USS Alabama

Of all the great attractions in Mobile, the USS Alabama is among the most popular. Docked at Battleship Memorial Park, this historic battleship sees thousands of visitors board its decks every year. While the USS Alabama might be retired from duty, it appears ready for another mission upon first glance. These days, however, its primary duty is to serve as a museum. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the USS Alabama sits proudly in Mobile Bay, no doubt enjoying all the attention that it's been getting since it was moved here in 1965. Stretching out to 680 feet, this famed battleship certainly makes its presence known at Battleship Memorial Park.

You can enjoy self-guided tours of the USS Alabama in Mobile every day of the year, save for Christmas Day, and young Scouts often shack up on board for a night or two as part of the ship's Scout Program. Sure, there are plenty of great Mobile hotels, but it's hard to match this lodging experience, especially for kids. You're encouraged to spend at least two hours on board when you tour the USS Alabama, and when you're done, you can hit the ship's store or check out all the other neat attractions that the Battleship Memorial Park offers.

The USS Alabama is about half as long as the Empire State Building in New York City is tall, so it's quite impressive to view. In its glory days, the ship's main batteries could accurately fire car-sized shells over a distance of 20 miles, and its top speeds saw it cutting through water at more than 32 miles per hour. Built for combat, the USS Alabama saw its first tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean, helping the Ally forces during WWII. Eventually, the ship headed to Scapa Flow, which is a body of water that is in found in Scotland's Orkney Islands. Scapa Flow was the chief naval base for the United Kingdom during both WWI and WWII. After serving the needs of the Allied forces in Europe, the USS Alabama prepared for service in the Pacific Ocean. Once repairs and a complete overhaul were finished, it was off to the Pacific, where the fight against Japan was raging strong.

The USS Alabama in Mobile saw active duty for 37 months, and it's impressive to consider that it never suffered any casualties. As such, the ship was nicknamed the "Lucky A." No fewer than nine battle stars were awarded to the USS Alabama for its role in WWII, and while the Navy stood prepared to scrap the ship in 1962, there were some people that weren't about to let that happen. The state of Alabama launched a significant campaign to bring the USS Alabama to its current home in 1964. School children from around the state helped to raise some of the money that was required to bring the ship to its final resting place, and more than 13 million people have come to take a look at her since the 1965 move. Among the more curious things that you'll see when touring the USS Alabama is the bunk that Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller used during his tour of duty. Feller spent 18 years with the Cleveland Indians after serving as a Gun Captain in the Navy. Coincidentally, for all you Feller fans out there, there is a museum dedicated to his life and career in his hometown of Van Meter, Iowa.

Exploring one of the Navy's greatest ships isn't the only thing that you can do at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. The park is also home to an intriguing aircraft collection and various military equipment, such as an amphibious tractor and a handful of tanks. You can find the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park right near the heart of downtown Mobile, so it's easy to pair your trip here with a downtown tour. All active duty military personnel get into the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park for free, so bring your military I.D. along if that applies to you. Should you be driving over to see the USS Alabama in Mobile, there is a fee for parking, but it is minimal. Parking is available for almost any kind of vehicle, so come on by regardless of what you're driving the next time you're in town. No trip to Mobile is complete without a visit to the USS Alabama, so it's definitely an attraction that you'll want to make some time for. You can even throw special events at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, and there are various venues to meet your wants and needs. After enjoying attractions like the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, you might treat yourself to some time on the beach in nearby Dauphin Island. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach aren't too far off either. You'll find that spending time at one of the Alabama beaches is a an ideal complement to a few days in Mobile.

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