While on our drive to Florida I saw that we were passing by this magnificent battleship and made it a point to stop and visit. We arrived early on a November morning and paid our $2.00 for parking.
This is just an awesome site to see. There is so much history here that it took me 2 1/2 hours to see it all and that was at a quick pace since my wife waited in the car for me.
We arrived as it opened in the morning catching the morning sunlight. Unknowingly, we arrived at the same time as a running event that was going on at the time.
There were several displays outside of the entrance. I will include them in separate posts because there were so many pictures. Above is the main entrance building which houses the gift store as well as the ticket booth.
Admission was $15 for an adult. There are many discounts available for various groups. Once through the entrance building you come upon some more displays and then make your way to the ramp above to go onboard. The building in the distance houses several static displays such as aircraft and helicopters. Those will be in part 2.
One of the first and most prominent feature that you see once on board – and everywhere in the area – are the big guns of the USS Alabama. To an average visitor not having been around a battleship these are gigantic and stunning to see up close. I can only imagine what it would have been like to be onboard while these were fired. They are the most iconic feature of this mighty ship and can be seen for miles around.
No surprise here that this is a National Historic Landmark. It is a masterful piece of American engineering and building capabilities. Makes me proud to just step on her decks.
There is a lot of information scattered about the ship. This one is about the paint scheme of the ship throughout the years. It is interesting that they changed the camouflage patterns over time. There are pictures of more information plaques in the gallery that help tell the story of this grand ship.
Below the deck there are several displays that focus on various aspects of this ship. The above displays touch on the construction and commissioning of the USS Alabama. The far display shows information and items about an artic convoy protection.
I love maps and this one is fascinating. It shows the battle history and travels throughout the world. It was a major player in WWII and helped the US win the war in the Pacific.
Once back on deck I could not help myself by getting behind one of the 40mm guns to get a view what a young man manning these guns saw during the war. One of my favorite pictures because of how real it was. What I mean by that is that I have seen these in the movies but this was my first time behind the real deal.
Besides the Big Guns of the battleship, the bow is always a place to visit. If for nothing else to get a selfie – like the ones in the gallery.
This was as much of the ship that I could get in one picture while visiting. An absolutely magnificent battleship. I only wish that we could have set sail for a short trip or that I had more time to explore more of it.
This was a great place to visit. While the battleship itself is worth the $15 admission price, there is so much more to see. In the part 2 post there will be pictures of the B52, SR-71 Blackbird, fighter jets, the USS Drum submarine, and much more. I highly recommend spending several hours here soaking up the displays and history.
For more information check out their website at: