History and Heritage

While North Alabama may boast some of the most scenic parts of the state, the area is steeped in history. Must see places for history buffs include the recording studios of the Shoals, the Alabama Veterans Museum, Oakville Indian Mound Museum, General Joe Wheeler, just to name a few. Stops also include the homes of many noted individuals who played a role in shaping our country including America’s First Lady of Courage Helen Keller, Olympic-great Jesse Owens, and Father of the Blues W. C. Handy. Several days are needed to uncover the stories left behind and to experience the intriguing past of this part of the South.

Layers

Day 1

Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives
1
Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

The Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives collection contains an impressive display of artifacts from the Revolutionary War until present day.  Visitors can walk among the actual uniforms, medals, photos and weapon and hear stories and experiences…

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W. C. Handy Home, Museum and Library
2
W. C. Handy Home, Museum and Library
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

Father of the Blues W.C. Handy was born in a small log cabin in Florence on November 16, 1873.  He presented to the world the sounds of rhythm-and-blues, jazz, and soul with famous tunes such as “St. Louis Blues,” Memphis Blues,” and “Beale…

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Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
3
Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

An American architectural treasure, the Rosenbaum House is the only structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the state of Alabama and the only such house in the southeast that is open to the public.  The house is an excellent example of the…

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Day 2

Helen Keller Birthplace
4
Helen Keller Birthplace
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

Built in 1820, Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, is a simple, white clapboard home design in typical Southern architecture.  The main house is of Virginia cottage construction, with four large rooms on the first floor bisected by a wide hall. …

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Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
5
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

Named Alabama's No. 1 tourist stop of 2017 by the Alabama Tourism Department, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio has undergone an extensive renovation, funded in part by Beats Electronics, and is open for tours.

Located in northwestern Alabama in Sheffield,…

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Cypress Moon Studios
6
Cypress Moon Studios
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

Located on the beautiful Tennessee River in Sheffield, Alabama, Cypress Moon Studios is a concert venue, recording studio and a film production facility. It was the former location of the second Muscle Shoals Sound Studio from 1978 to 2005 where…

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Alabama Music Hall of Fame
7
Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

From rock and roll, to country, to blues and jazz, and gospel, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame recognizes artists who at one time called Alabama home or has significant musical ties to the state.  See Elvis’ first recording contract and the…

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Day 3

LaGrange College Site Park & Antebellum Cemetery
8
LaGrange College Site Park & Antebellum Cemetery
Historic or Pre-historic Place | Historic Site or Trail

Established in 1830, LaGrange College is Alabama's first chartered college and is often referred to as the West Point of the South after serving as a Military Academy.  The college enrollment read like a "Who's Who" list.  By 1862, due to the war,…

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Pond Spring - General Joe Wheeler Home
9
Pond Spring - General Joe Wheeler Home
Historic or Pre-historic Place | Historic Site or Trail

Located near Courtland, Pond Spring was home to Joseph Wheeler, former Major General of Cavalry of the Confederate western army, a U.S. congressman, and a Spanish-American War general.  Tour the 50-acre site and home which contains the General’s…

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Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum
10
Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum
Historic or Pre-historic Place | Historic Site or Trail

Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum preserves, protects, and presents artifacts dating as far back as 10,000 B.C. and ancient geological evidence of the settlement and evolution of the people of this region of Alabama. Creek (Muskogee), Yuchi (Uchean),…

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Jesse Owens Memorial Park
11
Jesse Owens Memorial Park
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

The Jesse Owens Memorial Park, located in Oakville, Ala., honors the life and accomplishments of the Olympic sprinter and gold medalist and has a mission to educate the public of the legacy of his contributions to athletics and humankind.  See…

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Day 4

Cullman County Museum
12
Cullman County Museum
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

The Cullman County Museum tells about Cullman’s German heritage and its founder, Colonel John G. Cullmann, through interesting exhibits and artifacts.  Housed in a replica of his home, the museum is filled with items spanning two centuries.  In…

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Ave Maria Grotto
13
Ave Maria Grotto
Historic or Pre-historic Place | Historic Site or Trail

Known throughout the world as "Jerusalem in Miniature," Ave Maria Grotto is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and…

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Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
14
Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Local Points of Interest | Religious Structure

A pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament provides a place for prayer and quiet contemplation. Modeled on the great Italian churches of the 13th century, The Shrine is a house of prayer open to people of every faith and tours,…

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Day 5

Burritt on the Mountain
15
Burritt on the Mountain
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Museum

Situated on a magnificent 167-acre site overlooking the city of Huntsville, Alabama, Burritt on the Mountain encourages visitors to explore the natural beauty of ‪Round Top Mountain, learn about its ecology, ‪revisit the lives of farmers whose…

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the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Angie Pierce

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Trip Plan Details

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In This Trip Plan

1 Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives
2 W. C. Handy Home, Museum and Library
3 Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
4 Helen Keller Birthplace
5 Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
6 Cypress Moon Studios
7 Alabama Music Hall of Fame
8 LaGrange College Site Park & Antebellum Cemetery
9 Pond Spring - General Joe Wheeler Home
10 Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum
11 Jesse Owens Memorial Park
12 Cullman County Museum
13 Ave Maria Grotto
14 Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
15 Burritt on the Mountain