20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN BIRMINGHAM AL
20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN BIRMINGHAM AL, Birmingham is Alabama’s largest megacity by metro area and remains one of the state’s stylish places to live and travel. positioned nearly exactly in the heart of Alabama, Birmingham is a two- hour drive from Atlanta and a three- hour drive from Nashville.
Despite its convenient location near two of the largest cities in the south, there are many interesting things to do in Birmingham and you don’t need to leave the city to have fun. From impressive sports and aviation museums to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to the Talladega Superspeedway, Birmingham has a blend of culture, history, nature and sports to make any trip to the city a fantastic experience all year long.
20 THINGS TO DO IN BIRMINGHAM
1- SMELL THE FLOWERS AT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
Covering nearly 70 acres (28 ha), the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is an oasis filled with stunning arrays of trees and flowers, which visitors can enjoy free of charge.
Open every day of the week, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens was first opened in 1963 and is at the foothills of the Red Mountains.
A fantastic place to visit with scenic views across this picturesque urban refuge, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of Birmingham’s top nature attractions.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens is at 2612 Lane Park Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223.
2- VISIT THE ALABAMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-visit destination for all sports fans visiting Birmingham.
Opened in 1967, the museum honours and displays the incredible feats achieved by Alabama athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen.
The collection is one of the USA’s largest, exhibiting all sorts of sports memorabilia and artefacts across its vast floor space.
With artefacts of Alabama sporting legends such as Bo Jackson, Mike Donahue, and Jimmy Hitchcock on display to the public, be sure to make an eventful stop at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is at 2150 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203. Save money with the Birmingham Attraction Ticket here, as it will give you access to this attraction and others.
3- WATCH A GAME AT REGIONS FIELD
Even though it’s the largest city (by population) in Alabama, Birmingham does not have any professional sports teams in any of the top four sports in the United States.
Regions Field is the official home of the Birmingham Barons, the city’s minor league baseball team.
Seating up to 8,500 people at any given time, Regions Field might not be a major league stadium, but the arena sure has a lively atmosphere.
A fun spot to visit if you’re a fan of live sports and want to get a glimpse of baseball’s future stars, Regions Field is a great option for a Birmingham sporting experience.
Regions Field is at 1401 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233.
4- ADMIRE VINTAGE VEHICLES AT BARBER MUSEUM
Housing and displaying an immaculate collection of over 1,200 cars and motorcycles, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum’s displays include some of the rarest and most sought-after vehicles worldwide.
Specialising in racing vehicles, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum regularly restores and races some of its display vehicles on the museum’s outdoor track.
With a collection stretching from the late 19th century to the present, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is heaven for car enthusiasts and motorsports fans.
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is at 6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35094. Save money with the Birmingham Attractions Ticket for entry to this museum and other attractions.
5- SEE THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
10 miles (16 km) from Downtown Birmingham, Vestavia Hills is a beautiful Birmingham suburb with an abundance of trees, parks, and cosy restaurants.
The town’s biggest attraction can be found in Liberty Park, where a 1/5 scale replica of the Statue of Liberty stands tall over the city of Birmingham.
Standing 36 feet (11 m) tall, the statue can be seen from all over the park and is a fantastic setting for an afternoon picnic or a jog.
Liberty Park is at 516 Liberty Pkwy., Birmingham, AL 35242.
6- SHOP AT PEPPER PLACE SATURDAY MARKET
Opened in 2000, the year-round Pepper Place Saturday Market was originally established to connect local Birmingham farmers to shoppers eager for fresh produce.
Pepper Place Saturday Market has over 100 stalls spread across canvas tents and an indoor marketplace.
Selling all sorts of produce, baked goods, artworks, and tasty meals, the Pepper Place Saturday Market is one of Birmingham’s best free places to visit, charging no entrance fee.
Pepper Place Saturday Market is at 2829 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205.
7- STEP BACK IN HISTORY AT SLOSS FURNACES
The Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark started as an iron blast furnace production facility in 1882 and remained in operation until 1971.
Following its closure, Sloss Furnaces was renovated and introduced as a National Historic Landmark in 1981.
Today, the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark is a fully-fledged museum exhibiting various artefacts of Birmingham’s iron roots, including two 400-ton (881,849 lbs) blast furnaces and over 50 buildings and structures open to the public.
Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark is at 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222. The Birmingham Attraction Ticket provides entry to 14 attractions, including Sloss Furnaces.
8- EXPLORE RAILROAD PARK
Spread across nearly 20 acres (8 ha) around Downtown Birmingham, the Railroad Park blends Birmingham’s rich industrial heritage with nature in a spectacular fashion.
Railroad park has over 600 trees throughout its boundaries, as well as many flowers, shrubbery, and various other verdant plant species.
The park’s centrepiece is its 9-acre (3.6 ha) open lawn in the heart of the park, where families and couples can be seen picnicking and having a good time out in nature on weekends.
Railroad Park is at 1600 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233.
9- STIMULATE YOUR CREATIVE SIDE AT THE MUSEUM OF ART
The sprawling Birmingham Museum of Art houses one of the most extensive art collections in the American Southeast region, with well over 20,000 individual art pieces on display.
Opened in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is a global hub for impressive art from every part of the world, including some prominent American icons such as Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
Complete with an in-house restaurant and gift shop, this fully interactive museum is an excellent destination for art lovers and families visiting with kids.
Birmingham Museum of Art is at 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203.
10- RELAX IN OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Oak Mountain State Park covered an area of roughly 940 acres (380 ha) when the park was first established in 1927 but has since expanded to a total area of 11,632 acres (4,707 ha) to become Alabama’s largest park.
It has an impressive variety of plant species and is less than 30 minutes from Downtown Birmingham.
The park’s 50 miles (80 km) of hiking and biking trails, an 18-hole golf course, lakes for fishing and a beach, makes it a perfect place to relax for the day.
Oak Mountain State Park is at 200 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124.
11- BIRMINGHAM CIVIL RIGHTS INSTITUTE
Commemorating the Civil Rights movements of the 50s and 60s in Alabama, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and its vast collection of items and memorabilia aim to educate and celebrate guests, young and old.
The modern centre has several unique exhibitions, such as the jail cell of Martin Luther King Jr., replicas of a segregated city and a Freedom Riders bus.
Visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is one of the most eye-opening things to do in Birmingham and is definitely worth a visit.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is at 520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203. Save money on an entry ticket here or join the intriguing Birmingham Civil Rights Tour to learn more about this fascinating history.
12- MCWANE SCIENCE CENTER
A state-of-the-art science museum in Downtown Birmingham, the McWane Science Center opened its doors in 1998.
It’s a fully interactive and engaging venue where guests are encouraged to learn and discover around every bend.
Some of the attractions at the McWane Science Center include an I-MAX Dome theatre and an aquarium, including various interactive exhibits about biology, science and nature.
An excellent destination to visit for families with children, visiting the McWane Science Center is one of the fun things to do in Birmingham for kids.
McWane Science Center is at 200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203. The Birmingham Area Family Fun Ticket is a great way to save money and see all the attractions the kids will love.
13- SEE THE STATUES AT KELLY INGRAM PARK
Situated right in the heart of Downtown Birmingham, the four-acre (1.6 ha) Kelly Ingram Park is famous for its Civil War statues and for being the site of a significant Civil Rights movement during the 20th century.
Inside this compact yet expansive urban park, visitors can enjoy a picnic, go on a quick jog, or stroll around looking at the park’s statues, including one of Martin Luther King Jr.
A delightful park that’s as scenic as it is historically relevant, visiting Kelly Ingram Park is a free thing to do in Birmingham and great if you’re on a budget.
Kelly Ingram Park is at 500 17th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203.
14- ESCAPE TO RED MOUNTAIN PARK
One of the things to do in Birmingham if you want to enjoy the city like a local is to wander around Red Mountain Park.
The lush 1,500-acre (607 ha) urban park is where the locals go to escape from the hustle and bustle of Alabama’s largest city.
The park gets its name from the adjacent five-mile stretch of the Red Mountain and is dotted with historical landmarks of Birmingham’s industry-heavy past.
This urban nature park is filled with nature trails, greenery and historical sites and is an excellent Birmingham destination to visit any day of the year.
Red Mountain Park is at 2011 Frankfurt Dr, Birmingham, AL 35211.
15- WANDER AROUND ARLINGTON ANTEBELLUM
Located on the grounds of a beautiful historic plantation house, the six-acre (2.4 ha) Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens is one of Birmingham’s most scenic outdoor attractions.
Dating back to 1845, the Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens is a colourful garden and plantation museum all rolled into one, which takes visitors on a trip back in time while also being treated to the property’s blooms.
With pathways and other interesting things to see scattered across the Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens, it’s a fantastic place to visit in Alabama’s biggest city.
Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens is at 331 Cotton Ave SW, Birmingham, AL 35211.
16- WATCH A PERFORMANCE AT ALABAMA THEATER
Founded in 1927, the Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts is Birmingham’s largest theatre, capable of seating up to 2,500 people.
The theatre is one of Birmingham’s most popular cultural destinations, welcoming over 100,000 visitors to some 150 performances annually.
The live performances at the Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts are just a side act, as the fully restored theatre with its gold fittings and beautiful architecture is an attraction in its own right.
Book some tickets for a performance at the historic Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts whenever you’re in Birmingham.
Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts is at 1817 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203.
17- SEE AIRCRAFT DISPLAYS AT THE SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
The Southern Museum of Flight is a massive aviation museum, one of the largest in the American Southeast, with over 100 aircraft on display to the public.
Ranging from civilian, military and probing aircraft, the 75,000 square feet (6,968 m2) Southern Museum of Flight is a must-visit for aviation fanatics.
The Southern Museum of Flight is free to enjoy for military personnel and is one of the USA’s best aviation museums.
The museum is one of Birmingham’s best places to see all sorts of planes, such as the Lockheed A-12 and WW II warplanes.
Southern Museum of Flight is at 4343 73rd St N, Birmingham, AL 35206.
18- SEE THE EXHIBITS AT VULCAN PARK AND MUSEUM
Birmingham’s Vulcan Park is home to the tallest cast iron statue in the world, serving as a tribute to Birmingham and its blue-collar past.
Standing 56 feet (17 m) tall, the park’s statue of the Roman god of fire and forge, Vulcan, is the city’s most famous attraction and represents a beacon of pride for many citizens of Birmingham.
The park is also home to a museum detailing the industry-rich past of Birmingham and the broader Alabama region and the city’s reputation as the US city with the most soft drink brands.
Visiting Vulcan Park and Museum is one of the interesting things to do in Birmingham Alabama.
Vulcan Park and Museum is at 1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209. Save money by getting the Birmingham Attraction Ticket as it will give you access to 14 places.
19- GO TO THE RACES AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
The enormous Talladega Superspeedway takes centre stage whenever NASCAR rolls into the south, creating one of the biggest spectacles in motorsports.
Situated less than 50 miles (80 km) east of Downtown Birmingham, the Talladega Superspeedway is heaven for motorsports fans, hosting events throughout the year and the annual NASCAR race.
Whenever NASCAR comes into town, the Talladega Superspeedway becomes the hottest place in the south.
Talladega Superspeedway is at 3366 Speedway Blvd, Lincoln, AL 35096.
20- ENJOY NATURE AT RUFFNER MOUNTAIN NATURE PRESERVE
Nestled in Birmingham’s Historic District, the 1,100-acre (445 ha) Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve features biodiverse greenery, interconnected communities, and its own ecosystem where visitors can go to and disconnect from the city.
The Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve was established in 1977 and features several attractions, making visiting the park an absolute delight.
Enjoy scenic vistas, a picnic pavilion, protected Alabama wildlife and even an old mining site.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is at 1214 81st St S, Birmingham, AL 35206.