Alabama family vacations can create unforgettable experiences for kids and adults alike. You'll find plenty to do for the whole family across the state's numerous cities, vibrant countryside, and welcoming shores. Of course, you don't have to pick just one of these experiences for your trip, as there's plenty of crossover to enjoy if you know where to go. Discover the best ideas for family vacations in Alabama, and plan the ultimate family vacation to this iconic Southern state.
1. Alabama Safari Park
If your little ones are interested in animals, the Alabama Safari Park is one of the best destinations in the state. Here you'll find a variety of animals you can see as you drive through a complete safari experience. Animals include zebras, camels, and llamas, among others. Kids can even feed some of these animals if they're feeling brave. Additionally, you'll find a petting area where kids can interact with smaller animals like pigs.
2. U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is the crown jewel of any family vacation in Alabama for aspiring astronauts. You don't have to have dreams of spaceflight to enjoy this attraction, however, as its museum offerings are universally interesting with more than 1,500 different exhibits. You and your family can learn about the American space program and enjoy virtual reality simulators that can make visitors feel like astronauts.
3. Mobile Carnival Museum
Mardis Gras is an essential aspect of Alabaman culture and history, and your family can explore it all with a trip to the Mobile Carnival Museum. You can see all sorts of costumes and props on display showcasing intricate designs with opulent robes, crowns, and scepters. The available audio tour can offer even more information if you're interested in learning as much as possible.
4. Gulf State Park
Alabama family vacations often include a trip to the beach, and Gulf State Park is among the best places in the state to find coastal fun. You can enjoy sugary white sands and sparkling waters that the whole family can enjoy. The waves are calm, and there aren't any serious rip currents to worry about, so it's a safe place for kids to splash around. Additionally, you'll find numerous hiking and cycling paths inland.
5. Children's Hands-On Museum
If your kids like hands-on activities, the Children's Hands-On Museum couldn't be more appropriate. Inside, you'll find a wide variety of different exhibits covering everything from kaleidoscopes and intricately designed machines to an art studio that allows your little ones to express themselves. Keep in mind, however, that kids over 12 might find it a bit too childish for their tastes.
6. DeSoto Caverns
The DeSoto Caverns are unique among cave offerings in that they're specifically designed for family vacations in Alabama. You'll find a crystal searching activity along with a lost trail maze and a mini-golf course all within these caverns. These activities can be appealing to kids of all ages, with older kids finding fun in a tour of the fascinating geological features here.
7. Orange Beach
Orange Beach is a common destination for families looking for outdoor fun. You'll find a welcoming shoreline along with several golf courses. Of course, mini golf here is also popular with the kids. Several nature trails are available throughout the area as well, with opportunities for hiking and biking. Kayaking is available, too, with plenty of rentals on offer near the area's waterways.
8. Oak Mountain State Park
If your family is looking for outdoor splendor away from the beach, Oak Mountain State Park has plenty to offer. You'll find numerous trails throughout the park alongside opportunities for horseback riding even if you and your kids have no prior experience with horses. This nature escape also has waterways for kayaking along with sports courts and golf.
9. Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure
A family vacation in Alabama wouldn't be complete without a trip to a thrilling theme park. At Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure, you'll find all sorts of rides for kids to enjoy. It includes a wave pool, a water obstacle course, body slides, and an interactive water play structure. On the drier side of the park, you'll find roller coasters as well.
10. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
At the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, you'll find an extensive collection of modern and historic motorcycles. With so many vintage bikes on display, both adults and kids can find fun looking at this impressive collection. Among the bikes, you'll find more than 200 manufacturers from 20 different countries adding incredible variety to the displays.
11. Tigers for Tomorrow
A typical zoo experience can certainly be exciting, but Tigers for Tomorrow takes it to the next level. You and your family can see a wide variety of predatory animals here. The facility is dedicated to providing quality and comfortable homes for unwanted predatory animals. You'll find that the residents have plenty of room to roam while still being kept away from visitors. You'll find more than tigers as well, as this facility is also home to leopards and wolves.
12. Cheaha State Park
At Cheaha State Park, you'll find seemingly endless outdoor fun that the whole family can enjoy. Cheaha Mountain is the star of the show, and among its natural splendor you'll find waterfalls, massive boulders, and fun hiking paths. The paths leading up to the scenic overlooks are fairly easy to traverse as well, so kids can come along without issue.
13. Birmingham Zoo
If your family visits the Birmingham Zoo, you can enjoy a variety of different animals from just about every continent on the planet. You'll find exhibits showcasing sea lions, fierce predators, and the African savannah, and that's just the beginning. Additionally, you'll find fun rides designed for children in addition to all the animal exhibits.
14. Imagination Place Children's Museum
The Imagination Place Children's Museum is a must-visit destination for families with kids ages 2 to 10. The central feature here is the child-sized city where kids can take on different roles and learn about jobs to help find their passion. Every exhibit is designed to foster creativity and curiosity.
15. Dismals Canyon
The national natural landmark of Dismals Canyon is an iconic destination for families who enjoy outdoor experiences. This breathtaking canyon features a 1.5-mile-long hiking trail that will take you past vibrant floral diversity, towering boulders, and serene waterfalls. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the Dismalites, which are bioluminescent bugs that are sure to impress.