The best things in life are free. Believe us, these in Alabama won't cost you a cent.

Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama

1. Trip through the tulips at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Don't miss the Southern Living Gardens and the Kaul Wildflower Gardens; (205) 414-3900.

2. Take in one of the world's largest collections of Wedgwood at the Birmingham Museum of Art; (205) 254-2565.

3. Honor the Civil Rights Movement by joining hands around the fountain at the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery; (334) 261-1100.

4. Admire one of the largest helicopter collections on Earth at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, where helicopter pilots receive their training; (334) 598-2508.

5. Gaze at the hot-air balloons as they fly up, up, and away at the Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic & Music Festival in Decatur during Memorial Day weekend; 1-800-524-6181.

6. Go treasure hunting the third weekend in August at the world's longest yard sale, which starts in Gadsden and goes to Covington, Kentucky; 1-888-565-0411.

7. Roam Gulf Shores' Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, a 6,200-acre sanctuary with beach access; (251) 540-7720.

8. Cheer from the sidewalk as you watch the nation's oldest and largest Veteran's Day Parade in Birmingham every November; (205) 458-8000.

9. Stand where Gen. Andrew Jackson did when he defeated the Creek Indians in 1814 at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park near Daviston; (256) 234-7111.

10. Get jazzed up at the Jazz Jam Fest, and enjoy the sounds of saxophones, clarinets, and trumpets every fourth Sunday of the month in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame's Carver Performing Arts Theatre in Birmingham; (205) 254-2731.