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Space and Rocket Center top destination

Contributed

More than 658,000 people visited the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville last year, ranking it number one among state attractions that charge admission, followed by the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at second with 580,221 and the Birmingham Zoo at third with 576,974 state tourism officials say.

Seven of the state’s Top Ten attractions charging admission showed an increase in attendance over previous years, spokesman Brian Jones said.  Attendance figures were collected by the Alabama Tourism Department from local tourism organizations.  

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile placed fourth with 414,934 visitors and the McWane Science Center in Birmingham was fifth with 367,995.

Point Mallard Park in Decatur was sixth with 291,016.  The Huntsville Botanical Garden ranked seventh with 246,900 and the Montgomery Zoo was eighth with 230,992.  The National Voting Rights Museum in Selma was ninth with 228,670.  EarlyWorks Museums in Huntsville was tenth with 165,000.

The Alabama Tourism Department also released the Top Ten attendance figures for other categories.  Beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast were the number one natural destination in the state, attracting 5.9 million visitors last year. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens attracted 350,000 visitors to make it the most attended free attraction. More than 1 million people celebrated Mobile’s Mardi Gras making it the most attended event.  Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa was the number one sports destination with 712,747 fans attending University of Alabama home football games.

Top Ten - Admission Charged Attractions 2015

#1        U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville
256-837-3400
2015 attendance:       658,833         
2014 attendance:       626,311

 
#2        Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
Birmingham
205-942-0444
2015 attendance:         580,221
2014 attendance:         568,427
 

#3        Birmingham Zoo
Birmingham
205-879-0409
2015 attendance:        576,974
2014 attendance:        574,581
 

#4        USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Mobile
251-433-2703
2015 attendance:         414,934
2014 attendance:         381,192



#5        McWane Science Center
Birmingham
205-714-8300
2015 attendance:         367,995
2014 attendance:         332,492

#6       Point Mallard Park
Decatur
256-341-4902
2015 attendance:        291,016
2014 attendance:        298,879


#7        Huntsville Botanical Garden
Huntsville
256-830-4447
2015 attendance:        246,900
2014 attendance:        235,000


#8        Montgomery Zoo
Montgomery
334-240-4900
2015 attendance:         230,992    
2014 attendance:         236,100

#9        National Voting Rights Museum
Selma
334-418-0800
2015 attendance:         228,670
2014 attendance:           88,650


#10      EarlyWorks Museums
Huntsville
256-564-8100
2015 attendance:          165,000
2014 attendance:          189,500

Top Ten - Free Attractions 2015

#1        Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham
205-414-3950
2015 attendance:         350,000
2014 attendance:         350,000


#2      Alabama State Capitol
Montgomery
334-242-3935
2015 attendance:        158,658
2014 attendance:          97,614


#3        Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Montgomery
334-240-4333
2015 attendance:         141,468
2014 attendance:         159,263


#4        Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham
205-254-2565
2015 attendance:         132,000 
2014 attendance:         139,111



#5       Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
Birmingham
205-324-1911
2015 attendance:             94,382
2014 attendance:             88,000

 
#6      Aldridge Gardens
Hoover
205-682-8019
2015 attendance:           84,225
2014 attendance:           83,075

 

#7        Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Hanceville
256-352-6267
2015 attendance:            80,000
2014 attendance:            40,000



#8        Alabama Department of Archives & History
Montgomery
334-353-3312
2015 attendance:           55,527
2014 attendance:           44,802


#9        Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center
Danville
256-905-2494
2015 attendance:         48,448
2014 attendance:         43,512


#10      Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
Auburn
334-844-1484
2015 attendance:           34,148
2014 attendance:           29,580

 
Top Ten - Events 2015

#1        Mobile Mardi Gras
Mobile
251-208-2018
2015 attendance:        1,011,588
2014 attendance:        1,034,609      


#2       Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival
Fairhope
251-621-8222
2015 attendance:        300,000
2014 attendance:        250,000


#3       National Shrimp Festival
Gulf Shores
251-968-6904
2015 attendance:         250,000
2014 attendance:         250,000


#3        W.C. Handy Music Festival
Florence       
256-766-7642
2015 attendance:        250,000
2014 attendance:        250,000

 
#5        Bridge Crossing Jubilee
Selma           
334-526-2626
2015 attendance:        185,000
2014 attendance:          75,000

 
#6        National Peanut Festival
Dothan
334-793-4323
2015 attendance:          182,000
2014 attendance:          192,000



#7        National Veteran’s Day Parade
Birmingham
205-942-5300
2015 attendance:            100,000
2014 attendance:            100,000
 

#8           Panoply
Huntsville
256-519-2787
2015 attendance:          70,000
2014 attendance:          65,000



#9          Main Street Music Festival
Albertville
256-279-5300
2015 attendance:           47,000
2014 attendance:           32,000


#10        Rock the South
Cullman
205-655-4950
2015 attendance:           40,000
2014 attendance:           30,000

 
Top Ten - Parks and Natural Destinations 2015

#1        Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches
Gulf Shores/Orange Beach/Fort Morgan/Dauphin Island
251-968-7511
2015 attendance:      5,900,000
2014 attendance:      5,700,000


#2        Gulf State Park
Gulf Shores
251-948-7275
2015 attendance:      2,234,121
2014 attendance:      1,974,301         


#3        Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
Decatur
256-350-6639
2015 attendance:          663,000
2014 attendance:          656,630



#4        Oak Mountain State Park
Pelham
205-620-2520
2015 attendance:         555,000
2014 attendance:         363,752

 
#5        Railroad Park
Birmingham
205-521-9933
2015 attendance:          548,000
2014 attendance:          600,000


#6        Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
McCalla
205-477-5711
2015 attendance:             540,672
2014 attendance:             535,672



#7        Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge
Eufaula
334-687-4065
2015 attendance:             470,397
2014 attendance:             308,266


#8        Lake Guntersville State Park
Guntersville
256-505-6632
2015 attendance:               318,440
2014 attendance:               496,529

 
#9        Joe Wheeler State Park
Rogersville
256-247-5461
2015 attendance:               245,198
2014 attendance:               271,281

 
#10      Little River Canyon National
Fort Payne
256-845-9605
2015 attendance:               235,782
2014 attendance:               215,000
 

Top Ten Sports Destinations 2015

#1        Bryant-Denny Stadium – University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa
205-348-7166
2015 attendance:         712,747           
2014 attendance:         785,418
                      
#2        Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn University
Auburn
334-844-4750
2015 attendance:        612,157           
2014 attendance:        612,157


#3        Birmingham Barons Baseball
Birmingham
205-988-3200
2015 attendance:         444,639           
2014 attendance:         437,612


#4       Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega
877-Go2-DEGA
2015 attendance:        375,000
2014 attendance:        350,000



#5       Montgomery Biscuits Baseball
Montgomery
334-323-2255
2015 attendance:        232,466                       
2013 attendance:        244,534         


#6      Barber Vintage Motorsports
Birmingham
205-702-8709
2015 attendance:        170,735
2014 attendance:               N/A


#7      SEC Baseball Tournament
Hoover
205-702-8709
2015 attendance:        120,386
2014 attendance:        134,496


#8     Huntsville Havoc Hockey
Huntsville
256-518-6160
2015 attendance:        100,381
2014 attendance:        109,819



#9        Mobile Baybears Baseball
Mobile
251-476-2287
2015 attendance:           96,260
2014 attendance:         106,297



#10      Ladd Peebles Stadium- University of South Alabama

Mobile
251-414-8032
2015 attendance:           96,234
2014 attendance:           94,929

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