• Rebecca Blackmon

Down South Adventures: Things To Do in Birmingham!

Updated: May 26, 2021


Things To Do in Birmingham
Things To Do in Birmingham

I have a couple of fun blogs planned for you guys, but I wanted to take a quick break from my travels and tell y'all a little bit about where I live! I’ve lived in Alabama for almost ten years now (five years in Tuscaloosa and coming up on five years in Birmingham). I know there are a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions about the south in the United States, but I promise we’re a great group of people! Keep reading and I’ll tell y'all my favorite things to do in Birmingham, places to eat, and activities you don’t want to miss if you’re passing through the Magic City!


Where is Birmingham?

First, let me give you an idea of where Birmingham is. Birmingham is pretty centrally located in the state, which means we’re relatively close to everything.

  • Nashville - about 2.5 hours away

  • Atlanta - about 2 hours away

  • Tuscaloosa - about 1 hour away

Nashville and Atlanta are both very popular southern cities (blogs about those cities coming soon!) with lots of tourist attractions. Atlanta is home to the World of Coca Cola Museum, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Mercedes Benz Stadium, while Nashville boasts Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans), the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Broadway Street. Tuscaloosa, of course, is home to the University of Alabama (ROLL TIDE!). I’ll be honest - there isn’t a whole lot to do in Tuscaloosa other than going to the UA campus. But if you’re an SEC fan, or really a college football fan in general, the campus is amazing to visit. You can drive around and see the stadium, the numerous practice facilities, and the Walk of Champions. Not to mention, the campus is beautiful and full of old architecture. Being so close to these places is a plus, because we never get bored and weekend getaways are easy!


What are things to do in Birmingham?

Birmingham is full of history and fun things to do. Below I’ll list some of my favorites!

  • First things first - if you’re into fitness, you HAVE to drop in for a workout at CrossFit Laminin! As some of you know, I am a full time CrossFit coach and this is where I work!

  • Vulcan Park and Museum - this is a great place to go to learn more about our history! You can go all way to the top of Vulcan and see an amazing view of the city.

  • Pepper Place Farmer’s Market - obviously much more fun when it’s warm, but this event is huge and brings people from all over every Saturday!

  • Catch a Birmingham Baron’s baseball game at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium

  • Brewery Tour - see below! This is a really fun way to spend a Saturday, especially if it's good weather and you do a trolley tour!

  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute - learn about how Civil Rights has progressed in the city of Birmingham

  • Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum - check this museum out to see the largest motorcycle collection in the world (according to Guinness World Records)

For kids:

  • McWane Science Center - super hands on and interactive and kids love it!

  • Birmingham Zoo - for obvious reasons.... what kids don't like animals?!



What are the best food in Birmingham?

I feel pretty strongly about the fact that Birmingham is severely underrated for our food. It’s hard to find a bad meal around here. I’ll list some of my favorite categories below:

$$$ (Fancy Eats, if you will):

  • Highlands Bar and Grill - “Ever-changing seasonal menu of French-inspired, regional Southern fare served in an elegant setting”

  • Gianmarco’s Restaurant - “Fine Italian cuisine in a sophisticated dining room with white tablecloths & romantic lighting”

  • Chez Fonfon - “Classic French bistro outfitted with antique furnishings & a court for playing a game of boules”

  • Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille (my personal favorite) - “Chops, seafood, wine & cocktails served in an upscale setting with a lounge & live jazz”

  • Automatic Seafood and Oysters - “Restaurant serving seafood, steak & cocktails in a chic, relaxed space with patio seating”

Breakfast/Brunch:

  • Original Pancake House - "Signature pancakes & other American breakfast classics all day in a casual setting"

  • Over Easy - "Breakfast, lunch & brunch's eggs Benedict, oatmeal pancakes & huevos rancheros in retro diner digs"

  • Another Broken Egg Cafe - "Casual chain featuring egg dishes & other breakfast items plus brunch sandwiches & a specials board"

  • First Watch - "Cafe chain for health-minded breakfast, brunch & lunch options such as omelets, salads & soups"

  • Big Bad Breakfast - "Waffles, biscuits & other hearty daytime eats are served up in a bright, contemporary space"

BBQ:

  • Saw’s - "Smoked chicken & pulled pork star in this snug barbecue joint packed with signs & sports mementos"

  • Rodney Scott’s - as seen on Netflix "Chef's Table: BBQ"

  • Martin’s - "Our very first Martin’s location in Alabama, we are so excited to help spread the "Whole Hog" Bar-B-Que gospel in Birmingham."

  • Jim 'N Nick's - "Laid-back chain known for slow-cooked BBQ & cheese biscuits, plus burgers, salads & classic sides"

  • Miss Myra’s - "Generous portions of barbecue with housemade sauces in a cozy, counter-serve, mom-&-pop smokehouse"

Pizza:

  • Davenport’s - "Family-owned, old-school pizzeria serving up thin-crust pies & salads, plus lunch specials."

  • Tortuga’s - "A bar & restaurant with Chicago-style & thin crust pizzas by the slice or pie alongside beer & wine"

  • Slice - "Chill pizzeria pairs pizzas cooked in a stone oven & craft beers in hip digs with a fireplace"

  • Post Office Pies - "This stylish outpost for wood-fired pizzas & local craft beer is located in a historic post office"



What are the breweries in Birmingham?

There are more breweries in Birmingham than you would probably be able to visit in one weekend. Here’s a list of them and what I like about each one (the one’s I’ve been to at least):

  • Back Forty Beer Company - I think I’ve decided this one is my favorite. There is plenty of inside space for when the weather isn’t great, and there’s a huge “back yard” with picnic tables, fire pits, and games. Not to mention, the food here is DELICIOUS.

  • Cahaba Brewing Company - Cahaba is probably the best bet in the winter/on rainy days because the inside space is huge. They also have a Butterbeer flavor beer which is so good (where are all my Harry Potter fans at?). Cahaba does not sell food, but there’s usually a food truck or two parked outside!

  • Avondale Brewing Company - Avondale is almost the opposite of Cahaba - there’s no inside space at all but the outside space is incredible! There’s a huge stage for concerts during warm weather, and there’s a huge projector for sports’ games. Football in the south is a way of life, so Avondale is the place to be during the season!

  • Good People Brewing Company - this place is awesome because you can tour the actual brewery and see where all the beer is made. There is a nice indoor/outdoor space with games and all, but the brewery tours really do provide a unique experience.

  • Trimtab Brewing Company, Ghost Train Brewing Company, Birmingham District Brewing Company - all places I haven’t been, but have heard great things about! There’s probably another 5-8 breweries to choose from, but the ones above are a great place to start!



I could go on about Birmingham forever, but I’ll stop there. I hope this list helps! Feel free to comment below with any questions or more suggestions. Whether you choose Birmingham as a destination or you’re just passing through, take advantage of this list! There’s so much to see and do in this beautiful city I call home.


Xoxo,

Rebecca

Going Places Travel Blog


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