Last year my buddy Richard Radcliff Trice and I embarked on a road trip which took us from Miami all the way across to Austin Texas. During the trip we visited many states which we’d only ever passed through and some of them really surprised us both. The pick of the bunch for me was Alabama, a much cooler state than I had previously thought and one which offers tourists with loads to do. From quirky experiences, historical discoveries and plenty of national parks, Alabama is certainly a place I’d recommend visiting, and here are 5 cool things to do when you get there.

Lost Luggage

Ever wondered what happens to all of that unclaimed luggage from the airports around the USA, well wonder no longer as it is all sent to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro. Here you can not only see the huge volume of luggage which has been left by travelers, but your can also purchase some of the lost luggage and dig in to see what treasure you can find.

Art Museums

Alabama has a really cool art scene and there are museums dotted around the state which make for a fascinating experience. From fine art to local street art, modern artwork, historical pieces and even museums which focus on showcasing the work of local artists. If you are an art lover then you are going to have a great time here in Alabama.

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The place they call ‘Rocket City’ in Huntsville is the largest collection of rockets in the world and even houses the rockets which were developed that sent astronauts from the Apollo missions to the moon. This is not just a museum however, it is still an active research facility which NASA are currently using to design a new Space Launch System. If you love space travel and looking at how it all works, this is the perfect place to go when you in Alabama.

Tour the FAME Studios

The FAME studios, opened in 1959 by Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has been graced by some of the all time great singers and you can take a step back in time and tour this amazing studio. Artists who have recorded here include Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James and many more. The studio is still working today, take the tour and walk in the footsteps of greatness.

Visiting Moundville

During A.D. 1000 and A.D. 1450, this was a massive settlement on the Black Warrior River, which forged much of Mississippian culture. During a trip here you’ll learn about the ancient settlement and what life was like, as well as visiting exhibits in both the museum and throughout the grounds of this protected site.

Alabama is going to really surprise you, and these are just a handful of the cool things that I did when I was there.