The USS Alabama spent 37 months in active duty during World War II. It earned nine battle stars and never suffered significant damage from enemy fire. Following this illustrious military career, the battleship was set to be scrapped because of the prohibitive cost of maintaining a wartime fleet. But in 1964, Alabama schoolchildren put forth a fierce fundraising campaign and raised $100,000 to save the ship. Their efforts inspired a corporate sponsor to supply the $1 million balance, and the navy donated the ship. And so the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park was born.
Today, the ship rests safe and sound in the harbor—a 680-foot mammoth whose enormous mass displaces more than 44,500 tons of water. More than 13 million visitors have trod its deck, wandered through its passages, and gazed at its 29 16-inch and .38-caliber guns.
Resting alongside the ship, the WWII submarine USS Drum welcomes visitors to explore inside its labyrinthine hull, inviting them to climb through hatches and imagine what life would be like if every doorway were round. The memorial park also houses a cavalcade of military equipment, vehicles, and aircraft on display, including a T-55 Iraqi tank, a Cold War–era Lockheed A-12 Blackbird, and a World War II–era Douglas C-47D Skytrain.
Seeking to enrich the world with professional opera and musical presentations, Mobile Opera is launching its 65th season by staging Leonard Bernstein's popular operetta based on Voltaire's 1759 novella Candide, which features such jovial singables as "Glitter and Be Gay" and "Make Our Garden Grow."
Tucked behind Leinkauf Elementary School, La Pizzeria has been lauded by Press-Register food editor David Holloway as "one of the best-kept secrets" in town. He praises owner Todd Henson's balance between Italian classics—pastas with housemade sauces and calzones among them—and creative menu contributions. A list of character-inspired gourmet pizzas includes the garlic-infused Bela Lugosi and the Sherlock Holmes, a mystery order whose toppings are chosen by the chef and cooked beneath a carefully aimed magnifying glass. Strewn with white tablecloths and still-life paintings, the low-lit interior features one private table, where Henson wagers "we've had a hundred proposals of marriage … over the years."
While there's probably not a sign on its door saying "No Boys Allowed," make no mistake: Studio Fitness is an all-women, all-the-time exercise facility. Throughout the week, packs of ladies follow the direction of instructors during multiple morning and evening classes. They step to the hypnotic Latin rhythms of Zumba, pedal vigorously to the energized tunes of RPM-spinning, and stretch through the movements of yoga and Pilates. For a more diverse fitness experience, exercisers can take on the Master Class—a 90-minute mixture of various classes from the schedule.
Savor sophistication in an upscale environment and an outdoor area enclosed in exposed brick. With its modern, chic décor, The Wine Loft offers a respite for relaxation and elegance. Choose from a wine list that includes over 50 wines by the glass.Their wines come from all over, including Washington, California, France, Oregon, Argentina, New Zealand, Germany and elsewhere. The Wine Loft's trained staff can help you discover that perfect wine based on your tastes, preferences or meal. Relish a Riesling like Starling Castle ($8 a glass) from Rheinshessen, Germany, or marry a merlot like Tierra del Fuego ($5 a glass) from Maule Valley, Chile. Gather more appreciation for your wine of choice by picking its brain about foreign films and the summer it spent in Belize, or by pairing it with the filet mignon pistolettes ($10) with blue cheese butter and sweet onion jam. End your night of indulgence and savoir-vivre with a classic crème brule ($9) or the molton lava cake ($9) with vanilla infused honey and ice cream quenelles.