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If you could use a change of pace that includes warmer weather, friendly faces, and all the sweet tea you can drink, head down south to Alabama, the heart of Dixie. First-time visitors are often surprised to discover Alabama's natural beauty, delicious food, and stunning white-sand beaches. Visiting Alabama is also a great way to learn more about the civil rights movement and the history of the U.S. space program. Sports lovers will enjoy attending a college football game in a state that takes its football very seriously.

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1. U.S. Space and Rocket Center

If you have always dreamed of being an astronaut, a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is a can't-miss stop. With each ticket purchase, enjoy daily guided tours of the Saturn V Hall with amazing close-up encounters with the huge rockets that sent a man to the moon. You can also tour featured exhibitions, view hands-on demonstrations and presentations, and experience exciting museum simulators. Finish up the day with a National Geographic film or a visit to the planetarium. And if one day isn't enough for you, consider attending a week-long space camp; there are opportunities for both kids and adults.

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