The Best Museums In Alabama

Museums are more than having stuff on display.

They inspire, educate, and enrich our lives.

Visiting a museum also gives you a sense that you’re an active part of a community. 

If you’re away on holiday or simply have a free afternoon, it’ll do you a world of good to head to a museum. 

Fortunately, many museums pepper the entire state of Alabama, being an underrated hub of arts and culture. 

Images of The Lourve, The Met, or The British Museum pop up in our heads when we think of museums.

However, you don’t have to go very far to learn a thing or two in the Heart of Dixie. 

museums in alabama

Visit These Museums in Alabama

These are the types of museums you can find on this list:

  • History museums
  • Art museums
  • Military museums
  • Science museums

Mobile Carnival Museum 

In 2005, The Mobile Carnival Museum debuted to rousing acclaim.

Many Mobilians had long dreamed of having a museum entirely devoted to Mardi Gras.

So, the Mobile Carnival Association took the initiative in negotiating the building lease and acquiring significant artifacts and props.

The chance to lease the historic Bernstein-Bush mansion finally became available.

This was it! 

To establish the museum, scholars, artists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, architects, contractors, and seamstresses all volunteered their time and skills. Of course, MCA organized this endeavor.

Royal robes, crowns, and scepters were gifted by the families of monarchs.

Local mystic societies’ members contributed emblem costumes, doubloons, favors, and other items.

These collections are exquisitely presented all across the museum.

The museum comprises 14 exhibition rooms, a pictorial hallway, a theater, a den (social gathering place), and a gift shop. 

Additionally, the property is listed as a historic structure, giving guests access to its intricate crown molding, pine flooring, and fine chandeliers.

Visit: 355 Government St, Mobile, AL 36602

Call: 251-432-3324

History Museum of Mobile 

A must-see attraction in and of itself is the History Museum of Mobile, a national historic landmark. 

The permanent exhibition galleries at the museum use artifacts, text, audio, video, and interactives to help bring Mobile’s past to life.

It also undergoes periodic updates so that visitors always learn something new.

The History Museum of Mobile is a cutting-edge institution housed in the Southern Market/Old City Hall National Historic Landmark.

It is a visual marvel that offers an unmatched museum experience.

A resolution passed in 1855 to establish what is now the Museum of Mobile.

It used to be the city market and housed the government offices. 

When it was first built, and even now, this stunning Italianate structure was undoubtedly “the pride of Mobilians.”

Visit: 111 S Royal St, Mobile, AL 36602

Call: 251-208-7569

Related Reading: Museums In Mobile, Alabama – Read More Here.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum 

barber vintage motorsports museum

George Barber’s passion for speed sparked his idea for the museum that exists today. 

Barber amassed a remarkable track record—63 victories in the first place—racing Porsches in the 1960s. 

Barber, a successful business executive, rediscovered his love of motorsports in 1988 and started collecting and restoring vintage automobiles.

However, the best and largest vehicle collections in the world have already been built. 

He was advised to switch his interest from cars to motorcycles by his lifelong buddy Dave Hooper. 

Hooper was a motorcycle enthusiast who also managed Barber’s delivery fleet for 27 years. 

Barber, a man with lofty ambitions, grabbed the chance to create the “greatest and largest” motorbike collection in the world, something no one else had before done.

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is now home to more than 1,600 motorcycles that span more than a century of manufacturing!

Visit: 6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094, United States

Call: 205-699-7275

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a societal and educational research facility that works to advance a thorough understanding of the significance of civil rights movements in Birmingham. 

It is a part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and a Smithsonian Institution associate. 

In addition to impacting more than 150,000 people annually through its award-winning programs and services, BCRI will mark its 30th anniversary in 2022.

Explore the galleries on your own; they cover 58,000 square feet and contain stirring images of injustice and discrimination. 

Life-sized displays and multimedia presentations are exhibited in addition to telling authentic stories about the fight for equality.

Visit: 520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Call: 205-328-9696

US Veterans Memorial Museum 

The US Veterans Memorial Museum is run by The Alabama Center of Military History Inc.

It’s a non-profit educational organization dedicated to historical preservation, public display, and public education. 

The mission of the museum is to highlight and share the achievements of American military service members.

Their focus is on individuals who served in World War I and its aftermath.

Their families and survivors can utilize the museum’s resources to reflect on their own experiences as well as the memories of parents, grandparents, and other close relatives.

The State of Alabama Veterans Memorial Museum has been given official status by the Alabama House of Representatives. 

Over 30 historical military vehicles from WWI to the present are displayed at the museum.

Exhibits also feature scenes, artifacts, and other artifacts from the Revolutionary War.

Address: 2060 Airport Rd SW, Huntsville, AL 35801

Call: 256-883-3737

Paul W. Bryant Museum 

The goal of Bryant Museum is to gather, preserve, and display artifacts as well as to impart knowledge about the University of Alabama’s sporting heritage.

They want to inform and inspire a global audience about the outstanding achievements of University of Alabama collegiate athletes.

They strive to encourage a sense of excellence, tradition, and history so that guests may put these achievements in a historical context.

By conserving and interpreting the history of collegiate sports, it also serves as a top resource for other sports museums. 

Address: 300 Paul W Bryant Dr, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Call: 205-348-4668

Related Reading: Haunted Places In Mobile, AL – Click Here To Learn More.

GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico

GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico

The rich maritime history, culture, and economic value of the Gulf of Mexico are the focus of the interactive museum GulfQuest National Maritime Museum

The 90,000-square-foot museum is designed to resemble a ship entering Mobile Bay. 

Its modern interactive exhibits, simulators, theaters, and one-of-a-kind displays on marine archeology, shipwrecks, hurricanes, and much more will enthrall both adults and kids.

Visit: 155 S Water St, Mobile, AL 36602

Call: 251-438-8901

Battleship USS Alabama Memorial Park

Battleship Memorial Park now features the highly decorated US Navy ship Battleship USS ALABAMA, which served for 37 months during World War II.

The ship is half as tall as the Empire State Building and weighs 44,500 tons!

The military intended to destroy the ship in 1962 due to its expensive maintenance costs, but Alabama students and corporate donations saved her and brought her back home state in 1964. 

Following your tour of the historic warship, you can see the cockpits of military aircraft, visit a World War II submarine, or even have a picnic in the park’s gardens.

Visit: 2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile, AL 36602

Call: 1.800.GANGWAY

Alabama Museum of Natural History 

The Alabama Museum of Natural History, which features thousands of priceless specimens from all fields of science, stands as a permanent memorial to Dr. Eugene Allen Smith’s zeal, toil, and devotion. 

Dr. Smith spent almost 40 years surveying, mapping, and gathering scientific specimens across the state of Alabama after being named state geologist in 1873.

The Alabama Museum of Natural History has highlighted Alabama’s natural history for more than 110 years via exhibitions, collections, and top-notch teaching, research, and service activities. 

Discover Alabama’s natural history and historical past through outstanding exhibits and specimen collections. 

Come over and discover Alabama’s rich natural history, as well as its stunning rivers and trails.

The museum even holds camps, expeditions, and unique programs for those fascinated by nature. 

Visit: 427 6th Ave, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Call: 205-348-7550

Poarch Creek Indian Museum 

Poarch Creek Indian museums in alabama

The old Creek Nation, which formerly occupied practically all of Alabama and Georgia, gave rise to the Poarch Creek Indians. 

The Poarch Creeks have been residing alongside one another on and around the reservation in Poarch, Alabama, for almost 200 years.

This distinguishes them from many other eastern Indian groups. 

The reserve is situated in rural Escambia County, about 57 miles east of Mobile and eight miles northwest of Atmore, Alabama.

The Poarch Creek Indians have battled valiantly to maintain their illustrious past while assimilating into contemporary civilization. 

The Tribe’s ongoing attempts to protect their Tribal culture and advance their community show how determined they are to uphold both their identity and their natural right to self-govern.

The only federally acknowledged Indian tribe in Alabama is the Poarch Creek Indians, who run their own government as a sovereign nation.

Learn all about this fascinating tribe at their dedicated living history museum full of Native American artifacts.

Visit: 5811 Jack Springs Rd, Atmore, AL 36502

Call: 251-368-9136 ext. 2050

Related Reading: Snakes In Mobile, Alabama – Click Here To Learn More.

The Hank Williams Museum 

Hiram “Hank” Williams was a famous singer and composer from the US.

He is acknowledged as one of the 20th century’s most notable and influential American vocalists and songwriters.

The museum dedicated to his life was curated by Cecil Franklin Jackson.

He was one of Hank Williams’ most ardent supporters. 

He had always envisioned a legacy museum to preserve Hank Williams’ influence on American culture.

The museum wants to recognize this ambitious man’s lifetime accomplishment.

The largest collection of Hank Williams memorabilia is kept in his museum.

Visit: 118 Commerce St, Montgomery, AL 36104

Call: 334-262-3600

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 

Over 4,000 works of art are displayed at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

The majority of the museum’s collection consists of pieces created by American artists between the 18th and 21st centuries. 

Southern regional art, Old Master prints, and fine and decorative arts are all featured in the permanent collection. 

It also houses “Artworks,” a children’s art studio and gallery that encourages participation from young visitors.

The current structure was developed in 1988 and inaugurated by the Montgomery architectural company of Barganier, Davis, and Sims.

In addition to its gift shop, you can grab a bite to eat at the in-house Verde Cafe. 

Highlighting gorgeous views of the Museum’s beautiful Parker Terrace overlooking Newell Lake and Blount Cultural Park, the cafe offers a variety of delicious options made from fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients.

Visit: Montgomery’s, 1 Museum Dr, Montgomery, AL 36117

Call: 334-625-4333

Birmingham Museum of Art 

Over 27,000 works of art, comprising paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts, span the ages at the Birmingham Museum of Art. 

It’s one of the best regional museums in the country.

The vast holdings of Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art at the Museum are featured in the collection, which offers a rich panorama of cultural diversity.

By introducing all Alabamians to the beauty, significance, and experience of art, the Birmingham Museum of Art hopes to inspire the state’s imagination, creativity, and vibrancy.

Visit: 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203

Call: 205-254-2565

Cook Museum of Natural Science 

Cook Museum of Natural Science

In the heart of Decatur, Alabama, stands the modern Cook Museum of Natural Science.

Visitors may explore, engage with, and learn about wildlife via their interactive, hands-on experience.

Parents and kids of all ages will find it to be a fantastic experience!

The Cook Museum’s humble beginnings may be traced back to 1968, when John Cook, Sr. exposed his professional bug collection to the public by appointment. 

Up until that point, it had mostly been used for employee training at Cook’s Pest Control. 

Eventually, it expanded to include a huge variety of mounted animals that toured malls all across Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Cook’s Natural Science Museum expanded its holdings of rocks, minerals, fossils, coral, seashells, mounted animals, and migratory birds. 

These collections were under federal protection in 1980, and a 5,000-square-foot structure was built to house them.

Visit: 133 4th Ave NE, Decatur, AL 35601

Call: 256-351-4505

Bellingrath Gardens and Home 

Bellingrath Gardens and Home, a 65-acre estate featuring a conservatory, an Asian American garden, a rose garden, a bayou, a boardwalk, and more, is situated in the town of Theodore, some 25 miles south of Mobile. 

The Bellingrath Museum Home, where Walter and Bessie Bellingrath, who created the gardens, resided until 1934, is open for viewing. 

If you’re traveling with children, you can download a number of kid-friendly guides for the gardens that will teach them about bees, butterflies, birds, geography, plants, and more. 

You can also keep the kids busy with a few scavenger hunts.

Previous guests praise the gardens’ year-round beauty and advise taking a tour of the house (turned museum). 

It houses the Bellingraths’ original items and furniture, so it’s like stepping into the past.

Visit: 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd, Theodore, AL 36582

Call: 251-973-2217

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

When Judge John Bragg and his family were not at their cotton plantation outside Montgomery, they could enjoy Mobile’s social season at this Greek Revival palace.

This residence, Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, was constructed for them in 1855. 

The 20-room estate, which was donated to the city by its final private owner, the A.S. Mitchell family, currently houses a museum that explores life in the South at that period. 

During guided tours, you are fully immersed in the historical décor and tales of the previous occupants. 

The narration of the guide brings the house to life and provides a fascinating look into the Civil War era. 

It should be noted that the museum occasionally closes for private events, so you might want to phone ahead before your visit.

Visit: 1906 SpringHill Ave, Mobile, AL 36607

Call: 251-471-6364

Colonial Fort Condé 

This French colonial fort was initially constructed in 1723 primarily by African men who had been sold into slavery, making it a stop on the African-American Heritage Trail. 

This structure offered security to the people of Mobile for more than a century under various colonial masters and names, including Fort Charlotte. 

The original fort was largely destroyed, but in 1966, its remains were recovered.

Ten years later, a somewhat scaled-down duplicate of a part of the fort was finished. 

Currently, visitors to Fort Condé can explore it by purchasing a ticket to the History Museum of Mobile.

Visit and witness Live reenactments of soldiers, artisans, and pirates.

You can also check out the armory and test your aim in the shooting range.

If you bring your kids with you, the family can have fun solving an escape room. 

Visit: 150 S Royal St, Mobile, AL 36602

Call: 251-208-7569

Oakleigh House Museum 

The oldest house museum in Mobile is the Oakleigh House.

This Greek Revival-style mansion, built in 1833 by James W. Roper, has gone through many historical eras and events in Mobile and the surrounding area. 

You can learn about the cotton trade, slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, railroad growth, epidemics, and more at this museum. 

Guests can get a sense of these events through the eyes of the people who lived in Oakleigh during an hour-long guided tour through the museum’s original period interiors.

Plus, you can see the Union barracks, which were constructed on the grounds around 1866 and depict Emancipation and Reconstruction in the post-Civil War South. 

Previous visitors have praised the home’s simple yet elegant architecture and the authenticity of the antiques compared to those in similar museums.

Visit: 300 Oakleigh PI, Mobile, AL 36604

Call: 251-432-1281

Mobile Museum of Art 

The Mobile Museum of Art, situated in Langan Park, is the largest art museum in the area.

It has a permanent collection of more than 10,000 works of art that date back more than two thousand years. 

The museum also hosts a variety of exhibitions and local art shows that change frequently.

The museum gathers and displays art for the primary purpose of teaching, with the goal of enhancing and inspiring lives through the beauty of visual art. 

There are many different genres, from historical to modern, in the Americas, Asia, and non-western regions. 

The museum also offers a wide range of educational activities and community-based initiatives, including seminars and classes for artists.

Visit: 4850 Museum Dr, Mobile, AL 36608

Call: 251-208-5200

Related Reading: Antique Stores Mobile AL – Check Out The Stores Here.

Final Thoughts 

Visiting a museum is a productive way to spend time with friends and family.

During visits, visitors can develop personal relationships with both the museums and their companions.

Parents become tour guides, and kids fortify what they learn in school.

Museums are even great venues for dates. 

Alabama is extremely rich in culture and history.

Please don’t pass up a chance to immerse yourself in it.


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