sunscreen, and complimentary soft drinks.

Once Alabama’s biggest amusement park, it has an interesting history. It opened in the late 1990s as a municipally owned facility known as VisionLand. It ran into financial difficulties not long after it debuted and filed for bankruptcy in 2002. Private owners purchased the park and operated it starting in 2003. In 2006, it was re-branded as Alabama Adventure and later, Alabama Adventure Water and Theme Park. In 2012, the park changed ownership again. The new operators renamed it Splash Adventure, closed most of the amusement park rides, and focused on the water park.

In 2014, some members of the family that had run Holiday World in Indiana purchased the park and changed its name once again (whew, this park has sure had a lot of names!) to Alabama Splash Adventure. It has been slowly reopening the amusement park rides such as Rampage (which means another name change may be coming). The new owners say that they have plans to expand the park.

In 2018, the park continued to expand its amusement park rides with five new attractions. It included the classic spinning rides, the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler, the Yo-Yo swing ride, and two rides for small children the Splash Express train and the Rockin’ Tug.

Alabama Theme Parks and Amusement Parks
Alabama Splash Adventure

Owa

Foley, Alabama

Opened in 2017, Owa is a destination development operated by the The Poarch Band of Creek Indians. (The name, “Owa,” means “big water” in the Muskogee Creek language.) Its centerpiece is an amusement park with a variety of rides. Highlights include Rollin’ Thunder, a 225-foot-tall steel coaster that hits 56 mph and includes four inversions, Crazy Mouse, a Wild Mouse-style coaster with spinning cars, and Freedom Flyer, a tall swing ride. There are also rides designed for little kids and medium-thrill rides such as Southern Express, a family roller coaster.

In the fall, the park offers Town of Terror, a Halloween event.

In addition to the park, the resort offers Downtown Owa, a shopping, dining, and entertainment district with options such as Wahlburgers and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Lodging is available at an on-property Marriott TownePlace Suites.

Alabama Theme Parks and Amusement Parks
Foley Holdings Inc.

Southern Adventures

Huntsville, Alabama

The family entertainment center is open year-round, although it is closed mid week in the off-season. Attractions include mini-golf, go-karts, bumper cars, batting cages, and carnival rides. Water slides and other water park rides are open in the warmer months.

Spring Park

Tuscumbia, Alabama

The small park features a train, splash pad, carousel, and a kiddie coaster.

Waterville USA

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Another Alabama park that is primarily a water park (it is called Waterville, after all). Among its featured attractions are a Flowrider surfing ride, a wave pool, a lazy river, and the Screamin’ Demon speed slide. The dry rides include Cannonball Run, a wooden coaster that hits 50 mph, plus mini-golf, kiddie rides, go-karts, and a bungee trampoline.

Alabama Theme Parks and Amusement Parks
Waterville USA

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Romance in The Shoals

    • 01 of 05

      Bed & Breakfast Getaways…Where to Eat…

      romance in the shoals 1 - Romance in The Shoals

      Romance is in the air in The Shoals area. Looking for a Romantic Getaway for Valentines weekend? The Shoals is a short 2-3 hour drive from Nashville, Memphis, and Birmingham. It’s even closer to Tupelo and Huntsville and there are plenty of options for romance sure to satisfy lovebirds of any age.

      The first step in planning a romantic getaway is choosing a place to stay. There are a number of nice hotels in the Shoals area, but if I were choosing I’d pick one of the quaint Bed and Breakfasts for a romantic weekend. The Veranda on Walnut, Wood Avenue Inn, and The Limestone House are all located in lovely historic homes that just ooze charm. Every couple has a different idea of what’s romantic, but the Shoals area offers lots of choices for different tastes. Dining is a big part of any romantic weekend and one of my favorite places to take a date in the Shoals is the La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant at 153 Cox Creek Pkwy in Florence. The lighting is low and the atmosphere cozy and comfortable. I’ve enjoyed every entree I’ve ever ordered, but would highly recommend the Chili Rellenos or Enchiladas Rancheras. They are also known for their killer margaritas.

      Another restaurant that I would recommend for romance is the Ragazza Italiana at 104 S. Main Street in Tuscumbia. It is definitely a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

      More on Next Page.

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      Continue to 2 of 5 below.

    • 02 of 05

      Romantic Places to Eat…

      :0 - Romance in The Shoals

      Local artists Audwin McGee and Sandi Stevens in conjunction with manager Chris Martin decorated the interior of Ragazza Italiana and it’s absolutely a whimsical delight. I especially love the chandelier in the ladies room made from women’s high-heeled shoes. Whether you choose pizza from their wood fired oven or one of the pasta varieties I suggest you include at least a side order of the grilled shrimp. They may very well be the best shrimp I’ve ever tasted.

      A romantic spot to catch a light brunch is the coffee shop inside Coldwater Books at 6th and Main in Tuscumbia. When I take dates there I prefer the tables upstairs because they offer a nice spot to relax and chat over a latte and a pastry. For lunch you might want to try Sweet Basil Café at 1627 Darby Drive in Florence and for romance you won’t want to miss the Palace Drug Store on Main Street in Tuscumbia. It offers a vintage soda fountain that’s been completely restored. What could be more romantic than sharing an old fashioned soda with 2 straws!

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    • 03 of 05

      More Romantic Places to Eat…Couple Activities…

      :0 - Romance in The Shoals

      Couples who are really looking to splurge on dining will want to try the 360 Grille located in the top of the Renaissance Tower. The Renaissance Tower is a 300 ft observation tower that overlooks the Tennessee River and Wilson Dam. It’s Alabama’s tallest tourist attraction and the restaurant at the top rotates 360 degrees so that dinners can see all views of the river valley. The restaurant offers gourmet fine dining. The tower is located at 800 Cox Creek Parkway South adjacent to the Marriott Shoals Hotel.

      Those couples who are able to stop staring into each other eyes over candle light dinners long enough, may actually want to find some activities in the Shoals. If a romantic drive is your cup of tea I suggest McFarland Park. The main road winds along the river bank and offers a great view of the bluffs on the other side of the river, which are nothing short of spectacular.

      Another activity that’s good for couples is the tour of the Rosenbaum House. This is the only structure in Alabama designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Both men and women seem to appreciate the architecture, which makes the tour a nice couples activity.

      Antiquing is another option and the Shoals Antique Dealers Association web site offers information on all the local shops.

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    • 04 of 05

      Sports for Couples…Art Exhibits…Music…

      :0 - Romance in The Shoals

      Those couples who are more active may want to take advantage of the great jogging and bike paths on the TVA reservation or the championship Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.

      Some special don’t miss Valentines events are the “Inspired by Cupid” art show that will be on exhibit at the Lori Davis Gallery during the entire month of February and the Valentine Concert at Norton Auditorium on the UNA campus Sunday February 12th at 2pm. The concert will feature the UNA Studio Jazz Band and Guest Vocalist Edsel Holden. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students or seniors. Active or retired military personnel are invited to attend for free.

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    • 05 of 05

      Gourmet at the Gallery…

      :0 - Romance in The Shoals

      Couples who will be in the Shoals on Valentines Day, Tuesday February 14, 2006 won’t want to miss a very special event called Gourmet at the Gallery. Chef’s Table Catering & Gourmet, which just opened, will be catering a wonderful Valentines party at the Nolen-Cole Gallery, 110 N. Court St., Florence. The evening includes the nostalgia of the Landrum Vintage Photography Collection Exhibit, live jazz guitar music, and a selection of wines. The selection of scrumptious entrees is listed below and the meal also includes sides plus a decadent desert bar.

      Top off the evening with the ultimate in romance…an old-fashioned carriage ride snuggled close to your sweetie. The carriages will pick diners up at the front of the gallery for the evening. They will also offer valet parking for this special occasion. Call (256) 767-1508 for reservations.

      Choice of Entrees:

      Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Shitaki Mushroom Demiglaze

      Chicken Berblanc with White Wine & Butter Reduction Sauce

      Stuffed Honey Glaze Pork Loin with Cajun Rice, Andouille Sausage & Apple Chutney

      Broiled Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce

      I’m sure that everyone will find just the right thing to insure a memorable Valentines Day in the Shoals!

      ~Susann Elsass

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The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Alabama

    • 01 of 10

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Alabama

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Map Courtesy Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama is the brainchild of Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. Bronner was inspired to build a series of championship golf courses, a trail that would stretch from one end of the state to the other. It was a “Field of Dreams” thing: if you build it, they will come; and they did; literally, thousands of golfers have played the 10 courses in the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. There are 10 pages in this article, each with a photograph and review; to move from one page to the next, just click the buttons at the top and bottom of each page.

      As far as Bronner was concerned, only one man should build his dream: Robert Trent Jones, Sr., arguably the best golf course architect of his time. Jones came out semi-retirement to undertake the huge project.

      Initially, there were only seven sites in the Trail: Hampton Cove in Huntsville, Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, Silver Lakes in Anniston, Grand National in Opelika, Cambrian Ridge in Greenville, Highland Oaks in Dothan, and Magnolia Grove in Mobile. Capitol Hill, Montgomery, was added in 1999; The Shoals in Florence and Ross Bridge in Birmingham, opened in 2005. Nowhere else will you find such a test of golf on such a grand scale. Some of the courses are short; one is just 4,700 yards; the longest is over 8,100.

      One RTJ Director of Golf said, “The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is an incredible golfing experience for everyone. The courses will challenge the best golfers in the world yet at the same time allow an enjoyable outing for the casual to beginning golfer.”

      Now the grand resorts are on board: the Marriott at Capitol Hill, Marriott at Grand National, Marriott Shoals Resort and Spa, Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and more. Eight of the 10 RTJ courses are now served by resort hotels.

      Each site is located close to an interstate highway. I-65 passes by six and all are easily accessible by road from Atlanta.

      Birmingham’s airport is central to all ten sites, thus they are easily reachable from cities throughout the United States.

      Build your own stay & play package

      Go here for Fall Golf Specials, and here for Winter Golf Specials.

      Continue to 2 of 10 below.

    • 02 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Hampton Cove – Huntsville, Alabama

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      At the northeastern end of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Hampton Cove, in Huntsville, is a 54-hole facility where the terrain changes drastically from one side of the property to the other.

      The Highlands, a Scottish Links-style course, is my favorite course on the Trail (I live just 2 hours away). It’s a scenic course where thousands of Japanese black pines, oaks, dogwoods, and crepe myrtles have been planted to enhance such features as an old mule barn beside the fifth hole.

      The River Course is the complete opposite of the Highlands Course. The only Robert Trent Jones layout without a single bunker, the course is laid out in the floodplain of the Flint River. It’s a throwback to the way courses were built long ago – the dirt was merely pushed up to create the greens and tees, leaving all else, including massive oak trees, as is. The enormous, 250-year-old black oak behind the 18th green is reputed to be the third oldest in the state.

      The Short Course at Hampton Cove is very open and links-like, with water in play on 11 holes and a large double green accommodating the 10th and 17th greens.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $55;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From I-65, take the I-565 East exit 340. Go 14 miles to exit 17B. Turn right onto Governor’s Dr. and go 11 miles to Old Hwy. 431 South. Turn left on old Hwy. 431S and travel 1 mile to the entrance on the right.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.​

      Contact:

      Hampton Cove Golf Course

      450 Old Highway 431

      Owens Crossroads, AL 35763

      (256) 551-1818

      Continue to 3 of 10 below.

    • 03 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – The Shoals – Muscle Shoals, AL

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Copyright Michael Clemmer – Licensed to RTJ Golf Trail

      Situated between the Wheeler and Wilson dams on the Tennessee River. The Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa is at the far northwestern end of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

      Of the two championship courses at The Shoals, the eastern layout is named after Confederate General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Wheeler.

      Fighting Joe is a links-style course of 8,092 yards off the Black tees and it plays extremely long. Even so, it’s good-old, straightforward test of golf. Two of Fighting Joe’s 18 holes border on the spectacular: the 17th hole is the designated “signature hole,” but the 18th green overlooking Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River is truly a thing of beauty – a beautiful but deadly lady.

      The second course, The Schoolmaster (named for President Woodrow Wilson who was known as “The Schoolmaster of Politics”), is the second course at The Shoals. Some say it’s tougher than Fighting Joe, but I have to wonder. It’s a traditional golf inland course, tree-lined, rolling, spectacular, a true child of the Tennessee River.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $55;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From Birmingham: Take I-65 to Exit 310. Take the ramp toward West Point/Moulton and head west. Go approximately 50.7 miles to County Road 48. Turn right onto County Road 48 and go 11 miles to Hunter Road. Turn left onto Hunter and follow the signs.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.​

      Contact:

      The Shoals Golf Course

      990 SunBelt Parkway

      Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

      (256) 446-5111

      Continue to 4 of 10 below.

    • 04 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Silver Lakes – Anniston/Gadsden, Aabama

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      Silver Lakes is a Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail layout of three championship nines and a heart-stopping nine-hole par 3 course that will test even the best. Located at the edge of the Talladega National Forest near Anniston, Silver Lakes offers some of the most spectacular, scenic golf on the Trail. The brilliance of Silver Lakes is the layout of its multiple tee selections; there are as many as 12 on some holes.

      The Heartbreaker nine is tough: dubbed by those who know as the most challenging nine on the Trail. The 8th, a par 3 that plays over 200 yards across water and uphill to the green is a monster; the 450-yard par 4 ninth has water the entire left side of the fairway.

      The Backbreaker nine with its beautiful views of the Appalachian foothills is no less of a test. The par 5 seventh, a 623-yard monster, brings water into play not once, but twice.

      The Mindbreaker nine is easier than the other two. Club selection is the key to a low score.

      The Short Course is perhaps the toughest collection of par 3s I’ve ever come across. Water comes into play on seven of the nine holes, including a 12-foot waterfall beside the sixth green.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $55;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From Gadsden on I-59, take the US Hwy 431 South exit and go 18 miles to Oak Grove Rd. Turn right on Oak Grove Road and go 1 mile. Turn left into the residential community and go 1 mile to clubhouse.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.

      Contact:

      Silver Lakes Golf Course

      1 SunBelt Parkway

      Glencoe, AL 35905

      (256) 892-3268

      Continue to 5 of 10 below.

    • 05 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Oxmoor Valley, Birmingham, Alabama

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      Scenic forests, meandering creeks and sudden elevation changes are the defining features of the three Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses at Oxmoor Valley set among the peaks and valleys of the southern Appalachians close to Birmingham, AL.

      The Ridge Course is a land of rolling fairways, dense woodland cover, and often precipitous 150-foot elevation changes. It’s a beautiful course, often spectacular and always photogenic. This land once was mining country and the green at the par 5 twelfth with its buttressed shelf of exposed shale rock is a stark reminder of its former use.

      The Valley Course is a world of deep, silent lakes and for almost two miles it twists and turns as it follows the course of a narrow valley. The 18th hole, a dramatic, 441-yard par 4, nicknamed “The Assassin,” more than lives up to its name as it rises to an exciting, but somewhat intimidating finish in front of Oxmoor’s signature clubhouse.

      The Short Course at Oxmoor Valley is an amazing, 18-hole par-3 layout unlike any I’ve ever seen. Dramatic and often severe elevation changes mean you’ll play almost every hole either uphill or downhill. The Short Course is listed by Golf Digest’s Places to Play as one of the nation’s Great Value courses.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $62;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From I-65 take the Lakeshore Drive Exit 255) and go West 3.5 miles. Turn left onto Shannon Wenonah Road and go 1.3 miles. The entrance is on the left.

      Contact:

      Oxmoor Valley Golf Course

      100 SunBelt Parkway

      Birmingham, AL 35211

      (205) 942-1177

      Continue to 6 of 10 below.

    • 06 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort – AL

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Ross Bridge is two miles from the RTJ complex at Oxmoor Valley. A huge, “American Gladiator” where 18 unique holes extend over more than 330 acres and a whopping 8,200 yards from the back tees. Ross Bridge is “big and brawny, yet inviting to golfers of all skill levels.”

      Ross Bridge meanders through indigenous parklands, skirting the 262-room Renaissance  RossBridge Golf Resort and Spa. Designed for tournament play, Ross Bridge is an old-word parkland course. Water is in play on 10 of the 18 holes. Two man-made lakes, a spectacular, 80-foot waterfall dropping 80 feet between the ninth and eighteenth greens, and gristmill added to the waterfall that reflects the history of this old mining site are just some of the spectacular features of this, in opinion, the queen of the Robert Trent Golf Trail. Each of the 18 holes is a beauty and challenge all its own. Ross Bridge is a course with 18 signature holes. The par 5 seventh, for instance, where the fairway crests the ridge high above the course, and the 487-yard par 4 eighteenth, with water along the entire right side and the waterfall between the ninth and eighteenth greens, which some say is the toughest and most beautiful finishing hole on the Trail. If you can play only one RTJ course, you must play Ross Bridge.

      Green Fees: from $90 to $125;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From I-65 take the Lakeshore Drive Exit 255) and go West 3.5 miles. Turn left onto Shannon Wenonah Road and go 1.3 miles. The entrance is on the left.

      Contact:

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Ross Bridge

      4000 Grand Avenue

      Birmingham, AL 35226

      (205) 949-3085

      Continue to 7 of 10 below.

    • 07 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill, Prattville/Montgomery, Alabama

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Copyright © Michael Clemmer – Licensed to RTJ Golf Trail

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill, Prattville, offers a rare feast of golf. Three championship courses, one the home to the LPGA’s Navistar Classic, will keep you busy for as long as you can stand it.

      The Senator, a traditional Scottish-style layout with more than 150 pot-hole bunkers across its 18 holes and, even more, reminiscent of Scotland, grass-covered mounds 20 to 40 feet high dominate the landscape, cleverly hiding the cart path or any other hole from the fairway. The Senator’s bent-grass greens provide exceptional conditions every month of the year. The Senator is home to the LPGA’s Navistar Classic.

      The Legislator is a more traditional course. It meanders back and forth through the pine trees and along a bluff. Six holes are laid out in a native cypress swamp. At 7,417 yards, the Legislator is as tough as it is pretty.

      The Judge skirts the 200-acre glistening backwaters of the Alabama River. The first tee sits 200 feet above the fairway overlooking the Alabama River and the skyline of Montgomery; it’s a spectacular start to the round. Fourteen of the 18 holes are bounded by water providing some of the most spectacular scenery and golf holes in the world.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $74;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From I-65, take exit 179 and go west a half-mile mile to the second light. Turn left on Highway 82, travel a quarter-mile to the entrance on the left.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.

      Contact:

      Capitol Hill Golf Course

      2600 Constitution Avenue

      Prattville, AL 36066

      (334) 285-1114

      Continue to 8 of 10 below.

    • 08 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – Grand National – Auburn/Opelika, AL

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      Grand National is claimed to be the single greatest site for a golf complex Robert Trent Jones, Sr. had ever seen. Thirty-two of the 54 holes are built on shores of Lake Saugahatchee. The premier course in the complex is the Links, a tough course designed and built by the master almost without fault. The par-four 18th is thought by many to be the toughest finishing hole on the entire Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Your drive must carry across a corner of the lake; the approach is played to a rock-bound, slightly elevated pedestal green. Club selection here is all-important.

      Grand National’s Lake Course is perhaps the most scenic of the three courses. Water is in play on 12 of the 18 holes. The par 3s are as tough as they come: the 15th at 230 yards, with island green, is a rare spectacle and is, in my opinion, just as tough as the 17th at Sawgrass.

      The Short Course, and 18-hole par 3 course, is a shot-maker’s dream, and as beautiful a layout as you can ever imagine.

      Grand National has been the host site for such notable events as the 1997 Nike Tour Championship, 1998 LPGA Tournament of Champions, and the 2000 NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championship.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $62;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      From I-85 take exit 58 at Opelika and go west on Hwy. 280 to Lee County 97 (Grand National Pkwy.) and go 3.5 miles to Robert Trent Jones Trail. Turn right onto Robert Trent Jones Trail and go 1 mile to the clubhouse.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.

      Contact:

      Grand National Golf Course

      3000 Robert Trent Jones Trail

      Opelika, AL 36801

      (334) 749-9042

      Continue to 9 of 10 below.

    • 09 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Trail at Cambrian Ridge – Greenville, Alabama

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      The 27 holes at The Robert Trent Jones Trail – Cambrian Ridge, Greenville – are laid out in a triple nine configuration that, together with the Short Course, offer enough golf to keep the average player going for a week, or more.

      The Loblolly nine, with its gently rolling fairways, tall old-growth pines, and water-fronted greens, is somewhat reminiscent of Augusta National.

      The Canyon nine, carved from what once was some of Alabama’s prime hunting grounds, is an exciting layout of target-style golf. The first hole is a wild ride over a 501-yard par 4 that drops 200 feet from tee to fairway.

      The Sherling nine may be the best nine on the entire trail. The ninth hole, for instance, stretches straight uphill past a deep ravine strewn with boulders to a double green it shares with the ninth on the Canyon nine. Above this green, the clubhouse, the highest point in Butler County, serves up breathtaking views of Alabama’s Southern forest land.

      The Short Course is a marvelous collection of par three holes laid out beautifully between the ridge and Sherling Lake.

      Green Fees: from $40 to $62;

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Trail Weather:

      Alabama has blue skies and sunshine for most of the year, especially in the southern part of the state. Spring arrives early: mid-60s by March across the state. Summer: mid-80s. Winter: take a sweater or jacket.

      Directions:

      45 miles south of Montgomery: From I-65 take exit 130 in Greenville. Go Northwest for approximately 4 miles. Turn left onto Hwy. 44 and travel 1 mile. The entrance is on the right.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.

      Contact:

      Cambrian Ridge Golf Course

      101 SunBelt Parkway

      Greenville, AL 36037

      (334) 382-9787

      Continue to 10 of 10 below.

    • 10 of 10

      Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Point Clear, AL

      The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama

      Photo Courtesy of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

      Lakewood Golf Club at The Grand Hotel Marriott, Resort, Golf Club & Spa has hosted President Gerald Ford, Dr. Billy Graham, and Bob Hope, to name a few of the more famous players and, of course, me.

      Through renovations and hurricanes, the venerable old plantation with its live oaks and magnolias, beautiful beaches and exquisitely landscaped gardens, still remains one of the premier golf in the South.

      The Lakewood Golf Club at The Grand Hotel was built in 1947. The fairways are lined with 200-year old oaks and the signature hole – the par 5, 14th hole on the Azalea course – features an island green surrounded by a four-acre lake that demands an almost perfect approach shot. Lakewood was recently redesigned by Bobby Vaughan: the addition or expansion of ten water features over the span of the 36 holes has enhanced an already delightful layout.

      The two, 18-hole courses are open to Lakewood members and hotel guests. Of the two, the Dogwood course is perhaps the most forgiving; the Azalea, with its hair-raising par5 14th, is the more challenging. Tee selection – there are five sets of tees on each course – will make or break your round.

      Lakewood Golf Club has several times been named to Golf Magazine’s Best Golf Resorts in America.

      Green Fees: from $90 to $125

      Reservations: call 1-800-949-4444

      Directions:

      Take I-10 east across Bay Bridge to Exit 35, Hwy 98. Go south on 98 for 8 miles. Bear right onto 98 Alt and go almost 6 miles then turn left onto Lakewood Drive and follow the signs.

      Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, up-to-date search tools to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings.

      Contact:

      Lakewood Golf Club

      One Grand Boulevard

      Point Clear, AL 36564

      (251) 990-6312

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Alabama’s Top Vineyards and Wineries

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      Alabamas Top Vineyards and Wineries

      julesjbertavineyards.com

      This vineyard features Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Syrah, and fruit wines such as strawberry, watermelon, and the locally grown muscadines. Open Monday through Saturday. In May, they have a “Vineyard Blessing.”

    • 02 of 10

      This vineyard features a state-of-the-art facility producing nine different wines, ranging from a dry Muscadine to a sweet blueberry. The winery and gift shop are open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (except Sundays). Bonus: An annual grape stomp in September.

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      Wills Creek Vineyards comes from a Switzerland tradition of winemaking. Wines include several varieties of muscadine and grape wines. The winery and gift shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm. In October, visit for the Harvest Festival.

    • 04 of 10

      Here you will find a selection of artisan wines and free tours. Bring a picnic lunch, walk through the flower garden, sit by the Koi pond, and enjoy a pleasurable afternoon. Open Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      Continue to 5 of 10 below.

    • 05 of 10

      The Winery produces dry, sweet, and semi-sweet varieties of wine, including red and white Muscadine, strawberry, blueberry and peach wines. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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      Alabama’s oldest continuously operating wineries produces a variety of award-winning muscadine wines, including a rosé blend, a fruity red, and a white blend. Open Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    • 07 of 10

      This vineyard produces a variety of old-world-style wines. Sip on Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as strawberry, blueberry and apple wines. The gift shop, restaurant, and winery are open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday noon to 3 p.m. Enjoy live music in the warmer months (mid-April through October).

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      Enjoy hand-crafted barrel aged wines in an estate setting: Cabernet, Riesling, Chardonnay plus American wines, such as Norton (also known as Cynthiana) and Chilton County Peach. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. They also offer lunch aboard the Wine Train!

      Continue to 9 of 10 below.

    • 09 of 10

      This 12-acre, family owned and operated vineyard is the only one of its kind in Southeast Alabama. Visit Thursday through Saturday for free tastings of its Cynthiana (a dry red, known as the Cabernet of the South), Scuppernong (a sweet, golden white), and Southern Glory (a sweet red).

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      Alabama’s first farm winery specializing in muscadine table wines makes 22 types of wine, including classics (Ecor Rouge, a dry red table wine; Magnolia Springs, a dry white Muscadine) and more unconventional blends (Joe Cane, a sugarcane juice wine; Satsuma Jubilee, a Satsuma Orange wine). The winery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Alabama Splash Adventure

      Bessemer

      Formerly known as Alabama Adventure and Visionland, the name switched to Alabama Splash Adventure in 2012, and the focus shifted to mostly water park rides (although there are a few dry amusement park rides, including a wooden roller coaster). It is a large water park with attractions that include a half-pipe slide, speed slide, bowl ride, water obstacle course, wave pool, body slides, tube slides, and an interactive water play structure.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Fayette Aquatic Center

      Fayette

      Small park with a lazy river and a water play area for young children. It also includes one slide tower with twi relatively tall water slides. Season and family passes are available. Fayette Aquatic Center can be booked for private parties.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Guin Water Park

      Guin

      This is a small water park run by the city of Guin. Attractions include two water slides and a pool. Season passes are available, and the park can be rented for parties. Nearby, there are playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, sand volleyball, and baseball pitching machines.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      City of Hartselle

      Hartselle

      Hartselle Aquatic Center is a small, municipal aquatic center run by the city of Hartselle. It is really more a pool complex than a water park. It also offers a water slide, a lazy river, spray toys, kiddie areas, and concessions.

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    • 05 of 10

      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Decatur Parks and Recreation

      Decatur

      The medium-sized municipal park, part of the Decatur Parks and Recreation Department, is home to the world’s first wave pool (or so the park claims). Other attractions include a lazy river, speed slides, a bowl slide, an interactive water play center, an olympic-sized pool, and a sandy beach.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Red Bay Water Park

      Red Bay

      Red Bay Water Park is a small municipal park, run by the city of Red Bay. It offers water slides, a pool, and a picnic area. The park is available for party rentals.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Spring Valley Beach

      Blountsville

      Spring Valley Beach is a medium-sized park that offers thrilling attractions such as 360 Rush, a racing water slide that starts in side-by-side launch chambers and ends in a bowl. Other rides include The Sidewinder, a half-pipe slide, and Black Out, an enclosed tube slide. There is also an interactive water play structure with a tipping bucket.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Southern Adventures

      Huntsville

      Small water park includes tube slides and a water play area for younger children. Part of a family entertainment center that includes mini golf, batting cages, go-karts, a roller coaster simulator, a few rides, and an indoor arcade.

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    • 09 of 10

      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      Waterville USA

      Gulf Shores

      Waterville USA is a large water park (and a small amusement park) with a number of attractions. Among its highlights are a Flowrider surfing attraction, a mat racing slide, a wave pool, a lazy river, speed slides, body slides, tube slides, a raft ride, and kids’ play areas. Private cabanas can be rented.

      Included in admission are “dry” amusement park rides such as a wooden roller coaster, kiddie rides, go-karts, and mini-golf. The park offers birthday party packages. Season passes and group rates are available.

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      Find Wet and Wild Fun at Alabama Water Parks

      City of Dothan

      Dothan

      Despite its grand-sounding name Water World is a small, municipal water park run by the city of Dothan. It is located in Westgate Park. Attractions include a wave pool, two water slides, a kiddie pool, and a picnic area. Season passes and group rates are available. The park offers birthday party packages. The picnic pavilions can be rented for groups, and the entire park is available for private parties.

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The Best Family Activities in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

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Explore What Gulf State Park Has to Offer

The Best Family Activities in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Courtesy of Gulf Adventure Center

Address

4830 Main St Unit G-114, Orange Beach, AL36561, USA

Phone

+1 251-948-9494

Web

The Gulf Adventure Center in Gulf State Park offers a lot of fun for active families, like fishing, kayaking, geocaching, and paddleboarding. For thrill seekers, adults, and children 10 years of age and older can face their fear of heights and try zip lining. You can also take advantage of the park’s popular swimming pool, dog park, golf club, and amphitheater.

The park also has a dedicated nature center that conducts several weekly programs open to the public including free guided nature walks, beach/pier walks, and presentations about the local flora and fauna.

If you’re looking to catch your dinner, you can try your hand at crabbing on the second-longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico that is located in the park. Although you will need a saltwater fishing license in order to crab, they can be purchased on the pier daily.

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