image of Alabama

The Most Interesting Places to Visit in the State of Alabama

We know that homeschool families are often adventurous and love the opportunity to learn from the world around them. A road trip is the perfect way to do just that! To help you get the most out of your travels, we are searching for the must-see educational spots in each state so that we can share them with you! 

image of city in Alabama

The southern state of Alabama is home to great music, food, rich culture, and vibrant history. It also houses farmlands, coastal regions, mountains, and the booming cultural mecca of Birmingham. It truly is a beautiful state with more to offer than many people realize. For homeschool families looking for educational spots to visit in Alabama, there are plenty of choices! There are especially important sites to see in this state for those who are studying the Civil War or the Civil Rights Movement.

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. It is surrounded by the Appalachian mountains and features a great deal of natural, as well as man-made, beauty.  Birmingham played an important role in American industry and in the Civil Rights Movement. Here are some of the wonderful educational locations and attractions you can visit in Birmingham, Alabama. (Click the name of each attraction to go to that attraction’s website for additional information.)

The McWayne Science Center

This incredible science center features four floors of interactive science exhibits and an IMAX theatre, too! It’s the perfect place to take your homeschooled scientists!

Vulcan Museum

The 56 ft. tall Vulcan statue was forged from iron in 1904 and placed on a hill to watch over the city of Birmingham. Vulcan, “god of the fire and the forge” represents Birmingham’s history as an industrial leader and steel manufacturer in the twentieth century.  At the Vulcan museum, you can learn more about this history, get a view of the city from the observation tower, and explore the adjoining park trail.

Ruffner Mountain

A mountain and nature preserve…in the middle of a city?  That’s the beauty of Ruffner Mountain. Visit Ruffner Mountain to learn about interaction between the natural world and the man-made world. The mountain was once mined for iron-ore, but today it is visited by many urban-dwelling families in search of an oasis from the city. There is an active calendar of special events to help you plan your visit.

The Southern Museum of Flight 

This museum is perfect for anyone with an interest in aviation or war history! It even has fun areas and exhibits for the younger children in your group!

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

A visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a great way for homeschool students (and parents) to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and the way it changed (and is changing) American culture. The institute also provides free, downloadable curriculum about the Civil Rights Movement, so you can study up before you go!

Moundville Archeological Park in Moundville, AL

In Moundville, AL you can visit the 326 acre site of a pre-historic civilization, which features 29 distinctive, flattened “mounds” (hence the name).   You can also visit the official museum  (Jones Achaeological Museum) to learn more about the Native Americans who once resided there.

Desoto Caverns in Childersburg, AL

This gorgeous geological wonder is located about thirty-five miles outside of Birmingham. It is full of amazing American history as well as fun things to do together as a family. Desoto Caverns also offers numerous fun and educational activities outside of the caverns.

Cook Natural Science Museum in Decatur, AL

This brand new (opened in June 2019) natural science museum has amazing hands-on exhibits about a variety of different environments, habitats and creatures!

Montgomery, AL

Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama. A city near the Alabama river, Montgomery is full of Southern culture and American history. In Montgomery, you can walk in the footsteps of many important historical figures.  Below are some must-see places in Montgomery.

The First White House of the Confederacy 

Studying the Civil War? Stop in at The First White House of the Confederacy. President Jefferson Davis inhabited this house in 1861. In addition to viewing the home and many of the belongings of the Davis family, visitors can tour the museum inside.

The Dexter Parsonage Museum/ Martin Luther King Home

Visit this parsonage home/museum where American hero and Civil Rights leader,  Dr. Martin Luther King, once lived with his family.

Rosa Parks Library and Museum:

This museum serves as a memorial social change as well as to Rosa Parks (also known as “the mother of the Civil Rights Movement”).

The W.A. Gayle Planetarium

One of the largest planetariums in the southeast, this is a great stop to make with your kids. Check out their space exhibit and the theatre where they are always sharing about new scientific discoveries.

The Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum

Especially if you have highschoolers who have read The Great Gatsby, this is a must-see. This is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to jazz-age icons and authors, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.  You can even stay in the night in the Fitzgerald’s Montgomery home–they have an Air B & B booking!

Gulf Shores Alabama 

The coastal regions of Alabama are beautiful and have been the home to many different cultures over the past five hundred years. Native Americans, as well as the French, Spanish and English have all resided in this territory over the last several centuries.  There is a lot of history, as well as natural beauty, to appreciate and learn from in this part of Alabama.

Alabama’s Gulf State Park

Observe the area’s natural beauty and the many creatures who reside there.  There are several natural trails for the family who enjoys the outdoors and nine different ecosystems to observe.

USS Alabama Memorial Park in Mobile

In Mobile Bay you can visit former WWII battleship-turned-museum! There is also an aircraft pavilion and several veteran memorials to see in the park.

GulfQuest Interactive Maritime Museum

This museum allows you and your family to continue to learn about various maritime topics in a hands-on and interactive way! This would pair perfectly with a visit to the USS Alabama ship.

History Museum of Mobile

This wonderful museum hosts permanent exhibits where you and your family can learn about Alabama/Mobile history as well as as ever-changing exhibits (currently, it’s all about the sensational sixties!)

These are just a few of our favorite educational places in Alabama! We love how many historical sites this state has to offer as well as many wonderful science museums and natural beauty, too! If you are traveling through Alabama on a homeschool road trip, be sure to let us know which of these places you visit and what you think!
Do you have any suggestions for must-see educational places in Alabama? Drop a comment and let us know!

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