If you’re planning a trip to the beach this summer, why not add some interesting detours to your road trip? These five family-friendly pit stops can be found along the route to popular beach destinations like Destin, Panama City Beach and Gulf Shores. Add a little miles and a lot of memories with these fun detours.
1. U.S. Space & Rocket Center
1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. They have one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia on display anywhere in the world. Guests can journey through America’s Space Race and NASA’s plan to put man on the moon, the development of the space shuttle program and the International Space Station, and get a glimpse of the future in commercial space ventures and the latest technological innovations.
You can also visit the rocket park, which features 27 missiles and rockets
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is open 7 days a week, 9 am – 5 pm. Admission for adults (13 and up) is $25, children (5 to 12) cost $17 and children 4 and under are free.
2. Peach Park
Located in the heart of Alabama, Peach Park is a family owned and operated tradition for travelers up and down Interstate 65. Peach Park was established in 1984 by Gene and Frances Gray as a small, roadside fruit stand. The stand would serve as an alternate location to hauling peaches to New Orleans to sell on the French Quarter Market.
In 1988, the now famous, homemade peach ice cream was introduced to the customers of Peach Park by Frances, who still makes the delicious ice cream today. The once roadside fruit stand has grown over the years to include a barbecue restaurant, a bakery with homemade fried pies and cobbler, a homemade cakes and candy kitchen, and a gift shop with unique gifts as well as gourmet food items. Spread over seven acres, the Peach Park property features a beautiful garden, a playground, the iconic lighthouse fountain, 14 sites for RV camping, and the historic Orchard House which is available for rent for special occasions.
Learn more at peachparkclanton.com
3. Bamboo Forest
800 Upper Kingston Rd, Prattville, AL 36067
Dedicated in 1982 as the first wilderness park developed inside city limits in United States. The forest has 26 acres of living bamboo and certain areas of forest have 60-ft.-tall bamboo with trunks 6 inches in diameter. You’ll also see hundreds of varieties of plants, including one of Alabama’s largest beech trees
4. Athletes Made of Junk
1 Academy Drive, Daphne, AL 36526
In Daphne, Alabama is a display of outdoor art like no other.
Sculptor Bruce Larsen is known as a junk art sculptor and ten of his works are permanently displayed on the grounds of the United States Sports Academy. Each depicts a different sport, and most are tributes to individuals: “Arnold the Weightlifter,” “Nastia the Gymnast,” “Jordan the Basketball Player” and “The Iron Bowl,” which commemorates the rivalry between the University of Alabama and Auburn University football teams.
The sculptors are made out of a variety of things like outboard motors, rusted motorcycles, tractor parts, drainage pipes, propane tanks, grates, gears and scrap metal.
5. Hank Williams Boyhood Home
127 Rose St, Georgiana, AL 36033
This 1850 house is the only home remaining that Hank Williams lived in prior to becoming a Nashville star. It opened as a museum in 1993 and displays memorabilia, artifacts, pictures and some of the singer’s personal belongings.
Hank was born on a farm in Mount Olive, southwest of Georgiana. Later, the family moved to Georgiana and lost their home to a fire before relocating to 127 Rose Street, now referred to as Hank Williams’ Boyhood Home.
The house is open to the public Monday – Saturday 10a-4p, closed on Sundays.
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