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Alabama Museum of Natural History

Examine prehistoric fossils, local wildlife specimens and archaeological artifacts in this fascinating museum, which is devoted to the natural world.

The skeleton of a basilosaurus, an ancient kind of whale, hangs over the Grand Gallery of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. This giant fossil is just one of many artifacts displayed here with the purpose of teaching visitors about history, science and paleontology. Revel in the academic atmosphere of the museum and learn more about the world around you through its enlightening exhibits.

The cornerstone of the museum was laid in 1907 and the building, also known as Smith Hall, was completed in 1909. At the time of its construction, a museum boom had swept across America and the Alabama Natural History Museum was built to reflect the classical revival styles of similar buildings in New York, Chicago and Washington. Pause for a moment to notice the rather plain exterior. Then enter to see the central gallery brilliantly lit by sunlight streaming in from a glass roof.

Get familiar with the various animal species living in Alabama at the Tuscaloosa’s Backyard Critters exhibit, which documents city life in all shapes and sizes. The Skulls and Skeletons display provides additional information about animals and how they work.

Inspect thousand-year-old fossils and discover how the world was made at the museum’s geological displays. These collections focus mainly on marine fossils. If you’re traveling with a group of 10 or more, sign up for a guided tour, which will provide extra information on all the exhibits.

Listen to experts share their knowledge at one of the museum’s lectures. Many of the talks by local academics are free. In October, embrace the Halloween spirit on a guided tour of the surrounding university campus at night.

The museum hosts outdoor field trips in summer. Dig for prehistoric treasures and dredge the river floor to find out more about the geography and geology of the state.

The Alabama Museum of Natural History is located on the University of Alabama campus. It is closed on Sundays as well as during university holidays. To get here, take the Tuscaloosa Trolley service to Lloyd Hall stop. The museum has on-site parking, which is free for the first hour.


Guide to Exploring around Alabama Museum of Natural History


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Lodging Near Alabama Museum of Natural History

See all 51 Hotels near Alabama Museum of Natural History
$99
Hotel Capstone

Hotel Capstone

320 Paul W Bryant Dr, Tuscaloosa
4.1
of 5, from 865 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Paul W. Bryant Museum, Coleman Coliseum, and University of Alabama. Denny Chimes and Bryant-Denny Stadium are also within 15 minutes.

$76
Wingate By Wyndham Tuscaloosa

Wingate By Wyndham Tuscaloosa

4918 Skyland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa
4.1
of 5, from 714 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Veterans Memorial Park, Coleman Coliseum, and Paul W. Bryant Museum. Gorgas House and Denny Chimes are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$59
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Tuscaloosa/Near University

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Tuscaloosa/Near University

1417 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Tuscaloosa
4.1
of 5, from 981 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Veterans Memorial Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Paul W. Bryant Museum and Coleman Coliseum. University of Alabama and Denny Chimes are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$110
Hampton Inn Tuscaloosa-University

Hampton Inn Tuscaloosa-University

600 Harper Lee Dr, Tuscaloosa
4.6
of 5, from 277 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Alabama Museum of Natural History, Paul W. Bryant Museum, and Gorgas House. Denny Chimes and University of Alabama are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$104
Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown

Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown

111 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa
4.6
of 5, from 104 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Capitol Park, Battle–Friedman House, and Murphy African American Museum. Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion and University of Alabama are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$44
La Quinta Inn Tuscaloosa

La Quinta Inn Tuscaloosa

4122 McFarland Blvd East, Tuscaloosa
2.9
of 5, from 1,100 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Veterans Memorial Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Coleman Coliseum and Paul W. Bryant Museum. Denny Chimes and University of Alabama are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$72
Centerstone Inn Tuscaloosa

Centerstone Inn Tuscaloosa

4700 Doris Pate Drive, Tuscaloosa
3.5
of 5, from 464 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Veterans Memorial Park, Coleman Coliseum, and Paul W. Bryant Museum. Denny Chimes and University of Alabama are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$64
Ramada Tuscaloosa

Ramada Tuscaloosa

631 Skyland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa
3.7
of 5, from 30 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Veterans Memorial Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Coleman Coliseum and Paul W. Bryant Museum. Bryant-Denny Stadium and Denny Chimes are also within 6 mi (10 km).