RV Travel with Kids

The USS Alabama Battleship - A Mobile Must See

by Mark - Father of 4 boys

When visiting Alabama, there is one absolute must do attraction in Mobile, a city situated in the southern part of the state, just north of the Gulf of Mexico.

The attraction is a visit to the USS Alabama, a battleship that won 9 battle stars as a result of her efforts during World War II. When entering Battleship Park there are a number of memorials that may be visited. Most include specific information about Alabamians who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country.

There is a modest entry fee to take the self-guided tour of the Battleship which includes a number of historical plaques, exhibits, and other informative stops along the way. One especially interesting stop is the Hollywood exhibit that shows all the different movies that have been filmed on the Battleship over the years.

The vast majority of the ship is accessible, including the Big 16 inch guns on the bow and the stern. This accessibility makes it great for small children (especially boys) whose imaginations run wild as they pretend what it would be like on the sea of this mammoth battleship.

Each 16 inch gun could shoot a 2,700 pound shell up to 21 miles with amazing accuracy. The ship also offers overnight adventures for interested parties, which is a great activity for Cub Scout troops, Church Youth groups, etc. In addition to the Battleship, there is also an Aircraft pavilion that houses a number of exciting planes. Unfortunately, the pavilion was significantly damaged during Hurricane Katrina, but has been remodeled since that time.

The most exciting plane in the pavilion is the A-12 Blackbird. The pavilion also includes a flight simulator where one can participate in a number of adventures.

Last, but certainly not least, is the USS Drum, a submarine utilized heavily in World War II as well. Dry docked adjacent to the Battleship, the Drum can be accessed after climbing two flights of stairs.

Like the Battleship, many parts of the vessel are accessible and a well document self-guided tour is offered. Any visit to Alabama, should include a trip down to Mobile to visit an awesome, historical, and wonderfully entertaining visit to the USS Alabama Battleship Park.

USS Alabama

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Dec 10, 2011
by: Emilyn from RV Travel with Kids

This sounds like so much fun! Thank you for posting this. We’d love to have you on our free family travel forums.

Jun 06, 2010
We've been too!
by: Debbie

The USS Alabama exhibit is a great afternoon or day trip for the whole family.

We spent the entire first half of the day exploring the battleship. As the park is open seven days a week, you can plan multiple visits, but not really needed unless you are a real history buff.

The Battleship itself is always undergoing repair, so do not be alarmed at wet paint signs or welding. Something that large needs work all of the time, and you can sometimes during the self guided tours get a sneak peak at how they keep a ship that size looking great 60 years after she was launched.

Be sure to follow all the different tours (a handy printout is provided) just follow the colors and arrows for all the facts and information. The rest of the complex is devoted to a military air museum and the submarine.

Air craft are parked all over the grounds, but the real treat is inside the hanger where an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and various jet aircraft are parked for up close pictures and information.

There is a flight simulator and exhibits inside giving the history of the planes and helicopters, and guest speakers appear often.

The Submarine is the last stop, The USS DRUM and not the most interesting in regards to information presented, the most challenging if you are not able bodied.

Imagine playground equipment designed for the shortest of persons. The gift shop has the usual fare, and a snack bar is open for light meals. Bring a camera as the views from the ship out over Mobile Bay are breathtaking, and you may even catch fisherman or various birds nearby in the salt marshes.

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