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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 54 Hotels near Alabama Museum of Natural History
Hotel Capstone $129
Hotel Capstone

Hotel Capstone

320 Paul W Bryant Dr, Tuscaloosa
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 982 reviews
    3.0 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.

    Ramada by Wyndham Tuscaloosa $68
    Ramada by Wyndham Tuscaloosa

    Ramada by Wyndham Tuscaloosa

    631 Skyland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa
       
      3.7
      of 5, from 87 reviews
      2.5 out of 5.0

      Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Coleman Coliseum, Paul W. Bryant Museum, and Bryant-Denny Stadium. Denny Chimes and University of Alabama are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      La Quinta Inn Tuscaloosa $47
      La Quinta Inn Tuscaloosa

      La Quinta Inn Tuscaloosa

      4122 McFarland Blvd East, Tuscaloosa
         
        2.9
        of 5, from 1,172 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Coleman Coliseum, Paul W. Bryant Museum, and Denny Chimes. University of Alabama and Alabama Museum of Natural History are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Americas Best Value Inn -Tuscaloosa $42
        Americas Best Value Inn -Tuscaloosa

        Americas Best Value Inn -Tuscaloosa

        3501 McFarland Blvd., Tuscaloosa
           
          2.0
          of 5, from 116 reviews
          2.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Tuscaloosa, this motel is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Coleman Coliseum and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Paul W. Bryant Museum. Bryant-Denny Stadium and Denny Chimes are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Tuscaloosa/Near University $71
          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 1,058 reviews
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Paul W. Bryant Museum, Coleman Coliseum, and University of Alabama. Denny Chimes and Bryant-Denny Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            SpringHill Suites Tuscaloosa $107
            SpringHill Suites Tuscaloosa

            SpringHill Suites Tuscaloosa

            4020 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa
               
              4.5
              of 5, from 177 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum, and University of Alabama. Paul W. Bryant Museum and Denny Chimes are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown $127
              Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown

              Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown

              111 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 152 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Located in the heart of Tuscaloosa, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of University of Alabama, Bryant-Denny Stadium, and Denny Chimes. Alabama Museum of Natural History and Paul W. Bryant Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Embassy Suites Tuscaloosa Alabama Downtown $159
                Embassy Suites Tuscaloosa Alabama Downtown

                Embassy Suites Tuscaloosa Alabama Downtown

                2410 University Boulevard, Tuscaloosa
                   
                  4.8
                  of 5, from 249 reviews
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly Tuscaloosa hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of University of Alabama, Alabama Museum of Natural History, and Denny Chimes. Bryant-Denny Stadium and Paul W. Bryant Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).