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Planning a trip to Mobile, Alabama with your family? Looking for a unique attraction that will be fun for everyone in the family? Then you should add the USS Alabama to your list of things to do. Keep reading to find out why your family will love exploring this unique museum!
What is the USS Alabama?
The USS Alabama was a World War II battleship. It was nicknamed the “Heroine of the Pacific” for its service in battle. After the war, the ship was decommissioned.
But, unlike other battleships, it was sent to Mobile, Alabama to serve as the centerpiece of a Veterans Memorial Park. In 1965, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park opened to the public.
Now, this mighty ship, which sits in the Bay of Mobile, is one of the most unique military attractions in the country. It serves as a museum highlighting the history and bravery of all those who served in World War II.
When you visit, you can explore five floors of the USS Alabama. You can explore the deck and climb down into the inside of the ship to see what it was like to live and work on a battleship.
But, there is much more to this park than just the battleship. Sitting next to it is a hanger full of military planes. You will also find uniforms and other memorabilia in the hanger as well.
On the other side of the hanger is the USS Drum, a World War II submarine. This is the oldest submarine on public display. You can go down inside of it and explore the inner workings. This is one of the cooler things to do at the park.
Scattered throughout the park, you will also find numerous tanks, airplanes, artillery, and other memorials.
What to Expect at the USS Alabama
If you plan to see all the park has to offer, plan to spend at least 2-3 hours. Touring the Alabama, alone, will take an hour to an hour and a half to see the entire thing.
While exploring the USS Alabama, you have the option of taking a self-guided tour with a paper guide or just wandering around the ship freely. We just wandered around the ship with my son leading the way. We had a wonderful time and learned a lot.
If mobility is an issue for you, exploring parts of the ship will be difficult to maneuver. And, I would recommend skipping the USS Drum if getting around is difficult.
While the Alabama is a huge ship, there are some areas of it which are very small and tight. Plus, to tour it, you will be required to go up and down lots of narrow ladder-like stairways. Additionally, there are a lot of doorways that require you to either duck down or step up to get through.
The USS Drum has even tighter spaces and steeper stairways, so plan to skip it all together if you are claustrophobic.
For the most part, you can roam, explore, and touch most things on the ship. Kids (and military history buffs) will love checking out all of the guns and other things you will find throughout the ship.
The USS Alabama is open every day except for Christmas Day. Their hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm. The last ticket of the day is sold at 4:00 pm.
Admission to the park is $18 per person for those 12 and older. Senior and veterans pay $15 per person. Children ages 6-11 pay $6, while children 5 and under are free. They do offer a discount for AAA members. Parking is $5.
The price of admission gets you access to the ship, submarine, hanger, and the grounds.
There is a gift shop that you can visit at the end of your time at the park. Additionally, there is a also a snack shop that offers pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, chips, muffins, and drinks. It is located on the patio of the gift shop.
You can get more information on the park’s website.
The USS Alabama is a unique museum in Mobile, Alabama that everyone in the family will enjoy exploring. Where else do you get the chance to roam a World War II battleship and submarine?!?! I highly recommend visiting during your trip to Mobile, Alabama. You will love it!
If you love military museums, see my posts on the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas and the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
Check out why you must eat at the Ruby Slipper Cafe and Debris Po-Boys and Drinks during your trip to Mobile.
For tips on making your family vacations awesome, see how to plan an epic family vacation, how to take amazing vacations on any budget, and tips to improve your family vacations.
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