Heart of Dixie offers intriguing adventures

Over the break, students and their friends, families or significant others might travel out of the state to spend quality time. For those without the ability to travel out of state, there are still many cost-efficient places in Alabama to go for a short spring break trip.

1. U.S. Space and Rocket Center

For those in the northern region of Alabama, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville offers an easy location to learn more about Alabama’s role in space exploration.

It is the largest spaceflight museum in the world, according the U.S. Space and Rocket Center website. Those who visit it will see many artifacts including the Pathfinder, the world’s only full-stack space shuttle and the National Historic Landmark Saturn V Moon Rocket. The museum also has the Apollo 16 Command Module.

Wernher von Braun, who helped build the rocket that sent the Apollo astronauts to the moon, advocated for this center to “showcase the hardware of the space program,” according to the website. After advocating for the project’s funding in 1968, von Braun saw the center’s completion in 1970.

2. Moundville Archaeological Park

For western residents looking for a scenic location to visit, Moundville Archaeological Park in Moundville offers just that.

The park offers a glimpse into history, as native Mississippians occupied the land from 1000 to 1450 A.D., according the park’s website.

The site contains 26 large, earthen mounds that residents used for housing areas and other buildings for community use, according to the site.

Tours of the park last about 2 – 3 hours, and visitors to the park can also visit their museum, gift shop and café to make the trip complete.

3. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Those close to central Alabama can spend a day at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

The goal of the institute is to inform each generation about civil and human rights and the importance of both, according to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute website.

The institute has many historical exhibits, including the bars and door from the Birmingham jail cell where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Letters from Birmingham Jail.” There are also photo and artifact galleries throughout the institute.

4. Chewacla State Park

This 696-acre park, in Auburn, has many accommodations for visitors in eastern Alabama.

The park has a lake and two creeks, all of which are available for swimming or fishing for bream, bass, crappie and catfish, according to the Alabama State Parks website.

There are also six stone cottages visitors can rent at any time and 36 camping sites with electrical hookups and 10 primitive sites, all with showers, according to the website.

Visitors to the park also have the option of using hiking and mountain biking trails.

5. Dauphin Island Park and Beach

The Dauphin Island Park and Beach in Mobile offers southern Alabamians many outdoor options for spending the break.

The area has a public beach, as well as areas for kayaking and boating, according to the Dauphin Island Park & Beach website.

They also have over 151 camping sites, comprised of 99 full hookup sites and primitive sites, and they also have picnic and biking areas, according to the site.

Visitors can also enjoy birdwatching at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and additional wildlife in the maritime forest, marshes and dunes.