Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 29, 2019

Exploring Mississippi

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The Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches from Cat Island in Mississippi to the eastern tip of Santa Rosa Island in Florida. Even though most of the seashore is submerged, the barrier islands have white-sand beaches, coastal marshes, and dense maritime forests. Here you’ll find hiking trails, camping, and areas in which to picnic. There are also old forts and recreational opportunities such as kayaking and snorkeling. At the seashore, you’ll find several visitor centers. Fort Pickens has volunteers who can answer your questions.

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The USS Cairo is on display at Vicksburg National Military Park. It sunk the same year it was commissioned. After sitting under mud for almost 100 years it was salvaged. Now the restored ship is on display along with thousands of recovered artifacts.

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The Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the battle that took place in this town during one of the most decisive periods of the Civil War. Here General Grant was captured, giving Union forces control of the waterway.

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The park also includes Vicksburg National Cemetery where 17,000 Union soldiers are buried and another 13,000 U.S. military veterans have lost their lives in conflicts since then.

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The Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg is a registered National Historic Landmark. Exhibits include extensive antebellum and Civil War artifacts. There is a large portrait collection, Native American artifacts, and a teddy bear which was a gift from Theodore Roosevelt. You can look at the building and visit the McCardle Research Library with historical volumes and original documents from the region’s past.

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In Indianola, you’ll find a museum that focuses on the life and work of one of the most influential blues artist of all time B.B. King. At the B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center you’ll also learn about the birth of blues in the Mississippi Delta. The exhibits here are themed by era starting with the 1930s Delta and the time King was a farmer. Other exhibits follow B. B King to Memphis where he became the “Beale Street Boy” and was on the radio for the first time. There is a gift shop that sells blues and King-related souvenirs.

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The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport is a large research and rehabilitation center with an interactive museum, teaching people about ocean life. This is one of the only dolphin rescue facilities on the Gulf coast.

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Visitors can see dolphin presentations and learn more about them as they play with their trainers. If you like you can also get a dolphin encounter. The Discovery Room has touch pools allowing visitors to interact with sea stars, stingrays, sharks, and other marine life. You can learn about reptiles and birds while watching tropical animal shows.

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Beauvoir is a large estate that overlooks the Mississippi Sound in Biloxi. It was built in 1852 and was the home of the Confederate States of America’s only president, Jefferson Davis in 1877. Later from 1903 to 1957, it was a free veterans home for Confederate veterans. It became home to the Confederate Presidential Library and Museum. In the museum, you can see artifacts that once belonged to Davis and items from the former veterans home as well as Civil War artifacts. Visitors can tour the large estate which includes the home, guest cottages, and the Memorial Cemetery.

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The Biloxi Lighthouse was completed in 1848 and became the very first cast-iron lighthouse in the southern states. It was reopened for tours in 2010 after surviving Hurricane Katrina.

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Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in a two-room house that was built by his father in Tupelo, Mississippi. Today the home has been preserved and open to the public complete with period furnishings. Elvis’ interest in music began by listening to gospel music in church.

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The chapel that the family attended has been relocated to this same property. There is a museum that chronicles his early life and a gift shop with Elvis-themed souvenirs.

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The Rock & Blues Heritage Museum in Clarksdale has music memorabilia on display from the 1950s through the 1970s. There is a collection of original records that date back to a 1905 Edison phonograph and cylinders and examples of the 1920s 78 RPM acetate records. There are guitars that have been autographed by music legends like Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and others. You’ll find lots of interesting memorabilia.

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Two miles east of Biloxi you’ll find the town of Ocean Springs. This is a haven for artists and craftspeople with art shops and studios.

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There are also a number of historic churches from the late 1800s.

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One of the highlights here is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art which features the artwork of Walter Inglis Anderson and his two brothers. The collections include oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints as well as carvings and ceramics.

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The Mississippi Petrified Forest in Flora gives visitors the opportunity to see the enormous remains of what was once a massive forest and has turned to stone with time. There are nature trails to explore. The Earth Science Museum has exhibits that explain the science behind how this all came to be. There are many interesting displays among them whale bones. Children enjoy having their photo taken on “Caveman’s Bench” and looking for treasure in the gem mining flume.

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Dunn’s Falls was named after their creator, John Dunn who was an Irish immigrant in the mid-1850s. The stream provides a natural source of power via a working water wheel and then crashes seventy feet into the river below. You can enjoy fishing, canoeing, and swimming among the rugged landscape around the Chunky River.

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Ship Island was once a single island that was split into two land masses during a hurricane in 1969.

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Here you can find some fantastic beaches. The island is accessible by a 50-minute ferry ride.

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On the way, you can see Bottlenose Dolphins.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 25, 2019

Beautiful Jackson

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Jackson is the capital of the U.S. state of Mississippi. The Mississippi Freedom Trail runs throughout the state and includes historic sites which were significant in the Civil Rights Movement.

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The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science offers information about the state’s natural landscape and its inhabitants.

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There are wildlife exhibits and an aquarium with more than 200 species. Since the museum cares about preserving the nature of Mississippi there is an outdoor center as well. You can relax here and walk along the nature trails.

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The Old Capitol Museum has found its home in one of the most historic buildings in the state. This is a National Historic Landmark and has information about some of the most meaningful moments for both Mississippi and the entire nation. At this location the 1839 Married Women’s Property Act was passed, the 1868 and 1890 constitutions were drawn up here and Mississippi officially seceded from the Union here in 1861.

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The Mississippi Museum of Artis has many windows that let in natural light which illuminates inside. Some of the artwork found here are by American artists including Arthur B. Davies, Robert Henri, Reginald Marsh, and Thomas Sully. You can enjoy relaxing on the patio and terrace.

jack eudoraThe Eudora Welty House is a National Historic Landmark and was once the home of internationally acclaimed author Eudora Welty. Here you can see paintings, linens, furniture, rugs, and photos. There is an impressive collection of books. You can also tour the lovely gardens.

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Visitors can watch a film that gives important background information and see the many exhibits.



The Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is an impressive example of Greek Revival architecture from the 1840s. This is the second oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the country and a National Historic Landmark.

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The Russell C. Davis Planetarium is one of the top planetariums in the South. The dome features a digital cinema offering visitors a full-dome visual experience. Here you can learn all about astronomy, celestial navigation, and voyages through space. This is one of the largest facilities of its type in the country. It hosts film screenings, festivals, and fashion shows.

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The Mississippi Children’s Museum offers interesting and educational exhibits. Everyone can get hands-on experience with the interactive exhibits. There are also exhibits that are related to the culture and heritage of the state including its history and geography.

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The Oaks is a Mississippi landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest residence in the city of Jackson. It was built in 1853 in the Greek Revival style.

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The Jackson Zoo is home to 380 animals and 202 species.

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There are ten endangered species among them leopards, spider monkeys, chimps, hippos, and lemurs.

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For kids, there is a splash pad where they can play in the water every day.

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LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is a green and lush park that includes a nine-hole golf course and a driving range. You can enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing. LeFleur was a French-Canadian explorer who set up a trading post in the 1700s on the Pearl River.

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The city’s original French name was LeFleur’s Bluff. It is a great place to escape from the noise of the city.

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Fountainhead is also called the J. Willis Hughes House and was designed in the Usonian style by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of only four Wright homes in the state.

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The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has interesting exhibits, memorials, and films that will take you from the end of the Civil war through the 1970s. Memorial include monoliths that are dedicated to lynching victims and multiple theaters show films about pivotal moments. There is information about the important role of the church in building community and stories about civil rights activists during the turbulent 1960s.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 19, 2019

Natchez on the Mississippi River


Our armchair travels have brought us to the U.S. state of Mississippi which is bordered by the state of Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east and west along with the state of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. The Mississippi Delta region is considered to be the birthplace of blues music.

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We begin with Natchez a city on the Mississippi River. It is known for its antebellum mansions and an old trade route, known as the Natchez Trace Parkway which is now a recreational road and scenic drive.

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The Auburn Museum & Historic Home is an antebellum mansion and listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is located in Duncan Park. The mansion was designed and built in 1812 in the Greek Revival style. It has an impressive two-story Greek portico and pedimented gable.

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Between the first and second floors is a magnificent unsupported geometrical spiral staircase. You can see antiques and period pieces on display.

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The Charboneau Distillery is a micro-brewery that is family-owned and operated. It produces many delicious rums. It is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Mississippi and produces both white and dark rums in small oak whiskey casks.

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The rum is bottled in distinctive bottles that show maps of the historic sugar cane growing territory along the lower Mississippi River. Guided tours are available.

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The Emerald Mound Site is an ancient archaeological site that dates back to the Plaquemine culture Mississippi period.

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It is also referred to as the Selsertown site. The historic mound is on the Natchez Trace Parkway and dated back to between 1200 and 1730 AD. It has a flat top with two smaller secondary mounds at each end. It is the second largest earthwork from the Pre-Columbian period in the country. It’s open to the public and listed as a National Historic Landmark.

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The Grand Village of the Natchez is a 128.1-acre site that includes an ancient indigenous village and earthwork mounds in south Natchez. It is also referred to as the Fatherland Site. This historic village dates back to about 1200 AD.

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It is named after the Natchez people who used the site in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a National Historic Landmark and one of the top tourist attractions in the city. The museum has artifacts excavated from the site. You can see a reconstructed Natchez house, a picnic pavilion and many nature trails.

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Magnolia House is a lovely Greek Revival mansion and the last grand mansion built in downtown Natchez before the Civil War. It was established in 1858 by a wealthy merchant, planter, and cotton broker, Thomas Henderson and therefore is also known as the Henderson-Britton House. The house contains 19th-century antiques and an impressive collection of period costumes and vintage dolls. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are available.

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Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens is a wonderfully restored historic antebellum house. Today it is a small luxury hotel with manicured gardens and grounds. A Greek Revival mansion, it is a National Historic Landmark. There are 30 rooms and suites, a restaurant, and an elegant lounge. Tours are available and there is a gift shop on the site.

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The Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture highlights the history of African Americans in the southern U.S. It was established in 1991. It is located in a former U.S. Post Office building dating back to 1904, There are many different displays that tell the story from the incorporations of Natchez through the present including slavery, the Civil War, the Reconstruction, 20th-century wars and the Civil Rights Era.

Natchez National Historic Park is a public park that commemorated the history of the city. It comprised three different sites – Fort Rosalie, the William Johnson House, and the Melrose Estate.

Fort Rosalie is the site of a former fortification later renamed Fort Panmure and controlled by Great Britain, Spain, and later the U.S.


Rosalie Mansion is also known as “Our Lady on the Bluff’ and offers amazing views over the Mississippi River. It sits on the former site of Fort Rosalie. During the Civil War, it served as the regional headquarters for the Union troops. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are available.

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The William Johnson House was the home of the 19th-century African-American barber and Natchez resident William Johnson.

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The Melrose Estate was the estate of a lawyer, state senator, and planter named John T. McMurran.

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The Old South Winery is a family-owned and operated winery. There is a tasting room for visitors. It is owned by the Galbreath Family.

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The wines are produced with the finest muscadine grapes in Mississippi. The wines are red, white, and rose with varying sweetness as well as one blueberry wine.

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Stanton Hall is also known as Belfast House and is one of the largest antebellum mansions in the U.S. It was built in 1857 after cotton grower Frederick Stanton’s Irish ancestral home. The house is full of antique furniture. You can relax at the Carriage House Restaurant. This house inspired the famous Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

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Longwood is also known as “Nutt’s Folly”. It was built in 1858 with a large Byzantine-styled dome. It was built by Dr. Haller Nutt and is thought to be one of the largest octagonal houses in the U.S. The first floor is furnished with heirlooms and the second floor is said to be haunted by the ghost of Dr. Nutt.

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Natchez Trace Parkway is also known as “The Trace”  and is a tourist road that follows the line of the Natchez Trace which was an old historic route stretching for 444 miles from Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee. It was first mentioned in 1733 and was at its busiest between 1800 and 1820 when the crews of flatboats that had sailed down the Mississippi to Natchez returned home on foot or horseback. It is now designated as an “All-American Road” for its historic and scenic significance. It runs past the Emerald Mound. Other tourist attractions along the route include Mount Locust and the Chickasaw Village Site.

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A nice side trip is the small town of Port Gibson which offers many interesting attractions. There are many lovely pre-war antebellum houses.

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The First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson features a unique gold-leaf hand on the steeple which points skyward.

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Port Gibson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 11, 2019

Traveling in Alabama

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The Alabama Wildlife Center in Pelham is the state’s largest and oldest wildlife rehabilitation facility. The center was founded in 1977 and since then has helped over 50,000 wild animals.

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There are nearly 2,000 wild birds from over 100 species being taken care of here annually. This non-profit organization provides rehabilitation and medical care for the orphaned and injured birds of the state so that they can return to the wild.

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The primary services here are a wildlife helpline, a native wild bird rehabilitation clinic, and educational programs.

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The construction of Fort Morgan at Gulf Shores began in 1819 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was completed in 1834 and seized by the troops of the State of Alabama on January 4, 1861. Then in 1895, a new fortification system was begun. The brick fort was replaced by reinforced concrete batteries to protect Mobile Bay.

For 23 years Fort Morgan was the state’s biggest permanent military base and during WW II 2,000 troops were stationed here. The fort was permanently abandoned in July 1944.

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Today it offers a variety of outdoor activities. There are beaches, nature trails, and a boat launch.

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You can see the Sand Island Lighthouse which is a decommissioned lighthouse at the southernmost point of Alabama, near Dauphin Island, at the mouth of Mobile Bay.

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Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore features over 400 varieties of camellias in the wintertime, azaleas in the spring, hydrangeas, roses, and tropical plants in the summer, and chrysanthemums in the autumn. The 10,500-square foot home was designed by Mobile architect George B. Rogers and built in 1935.

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The exterior has handmade brick and ironwork from the Southern Hotel and it was built to reflect the region’s architectural history.

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The Southeastern Raptor Center in Auburn was founded by Dr. Milton in the mid-1970s. A raptor barn was built in the late 1970s through volunteer work and donations. Since its founding, this center has treated and released thousands of birds of prey into the wild.

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There is an educational unit that provides programs for civic groups, schools, and churches in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky.

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Alligator Alley in Summerdale is a farm that was established in 2004 and designed as a natural environment. The alligators that have found their home here have been rescued from places which presented a danger to them.

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Visitors can stroll on elevated viewing platforms from where they can see more than 450 alligators from babies to mature adults. You can also take a nature walk on the elevated boardwalk to see the animals in their natural habitat. Along the way, you can see turtles, ospreys, owls, and bullfrogs. At the gator station, you can hold baby alligators. There are feeding session three times daily and visitors can feed the alligators.

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The Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman is on the grounds of the only Benedictine Abbey in Alabama. It consists of more than 125 miniature reproductions of famous shrines, churches, and buildings all around the globe. This is known as ‘Jerusalem in Miniature” and is the life work of Brother Joseph Zoettl of St. Bernard Abbey. Born in Bavaria he arrived at the abbey in 1892.

Alabama Off the Beaten Path

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Turkey Creek Falls at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the southeast. It is located in Pinson and the heart of the preserve is Turkey Creek Falls.

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Barton’s Beach Cahaba River Preserve offers gravel/sand bars, swamps, and ponds. It is an important nesting area for turtles.

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Lovely Rainbow Falls at Dismals Canyon is a natural conservatory. Its main feature is Rainbow Falls which cascades down the canyon over weathered rocks.

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Natural Bridge is a 60 ft. high, 148 ft,. long rock bridge that spans several natural areas and is the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies.

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Beautiful Parker Falls in Parker Canyon is located in the Bankhead National Forest which is Alabama’s largest national forest.

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Turkey Foot Falls is located in the Sipsey Wilderness area of Bankhead National Forest and is one of the two major waterfalls.

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The other is Mize Mill Falls.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 3, 2019

Montgomery on the Alabama River


Montgomery is the capital of Alabama. It is located in the center of the state on the east bank of the Alabama River. The city sits on seven hills overlooking the river.

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The Civil Rights Memorial commemorates all those who died during the Civil Rights Movement. Surrounding the memorial is a black granite wall with the words “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”. Below the wall is a black granite disc with water flowing over its surface and is engraved with the names of those who lost their lives fighting for civil rights.

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It is located in an open area next to the Civil Rights Memorial Center.

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There are a variety of exhibits and educational displays as well as the Wall of Tolerance, which displays the names of visitors who have pledged to work toward tolerance and justice. Visitors can add their names which are then digitally displayed on the wall.

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The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church was founded in 1877 on the site of a slave trader’s pen. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor here from 1954 through 1960. A mural inside the church features Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s journey from Montgomery to Memphis.

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The King family lived in the nine-room parsonage during his time as the pastor and today this is the Dexter Parsonage Museum and listed on the National Register of Historic Places with many of the original furnishings. The museum also has an interpretive center with photos, exhibits, and timelines discussing the Civil Rights Movement in the city.

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Behind the museum, you’ll find the King-Johns Garden for Reflection.

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The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to author F. Scott Fitzgerald who is best-known for this novel “The Great Gatsby” and his wife, Zelda, an icon of the 1920s and the founder and star of the “Flapper Movement”. She grew up in Montgomery.

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After traveling through Europe the couple moved to the brick and clapboard house in the Old Cloverdale neighborhood in 1931. Julian McPhillips bought the house in 1986 and turned it into a museum. You can see photos, letters, books, and personal possessions and memorabilia that once belonged to the Fitzgerald’s.

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The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has a permanent collection of over 4,000 artworks. This is American art from the 1700s to the present. You can see drawings, watercolors, etchings, woodcuts, and engravings from such well-known American artists like Winslow Homer and John Marin.  There is also European art and African art. Among the highlights here are the decorative arts gallery and the Weil Atrium Gallery. The museum also plays host to traveling exhibits and educational programs.

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The John and Joyce-Caddell Sculpture Garden expands over 3 acres and works of art to admire surrounded by the beauty of nature. Nymph by Jessie Duncan Wiggin.


The Rosa Parks Library and Museum is located near the site of Rosa Parks arrest after her legendary stand against segregation. Among the historic artifacts on display are the 1955 Montgomery city bus and one of the station wagons used by the boycotters during their movement to end segregation on public transportation. You can also see photos, court documents, and Rosa’s original fingerprint after her arrest. Visitors can learn about the social and political climate of the 1950s in the city and can hear the personal stories of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The museum hosts special events, educational programs, and traveling exhibit all through the year.

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The Hank Williams Museum commemorates one of country music’s famous stars. You can see an extensive collection of Hank William’s personal belongings

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among them his powder-blue 1952 Cadillac. Memorabilia also includes a variety of awards, sheet music, autographed vinyl records, and photos.

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There is also the Hank Williams Memorial at Oakwood Annex Cemetery which is the singer’s final resting place with his wife and other family members.

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Montgomery Zoo has a large variety of animals from all over the world.

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The Australian Habitat is home to animals like kangaroos and wallabies.

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Among the African animals are cheetahs, elephants, hippos, and giraffes. At the Asian Habitat, are the endangered Sumatran tiger and Indian rhino. The South American Exhibit has the emerald tree boa, Chilean flamingo, frogs, and the endangered golden lion tamarin. The North American area includes bald eagles, bison, and black bear. There is a petting zoo for children. Enjoy the birds at Parakeet Cove.

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Old Alabama Town is a series of over 50 historic homes and buildings that have been restored and are open to the public. They are all authentically furnished to represent life in 19th and early 20th century Alabama. Interpreters are available to answer questions.

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The centerpiece is the Ordeman House.

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Other impressive buildings are the 1895 Adams Chapel School,

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the 1892 Corner Grocery Store,

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and the Ware-Farley-Hood House built around 1850.

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The MOOseum is popular, especially with young children. Here visitors learn about the cattle industry in Alabama starting from 1495 to the present.

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Visitors learn from timelines, history exhibits, and video presentations. Kids have the chance to dress up as cowboys and cowgirls.

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The Freedom Riders Museum is housed in the former Montgomery Greyhound Station where history was made as the Freedom Riders got off their bus on May 20th, 1961. The station looks like it did back in 1961 and has a collection of exhibits about the movement including photos, documents, and biographies of the brave young men and women. This museum is an official stop on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

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Alabama State Capitol was built in the Greek Revival style after the original was destroyed in a fire in 1850. This historic building also served as the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War and was the backdrop for one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous speeches delivered at the end of the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights. It is a National Historic Landmark and a destination on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. You can tour the Senate and Old Supreme Court Chambers, the House of Representatives and the Rotunda. Among the highlights are the historic murals in the Rotunda and the Trompe l’oeil paintings on the Senate Chamber ceiling. Take the time to stroll the gardens and see the statues.

The State Archives and History Museum lets you explore the history of Alabama through artifacts and historic documents. There are Native American and pioneer artifacts and a selection of Civil war items. Multimedia presentations show various moments in Alabama history.

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The State Archives was founded in 1901 as the first state archival agency in the nation. The impressive building features marble walls and staircases of Tennessee gray marble and Alabama white marble. On the second floor, you’ll find a room that has been dedicated to former Vice President William Rufus King. It displays his personal furniture, silver, china, and some clothing. Documents let you take a look at this man and the period he lived in.

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The Legacy Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of racial injustice and bringing the many aspects of it to public awareness.


The museum stands on the spot where thousands of slaves were once warehoused waiting for their fates to be decided.

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The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is just a 15-minute walk from the museum. This is the first memorial made in the memory of the African Americans who were affected by slavery, lynchings, and racial injustice. The memorial includes sculptures, monuments, and artwork, which honor major figures in the Civil Rights Movement. The most impressive is the field of 800 monuments that each represent a county where lynchings occurred and are engraved with the names of the known victims.  The monuments are waiting to be claimed by their respective counties to acknowledge a dark past that will lead to a brighter future.

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The First White House of the Confederacy is a lovely Italianate mansion which served the Jefferson Davis family in 1861. At that time Montgomery was the capital of the Confederacy and Jefferson Davis was the president. The house became the social center of the South. The house was built near the Alabama River and moved to its present location and opened to the public in 1921. You can see many of the Davis family personal possessions, furniture, and artworks. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Riverfront Park sits on the banks of the Alabama River surrounded by the Union Station Train Shed, Amphitheater, and the Harriott II Riverboat.

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It is a popular park that has a boat ramp for those who want to get out on the river, lovely paved hiking and biking trails, places for picnics, a children’s playground, baseball in Riverwalk Stadium, kayaking, fishing, and more. The Amphitheater hosts events like concerts and plays.

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To get to see the city and enjoy the surrounding area take a ride on the Harriott- II Riverboat. This is a restored 19th-century riverboat that offers rides including dinner, dancing, and live shows. The park is often the background for fireworks displays.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 29, 2019

Anniston Alabama


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Anniston is located in Calhoun County in Alabama. This city was involved in some of the country’s historic events. The U.S. Army set up training camps nearby during WW I and WW II and during the Civil Rights Movement, a life-changing event took place here. Anniston also offers many outdoor activities.

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Anniston Museum of Natural History began with artifacts and specimens that once belonged to H. Severn Regar. It was his private collection and now the museum has more than 2,000 natural history items and diorama-style exhibits. There are seven exhibit halls all with a different theme. Like the African Hall with a collection of more than 100 animals in natural settings or the Dynamic Earth Room with gemstones, rock formations, fossils, and dinosaurs. Among the highlights here are 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummies, a selection of open-air exhibits, and wildlife gardens.

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Anniston is the world record holder for the “World’s Largest Chair” which was built by Miller’s Office Furniture Store in 1981 to advertise the store. The chair is 31 feet tall and can withstand heavy winds of up to 85 miles per hour. It was constructed of ten tons of steel and can be seen from across the city.

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Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Preserve is named after the mountain longleaf pine tree forests that are scattered across the southern states. It is located on the site of Fort McClellan a former army base and forms part of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountain ranges. Here you can see the endangered white-fringeless orchid, Black-throated green warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, and Bachman’s sparrows.

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Oxford Lake is a popular recreational area just 5 miles south of Anniston. There are walking trails, picnic pavilions, and playgrounds. The park surrounding the lake is home to the oldest covered bridge in the state.


Coldwater Covered Bridge is a historical landmark which dates back to 1850.

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Coldwater Mountain offers beautiful woodland and mountainous terrain that is great for mountain biking. It is located just outside of the city and it great for beginners and seasoned cyclists. If you’re not into mountain biking you can enjoy the amazing scenery and go hiking along the trails.

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If your into seeing and exploring something spooky take a look at Hell’s Gate Bridge located just outside of Oxford, Alabama. It is known as the “Most Haunted Bridge in Alabama”. According to legend a young couple in the 1950s were driving along and plunged off the bridge into the water below. Now when you stop on the bridge and turn your car light off at night, the young couple will get into your car to continue their journey.

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Berman Museum was started by an American GI, who was stationed in North Africa during WW II. He later married a French spy and in their travels, they collected weaponry, antiques, and more than 60,000 unusual items from all around the world. Among the artifacts are Hitler’s silver tea service, a bullet firing flute and a James Bond-style ink pen that can fire like a .22.

Freedom Rider’s Park

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Back in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, an African-American woman named Rosa Parks stood up for her tight not to give up her bus seat for a white passenger. The incident reverberated all across the U.S. and the Civil Rights Movement started. Then in 1961, the US Supreme Court voted that segregated public busses were “unconstitutional’. The southern state ignored the ruling and still enforced segregation. Then in May 1961, the KKK attacked a Greyhound Bus in Anniston with a firebomb. They held the door shut so that passengers could not escape. The world saw the “Burning Bus” and the citizens of the city were the most shocked. Soon this all became a thing of the past and today in the

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Freedom Rider’s Park you can see artwork, stories, and photos about how one event brought a city together.

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Zinn Park is located right in downtown Anniston. It is a wonderful place with pavilions, jogging, and walking paths and a fun splash pad for kids.

Martin Luther King Jr. Pavilion hosts a range of events and concerts all through the year.

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There is also a playground for children with disabilities.

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White Oak Vineyards are located in scenic rolling hills and offer a selection of French hybrid red and white wines, southern fruit, and Muscadine wines. Muscadine is a wine made from American grape varieties which have low sugar content. The sugar is added late and this becomes a great dessert wine. Visitors can sample the wines, buy bottles, and take a look at the juices, jellies, and jams at the farm shop.

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Longleaf Botanical Gardens are located next to the Anniston Museum of Natural History and Berman Museum. The gardens offer visitors tropical cascades and borders that are filled with many colored flowers and plants. There is a section for butterflies and hummingbirds and a garden with plants that are native to central Alabama.

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The Longleaf Nature Trail has more than 25 native tree species, shaded woodlands with fragrant azaleas and hydrangeas.

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Cheaha State Park sits at 2,407 feet above sea level. There are amazing views of lakes, mountains, and awesome sunsets.


If you arrive early you can have a buffet breakfast at Vista Cliffside Restaurant with panoramic valley views of Talladega National Forest.

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There are hiking and biking trails and you can head for the summit of Cheaha Mountain.

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There are a bunker tower and observation deck.

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Day tubing is a great thing to do on Choccolocco Creek. Just floating along seeing the scenery along the river banks drift by.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 24, 2019

Mobile on the Gulf Coast

Mobile Alabama Skyline - Looking South West

Mobile is a port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

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The USS Alabama a BB-60 battleship that was nicknamed “Mighty A” can be found in Battleship Memorial Park.

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It was launched in 1942 and decommissioned after WW II and became a part of Mobile’s new veteran’s memorial park in 1965.

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You can tour this ship and the USS Drum, a historic submarine. The park also has an impressive collection of aircraft and other historic military equipment from these eras as well as from the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the Desert Storm conflict. The Battleship Memorial Park is dedicated to Alabama veterans who served from WW II to Operation Desert Storm.

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Fort Conde was built by the French on Mobile Bay in 1702. The buildings were removed in 1823 to make room for what today is downtown Mobile. The historic fort area covers about 1/3rd  of the original space. It was opened in celebration of the nation’s bicentennial in 1976.

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It offers visitors a look at life in the 18th century. The fort also has fun, family activities like a colonial-themed photo gallery, a shooting gallery, and a photo set with colonial costumes and props. At the Trading Post, visitors can get a copy of the free self-guided walking tour of the grounds and museum,

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Mobile is the home of the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S. The event takes place in February. All storefront windows are decorated and beads can be found all over the city streets, balconies, and parks. Among the main social events are the Mardi Gras masquerade balls. Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.

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Visitors can take a look at the Mardi Gras traditions all year round at the Mobile Carnival Museum. You can learn about the history of Mardi Gras, see costumes and learn how the floats are created,.

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GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico offers visitors a variety of interactive and educational exhibits that look into every aspect of the Gulf of Mexico, from natural habitats and weather to its importance as a maritime trade center. Children enjoy the Junior Mariners play area and the full-wall mural of Mobile Bay with movable sea life and vessels. The whole family can enjoy interactive displays like a steamboat station.

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Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is home to interactive science exhibits and an IMAX theater that shows science-based films all day. Among the permanent exhibits are an interactive life science lab for children. There are displays related to the Gulf of Mexico and a play-learning area for children five years old and younger to explore

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The Mobile Museum of Art is located in Langan Park. It is home to over ten thousand artworks, spanning a period of 2,000 years. The permanent collection is displayed on a rotating basis and features decorative arts, African art, contemporary crafts, and American art. The museum also has a large Native American art collection. There are also temporary exhibits with a changing program.

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The History Museum of Mobile features artifacts and exhibits that look into Mobile’s past. Visitors can learn through educational displays and artifacts about the Colonial Period, slavery, and the Civil War, Mobile’s important role in supporting WW II war efforts and the important events during the Civil Rights Movement. The centerpiece of this exhibit is the 5,000-pound Civil War cannon that once stood on the decks of the Confederate ship CSS Alabama. The Mary Jane Slayton Inge Gallery features decorative arts and interesting artifacts from Old Mobile’s high society. The museum also features a unique collection of miniature houses, which depict some of Mobile and Alabama’s finest mansions.

There are seven designated Historic Districts in Mobile. Self-guided driving or walking tours are available.

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Among the highlights is the De Tonti Square in downtown Mobile with historic buildings in Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Victorian architectural styles. The Oakley Garden District, covering over 60 blocks is home to mansions and cottages from the 1830s to the  1930s. The Old Dauphin Way District has older structures like simple frame cottages along with larger homes. Church Street East has colonial French, Spanish, and English buildings that were destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the late 19th century. Lower Dauphin Street is the city’s only predominantly 19th-century commercial district with two and three-story brick structures built in the Victorian, Federal, Italianate and 20th century Revival styles.

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The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was established in 1704 and moved to its present location in 1711. This is a classic Roman Basilica style that features eight Roman Doric columns, a barrel vault ceiling, and two towers. There are huge stained-glass windows that depict various scenes from the life of Mary.

The Oakleigh Historic Complex consists of three homes.

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Oakleigh, a Greek Revival mansion that was built in 1833 for James Roper, a prominent merchant. It is furnished with antiques of the early Victorian, Empire, and Regency periods.

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Cos – Deasy House is a raised Creole cottage that was typical of Mobile’s middle-class city dwellers in the 1850s. It was built by a brick mason for his family and has displays of the period up to and including WW II.

Cook’s House was built in 1850 as slaves’ quarters. The three-room structure highlights everyday life for craftsmen, laborers, and domestic servants.

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The Conde-Charlotte Museum House was built in 1822 and was the city’s first official jail and courthouse. Later it was renovated and became the home of the Kirkbride family. Some of the rooms have been furnished to reflect a period or nationality among them French Empire, 18th century English, American Federal, and the Confederate Room. The museum has a collection of historic artifacts. There is a walled Spanish garden.

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The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion was built in 1855 and features an elegant spiral staircase and double parlors. It is considered to be one of Mobile’s finest antebellum mansions. Tours of the house are free.

Mobile has many lovely beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, small towns and historic sites to explore.

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At the southwest entrance to Mobile Bay, you’ll find Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary with Fort Gaines, which played a part in the Civil War.

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The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is an important site for bird migration. On the island is a freshwater lake for swimming, fishing, and beaches to relax on.

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Fort Gaines changed control from France to Great Britain to Spain and finally the U.S. in 1813. It played a major role in the Battle of Mobile Bay. In WW I, it was used as an artillery garrison and in WW II as a US Coast Guard Station.


Visitors can take a ferry to the western point of Pleasure Island which is home to Fort Morgan.

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In the southeastern corner of the bay, there are fine bathing beaches of the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 16, 2019

Birmingham Alabama


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Birmingham is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama.

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The Birmingham Museum of Art is located in the heart of the city’s cultural district and opened its doors in 1951. Its permanent collection consists of more than 25,000 art objects. Its collection of Asian art is one of the finest in the Southeast and its collection of Vietnamese ceramics is one of the best in the world. Other highlights include a Kress collection of Baroque and Renaissance paintings, decorative arts and sculpture, 18th-century European decorative arts and the world-renowned collection of Wedgwood china. The museum offers lectures, events, and activities for a variety of audiences including school children.

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It has a wonderful sculpture garden, Charles W. Ireland Sculpture Garden has three uniquely different spaces. The upper plaza with monumental sculpture, the lower gallery for temporary exhibitions, and the Red Mountain Garden Area with a courtyard for the permanent collection.

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The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is an educational and cultural research center. You’ll find archives, galleries, meeting room, and temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibit will take you on a journey from the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement to contemporary human rights issues. It also hosts many different activities and events and has a range of programs. The tours here are self-guided.

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Vulcan Park and Museum just outside of Birmingham on top of Red Mountain you’ll find a 50-ton 56-foot high iron statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. This is the largest cast iron statue in the world and has been watching over the city since the 1930s and has become one of the city’s important symbols. It is surrounded by a lovely and well-maintained park which is a popular place for different events. It is the most popular place for the annual 4th of July fireworks.

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Alabama Theater was built by Paramount Studios in 1927 and used as a movie palace for Paramount movies. It was also used for the Mickey Mouse Club and Miss Alabama Pageant until 1987. After that, it became the Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts and today plays host to movies and over 300 events each year.

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It is home to Alabama’s highly prized Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

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The Birmingham Zoo opened in 1955 the beginnings of the zoo were just a few exotic animals in a firehouse. Today you can see some 950 animals representing over 230 species from six continents.

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Among the animals making their home here are bobcats, elephants, giraffes, orangutans, rhinos, tigers and zebras.

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Some of them are exotic and others endangered like the double-wattled cassowary, the Komodo dragon, and the red panda. The zoo makes conservation efforts and has many educational outreach programs.

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Kelly Ingram Park is a historic 4-acre park in the Birmingham Civil Rights District.  During the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, it was the location for large demonstrations. The park was named after a local fireman, Osmond Kelly Ingram. Here you can see many sculptures and monuments.

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The park was the scene of the protest in May of 1963 where police and firemen used fire hoses and police dogs and it cause such public outcry that it resulted in the end of public segregation and later on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Railroad Park opened in 2010 and got its name because it lies immediately south of two rail lines that pass through downtown Birmingham, This park is known as “Birmingham’s Living Room” and is a popular green space that plays host to concerts, cultural events, family activities, and recreation.

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The park has more than 600 trees, different kinds of flowers, paths, and water features among them a lake, wetlands, ponds, and streams.

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Red Mountain Park lies along Red Mountain Ridge. There are two city overlooks, over 14 miles of trails, three tree houses, historic mines, Kaul Adventure Tower, Red Ore Zip Tour, and Remy’s Dog Park.

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You can choose to hike or bike. It also offers several educations outreach programs like field trips and summer camps.

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Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is in Irondale, a suburb of Birmingham. It was named after William Henry Ruffner, a geologist from the Washington & Lee University. Here you’ll find 12 miles of hiking trails and see wildlife like owls, raptors, snakes, and turtles.

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The Treetop Visitor’s Center and Education Pavilion was built in 2010.

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Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens is a historic former plantation and museum surrounded by 6 acres of landscaped gardens. The house was built between 1845 and 1850 in the Greek Revival style. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

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The home is now a decorative arts museum and has a large collection of 19th-century furniture, paintings, silver, and textiles. The garden room is used for special occasions.

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The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in the Birmingham Civil Rights District is dedicated to preserving and presenting jazz music. Founded in 1978 is opened as a museum in 1993. It displays instruments, paintings, quilts, and other jazz-related memorabilia like the personal belongings of jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald. It hosts jazz performances at various venues around the city and introduces jazz music to students at schools through visits by musicians. It sponsors free weekly jazz classes and is home to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student All-Star Band.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 11, 2019

Amazing Huntsville

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Our armchair travels through the U.S. have brought us to the state of Alabama which is home to significant landmarks from the American Civil Rights Movement. The state borders Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida to the south and Mississippi to the west. The state also has coastline with the Gulf of Mexico at the extreme southern edge.


We begin our travels in Huntsville which is a city that is rich with historical and cultural significance and has some of the country’s best natural wonders.

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Twickenham Historic District is the place in the city where you can explore some of Alabama’s most impressive architecture in the state’s largest antebellum district.

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Take a look at the Weeden House Museum built in 1819 which is the oldest house in Alabama that is open to the public and offers guided walking tours. Here you can find out about the life of the famous poet and watercolorist Ms. Weeden aka Howard. Her portraits of slaves gained international acclaim as well as her poem about their stories.

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Huntsville Botanical Garden is a lovely and popular garden with botanical displays, seasonal festivals, and educational programs for adults and children. It is open all four seasons and has wonderful attractions like the largest butterfly house in the states.

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You can enjoy taking a walk through the nature trails among the romantic aquatic garden that is surrounded by blooming bushes and plants. Children go wild in the 2-acre children’s garden that offers dinosaurs, mazes, and so much more.

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See the popular Garden Railway, Vegetable, and Four Seasons Gardens.

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The Bird Trail is a great experience.

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US Space and Rocket Center is the birthplace of America’s Space Program. It opened in 1970 and has become the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world. You can see everything from missiles to rockets and other kinds of space memorabilia.

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There is an IMAX Space Dome Theater that offers showings of on-screen space-themed entertainment. There are regularly featured traveling exhibits so there are new surprises each time you visit.

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Southern Adventures is an outdoor amusement park that has attractions for the family. You can enjoy mini golf, bumper cars, rides, arcade games, batting cages, go carts, rock climbing and a waterpark. There is also a full-scale golf course.

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Huntsville Museum of Art located in downtown Huntsville in the Big Spring Park. The museum has seven galleries where you can find great 19th and 20th-century art. There are artworks from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The main attraction is American art from the Southeast. Besides the permanent collections, there are also temporary and traveling exhibits. Art classes are offered both for adults and children and you’ll find great shopping and dining experiences here.

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Big Spring Park offers lovely scenery and great bird watching. The park is enjoyed by history buffs since Huntsville was originally settled in 1805 by John Hunt near a limestone spring right in this area.

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Harmony Park Safari is a federally licensed nature preserve that features exotic and endangered animals. You can take a tour in your own vehicle.

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You can see zebras, buffalo, camels, rams, and alligators. There are lovely waterfalls and antique buildings along the way.

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Alabama Constitution Village commemorates the 1819 Constitutional Convection during which time Alabama became the 22nd state to be admitted to the Union. This quaint village has eight reconstructed buildings from the 1800s.

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You can visit a print shop, library, and post office among others and see how early Alabama life was.

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US Veterans Memorial Museum is dedicated to the accomplishments of American military men and women. Here you can view over thirty historical military vehicles from WW I to the present. There are many artifacts on display that date back to the Revolutionary War.

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Bridge Street Town Center features more than seventy shops and restaurants. There is a five-acre lake, walking trails, a carousel, and train rides.

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There is a movie theater with a 14-inch screen. You can also enjoy musical performances.

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The Westin Huntsville Hotel sits in a lovely park-like setting.

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During the summer people love cooling off in the Pop Jet and Dancing Fountains.

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Sci-Quest Hands-On Science Center features many hands-on exhibits. Visitors can host their own TV weather channel or take a trip through the human body. The center offers camps, birthday parties, scout trips, field trips and special programs for all ages and interests.

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Burritt On the Mountain gives you the chance to step back into the 1800s. Here you can see authentic log cabins and a barnyard.

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Visitors enjoy touring the mansion of eccentric Dr. Burritt. There are also special exhibits and concerts. The scenery is wonderful and there are many hiking trails.

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 Madison County Nature Trail sits atop of Green Mountain.

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The park has lovely scenery, walking trails, picnic areas, a covered bridge, and the state’s oldest and largest Champion Winged Elm Tree.

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Green Mountain Chapel

It is a beautiful park in all seasons.

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Monte Sano State Park opened in 1938 and is on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. It is located on the slopes of Monte Sano Mountain.

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The park has rustic cottages, picnic areas, and hiking trails. Modern campsites are available.

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The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum showcases the park’s history and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the mountain scenery. One of the highlights is Von Braun Astronomical Society’s Planetarium and Observatory, which hosts special events and offers star gazing. The lodge is available for meetings and special events.

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Land Trust of North Alabama wants visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature. Right in the foothills of the Appalachians is the Bethel Spring Preserve. There is a quaint farm working on a tradition that began in the 1800s. You can see spring fed creeks and waterfalls.

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Hays Nature Preserve offers visitors ten miles of trails that include forests, fields, and wetlands. You can enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Many different species of wildlife have their home here.

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Historic Huntsville Depot is a historic site that was once used as a Union hospital, prison, and living quarters for Union soldiers. Here you can see things like Civil War graffiti and climb on locomotives.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 5, 2019

Tennessee Off the Beaten Path

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Teapot Museum – Located in the Municipal Building in Trenton, Tennessee. Even though it’s called the Teapot Museum there is a large exhibition known as” The Largest Collection of Rare Porcelain Veilleuses”. If you’re wondering then a veilleuse is not just a regular teapot it is in fact also a nightlight. In the early days, veilleuses were used as food warmers. They were set up with a vessel in which burned a candle or oil and a bowl above it, on a stand. In the 19th century, Europe these combination teapots and night lights were turned into marvelous works of art.

This 19th-century collection is now worth more than a million dollars and can be found displayed in glass-fronted cases. Altogether there are 525 teapots which have decorations such as birds, dogs, horses, flowers, mermaids, and castles. There is a large variety of colors and seeing these wonderful teapots you can imagine them as flickering night lights in the days before electricity.      

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Visitor’s Center

Jack Daniels Distillery – Home of America’s greatest whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee. At the moment you step into the distillery you can smell the sour mash whiskey. Tourists get an introductory slide show which explains the process the whiskey goes through. Then you’re taken through 45 warehouses where the whiskey is aged in white oak barrels used but once. Next, you’ll get to see how the whiskey is processed, the yard where the charcoal is made, the grotto where the spring water comes from, the grain silo, the mixing apparatus and other kinds of equipment in this complicated production.

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The original company offices are now a museum where you can see the safe which was the undoing of Jack Daniels. Once when he couldn’t open the safe, he kicked it in a fit of rage, broke his toe and got a fatal case of gangrene.

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Cumberland Caverns – Found three hundred feet below ground they have formed some 500 million years ago through an erosive action of a sea which amazingly enough is now the Gulf of Mexico. At that time it went as far inland. There’s a stream which flows through the entrance gallery and ends in a crystal-clear pool which is swarming with blind white crayfish. In the center of this pool rises a 4 million-year-old flowstone which is named Moby Dick. The ceilings are covered by wide and leaf-like stalactite which is called curtains. Surprisingly when these stalactites are lightly tapped they make a bell-like sound as if it were a pipe organ.

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In what is known as the Volcano Room hangs a giant chandelier of cut lead crystal. Farther on the natural rock terraces and balconies give the chambers a look of a grand old theater. Other caverns are known as the Graveyard, the Popcorn Bowl and the largest is the Hall of the Mountain King which is 600 feet long and 140 feet high. This is truly a site to see.

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Lincoln Museum – located in the Lincoln Memorial University. It is the third largest museum devoted to President Lincoln. There are more than 250,000 objects on exhibit. Everything is thematically arranged and traces various periods and undertakings of Lincoln’s life from the days when he was a rail splitter to the fateful night in Ford’s Theater. Among the personal objects on display is Lincoln’s favorite chair from when he was a lawyer in Illinois, the carriage that Lincoln borrowed for his second inauguration and the ebony cane he had with him when he was shot. Other displays show items from the Civil War period such as uniforms, weaponry and combat medicine.

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Tourists can also see the original model of the Lincoln Memorial by Daniel Chester French and the bronze bust of Lincoln by Gutzon Borglum.

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Jonesborough Historic District – This is America’s oldest town west of the Appalachians. Jonesborough was established in 1779 and it became the portal to the southwest. This historic district is listed in The National Register of Historic Places. For tourists, the visitor’s center is located at the History Museum where the community’s development is charted. Exiting the museum one can stroll among the brick sidewalks of the historic district and see all kinds of great architecture. There are many grand old Victorian homes.

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Among the highlights of things that tourists can see is the Chester Inn which is the town’s oldest building dating from 1797

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and the Christopher Taylor House which is a two-story log cabin in which President Andrew Jackson resided as a young lawyer.

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One can also see the Mail Pouch Building which was once a saloon

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and the Salt House where salt was rationed to the townsfolk during the Civil War. This town also has a succession of celebrations and old-fashioned kinds of observations of the holidays.

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Rocky Mount – located north of Johnson City. Rocky Mount is a two-story house made of hand-hewn, notched white oak logs and is one of the oldest territorial capitols in the United States still standing on its original site. It was built in 1770 and it served “the territory of the U.S. south of the Ohio River” from 1790 to 1792. At this time Territorial Governor William Blount used Rocky Mount as his office. Later on, it became a stagecoach stop, a post office and has now been a historic site since 1959.

Tourists can see that Rocky Mount is authentically furnished with a pre-1740 grandfather clock, a hunt board, old crockery, a swiveling cradle, and other antique items. In the visitors’ center, there is a museum which has historical exhibits, manuscripts, and memorabilia. Rocky Mount is an interesting place to visit where tour guides are dressed in period costumes and play the roles of historical characters that were related to the house.

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Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum – located in Jackson, Tennessee. This is the home of the legendary Casey Jones who was the engineer that died in the wreck of the Cannonball Express on the night of April 30th, 1900. He is honored with the famous song” Casey Jones”. He was a great man who came round the bend with his speeding train only to come face to face with a freight train. Staying heroically at the throttle Casey saved the lives of his passengers.

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Here in Jackson, you can see the house in which Casey was living at the time of his death. It is a simple white clapboard structure with green shutters and a wraparound porch. Inside two rooms are devoted to memorabilia and railroad history including a model showing the fatal accident scene with miniature trains. Outside of the house, one can see a replica of Illinois Central Railroad Engine No. 382 which was the train in which Casey met with death. Tourists can climb aboard and get a real look at it.

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Franklin – Once you leave behind the modern era shopping malls and other commercial buildings you come upon Franklin. This is a 15-block section of the downtown area which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are many Victorian-era houses with neatly trimmed lawns and the quiet streets are lined with maples. Even though most of the homes are privately owned they are wonderful to look at while taking a leisurely stroll.

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One of the buildings which is open to the public is the Carter House built in 1830. During the Civil War, it served as a command post for General Jacob D. Cox. The rooms in the house are furnished with period pieces and there is a museum attached to the Carter House which commemorates the fierce battle waged nearby during the Civil War. Tourists can also look at the outbuildings which include a smokehouse, tool shed, family kitchen and slave cabin.

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Another building open to the public just outside of the historic district is the Carnton Mansion built in 1826 and was used as a hospital during the Civil War. On the grounds is the only privately owned Confederate cemetery in the country. Tourists can get brochures with maps for self-guiding tours of the historic district at the Williamson County Courthouse which is one of the landmarked buildings in Franklin.


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