There are many different types of attractions located throughout Alabama, including museums, parks, historic sites, art galleries and so much more. Luckily, many of these attractions are absolutely free to visit. Listed below are 10 attractions in Alabama that not only offer a lot of fun, but also keep you from opening your wallet.
1. Birmingham Botanical Gardens - 2612 Lane Park Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223
With a variety of 12,000 plants, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama's largest living museum. It covers 67.5 acres, features more than 25 unique gardens, showcases different types of sculptures and has miles of beautiful pathways. Birmingham Botanical Gardens is open daily from dawn until dusk and receives more than 350,000 visitors annually, making it Alabama's number one free attraction.
2. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge - 3121 Visitor Center Rd, Decatur, AL 35603
Located in Decatur, along the Tennessee River, the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge provides a habitat for migrating birds in the eastern United States. Established in 1938, and covering approximately 35,000 acres, this beautiful wildlife refuge is the perfect spot in Alabama to go hunting, fishing and hiking. Hours: March-September 9am-4pm / October-February 9am-5pm.
3. Old Courthouse Museum - 31 N Alabama Ave, Monroeville, AL 36460
Today, Monroeville's Old Monroe County Courthouse is operated as the Old Courthouse Museum. Literary icons Harper Lee and Truman Capote spent their childhood in Monroeville, and the courthouse was the inspiration for the fictional courtroom in Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." An impressive replica of the courtroom was built for the film, which was released in 1962. Visitors of the Old Courthouse Museum can tour the courtroom and view the museum's two permanent exhibits: Truman Capote: A Childhood in Monroeville, and Harper Lee: In Her Own Words. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm / Saturday 10am-1pm / Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
4. George H. Carroll Lion Habitat - Cramer Way, Florence, AL 35630
The George H. Carroll Lion Habitat, which is located in Florence, Alabama on the University of North Alabama's campus, is home to the only two live lion mascots in the United States - Leo III (pic 1) and Una (pic 2). Also, these lion mascots just so happen to be 13 year-old siblings. Their 12,764-square-foot habitat cost $1.3 million to build, and the yearly cost of feeding and caring for them cost approximately $35,000. These costs are covered through charitable donations. Anyone can visit the habitat, but the lions may or may not be out.
5. Foley Railroad Museum - 125 E Laurel Ave, Foley, AL 36535
Without a doubt, the Foley Railroad Museum will bring out your inner child. The museum's train exhibit, which represents the 1950s era, is 24' X 60' and has a quarter mile of track. It's made up of 12 different railroads, and a few of the scenes include the following: Main Street USA, a farm, a coal company, a sawmill, a drive-in theater and so much more. The Foley Railroad Museum is a great attraction for all ages. Trains are in operation on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am-2pm.
6. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge - 12295 Hwy 180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1980, covers more than 7,000 acres and is located on the Fort Morgan Peninsula. Migratory birds use this refuge for feeding and resting, and it's also used as a sanctuary for a variety of plants. The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most beautiful areas to visit on Alabama's Gulf Coast, and it's perfect for hiking and wildlife viewing. Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-2pm / Saturdays and Sundays closed. Refuge trails and beaches are open year-round during daylight hours.
7. Birmingham Museum of Art - 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35203
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is proud to have one of the finest art collections in the Southeastern United States. This collection includes more than 24,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and decorative arts that represent a variety of cultures. The museum's Vietnamese ceramic collection is one of the finest in the United States. The Birmingham Museum of Art is a must visit for the true art lover. Hours: Sunday 12pm-5pm / Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm / Closed on Mondays.
8. Big Spring International Park (Big Spring Park) - 200 Church St NW, Huntsville, AL 35801
Located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, Big Spring International Park (Big Spring Park) is one of North Alabama's most beautiful and recognizable parks. Construction of this city park began in 1898, and since then, several additions and expansions have been made. Big Spring Park's most notable features are the cherry trees and red Japanese bridge. These were gifted to the city of Huntsville by Japanese Major General Mikio Kimata. Big Spring Park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with the entire family.
9. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts - 1 Museum Dr, Montgomery, AL 36117
Founded in 1930, and located in Blount Cultural Park, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is Alabama's oldest fine arts museum. Its amazing art collection includes paintings, sculptures and prints. The museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibits, in addition to permanent exhibits that include both international and American collections. Visitors of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts not only get to enjoy the exhibits, but they also get to spend the day at one of Alabama's most beautiful city parks. Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday 10am-5pm / Thursday 10am-9pm / Sunday 12pm-5pm / Closed on Mondays.
10. Bud's Best Cookies - 2070 Parkway Office Circle, Birmingham, AL 35244
If you've never had a cookie from Bud's Best Cookies, you don't know what you're missing. These little cookies deliver a big taste that you simply can't get enough of. Located in Birmingham, Bud's Best Cookies offers a free factory tour aboard their Cookie Train during the school year on Mondays and Tuesdays between 9am-2pm. No tours are offered on national holidays.