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 exploring birmingham...

Culture & Attractions

Food & Nightlife

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exploring birmingham

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This page contains an overview of some of the most popular sites in and around Birmingham. We'll be adding to this page over time, so make sure you check back before coming to visit! 

If you are interested in a specific type of activity (or restaurant) but don't see it covered below, feel free to contact us and we'll be more than happy to make a recommendation.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started thinking about exploring Birmingham:

Culture & Attractions

McWane Center www.mcwane.org  The McWane Center is Birmingham's science museum (complete with IMAX theatre). The McWane Center has a special place in our hearts for two reasons: Rachael's mother Barbara is the former director of the Center, and Matt and Rachael got engaged in another science museum (the planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History.)

Civil Rights Institute  www.bcri.org/index.html  This is one of the finest museums dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement. Highly recommended!

Vulcan www.vulcanpark.org  Visible throughout the city, Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world! This 60-ton, 55-foot tall god of the forge, pays tribute to Birmingham's heritage as a home to steel mills and industry. Vulcan has recently been fully restored (complete with a brand-new visitors' center.) Vulcan Park atop Red Mountain (right next to the site of the wedding reception) offers tremendous views of Birmingham.

Sloss Furnace  www.slossfurnaces.com  This former iron mill is now a museum of industry and listed as a National Historic Landmark. With its massive furnaces, web of pipes, and tall smokestacks, it offers us a glimpse into the great industrial past of the South and the nation. Admission is free. 

Birmingham Museum of Art  www.artsbma.org  The museum's permanent collection of over 21,000 works spans the history of art from 5000 B.C. to the present.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Oxmoor Valley  www.rtjgolf.com  Just 10 miles from downtown Birmingham,  the courses at Oxmoor Valley offer scenic Appalachian landscapes, challenging layouts and a memorable day of golf. Tee times can be reserved up to 7 days in advance at 942-1177 or 4 months in advance at 800-949-4444.

Talladega Superspeedway  www.talladegasuperspeedway.com  Located 50 miles from Birmingham, Talladega Superspeedway is the biggest, fastest, most competitive motorsports facility in the world. The track offers van tours to visitors daily during working hours except on weeks around events. Adjacent to the track is the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum, which is also open daily.

Barber Motorsports Park  www.barbermotorsports.com  This collection of over 850 motorcycles and 45 cars includes bikes from 17 nations and 125 manufacturers. The Park is also the home of a World-Class 2.3 mile road course.

Rickwood Field  www.rickwood.com  The nation's oldest ballpark and former home of the Birmingham Barons.

 

Food & Nightlife

You can find a comprehensive listing of local restaurants and watering holes at http://www.birminghamal.org/ttd-dining.asp or http://www.birminghamal.org/ttd-nightlife.html#downtown

Descriptions of some of our favorite haunts can be found below.

Dreamland BBQ www.dreamlandbbq.com/birmingham The best bbq in Birmingham! Dreamland is easy on the wallet and well worth a visit.

Five Points South Neighborhood (20th Street S at 11th Avenue) You can people watch, dance to great live music, and enjoy fantastic dining at Five Points South, the city's top entertainment district. Stroll along the tree-shaded streets, or stop and admire the artistry of the Frank Fleming sculpture, "The Storyteller", at the famous fountain.  Many of the restaurants and bars in Five Points are walkable from one to another, but others require a car.  Some of our favorite haunts in and around Five Points include:

Fine Dining

Highlands Bar & Grill (American) www.highlandsbarandgrill.com (205) 939-1400 (Ranked #5 by Gourmet Magazine in the list of 'The 50 Best American Restaurants)

Bottega Italian Restaurant (Italian) (205) 939-1000

Hot & Hot Fish Club (Fish) www.hotandhotfishclub.com (205) 933-5474

 

Restaurants

Surin West (Tai) (205) 324-1928

Bottega Café (Italian Café) (205) 933-2001

Chez Fon Fon (French) (205) 939-3221

Cobb Lane (Southern Cafe) http://www.cobbln.com/  (205) 933-0462

Ocean (Fish) (205) 933-0999

Original Pancake House (Brunch)

 

Nightlife

Bell Bottoms (Disco) (205) 933-2778

Blue Monkey Lounge (Martini Bar) (205) 933-9222

Dave’s Pub (205) 933-4030 (Pub)

Zydeco (rock, blues, jazz or folk) (205) 933-1032

 

Garage Café  Named one of the 10 best bars in the world by GQ Magazine, the Garage Cafe is a casual, outdoor spot to relax and catch up with friends.

Courtney’s Classic Southern “Meat and Three” is a cafeteria style greasy spoon restaurant that will give you a chance to sample classic Southern fare.