One of America's finest military parks is located near Mobile. Take the entire family to Battleship Memorial Park, where you can get a glimpse into what it took to make America what it is today. When you and your family first step onto the deck of the Battleship USS Alabama, you'll be awestruck by the sheer size of this vessel that served during World War II.

Guests staying in vacation condos and beach houses all along the coast needn't travel far to visit the impressive battleship, and can easily get there via a short drive (about an hour) from their comfortable accommodations.

A little bit of history

There's so much to discover during a few hours on the battleship, from fun historical facts about the vessel to anecdotes about what happened while service personnel were on the boat.

As the sixth battleship to bear the Alabama name, the vessel docked at Mobile Bay served a successful career. It is nearly 700 feet long, which is about half as long as the Empire State Building is tall, and is still just as majestic today as it was when it first set sail more than half a century ago.

Activities on board

All of the tours on the USS Alabama are self-guided, so you have free reign to check out all of the awesome military items on board, from massive cannons (don't worry, they won't fire!) to uniforms. Park officials recommend at least two hours to explore the ship, and you're more than welcome to pack a picnic lunch that can be enjoyed in the adjacent park modeled after a typical South Pacific village.

More to see and do

While here, set aside some time to explore the USS DRUM, the oldest American submarine on display in the world. Battleship Memorial Park also boasts a large collection of aircraft both inside and outside the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion, allowing you to be up close and personal with 22 impressive fighting machines, including a super secret spy plane capable of flying more than five times the speed of sound. Be sure your visit includes the flight simulator, where you can spend a few moments on an exciting mission.