A Guide to Birmingham
Collected by Allison Murray , AFAR Contributor
Birmingham is experiencing a cultural renaissance that is attracting new visitors and has residents excited about their city. The Magic City offers something for everyone, from down-home cooking to world-class art.
2738 Cahaba Rd, Mountain Brook, AL 35223, USA
Mountain Brook Village, English Village, and Crestline Village make up the best concentration of places to shop in the entire city. They are all within a couple miles of each other, some within walking distance. You will find an abundance of...
2007 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA
Chez Fonfon is another of nationally known chef Frank Stitt's restaurants. Located in Five Points South, it serves casual French cuisine. Go out back when the weather's nice and play a game of boules while you enjoy your dinner.
281 Lyon Ln, Birmingham, AL 35211, USA
A newer attraction in Birmingham, Red Mountain Park sits on and around the city’s most famous mountain and honors the coal and limestone fields that comprised iron-making and put the “Magic City” on the map. There are plenty of activities for...
1817 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
One of the city’s oldest and most thriving landmarks, the Alabama Theatre is a step back in time. It opened in 1927 and the interior is still filled with the Golden Age splendor of nearly 100 years ago. Along the sidewalk leading into the entrance...
3719 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222, USA
Birmingham’s best place to grab a great indie show and a good drink, you can also find a great brunch/lunch/dinner menu here that boasts some really fantastic vegan fare. There is something going on almost every night of the week, so check their...
2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
Birmingham has a great art museum that boasts a truly impressive permanent collection, including pieces from the Italian Renaissance, Native American tribes, African art, Asian art, and it also houses the one of the largest and most impressive...
2721 Cahaba Rd, Mountain Brook, AL 35223, USA
Sip on a delicious mixed drink, local brew, or choose from their incredibly vast whisky, scotch, and moonshine selection at Dram Whiskey Bar. Better yet, try the bacon-infused bourbon cocktail and take a seat outside on their spacious back patio—...
Peavine Falls, Pelham, AL 35124, USA
One of the most beloved picnic, hiking, and scenic places in Central Alabama, Peavine Falls is located in Oak Mountain State Park. You can hike here, or drive your car up the mountain and work your way down the clearly marked trails. Oak Mountain...
2323 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
What's On 2nd is an eclectic mix of anything and everything antique and/or vintage ranging in items from cameras to dolls to medicine bottles. There are household items from the 1940s and '50s to video games and gaming systems from the 1980s and...
1008 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood, AL 35209, USA
You won’t be too hard-pressed to find great barbecue in Birmingham, but Saw’s should be at the top of your list. With a location in Homewood and also in the revitalized Avondale neighborhood, get your ‘cue fix with a helping of pulled pork with...
1720 7th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
One of Birmingham’s first food trucks, Mac and Chad of Shindigs will do lunch right for you. Track them down via Twitter, Facebook, or their website and then take your time deciding which of their “vittles” to chow down on. All of their...
113 20th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
2nd Avenue South has become a cornerstone of Birmingham’s recent revitalization. Not only will you find great bars like Pale Eddies Pour House and Magic City Metro Bar, but there is also some fun and unique shopping like Charm, a jewelry boutique,...
2320 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
Urban Standard opened in 2007 and has become a catalyst for the downtown revitalization that has blossomed around it. It’s the perfect place for anyone to congregate: creatives, business folks, locals who live in the surrounding lofts, students...
114 14th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
Founded by a couple of guys who love beer so much that they wanted to make it, the name says it all. Good beer for the good, honest, hard-working people of Alabama. What began as small start-up in 2008 has grown to one of the coolest places to...
17 Dexter Ave, Birmingham, AL 35213, USA
The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead is located in little house just off the Crestline Village shopping area. It’s where the foodies of Birmingham go to get their favorite artisanal goat cheeses and various sundries, and they stay for a light...
1000 John Rogers Dr, Birmingham, AL 35235, USA
We adopted two greyhounds. The rescue agency arranged a field trip to the track where one of our greyhounds raced to give us an idea what her life was like while racing. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but when you get to the track and see these...
960 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood, AL 35209, USA
If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than Dreamcakes bakery. A broad and ever-changed cupcake menu has been keeping the city on a sugar high since owner Jan Moon opened her storefront in 2009. They also have French...
3117, 200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
The McWane Science Center is a non-profit museum that hosts hours of entertainment for kids of all ages. Spread out over 4 floors and located in the heart of Birmingham, there are hands-on exhibits, an aquarium, a domed IMAX theater, and countless...
1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209, USA
Built by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti, Vulcan (the Roman god of fire) is the world’s largest cast iron statue. It is made of local iron, which is appropriate since Birmingham got its nickname, the Magic City, from the incredible iron industry...
1401 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
Any local you talk to will tell you that Alabama is a diehard college football state, but with the additon of Regions Park, the brand new home of minor league baseball team the Birmingham Barons, residents are finding a new team to root for...
Birmingham, AL, USA
Opened in 1907 and still dedicated to doing things the old-fashioned way, a walk down the historic brick road of Morris Avenue to the Peanut Depot is truly a step back in time. Get your peanuts salted, roasted, or boiled, and have them bagged up...
2829 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
Located in and around the nostalgic Dr. Pepper and Martin Biscuit buildings on Birmingham's Southside, Pepper Place is home to an outstanding collection of locally-owned shops. Charlie Thigpen's Garden Gallery is Birmingham's favorite nursery,...
329 Summit Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35243, USA
Birmingham's favorite new way to beat the heat (although they flock here in the dead of winter too) is Steel City Pops. Owner Jim Watkins partnered up with Dreamcakes Bakery owner Jan Moon to create unique popsicle flavors out of only the freshest...
520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA
2013 marked the 50th anniversary of some of Birmingham’s darkest moments: the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that took the lives of four little girls, fire hoses set loose by its police chief on civil rights activists, and the...
2304 10th Terrace S, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA
Housed behind a small unassuming frontage in a residential area of Southside, the Garage opens up to a huge patio that is surrounded by roll-front doors that house an eclectic mix of random findings. It is filled with concrete tables, benches, and...
Five Points South, Birmingham, AL, USA
5 Points South is one of Birmingham's epicenters of food, drink, and entertainment, but the local favorites are the two record stores, Charlemagne and Renaissance. They have been there for years and are permanent fixtures in the Southside...
1236, 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222, USA
With its rusty smoke stacks reaching for the sky, Sloss Furnaces is one of the most recognizable land-marks of Birmingham. It’s more than just a city land-mark; it’s a testament to the Industrial Revolution that not only built the “Magic City,”...
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