October 31-November 9, 2023
- Tour Huntsville, US Space & Rocket Center, Flora-Bama, Gulf Coast Wharf. Take a dolphin cruise, visit Alabama Music Hall, Storybook Castle, USS Alabama Battleship Park, Selma, Birmingham, Barber Motorsports, Ava Maria Grotto, Our Lady Blessed Shrine, experience 2 Mardi gras Parades in Mobile, and more!
Day 1- Travel Day to Huntsville, AL for our first 2 nights. Lodging: Drury Inn. Enjoy the welcome food and drinks upon arrival.
Day 2-Huntsville, Alabama, a super high-tech city that is equally at home in the 19th century or the 21st. Major attractions reflect the heritage of the city, the strife of the American Civil War and the accomplishments of America’s rocket scientists. Nicknamed “The Rocket City” for its close history with U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the world’s largest space museum. We are sure to have an out of this world experience exploring the past, present, and future of the US Space Programs.
Day 3- Late afternoon arrive in Orange Beach-Gulf Shores, Alabama. Lodging for 4 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Beachfront, located directly on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Check it out at www.hiltongardeninorangebeach.com . Dinner included at Lucy Buffett’s, Jimmy Buffet’s sister. Enjoy this fun, casual beachfront restaurant with live entertainment.
Day 4-Visit Alligator Alley! On a guided adventure walk to the elevated platform and see hundreds of alligators from hatchings to mature adults, relaxing, sunbathing, courting, and nesting. Continue to Fairhope, one of the coast’s most charming towns. Enjoy some leisure time to explore the specialty shops and have lunch. Next, visit Storybook Castle, and tour both Sheldon Castle and Mosher Castle. Both have been featured on HGTV’s Extreme Homes. Dinner and show included at Gulf Coast Music Show.
Day 5_A Day trip to Mobile, AL includes a visit to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Our visit includes a self-guided tour of USS Alabama Battleship and the submarine, USS Drum, and the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion. Lunch is included aboard the USS Alabama! The battleship was the fourth and final member of the South Dakota class of fast battleships built of the U.S. Navy in the 1930’s. This afternoon, visit Bellingrath Gardens, a beautiful 65-acre estate built in 1932. A self-guided tour of the Mansion and Garden highlights our afternoon. Dinner included overlooking lovely Mobile Bay
Day 6-Enjoy a morning at your leisure or visit The Wharf, Gulf Shores premier shopping, dining, and entertainment district. After lunch enjoy a dolphin watch cruise on the Gulf of Mexico. Dinner included at famous Flora-Bama, a local landmark and one of the world’s top beach bars. Enjoy a cold drink and dinner at this one-of-a-kind place.
Day 7-Depart Gulf Shores and head north to visit Selma, Alabama. Selma captured the attention of the entire nation and became the center of a decisive shift in the American conscience. The nexus of the voting rights campaign of the 1960’s, Selma was the starting point for three marches in support of African Americans right to vote. These marches were crucial to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Our guide Dianne Harris joins us for the afternoon to bring this to life. Visit the Brown AME Church. Diane was a student activist with firsthand knowledge of the area’s Civil Rights Movement. Continue to Birmingham for 2 nights at the Drury Inn.
Day 8-Birmingham. AL was “Ground Zero” of the Civil Rights Movement. An interesting and educational one-of-a-kind tour experience. This afternoon, visit the Barber Motorsports Museum, a world-renowned classic car and vehicle museum.
Day 9-Another terrific day on the road. Visit St. Bernard Abbey Monastery and Ava Marie Grotto. Brother Christopher greets us with a talk about life as a Trappist Monk. Join the monks for morning prayer. Lunch is included, then tour through Ava Maria Grotto, “Jerusalem in Miniature”. On a landscaped hillside marvel at the creative genius of a lifelong monk and his magnificent miniature village of 125 structures. This afternoon tour Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, home of our Lady of Angels Monastery, a spectacular landmark and prominent shrine. Overnight near Nashville, TN.
Day 10-Journey Home.