Unique Places in Alabama

  • blakeley battlefield
    blakeley battlefield
    by doug48
  • Monument of an Italian Icon
    Monument of an Italian Icon
    by BruceDunning
  • Alcove of spires and dispalys of relgion
    Alcove of spires and dispalys of relgion
    by BruceDunning

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Alabama

  • RhondaRuth's Profile Photo

    Treetop Nature Trail

    by RhondaRuth Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is easy to miss, so look for it! Right in Oak Mountain State Park. By the way, it's right across the street from parking lot at the beach on the Lake.

    You can stroll along a broad, elevated boardwalk that winds through the trees in a secluded woodland valley. We found this boardwalk a pretty nice idea to keep you off the ground and the possible encounter with a snake. Nope, you don't want to meet a snake!

    The birds here are living in spacious, naturally-furnished cages in the treetops, along the elevated boardwalk, so that you can see them as they should be seen-in the wild.

    Each bird has a special reason for being there. The Alabama Wildlife Center have cared for these birds that were brought to the Center with serious injuries and which would have prevented them from surviving in the wild. Now healthy, though physically imparied, the birds live a sheltered existence in a natural setting at the Treetop Nature Trail.

    There is much more to see, so stop by and visit!

    Treetop Nature Trail begins here!
    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • RhondaRuth's Profile Photo

    A resident of the Treetop Nature Trail

    by RhondaRuth Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Had to show you my best picture taken of a Hawk at the Treetop Nature Trail. The others were not as clear because of their ability to blend into their surroundings. We enjoyed seeing each resident from afar anyway and reading about them. This is a really nice place to take children to learn to understand and appreciate these magnificent wild predators. They had Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Great Horned Owl, Black Vulture and Barred Owls.

    Red-Tailed Hawk
    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • seagoingJLW's Profile Photo

    Scottsboro's Gold Mine

    by seagoingJLW Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Scottsboro, there is the Unclaimed Baggage Store which has loads of items from luggage lost in flight.

    Founded in 1970 it soon became a full time venture. Incorporated in 1978, it turned into one of the great hidden bargain centers.

    Over a million items pass through the store annually.

    This is only one department. They have everything you can think of.

    Unclaimed Baggage

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Russell Cave National Monument

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Oct 25, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For more than 9,000 years there is a record of human habitation in this cave which is in the mountains of North Alabama, near the Tennessee border. It is one of the oldest and best preserved archeological sites in the eastern United States.

    Russell Cave National Mounument was established on May 11, 1961, on 310 acres of land donated by the National Geographic Society to the American people. This photo was taken on are earlier visit to Russell Cave with my son, Jeromy, before restrictions were placed on entering the lower part of the cave. The fog is caused by the cool water of the stream meeting the hot humid outside air. Today an upper entrance has a boardwalk and visitors are allowed to take either self-guided or ranger conducted tours.

    Russell Cave is reached via I-24, about 38 miles west of Chattanooga, TN. Take the South Pittsburg exit, turn south on US-72 and follow to Bridgeport, AL. Turn west on County Road 75-N, follow one mile and take County Road 98-N. From there it is four miles to the Monument.

    Hours:
    Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
    April - October: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    November - March: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Note: Alabama is on Central Time, whereas nearby Chattanooga is in the Eastern Time Zone.

    No Admission Fee

    Jeromy in the Lower Entrance to Russell Cave
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • JREllison's Profile Photo

    Fort Gaines

    by JREllison Updated Oct 6, 2007

    The first construction attempt for fortification of the Mobile Bay area was following the War of 1812. Several attempts were made, each less than successful. In 1853 a fort was filially constructed which Congress named for General Edmund Pendleton Gaines.

    From Interstate 10 take exit 17 south onto State Highway 193. Follow Highway 193 for 23 miles, cross the bridge onto Dauphin Island.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    Bald Cypress Swamps

    by traveldave Updated Aug 28, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the most distinctive habitat types of the American South are the bald cypress swamps. A member of the redwood family, the bald cypress is one of the few firs that is deciduous. They are aquatic trees, growing in the very wet swampy soil of river systems, flood-plain lakes, and deep swamps.

    The trunks of bald cypress are enlarged at the base, spreading into ridges and buttresses. Another unique feature of the trees is the cone-shaped "knees" that protrude from submerged root systems to allow the trees to get oxygen.

    Called "wood eternal" because of the heartwood's resistance to decay, bald cypress is used for heavy construction, including docks, warehouses, boats, bridges, and general millwork.

    There are some bald cypress swamps in the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, including the one pictured above.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    Jones Archaeological Museum at Moundsville

    by leafmcgowan Written Jun 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A small yet informative museum located in the center of the Moundsville park, this museum and giftshop is bound to have something to teach you or for you to take home with you.
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was born during the turmoil of the Great Depression. Hundreds of thousands of young men were out of work, and wasteful exploitation of the environment had devoured millions of acres across America. In 1933, as part of his "New Deal" program, President Franklin D Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps in an effort to save these "two wasted resources, the young men and the land." The CCC's contribution to Moundsville were immense. They helped archaeologists excavate over 45,000 square feet of the site, unearthing more than 1,000 whole ceramic vessels. They cleaned, cleared, and restored the badly deteriorating mounds. The CCC also brought erosion under control at the site, contouring the landscape and building dams to check the runoff of water and soil. The CCC's most visible accomplishment at Moundville was the Jones Archaeological Museum. Hand-cast of reinforced concrete, the museum took over 6,000 man-days of labor and over two years to complete. Construction began in February of 1937, and the museum was dedicated May 16, 1939. Regarding the CCC, Walter B Jones, for whose family the museum is named after, declared, "It is to their everlasting credit that there is no better concrete job anywhere".

    Rattlesnake disk
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    Moundsville, Alabama

    by leafmcgowan Written Jun 6, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South on Hwy 69 from I-20, entering the small country town of "Moundsville", most famous for its Mississippian Pyramid/mound culture ceremonial and ritual complex also called the same as the town - "Moundsville". This is the home to one of the best preserved archaeological sites of its kind in North America. At the height of its empire, Moundsville was the largest and most powerful political and religious center in the Southeast. Nobles at Moundville ruled over thousands of people, harnessing their manpower to build these mounds and fostering a thriving economy based on corn agriculture. With the rise of large scale corn agriculture around AD 800, however, Southeastern Indians began settling in large villages and a rich and complex culture arose. Archaeologists call these people Mississippians because their culture originated in the Mississippi River Valley, spreading outward to sites like Moundville.

    800 years ago, Moundville was an impressive site. More than 1,000 people lived within mud-plastered, wooden wall studded with guard towers that surrounded the city on three sides. A high bluff on the Black Warrior River formed the site's northern boundary. Between AD 1200 and 1250, the Moundville people erected at least 29 earthen pyramidial mounds in roughly rectangular pattern around a large central plaza. Ruling families used the mounds in pairs - a larger mound served as the platform for a noble's residence while a smaller mound beside it was used for religious rituals. With a population of about 10,000 people over a 60 mile stretch up and down the Black Warrior river valley from Tuscaloosa to Demopolis - Moundville is the remains of a mysterious vanished civilization.

    Mound B
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Talladega National Forest

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 6, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are three National Forests in Alabama: William B. Bankhead National Forest in the North, Conecuh National Forest in the South, and Talladega National Forest in the East and Central portions of the state. The Talladega is divided into two divisions, Oakmulgee Division in the central part of the state and the Talladega Division in the eastern Appalachian area. Of these the Talladega Division of the Talladega National Forest is definitely my favorite because it contains the highest mountains and the largest wilderness areas in the state.

    An extraordinarily beautiful roadway is the Talladega Scenic Drive, which follows the crest of Horseblock Mountain for 23 miles of the Talladega National Forest on Highways 49 and 281. This drive reminds me of the better known Blue Ridge Parkway that runs through the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia, although the Alabama road is shorter, and much less crowded.

    Several hiking trails criss-cross the Talladega, including the Pinhoti, designated a National Recreation Trail and stretching for 102 miles. I took a 24-mile backpacking trip on this trail several years ago in November and did not encounter another hiker for the entire distance, although I saw whitetail deer and wild turkey. Views from the rocky cliffs and overlooks were spectacular. Some trails in the Talladega lead to waterfalls at Devils Den, Cheaha Falls and High Falls.

    These beautiful ridges and peaks are the southernmost reach of the Appalachian mountain chain which has its northern terminus 1,600 miles away in Newfoundland.

    Talladega Scenic Drive
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    St. Stephens: Where Alabama Began

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Once the territorial capital of Alabama, Saint Stephens today is a ghost town. It is on the Banks of the Tombigbee River and situated on a high bluff which the Choctaw Indians called Hobucakintopa.

    In 1803 the Choctaw Trading House was established at Saint Stephens and the Choctaw Agency in 1805. The post was active in the deerskin trade, back when a "buck" was worth a dollar. Saint Stephens became the territorial capital in 1817, before Alabama was a state. A 200 acre park preserves the site.

    St. Stephens,  Alabama
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Blandon Springs State Park

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 6, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For those seeking peace and quite, the secluded Blandon Springs State Park in Southwestern Alabama's Choctaw County may be just your cup of tea. When I was there I didn't see another living soul. The 357 acre Park centers around four mineral springs which are shaded by towering trees draped with spanish moss.

    Park facilities include about ten campsites with water and electrical hook-ups, picnic shelters, tables, grills, restrooms and a children's playground.

    Admission is free.

    Address:
    3921 Blandon Road
    Blandon Springs, AL 36919

    A Shelter and Springhouse at Blandon Springs
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

    by traveldave Updated Nov 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 to provide a safe habitat for ducks, geese, and other migratory birds that winter along the banks of the Tennessee River. The 34,500-acre (13,961-hectare) refuge attracts thousands of waterfowl each winter. In addition, 285 species of birds, 115 species of fish, 74 species of reptiles, and 47 species of mammals have been recorded on the refuge. In just a short visit, I was able to see 24 species of birds, including cranes, geese, and seven species of ducks.

    Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge contains many types of habitats, including bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, baldcypress swamps, pine uplands, shoreline or riparian woodlands, agricultural fields, and backwater embayments. The diversity of habitat types provides excellent feeding and roosting sites for waterfowl, as well as food and shelter for many of the other species of wildlife found on the refuge.

    Was this review helpful?

  • TropicGirl77's Profile Photo

    Lake Tholocco

    by TropicGirl77 Written Aug 16, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While I lived here in Alabama, the Lake had been completely washed out. Now, as I return after nearly 13 years, we found the lake and activity at it's busiest! Rent equipment for water activities, and there's a safe (roped off) area for children also. Plan for a picnic and stay all day.

    Lake Tholocco, restored
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • Check out Alabama diaries...

    by Deerestp Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Check out Alabama diaries online at http://www.freeopendiary.com/diarylist.asp?statecode=AL&statename=Alabama&list=5 start=1 This will give you everything you didn't want to know about people in Alabama!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman...

    by Deerestp Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman
    Cross Garden, Prattville
    Joe Cain Day, Mobile
    Joe Mintner's Yard, Birmingham Key
    Underwood Coon Dog Graveyard, Tuscumbia
    Lambert's Café, Foley
    Naked Art, Birmingham
    Riverhouse Bed & Breakfast, Theodore
    Toilet Paper Tree, Auburn
    Tom Mann's Fish World, Eufaula
    Unclaimed Baggage Center, Scottsboro

    Was this review helpful?

Alabama Hotels

See all 1839 Hotels in Alabama

Top Alabama Hotels

Huntsville Hotels
64 Reviews - 221 Photos
Mobile Hotels
278 Reviews - 736 Photos
Birmingham Hotels
150 Reviews - 454 Photos
Montgomery Hotels
186 Reviews - 340 Photos
Gulf Shores Hotels
86 Reviews - 213 Photos
Tuscaloosa Hotels
38 Reviews - 67 Photos
Auburn Hotels
32 Reviews - 60 Photos
Gadsden Hotels
13 Reviews - 21 Photos
Guntersville Hotels
6 Reviews - 1 Photo
Selma Hotels
40 Reviews - 111 Photos
Eufaula Hotels
14 Reviews - 35 Photos
Fort Payne Hotels
44 Reviews - 160 Photos
Tuskegee Hotels
19 Reviews - 41 Photos
Foley Hotels
4 Reviews - 5 Photos
Harrisburg Hotels
9 Hotels

Instant Answers: Alabama

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

33 travelers online now

Comments

Alabama Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Alabama off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Alabama sightseeing.
Map of Alabama