Northern Exposures

January 2023

By: Amity Moore Joyce

Increase your appreciation of Alabama’s crown with this slew of stops.

3 Kid-Friendly Sites

  • The recently opened, state-of-the-art Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur encourages kids to see what life is like from a beaver’s perspective, to touch a meteorite, and to crawl through a recreated cave looking for lifelike bats and vets. 
  • Huntsville’s Alabama Constitution Hall Park allies visitors to step back into 1819 when Alabama became a state. Demonstrations and stories bring the period alive during 90-minute tours. 
  • A visit to Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s birthplace in Tuscumbia lends understanding to what her young life was like as a deafblind person.

A new agritourism trail is growing in North Alabama. Download the trail guide from to plan your route. Choose from visits to hands-on farms, orchards, farmers markets, animal farms, harvest festivals and other businesses that are part of this agriculturally rich region. Even wineries and farm-to-table eateries! Seasonal stops could include pumpkin patches and corn mazes.

Find Your Groove

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Discover the ties Alabama has to more than 1,200 musicians at this comprehensive museum. From Hank Williams Sr. to Nat “King” Cole to the Commodores, the breadth and variety of music and artists represented here is wide.


Muscle Shoals
In this still-operating sound studio, producer Rick Hall created what became known as the Muscle Shoals Sound, heard on Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man” and Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.” Tours go beyond the front door and into famous Studio A and Studio B, where hits were made.

Alabama Fan Club & Museum

Fort Payne
Fort Payne natives and cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook formed one of country music’s most celebrated bands and named it after their home state. Visit Alabama’s museum to see personal items, notable awards, photographs and more from the band’s 50-plus years of performing.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

Recently restored to the look of its late 1960s to early 1970s heyday, this still-active recording studio generated chart- topping singles. Sit on the couch where Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson and Cher have sat. During tours, see the piano where Paul Simon wrote “Kodachrome” and the bathroom where Keith Richards reportedly finished writing “Wild Horses.”

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