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 17 of the icon's stylish suits, and eyeball more than 35 showcases packed with possessions, including toothpicks pulled from one of his suits. 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 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.
Walking down the the streets of Old Alabama Town Montgomery, you might think you hear the sounds of clanking metal coming from the blacksmith shop, or you may swear you smell smoke wafting from a potbelly stove. Your mind might be playing tricks on you, but it's certainly understandable?the founders of this attraction had every intention of whisking visitors back in time. In 1967, the Landmark Foundation began buying historical homes, eventually purchasing 50 of them in a six-block radius. Seventeen of these homes have been restored to their original condition to give guests a glimpse of what 19th century life was like. Here are some more facts about this impressive ode to another era.
Eye Catcher: Ordeman House was the first property restored by the Landmark Foundation. SItting on its original site, the interior has been adorned with Queen Anne chairs, sumptuous window dressings, and intricate floral carpets. It looks like it most likely did in its 19th century heyday.
Don't Miss: Lucas Tavern?originally built in 1810?and its sleeping room, which features wooden daybeds, a writing desk, and a beautiful brick fireplace
Other Buildings: Besides restored homes, everyday businesses have been rebuilt, including an 1888 church and an 1893 blacksmith shop. There's also a one-room school house, which features a wood-burning stove, clapboard walls, and a ghostly apparition of a dunce cap.
Past Exhibits: The Richburg Quilt Collection showcased African-American quiltmaking traditions through the creations of mother-and-daughter quilters
Sarah Ann Carpenter Simmons and Lovie Simmons Richburg. They were all created over a 110-year stretch from 1875 to 1985.
Something to Keep in Mind: Due to the age of the buildings and their historical accuracy, not all of them are wheelchair accessible. However, eight of them are, including the church, drugstore, and cotton gin
While You?re in the Neighborhood: Visit Rescue Relics (423 Madison), where you can browse salvaged fixtures and hardware from the restored homes. The collection includes sinks, doors, light fixtures, and balustrades.
While meandering past more than 250 exhibitors, guests of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts can peruse artful wares during the weekend-long exploration of visual arts, music, and food. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the festival welcomes visitors to amble under a canopy of trees and feast eyes on artisans' endeavors in blacksmithing, split-oak basketry, pottery, colorful found-object sculpture, and accounting. Live music flutters about the festival from eight bands across two stages, delighting ears with surging gospel choirs and twangy country singers. Taste buds, too, bask in artistic attention, salivating over Cajun fare or saucy ribs, or mistaking a still-life gyro for its edible muse.
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.
The sleek, dark body of the A-12 Blackbird is invisible to radar detection, but that doesn’t stop it from attracting the attention of every visitor to the Southern Museum of Flight in sight. The retired bomber is just one of the aircrafts in the Southern Museum of Flight’s outdoor collection, and it gives visitors a glimpse of what’s to come. Stepping inside, you can almost hear the purring engines from the Korean War jet or 1920s Huff-Daland crop duster.
Not only does the museum bring high-flown feats of engineering artistry down to earth, it sets its impressive collection of airplanes into realistic dioramas. The exhibits, designed to give life to the history of southern aviation, sprawl across 75,000 square feet and includes photographs, models, original engines, and the tiny gnomes that power them. The Korean War Jets exhibit, for example, uses mannequins and a surprisingly realistic mock-up of Kimpo Air Force Base to tell the story of No Kum Sok, a North Korean lieutenant in the Air Force who defected.