Alabama Military: Alabama is a southeastern U.S. state that’s home to significant military landmarks and events from the Civil War, World War I and World War II, all the way through history to space travel.
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum: This Museum is operated by the Alabama Center of Military History and is dedicated to promoting and disseminating the accomplishments of American military men and women. The emphasis is on participants of World War I and subsequent conflicts. The survivors and families can use the Museum facilities to reminisce on their own experiences and those of parents, grandparents, and other close relatives. There are displays – more than 30 historical military vehicles from World War I to the present, as well as tableaus, artifacts, and other memorabilia dating back to the Revolutionary War. Supporting organizations include the 19th Alabama Infantry which sponsors exhibits from 18th and 19th Century conflicts, and the 8th Air Force Historical Society, which sponsors a Bomb Group briefing room. Both organizations support ‘living history’ presentations on many Saturdays. At the Museum is a reference library, in addition to published material such as the Seventh Army After Action Report from World War II. The library offers written and oral reminiscences of Alabama veterans. In this vein, veterans and their families are invited to send written material or audio cassette tapes to the Museum for inclusion in the library. A narrative by the veteran, or an interview by a relative, will provide a legacy of the contribution. The Museum welcomes the participation of military and veterans’ groups and individuals in making this a valued educational piece of history in Huntsville.
USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park: At this Battleship Memorial Park, you don’t have to look very far to find heroes. From the Battleship USS ALABAMA to the Submarine USS DRUM and over 25 aircraft, the spirit of military pride is alive and well. Aboard the battleship you will be able to explore 12 decks. Among those, you can climb inside gun turrets, get locked in the Brig, man a 12mm gun and much more. Also at the park, you will be able to go below and explore the oldest Submarine on display, the USS DRUM. In the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion as well as in the park, you will be able to view many rare and historic aircraft. A few in the collection include a A-12 Blackbird Spy Plane, OS2U Kingfisher, F-86L Sabre Jet, and B-52 Bomber, just to name a few. While in the pavilion, don’t forget to take a ride on the Flight Simulator and experience flight without ever leaving the ground. It’s an unforgettable experience for the entire family. All tours are self-guided. Allow approx. 2.5 hours to really see what it was like to be on this battleship when on active duty in Mobile.
United States Army Aviation Museum: The U.S. Army Aviation Museum maintains a collection of over 160 military aircraft, including one of the largest collections of military helicopters in the world. Approximately 50 beautifully restored, historic, and one-of-a-kind aircraft are proudly displayed both inside the Museum exhibit space and outside on the grounds. The collection includes many significant examples of early research efforts and developments in rotary wing technology and the evolution of the helicopter. Represented is the Army’s involvement in military aviation from the Wright brothers, the early combat aircraft of WW I, and today’s technological machines such as the AH-64 Apache and the UH-60 Blackhawk. You’ll find this in Ft Rucker.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC): This is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. On Display, they have one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere in the world. Guests journey through America’s Space Race and NASA’s plan to put man on the moon. Witness the development of the space shuttle program and the International Space Station, get a glimpse of the future in commercial space ventures, and the latest technological innovations. The Rocket Center regularly features traveling exhibits from around the world. Also, enjoy daily films on the 67-foot screen in Huntsville’s only full-dome IMAX® Theater or in the 52-foot, high-definition screen in the National Geographic Theater. Finally, plan a ride on the motorcoach tour of Redstone Arsenal, headquarters to the Army Material Command and home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Travel to Huntsville to enjoy.
Crooked Creek Civil War Museum: This is a must see if you are a Civil War buff. It’s small but it makes this time in our history come alive in Vinemont.
Travelkatz is waiting to hear from you so we can make the history of our country come alive. Call us at 352-277-7300.
PLACE OF INTEREST
US Virgin Islands
The Islands are made up of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, the laid back USVI offer sophisticated dining, turquoise waters and quaint towns. On St. Croix, Christiansted’s colorful Danish Colonial buildings provide a lovely backdrop for dining or sailing. Underwater coral gardens are heaven for divers. On St. Thomas, shopping mecca Charlotte Amalie has hopping nightlife. Tranquil St. John offers quiet trails, secluded coves and lively Cruz Bay’s shops and bars. Ferries and local air services link the islands.
Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden: This is a hidden gem that we were on our way to Mountain Top. It is an amazing, tropical garden with lavish landscaping. The owner, Patsy, is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Bananaquits and hummingbirds welcome you to a canopy of tropical foliage, with a pathway lined by blooming orchids, bromeliads, palms, succulents and thousands of other tropical plants. All of this is overlooking Magen’s Bay, Tortola and St. John. Walking throughout the garden can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many pictures you decide to take or how much time you decide to enjoy the views. This is an absolute must for nature-lovers, as it is a tranquil, tropical paradise!
Plantation Crown and Hawk Botanical Garden: This beautiful garden is filled with lovely spots to explore at a leisurely pace: well-tended gardens and walkways lead you to rescued wildlife: macaws, peacocks, tortoise and the plants and flowers are majestic. One doesn’t have to rush through but can take time to savor the beauty and respond to the obvious knowledge and dedication of the owners to maintain an incredible gem of beauty. The gift shop is new, and items are well-priced. You may end up doing most of your vacation gift shopping there because of the nice/unique selection and reasonable prices.
Blackbeard’s Castle: One of St. Thomas’s most famous historical sites. A Walking Tour rich in History and Beauty. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Spectacular views, sparkling pools, life size pirates and more.
Market Square: Formerly a slave-trading market, this open-air fruit and vegetable market is a great place to stop and sample the fresh produce, especially the local specialty – genips. You can enjoy the market and got great deals on shirts, mugs, shot glasses and keychains. The vendors are very friendly, far from pushy and were very negotiable on a lot of goods. The items for purchase are of great quality and made great gifts upon returning. If you are looking for quality without the high-end shop prices this is your go to!
Seven Arches Museum: Seven Arches gets its name from the seven beautiful arches that form the staircase of the home. The house was built around 1800 and is decorated as the typical home would be in the Virgin Islands back in the late 1800’s. The owner/curator does tours by appointment only, so you must call and schedule something in advance.
Honeymoon Beach: This is a slice of heaven on earth. Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Crown Bay Marina, it the beach you think of when you think Caribbean. Depending on the time of your visit, it’s often quit and peaceful. This is the beach to go to. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the day. Dinghy’s bar is there and serves food and drinks. The water is crystal clear and there’s a nice sandy bottom with a slow incline. Dinghy’s put a floating bar out in the water for people to hang out in. There are plenty of lounge chairs with umbrellas. Plus, there are tables with chairs with umbrellas under the trees up by Dinghy’s. To add to the charm of this place there’s a flock of French fry loving chickens running around.
Night Kayak Tour in St. Thomas: This tour comes highly recommend! Paul is a super guide, informative & fun. The lighted kayaks are wonderful. It allows you to see loads of stingrays, tarpon, sea turtles, and lots of other smaller fish that the tarpon are after. They jump right next to the kayak pursuing prey, bumped into the kayak, or skimmed up underneath the clear bottoms giving an incredible close view. The water was very calm & bugs were non-existent out in the kayaks. Do this tour! You won’t regret it!
Government House: Government house is a two-story building with intricate white ironwork and includes the Virgin Islands governor’s office. Standing on these balconies provides a commanding view of Charlotte Amalie and the Caribbean Sea. It was built in 1867 for the Danish Colonial Council. Inside is art including works by the French Impressionist Camille Pissarro and portraits of previous governors. Located right on 99 Steps make it easy to find. There is a beautiful little park with a fountain and benches in front of the building. Totally worth a visit just for the views. Don’t forget your camera!
There are flights from Tampa with just one stop. Of course, you can have TravelKatz book a Caribbean cruise for you and your family and stop at the US Virgins for the sights on the island of St. Thomas. Just give us a call at 352-277-7300 and we will make this vacation a reality for you.
TravelKatz will handle all aspects of your dream US Virgin Islands Vacation Package.
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Alabama Gardens- Come witness the beautiful colors and varieties of flowers and plants as we travel to Alabama for a look. There are 13 varieties of gardens located all over the state. Call us to help you create that springtime Alabama adventure! Or maybe you would rather witness the fall colors instead.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens: A cherished place of respite and inspiration since 1962, these Gardens promote a passion for plants, gardens, and the natural world. Located in the heart of Birmingham, this 67-acre urban oasis offers beautiful blooms, glorious specialty gardens, and opportunities to grow your green thumb throughout the year. The Gardens are free and open to the public every day of the year. A facility of the Parks and Recreation Board, these Botanical Gardens are the result of a public-private partnership between the city the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Beautiful gardens with lots of incredible plants and water features and benches to sit and take it all in and it’s also right across from the zoo. It’s a beautiful place to take a walk, read a book, have a picnic, or take photos. The gift shop is lovely as well. Found in the city of Birmingham.
Dunn Formal Rose Garden: This Rose Garden is an official All-America Rose Selection Display Garden. It features tea roses, floribundas, grandifloras, climbers, miniatures and shrub types that bloom in glorious colors from late April until frost. You’ll see old favorites such as ‘Peace’, ‘Chrysler Imperial’, and ‘John F. Kennedy’ mingle with newcomers like ‘All That Jazz’, ‘Dolly Parton’ and ‘Fourth of July’; our bounty of roses has made this spot a mainstay attraction since The Gardens first opened in Birmingham.
Hess Camellia Garden: Another beautiful site, this Shade Garden and the Japanese Garden are found at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Come and enjoy the diversity these gardens offer.
Huntsville Botanical Garden: The 112-acre Botanical Garden is open year-round and contains a diverse ecosystem of meadows, upland and bottomland forest, and wetlands, as well as a variety of specialty gardens and native plant collections. The Mathews Nature Trail contains the largest accredited trillium collection in the U.S. and the Anderson Education Center is home to the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house. The Native Plants Teaching Garden is a public space that highlights the way local plants, soil, pollinators, and birds create distinct communities and how they interact to form a diverse, sustainable, and attractive landscape. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Garden is a member of the American Public Gardens Association of North America. Discover this garden in Huntsville.
Dothan Area Botanical Gardens: Serene retreat featuring 50 acres of lush, manicured gardens with ponds & shady walking trails. It is on the smaller side but for $5 a person it was well worth the money! There is a gorgeous Asian garden and tropical plant house. You can see a good variety of roses, camellias, and herbs, too. There are paved walkways for a very peaceful and quiet stroll on a Sunday morning. For the children, there is a kid zone which everyone loves. Found in town Dothan north of Atlanta.
Aldridge Gardens: This spot is amazing. Wonderful accessible walking trails, a hands-on bonsai educational opportunity, a Veterans Memorial Arbor and Pentagon Plaza with beautiful views of the lake, also a great place to take a run in the park – and just adorable geese or ducks! They also have a venue you can rent for events. Come experience the beauty and hospitality the city of Hoover has to offer.
Cornerstone Gardens: This garden is a beautiful hidden gem! You might very well love all the Bible verses throughout the garden! Cornerstone Gardens and Arboretum was created as a place of meditation, rest, and reflection for Carriage House Repose & Restore, Inc., a Christian support ministry for ministers, missionaries, and evangelists. The Carriage House is situated on the property close to the gardens, and the pastors and others come to stay there as a short-term respite. The caretakers and stewards of the Carriage House ministry have opened the gardens to the general public to share the natural beauty and wonder of over 5,000 plants and trees comprised of over 150 different species. Travel to Mobile to enjoy this garden.
TravelKatz is looking forward to helping you and yours have a special vacation in Alabama where you will get to see beautiful gardens. Just call us at 352-277-7300 or chat at www.travelkatz.com.