The National Civil War Naval Museum takes modern-day visitors through the little-traveled footsteps of the sailors who fought in the Civil War, telling the story of the country's deadliest war from a naval point of view. Exhibits detail the technology and commerce that soldiers encountered, and provide a human backdrop with stories about soldiers and slaves affected by Civil War navies. Guided tours feature uniformed sailors who interpret the history of everyday life aboard a Civil War vessel or tell the story of a ship that served in the war. For a spookier outing, nighttime tours explore paranormal anomalies and analyze evidence from ghost investigations that happened in the museum.
The night's sky envelops visitors in the Coca-Cola Space Science Center like the comforting hug of an astronaut. The heavens sparkle overhead, and galaxies radiate their brilliance?but they don't always behave normally. Sometimes they travel into the past and show what the sky looked like hundreds of years ago. Other times the constellations are arranged as they'll be in some distant future. The sky's ever-changing nature is thanks to the center's Omnisphere Theater, a high-resolution domed movie screen that can project trips through the universe. Other areas of the center include the Mead Observatory and its many telescopes.
Explorations in Antiquity Center give modern visitors a taste of daily life in the ancient Middle Eastern world. The Center's founder, archeologist James Fleming, has filled each room with authentic artifacts from his excavations in Israel, as well as faithful replicas of objects found in ancient Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Visitors can immerse themselves in realistic settings including a Roman theater, a 2,000-year-old village, and a goat-hair tent like the ones used by nomadic shepherds. They also learn about worship practices of people from 2,500 BCE to 500 CE by visiting houses of worship excavated in Israel or a catacomb modeled on those where early Christians once prayed.
The staff at LaGrange Art Museum are focused on collecting and preserving works of art, right down to the building itself. The museum is housed in a shining example of Victorian architecture from the 1890s, which first served as the Troup County Jail and later the LaGrange Daily News. Today, it houses the museum's special exhibits and permanent collection, which includes 440 works that primarily focus on Southern American art from the 20th century.
The Pioneer Museum of Alabama invites visitors to step back to a simpler time through its hands-on exhibition of pioneer heritage. At the museum, 22 historic structures stand on more than 40 acres of landscape and wetlands that abut the Conecuh River. In these buildings, costumed pioneers lead demonstrations of frying cornbread, churning butter, and weaving cotton. For a touch of nature, stroll through the nearby trails and examine native flora and woodland fauna or hop on a horse-drawn wagon for a quick jaunt across the grounds.
ArtWorks on the Square inspires the creatively disposed with a variety of classes, workshops, and events. Encourage your inner artisan with a Vino Van Gogh Night class, which offers a night of painting, conversing, and wine drinking from 7 p.m.–9 p.m. on the second Friday of every month. Each vinely inclined class can accommodate up to 12 students and is led by a professional canvas caresser, who issues step-by-step instructions to help keep brush strokes on the straight and narrow and prevent students from accidentally painting a hole in the universe.