From down-home barbecue and fried pies to haute cuisine prepared by James Beard Foundation Award winners, you’ll find Birmingham to be a community that appeals to diverse tastes, with a variety of cultural activities balanced with the great outdoors.
Birmingham Ranked Among Best Places to Visit
Lonely Planet has ranked Birmingham in its top 10 Best Places to visit in the United States in 2016. The travel media company called Birmingham “the South’s newest rising star” and highlighted attractions like the Civil Rights District, our fabulous culinary scene and hiking and biking at Oak Mountain State Park.
Click here to see the top 10 places to visit in 2016.
Ruffner Mountain, located just ten minutes from the downtown area, is the second largest urban nature preserve in the country. In fact, there is more green space per capita in Birmingham than any other city in the country.
Birmingham was born out of iron and steel. Remnants of these early beginnings are preserved in places such as Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Vulcan, the mythical god of metalworking, is the largest cast iron statue in the world and is second in size only to the Statue of Liberty.
Over the years, the mill workers have gradually been replaced by a workforce of medical and engineering professionals. Today, the city has a balance of manufacturing and service jobs. With its 86-block campus in downtown, the University of Alabama, Birmingham, is a world-renowned doctoral research university and academic medical center.
The city also played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute provides an in-depth look at that important era.
Featuring more than 10,000 pieces, the Birmingham Museum of Art houses the largest museum collection of Wedgwood in the world. Antique shops abound and trendy malls have begun to appear around the Birmingham area, bringing high-end shops to the state’s retail giant. Dozens of art galleries surprise collectors with a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, jewelry and ceramics.
Anyone with an appetite for live music will find that it is the city’s signature entertainment. Birmingham's Music Discovery Festival is a testament to the vitality of the music landscape.
From restaurants that are getting nationwide attention to a fresh crop of bands redefining the Southern sound, Birmingham straddles the intersection of modern and traditional. Southern Living magazine is also published in Birmingham.