If you’re planning a trip to Alabama, you won’t want to miss the state’s most famous landmarks. From the Civil Rights Museum to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, this state is packed with great sites to see. You’ll be amazed by the history and culture you’ll encounter in all the Alabama landmarks.
The “Heart of Dixie” state is rich in culture and its natural surroundings are unparalleled. The following 20 famous Alabama landmarks uniquely highlight this beauty.
Most Famous Landmark In Alabama
Alabama is known for many things — hospitality, the cradle of the civil rights struggle, and the soul of every southern boy (and girl) in the country. However, that’s not all.
Alabama landmarks are outstanding, but the USS Alabama (BB-60) is arguably the most famous. Here’s what you need to know about this famous monument.
The USS Alabama (BB-60) – Mobile
The USS Alabama (BB-60) is a famous historical battleship commissioned in 1940 and saw action in WWII. This battleship was decommissioned in 1962, moved to Mobile Bay in 1964, and unveiled as a museum the following year. Today, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Arizona.
There are many different reasons why this historical landmark is more distinct from other monuments in Alabama. For starters, it now rests at the Battleship Memorial Park, a park where you can witness an actual historical piece that takes you back in time.
The USS Alabama (BB-60) was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The park offers visitors the chance to explore a nearby aviation pavilion, park memorials, the actual ship itself, and other attractions in addition to boarding it.
On board the USS Alabama, you may throw a private party or spend the night thanks to particular programs. Whether you come alone or with your loved ones, you can take advantage of one of the most well-known landmarks of Alabama for knowledge and entertainment.
Famous Montgomery, Alabama Landmarks
Alabama State Capitol
The Alabama State Capitol is a historically significant structure that houses the governor’s office, the executive branch, and a souvenir shop. This iconic building is among the most significant Alabama landmarks and has provided a panoramic view of the city for over a century.
Alabama State Capitol is part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail that consists of over 100 venues across 14 states. Stretching across 5 acres, the Alabama State Capitol includes gardens, statues, and monuments. All around, different pieces showcase Roderick MacKenzie’s prowess in monumental painting.
Additionally, you can access specialties like event rentals, summer camps, group tours, and various education programs. Check out Alabama State Capitol and explore part of Alabama’s history at one of the most well-known landmarks in Alabama.
Civil Rights Memorial
In honor of those who lost their lives during the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Memorial was erected in Montgomery, Alabama.
It is effortless to spot this landmark. You’ll find a wall of black granite that curves around the memorial with the names of those who died in the civil rights struggle inscribed on a black granite disc below the wall. This memorial is one of the most meaningful landmarks in Alabama and sits just beside the Civil Rights Memorial Center.
In the Civil Rights Memorial Center, you will find various exhibits and educational displays. One outstanding exhibit is the Wall of Tolerance which lists the names of those who have vowed to fight for justice and tolerance. If interested, you can always add your name to the list.
First White House of The Confederacy
When Montgomery served as the Confederacy’s capital, President Jefferson Davis’s presidential home served as the country’s first White House. The First White House is a spacious two-story wooden frame building. Its interior is entirely equipped with authentic furniture from the 1850s and 1860s, and the public is welcome to see the 1835 Italianate-style home.
Because of its sentimental appeal, it is among the most memorable Alabama landmarks. The house, now a museum, is an excellent way to learn about the American Civil War, which split their nation in two and claimed hundreds of thousands of people.
You can stop by their gift shop and go on self-guided tours with friends or family. Visitors have access to a research library, historical exhibits, a museum store, and more, all for free.
Rosa Parks Library and Museum
Because of its historical significance, The Rosa Parks Library and Museum is one of the most notable landmarks in Alabama. Near the location of her arrest following her illustrious fight against segregation, the Rosa Parks Library and Museum was established in downtown Montgomery.
You’ll find many historical exhibits, pictures, county records, and more at this location. Some of these exhibits include Rosa Park’s fingerprint from her arrest, a Montgomery city bus, and one station wagon driven by the boycotters in their campaign to remove public transport segregation.
Like many other landmarks in Montgomery, Alabama you can gain insight into the social and political environment of 1950s Montgomery and other significant Civil Rights events at this library and museum. The museum also offers various tours, special occasions, and educational activities throughout the year.
Famous Birmingham, Alabama Landmarks
Vulcan Park and Museum
This park and museum are named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. It is a famous landmark for many reasons. Still, the most outstanding feature is the statue of Vulcan, which looms over Birmingham.
At 56 feet high and weighing 100,000 pounds, this structure is among the most famous monuments in Alabama and the largest cast iron sculpture in the world.
This Vulcan statue was initially crafted for display at the Palace of Mines and Metallurgy during the St. Louis World Fair in 1904. It still stands today, serving as a constant reminder of the city’s industrial history.
Additionally, the park has an observation deck that offers breathtaking views of the city. The museum provides engaging displays that can teach you some things about the history of Birmingham and the statue.
Apart from the fantastic views and historical exhibits, you can enjoy a picnic on the grounds of one of the most visually distinctive Alabama landmarks.
16th Street Baptist Church
Since 1873, this historic place of worship has served as a symbol of tenacity in the face of racial injustice. It is one of the top historical landmarks of Alabama and is along the Civil Rights Trail.
The 16th Street Baptist Church was a gathering spot for civil rights campaigners in the 1960s and a top target of the Ku Klux Klan. Many victims suffered horrifying assaults, including a bombing, and the church remains famous.
After reconstruction, the church has become one of the most popular places of worship in Alabama. It is also a common stop for popular Civil Rights Tours in this iconic city.
>Check Birmingham Civil Rights Tour
The Sloss Furnaces
The Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham represents one of the most famous landmarks in Alabama. This national historic site produced pig iron for 90 years, starting from 1882. But even though production stopped decades ago, the Sloss Furnaces still attracts locals and visitors.
This location is now a famous industry museum with a network of pipes, smokestacks, and large furnaces. The museum has a visitor center where you can get a brochure for a self-guided tour or get guided tours on weekends or upon request. Many exhibits and short videos also help you learn about its history.
This historic landmark’s blast furnaces and structures serve as a reminder of the region’s industrial past. If you’re visiting, take pictures and preserve the memories of your visit to one of the most notable historic Alabama landmarks. But if you’re planning to use a professional camera, you must first get permission.
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Famous racer George Barber’s love of automobiles and motorcycles led to the creation of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. It started in 1995 with various vintage motorcycles, and the collection quickly gained notoriety. Today, it is among the well-known landmarks in Alabama.
This landmark is even more famous thanks to several vehicles lent to the Guggenheim Museum for “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibition, which also traveled to Chicago and Bilbao, Spain.
Barber built a sizable complex that houses 2.38 miles of a racetrack and a testing facility. Major automakers, like Mercedes Benz, frequently use the facilities to run ads and test auto reveals.
Unlike other Alabama landmarks, the museum is in a picturesque park with views.
Legion Field Stadium
Legion Field Stadium, often called The Old Gray Lady by locals, is among the sports landmarks in Alabama. The stadium was finished in 1927 and had a capacity of 21,000 spectators at the time. Today, it is a 71,000-capacity stadium loved by Birmingham residents.
Recognizing the American Legion, the venue is known as Legion Field. 16,800 spectators watched Howard College (now Samford University) defeat Birmingham-Southern College by 9-0 in the opening game.
The stadium, which held the 1996 Soccer Olympics and NFL Flag Football in July 2022, currently hosts the Magic City Classic, the largest HBCU classic in the nation. You can also enjoy music festivals and other events at one of the most famous Alabama landmarks.
READ MORE: 20 INTERESTING AND FUN FACTS ABOUT ALABAMA
Famous Natural Landmarks In Alabama
Oak Mountain State Park – Pelham
With over 9,000 acres, Oak Mountain State Park is the most significant state park in Alabama and one of the most outstanding natural landmarks in Alabama. The park is famous for its extraordinary size, captivating beauty, and accessibility.
Oak Mountain is only about 20 miles south of Birmingham. It offers developed amenities like a BMX track, golf course, wildlife center, and more. It also has a beautiful waterfall, pristine lakefront, hiking trails, and many other recreation opportunities for the great outdoors.
Additionally, you can visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute just a few miles outside of Birmingham and countless other Alabama landmarks as well. Oak Mountain State Park undoubtedly has the adventure you’re looking for.
Noccalula Falls – Gadsden
Noccalula Falls, located in the sleepy hamlet of Gadsden northeast of Birmingham, offers a breathtaking outdoor experience. These falls are a 90-foot cascade that thunders into Black Creek below.
A public park maintains Noccalula Falls. There’s a campground, gift shop, kids’ playground, and other amenities. Apart from viewing the falls and their beautiful surroundings, it is also one of the best natural landmarks in Alabama for a weekend trip.
A short drive south of the falls lies Cheaha State Park and Gadsden Museum of Art, a true hidden cultural treasure.
LANDMARKS IN USA
Cheaha Mountain – Delta
Alabama’s longest-running state park is atop Cheaha Mountain. Cheaha Mountain is Alabama’s highest natural peak rising 2,407 feet above sea level and above Talladega National Forest, putting it among famous landmarks in Alabama.
In addition to being the highest natural landmark, Cheaha Mountain has the most breathtaking vistas. But this picturesque summit was almost completely destroyed and deforested before the parks system saved its untouched beauty. Today, you can enjoy the best views at this stunning Alabama landmark.
Before President Roosevelt established the forest in 1936, the forest surrounding the lofty mountain had been heavily harvested and abandoned. The extensive regrowth now offers recreation and woodland cover. You can view the entire forest in all its splendor from the tall stone center on the mountaintop known as Bunker Tower.
Desoto Caverns – Childersburg
DeSoto Caverns is a collection of caves with a central section higher than ten stories and broader than a football field. They are among the fantastic natural landmarks of Alabama and have played a significant role in history.
The Native Americans utilized this cave for centuries. Still, they are now a park accessible to the general public for a small fee. In addition to the actual caverns, the private-owned park also features additional attractions like fire juggling, magic performances, and more.
You can visit other well-known Alabama landmarks like Cheaha State Park in the northeast or Oak Mountain State Park if you want more outdoor bliss.
Gulf Shores Public Beach – Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores Public Beach is one of the few landmarks in Alabama that can boast glistening shores, stunning blue waters, and endless white sand beaches. It is one characteristic to look out for at other beaches and preserves on Alabama’s Gulf coast.
You can relax, unwind, and enjoy gorgeous views and fresh beach air while developing a great tan. Enjoy all these for free, aside from an occasional parking fee.
There are many fantastic campgrounds close to Gulf Shores, so you can go camping with friends. Additionally, Gulf State Park offers exceptional opportunities for an unforgettable experience at one of the top beaches in Alabama.
Russell Cave – Bridgeport
One of the most comprehensive prehistoric records is found in Russell Cave, a local archeological landmark. Archaeologists found many relics dating back over 10,000 years in one location in the 1950s.
Today, this national monument helps shed light on humanity’s various cultural advancements. The location is one of the Southeast’s oldest caverns and most outstanding historical Alabama landmarks. It has been inhabited for thousands of years.
Russell Cave is a popular tourist destination designated as a National Monument in 1961. It holds thousands of years of rich human history.
Lake Martin – Tallapoosa, Elmore, and Coosa Counties
At the point of completion, Lake Martin was the largest artificial lake in the world. Today, it is one of the most prominent in the US and one of the most famous Alabama landmarks. Lake Martin was made possible by the Thomas Wesley Martin Dam.
With a surface area of about 44,000 acres, Lake Martin is a famous spot for all water activities, including boating, swimming, and water skiing.
The Lake Martin Dam spans the Tallapoosa River gorge for 2,000 feet and is about 168 feet tall. Before building the Lake Martin dam, 12 cemeteries with 923 tombs were moved, so it was and still is a famous spot.
Other Famous Landmarks In Alabama
U.S. Space and Rocket Center – Huntsville
The U.S. Rocket and Space Center offers a unique experience to learn about several outstanding innovations that put the U.S. at the forefront of human space travel.
While the U.S. space program may not launch or coordinate its space expeditions in Huntsville, Alabama, it is there. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is the most prominent space museum in the world and one of the most outstanding Huntsville, Alabama landmarks.
Huntsville not only hosts a display of America’s space program; it also serves as its birthplace. It is renowned as the Rocket City since the rockets used to send humans to the moon were created there.
Little River Canyon National Preserve – Fort Payne
This national preserve is one of the most prominent natural landmarks in Alabama. Lush, verdant forests, waterfalls, and a wealth of outdoor activities are some of the things that make it so unique.
You can find this natural reserve at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau. With 15,000 acres, the wildlife haven is home to beer, deer, and numerous bird species.
Additionally, Little River Canyon provides amenities for outdoor pursuits, including hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing. You can also find beautiful vistas of the canyons and waterfalls from different angles.
Stephens Gap – Pleasant Groves
When it comes to fantastic caverns in Alabama, Stephens Gap is a notable mention.
While the cave is one of the most amazing Alabama landmarks, you should know that it is pretty tricky to access. Either down a treacherous, rocky road via climbing or descend a 150-foot rappel into a sinkhole. Both choices need permission in advance.
There are unusual rock formations and streams inside the cave. Stephens Gap is one of Alabama’s most intriguing natural landmarks.
Discovering Famous Landmarks In Alabama
The state of Alabama has a rich history and beautiful natural resources. The state is full of places to explore, from incredible beaches to historic Alabama landmarks.
Alabama is a great place to visit. It has gorgeous sightseeing, delicious food, and friendly people. There are a lot of famous landmarks in Alabama that you can’t miss. Still, you will discover even more outstanding ones to explore when you visit.