The new year is quickly approaching. I know, right?! Where has this year gone? Have you made your bucket list for things you wish to see and do in 2016? If not, let us help you out.
Here are 15 fun things we believe everyone in Alabama should experience in the upcoming year:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Attend "Chocolate! The Exhibition."
If you love chocolate, be sure to visit "Chocolate! The Exhibition" at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Center in downtown Mobile before it ends on January 17, 2016. This unique exhibition explores the history of chocolate, tracing its beginning in the rainforest to becoming a global economic commodity. "Chocolate! The Exhibition" is a great attraction for children and adults.
2. Experience a scenic view from Mt. Cheaha - Alabama's Highest Natural Point.
Mt. Cheaha is part of the Talladega Mountains and offers the most incredible view of Alabama.
3. Plan a camping trip to Oak Mountain State Park.
At 9,940 acres, Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama's largest state park and the perfect place to go camping.
4. Attend the Eufaula Pilgrimage: Alabama's Oldest Tour of Homes.
This pilgrimage tour features some of the South's most beautiful antebellum mansions in the Seth Lore and Irwinton Historic District. It'll take place April 1-3, 2016.
5. Visit Noccalula Falls Park.
Noccalula Falls Park, located in Gadsden, is a 250-acre public park that features a beautiful 90-foot waterfall cascading over Lookout Mountain.
6. Take a tour of Old Alabama Town.
Old Alabama Town, located in Montgomery, is a 19th century village featuring authentic 19th and early 20th century homes. Fortunately, these homes were saved from demolition. If Alabama history interests you, you'll definitely want to check out this top-rated attraction. You'll learn how early Americans lived and worked in Central Alabama.
7. Attend the Orange Beach Wine Festival.
The Orange Beach Wine Festival features more than 120 wines, three live music acts, delicious food, boat tours of the bay...and so much more. You'll get to do all of this for ONLY $39. The address of the wine festival is 28103 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL. The date of the event is May 14, 2016.
8. Go fishing on the Tennessee River.
The Tennessee River is one of Alabama's best fishing spots.
9. Attend the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic.
The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic will be held in Decatur at Point Mallard Park on May 28-29, 2016 (Memorial Day Weekend). Guests will enjoy watching more than 60 hot air balloons take to the skies.
10. Take a beach vacation to Gulf Shores.
Alabama's Gulf Coast beaches are some of the nation's finest. Gulf Shores is a top vacation destination in Alabama.
11. Spend the weekend at one of Alabama's coziest bed and breakfasts.
Nothing beats a relaxing weekend at one of Alabama's finest bed and breakfasts. Pictured is Alpine House Bed & Breakfast, located in Bryant, AL.
12. Attend "Thunder on the Mountain" fireworks show.
The "Thunder on the Mountain" fireworks show will take place in Birmingham at Vulcan Park & Museum on July 4, 2016. This fireworks show is one of the most extravagant Independence Day traditions in Alabama.
13. Go hiking through the Sipsey Wilderness.
The Sipsey Wilderness is a popular hiking area in North Alabama, and it's the perfect place to go if you love waterfalls, canyons, creeks and sandstone formations.
14. Take a tour of Cathedral Caverns.
Located in Marshall County, Cathedral Caverns was originally called "Bat Cave" and is home to Goliath - one of the largest stalagmites in the world.
15. Attend the Alabama Festival of Flavor.
Located in historic downtown Foley, the Alabama Festival of Flavor features the many flavors of local and regional foods, wine and craft beer. This popular event will take place on October 1, 2016.
Have you been to any of these places? What are some things you plan to see and do in Alabama during 2016? Share your plans with us in the comments below!