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 Explorations in Antiquity Center brings the ancient Biblical world to life for kids and adults with accurate, interactive exhibits. The centerpiece archaeological garden reproduces the structures of a Biblical village with full-scale replicas, transporting patrons back to early centuries without the risk that visitors will meet their ancestors and teach them pop hits. To guarantee authenticity, the reproduction was overseen and inspected by Dr. James Fleming, a former professor of archaeology and Biblical geography who lectured at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and founded the Antiquity Center.
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 Montgomery Zoo houses more than 500 animals from five continents, including endangered species such as the Indian rhino, the slender-horned gazelle, and the jaguar. Explore more than 40 acres of landscaped, barrier-free habitats chock full of elephants and monkeys, and stop to feed otters, koi, and giraffes, who happily lap up treats from visitors as part of the zoo's Animal Encounters feature ($0.50–$2.00 for feed, not included in the Groupon). The aviary features birds flying about uncaged, taking instructions from loud-mouthed children, and the pedal-boat ride provides a 30-minute float on Crystal Lake.
Founded to commemorate the life and career of one of country music's most beloved stars, the Hank Williams Museum overflows with a tide of the late singer's possessions and memorabilia, including the blue 1952 Cadillac that Williams died in (the museum is only 1.5 miles from Oakwood Cemetery, where Hank and his first wife Audrey Williams are buried). Admire 13 of the icon's stylish suits, and eyeball more than 35 showcases packed with possessions, including toothpicks pulled from one of his suits, and various royal artifacts stolen from the British Museum. The museum also houses several shelves of Williams' records, Hank Jr.'s first cowboy boots, a 1952 steel guitar from Hank's guitarist Don Helms, and much more.
The recently renovated W.A. Gayle Planetarium harnesses the sublime splendor of the night sky within its hemispheric white dome. Two hundred theater-style seats carry astrophiles through interstellar space minus the bothersome side effects of an oxygen-free vacuum. The planetarium’s latticed-framework star projector, in use since 1968, bedazzles armchair astronomers and celestial connoisseurs alike with one-hour seasonal star shows on astral phenomena. Gain extra-powerful cosmic vision with Through the Eyes of Hubble while spying on stellar births and deaths, grandiose galactic collisions, and chaotic storms on Saturn. A Trip Into Space explores black holes and planetary conditions, and Bear Tales and Other Grizzly Stories offers spirited yarns about springtime constellations while incorporating ancient Greek mythology, pirate legends, and interviews with sentient starfish long disgruntled by human appropriation of their heavenly twins.
More than 50 authentically restored structures, from lush antebellum mansions to cozy log cabins, line the six blocks of Old Alabama Town. Relics of the 19th and early 20th centuries, these buildings include one-room schoolhouses where children gathered for lessons, as well as a tavern their parents might have frequented. Ticketed tours permit peeks into some of Montgomery's historic cottages, while visitors on self-guided excursions can interact with costumed interpreters on the village's every block. Guests can even take home history from Rescued Relics, the museum's salvage warehouse full of old-timey architectural pieces, including mantels and doors.