Summer Road Trip Fun :: Get to Know the State with the Alabama Bicentennial PastPort

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If you haven’t noticed by now, Alabama is celebrating a pretty monumental birthday – 200 years this December! But you can’t limit a state’s bicentennial to just ONE day, or even a month really.  This 200th year celebration has more or less been going on since LAST year. 

One aspect of the Alabama Bicentennial celebration that I only became aware of a couple months ago is the Alabama Bicentennial PastPort. 

Alabama Bicentennial PastPort

Designed as a guide to Alabama’s historic destinations, the Alabama Bicentennial PastPort is a passport to the past. Presented by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and co-sponsors Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., Airbus, Verizon, and Alabama NewsCenter, the PastPort encourages people of all ages to explore every corner of the state. The guide features destinations—including historic sites, museums, and landmarks—in each of Alabama’s 67 counties combined with historical information and beautifully designed original artwork by the Birmingham-based firm Tatum Design. 

Head over to www.alabama200.org to get your Pastport!

Why would you want an Alabama Bicentennial PastPort?

Well, because it’s your ticket to fun and adventure (and education!) with your family this summer — all without leaving the state! 

Listed in the book are historical sites for each county that contain a county stamp for your pastport book. With 67 counties in Alabama, that’s 67 stamps to collect. 

Alabama Bicentennial PastPort

We have 10 counties down presently with plans to add at least two more next week and a handful of others before summer is over, including the birthplace of Helen Keller and the Jesse Owens Museum. Because of this little book, we have seen places in Alabama we didn’t even know existed! We’ve had a little extra fun and learned a whole lot!

Alabama Bicentennial PastPort - Talladega County
We got our Talladega County stamp at the Kymulga Grist Mill and Covered Bridge!

We had to travel to south Alabama for a wedding last weekend and collected several stamps on our trip down and back. It took a little planning, but it was a ton of fun! We stopped in Elmore County to see Ft. Toulouse-Jackson Park and learned some stuff about the Creek Indians and Andrew Jackson that we never knew!

Going to the beach this summer? You can map out stops on your way!

Alabama Bicentennial PastPort - Crenshaw County
We made a slight detour through Crenshaw County to get the stamp at Camilla House B&B and met this AMAZING cat named Dewey!

Note that even though there is more than one location listed for some counties, there is just ONE county stamp. You don’t have to visit EVERY location to get all the stamps, just one in each county. Also, the stamp is located in the lobby/ticket booth/gift shop at each location. You do not have to pay admittance to get the stamp. At most places we have, but we had to go to the Hank Williams museum to get our Montgomery County stamp and we were not interested in going through the museum at $10 per person. Staff at these places will not give you grief about being there just for a stamp.

If you’re looking for adventure this summer, the PastPort just might be your ticket!

It’s full of ideas of things to check out with the kids. And aside from the cool places we’re seeing, my son is just really excited over the actual stamps for the book. It’s like a scavenger hunt through the state, and he’s got his heart set on getting as many as we can. 

It sounds kind of daunting at first (trust me – I felt that way!) but now that we’re actually doing it, I see how possible it truly is to work it in to our normal summer plans!

Vulcan Park and Museum is a stamp site for Jefferson County.

Jefferson County Stamp Sites:

  • Vulcan Park and Museum
  • Sloss Furnaces
  • Tannehill State Park

Surrounding Counties “Day Trip” Stamp Sites:

  • Moundville Archeological Park (Hale)
  • Anniston Museum of Natural History (Calhoun)
  • Cheaha State Park (Cleburne County)
  • Noccolula Falls (Etowah)
  • Desoto Caverns (Talladega)
  • American Village or Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum (Shelby)
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Hunstville)
Alabama Bicentennial PastPort - Hale County
Get your Hale County stamp at Moundville and make a slight detour on the way home to get your Tuscaloosa  County stamp at the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum (it has FREE admission!)

“Weekend Getaway” Range Stamp Sites

  • USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park (Mobile)
  • Fort Morgan State Historic Site, Gulf Shores (Baldwin)

. . . and much, much more!  See the full list of sites here.

Not to mention that en route to these locations, you can find stamp sites in the other counties you pass through. 

So, start your Alabama adventure now with your own Alabama Bicentenniel PastPort!

Have you explored the state using the Alabama Bicentenniel PastPort? Tell us where you have been!

 

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Tabitha has spent her entire life living in various parts of St. Clair County . . . small town life but close enough to the city to enjoy all it has to offer. She's been married to her high school sweetheart for 13 years. Tabitha spends her days as a blogger and homeschool mom to Gavin, a 5th grader who loves animals, books, geography, LEGO, Disney, roller coasters, museums, pirates and karate. Indeed, he keeps her life interesting! Part of what makes it interesting is homeschooling an only child - it's a unique journey! Tabitha loves libraries, good books, history, traveling, coffee, Disney, sometimes cooking (but never cleaning up), being a "karate mom", more coffee, scrapbooking in her free time (ha!) and naps. Around town, you're likely to catch her "field-tripping" with her son at one of the libraries, a park, the Birmingham Museum of Art, McWane Science Center, the Birmingham Zoo, or one of the other dozens of interesting places in the city - and she'll probably have coffee.