Birmingham, Alabama – Top 10 Destinations not to miss
The city of Birmingham has almost 210,000 people and is known as the magic city located in eastern Alabama. Named after the city of Birmingham in the UK, this city in Alabama has more green space per capita than any other city in the nation. It is also the first city in the nation to celebrate Veterans day and continues to host the largest Veterans day celebration anywhere. with a history deep in industry and entertainment, there are subtle reminders around the city waiting to be discovered. So, let’s go ahead and take a look at the top 10 things that make Birmingham a great place.
Over half a million people go to the Birmingham Zoo every year. Set on over 122 acres and home to over 550 animals, this is a great way to spend a day out. Throughout the zoo, there are interactive activities that get you close to the action like feeding the Giraffes and seeing the Sea Lion splash show. Of Course, they have all your favorite animals from all over the world. Getting around the zoo is easy either by foot or by taking the express train to see all the exhibits. If you get hungry while you’re there, they offer the wild burger cafe and a pavilion to take a break and sit down. Since 1955, the zoo has been entertaining its visitors and offering a great experience. So make sure to put this one on your list.
The Alabama theater
Built-in 1927, the Alabama theater is in the heart of downtown Birmingham and was one of the largest theaters in the area. Seating 2500 people at that time, it was a popular place for people to go and see films when it opened. The theater is now the home of films, theater productions, musical events, and other events and has been a designated historic theater since 1993. There’s a lot of character here and the atmosphere is great for seeing a show. Check out the calendar when you’re in town to see what’s going on and attend an event if you can.
Over a hundred years ago, the city of Birmingham was knee-deep in the iron industry and the sloth furnace smelted over a thousand tons of pig iron per day. Now, it’s a national historic landmark and serves as an interpretive museum of industry, and hosts educational programs throughout the year. It’s also the site of concert festivals, food festivals, and even weddings. The furnace is also said to be haunted and holds night tours and ghost hunts. If you’re into the paranormal, this is a really unique place to see in person and isn’t something you’ll see in every city.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
What was originally an Iron ore mine, that produced limestone, this 1,000 acre nature preserve sits on the slopes of Red Mountain. Today, this park has over 12 miles of trails that lead over the mountain and are open to the public for hiking, running, and walking. There’s a visitor’s center that contains native Alabama animals like Foxes, Raccoons, Owls, and Coyotes. There are a lot of state parks and places to go hiking, but this one’s a good contender as it’s not as visited as the others. Plus it’s right near downtown Birmingham.
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
Alabama has a rich heritage in music and jazz has deep roots here. Founded in 1978, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame was built to showcase Jazz legends, that were born in Alabama. Included here are artists like Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and Lionel Hampton. Not only will you learn about these people, but you’ll hear the music that made them famous. The museum itself is on the small side at just over 2200 feet, but it’s full of exhibits that display items like instruments art, and personal effects. If you’re interested in music and want to learn more about how Jazz influenced Alabama, make sure you stop in at the Hall of Fame for a tour and see for yourself.
Known as the old gray lady, the Legion field was opened in 1927 with a capacity of over 71,000 spectators. Named in honor of the American Legion, it is primarily designed and used for American football. But it also has been used for other sporting and outdoor events, including concerts. The field is a great place to check out a local game or see an event. So, be sure to check out what’s going on there, when you’re in town.
Alabama Adventure and Splash Adventure
If you’re in the Birmingham area, you won’t have to go far to enjoy a nice water park. Just a few minutes from downtown in the city of Bessemer is Alabama Adventure and Splash Adventure. As the name implies, this attraction is full of family-friendly water fun. There are everything from water coasters, wave machines, splashdowns, and other water features. 28 rides total on 89 acres. Open May through September, this is a great way to spend a hot summer day, getting cooled off in the water and you should not miss it.
When your legs get tired from walking around downtown and exploring some of Birmingham’s history, go and relax at Railroad Park. Featuring 19 acres, it’s a favorite for locals and tourists to go and just sit down and take in the views of the city. A beautiful lake covers 30 percent of the park and there are more than 600 trees planted on site. The landscape is very nicely done and has everything you’d expect from a downtown park. The park has walls and seating areas that were constructed from bricks and objects unearthed on site. Other features of the park include walking trails and outdoor gym equipment if you feel like exercising. Otherwise, you can take a break and pause for a little while.
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Featuring over 5,000 sporting artifacts on display, this museum sets the standard for sporting museums. Located in downtown Birmingham, this 33,000 square-foot building lists over 300 inductees including five of the top 15 athletes of the last century. Athletes from every sport are represented here and you’ll learn about all of the standards that it takes just to get into the hall of fame. If you’re into sports, in the sporting history in the state of Alabama, make sure you stop in at the hall of fame while you’re in downtown.
Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain is just outside of Birmingham, but it’s a great place to go and escape the busy streets of downtown. With close to 10,000 acres, it’s the largest state park in the state of Alabama. Known for its hiking trails, there are over 50 miles of trails for all kinds of activities. Mountain biking and BMX riding is also very popular here as well. If you aren’t into biking you can easily rent a boat or go on the lake, play basketball or go golfing at the course. It’s not a little green. It’s an 18-hole par 72 golf course that’s been consistently rated in the top 50 of the country. Horseback riding camping and fishing are available too. For any kind of outdoor activity you may be interested in, this is the place to do it.