Outdoor activities near Birmingham AL

Perhaps you have lived in Birmingham AL your whole life and are here because you are interested in some fresh ideas about outdoor activities, or perhaps you are a newcomer and are looking to see what this city has to offer. Well, the good news is we can help you. Below, we have put together a list of outdoor activities near Birmingham AL so you can experience the best this city has to offer.

  1. RED ORE ZIP TOUR

Zip-lining is buckets of fun, even those scared of heights can have a great time in this safe and adventurous environment. Swing from the treetops, and see the views from up high as you make your way through this zip-lining park. The small hike to the entrance is also a beautiful introduction to the area.

  1. ZYP BIKES

One of the best outdoor activities will always be cycling, it is a fun way to see places where you don’t have to wear yourself out from walking, or not get the full experience because you’re in a car. You will find Zyp Bikes dotted over the city, and you can unrack them and take your own personal tour of any place you want to go.

  1. VALCUN PARK AND MUSEUM

You may have heard about other people talking about this park before, it is, after all, home to the largest cast-iron statue in the world, with the Roman God Vulcan watching peacefully over the city. This park is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the city and for good reason. The park is huge and incredibly beautiful, and the museum is a great place to learn all about the history of the city and the impact it had on the civil rights movement.

  1. BIRMINGHAM ZOO

Check out the elephants, watch the sea lions being fed, take some snaps of the fearsome alligators, and zip around the zoo on their very own miniature train. There are quite literally hundreds of animals at Birmingham zoo, most of which you won’t believe you can see right on your own doorstep. This zoo is the perfect place to learn about a myriad of new animals and get closer to nature safely.

  1. OXMOOR VALLEY GOLF COURSE

While it can be said that golf most definitely isn’t for everyone, if you do enjoy an afternoon on the course, then in and around Birmingham you will find a whole host of beautiful top of the range courses. Oxmoor is a stunning course, that is more hilly than most, however, this does mean that you get spectacular views from every hole, and will no doubt be left wanting to come back time and again.

In and around Birmingham, you will find an endless list of outdoor activities. While we have only been able to touch upon a few of them in this article, hopefully, it will be the stepping stone you need to get out and experience some of the great outdoor adventures just waiting for you near this city.

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What is open in Birmingham AL during the coronavirus?

If you are a resident of Birmingham, AL, and are wanting to find out more about what is open in the city at the moment, then you have come to the right place. Below we have put together a guide of some of the businesses that are open in Birmingham, AL, during the coronavirus to help you better understand where you can and can’t go.

  1. BEAUTY TRENDZ

This Alabama based hair salon made the news when they stayed open when other salons were closing. However, they released a statement saying customer safety was their priority and even accompanied this with a video demonstrating the rigorous cleaning they carry out at the salon. Beauty Trendz has certainly demonstrated that they are making sanitizing and customer care of paramount importance. If you are in the Birmingham area and have struggled to find a hair salon open during the last few months, or if your favorite choice has closed, then Beauty Trendz is a great alternative.

  1. ORGANIZE BAHM

If you have taken this time to redecorate and organize your home then Organize BAHM is an excellent place to visit. This store specializes in professional organizing services including cupboard, closest, and office organization. This is the perfect shop to help you declutter your home, and ease the stress of daily life. With more people staying at home nowadays, it is crucial that your living space is as organized and stress-free as possible.

  1. WILD THINGS

For the freshest flowers in the city and a great selection of personalized, handmade, and unique gifts, then head on to the small business of Wild Things in Holmewood. Brighten up your home, send a friend a gift, or even treat yourself – Wild Things has a beautiful range of goods to suit everyone.

  1. PLANET FITNESS

If you have found yourself getting restless at spending more time at home or are worried that you have gained weight during the last few months, then Planet Fitness has you covered. This gym has been one of the more outspoken gyms when it came to staying open as others were closing, with the belief that it was vital that people still had access to gyms for people’s physical and mental health. Each Planet Fitness gym partakes in strict cleaning rules, and social distancing inside, so you might need to visit during non-peak times in order to get in a proper workout.

  1. RESTAURANTS

The majority of restaurants in the city are currently open, albeit you may find there is a limited capacity, takeaway only, or social distancing inside the business. Check out some of the most popular restaurants in the city for the next time you need to give yourself a break from cooking.

  • El Barrio
  • Abhi Eatery and Bar
  • The Purple OnionInverness
  • Bocca Ristorante
  • Chez Fonfon
  • Satterfield’s Restaurant
  • Drake’s Courthouse Cafe
  • Gianmarco’s Restaurant
  • Post Office Pies
  • Cafe Dupont

There are definitely some adjustments that we have all had to make during this time, however it is always important to follow the guidelines of your city in order to ensure that this period is over as soon as possible – if you have any specific doubts about a business or regulation, then check out the government website for Alabama to find more information and contact numbers for the city

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Best Picnic Spots Near Birmingham AL

Having a picnic in the great outdoors is the perfect way to unwind from the daily stresses of life, as well as being able to stay around from the crowds, which is now more than important than ever. Dining alfresco with your favorite food and favorite people, or even alone can be a real treat. Therefore, in the article below we have detailed the best picnic spots near Birmingham, AL, to help you give yourself the break you deserve.

  1. BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens takes our number one spot and it takes the top spot for many locals too. One of the greatest parts of having a picnic outside is being able to hear the sounds and see the sights of nature around you, and this place really delivers. There are vast arrays of various plants, flowers, trees, water features, and other botanical attractions that just truly set this place apart from most others. The beauty here is undeniable, and as a bonus, you can learn a lot about the various species of flora that are grown here. If you want to feel like you are having a picnic in a fairytale then this is the place to go.

  1. GRACE’S GAP AT RED MOUNTAIN PARK

A wonderful little gem of the city, this stunning park is full to the brim with picnic spots where you can have a picnic in peace and stare in awe at the views around you. From here you can get a completely panoramic view of Birmingham which provides an extremely memorable backdrop to your outdoor dining experience.

  1. VULCAN PARK AND MUSEUM

At Vulcan Park and Museum, you can picnic with a view; from here you will get some of the most stunning views of the city from all angles and is one of the top spots. In the park, there are also hiking trails if you want to explore all corners before you leave, and a little gift shop as part of the museum. The Vulcan Park and Museum are full of history and it makes a nice change to a standard park with benches. The tallest cast-iron statue in the world can be seen here, so it is definitely worth a visit.

  1. CAHABA RIVER WALK PARK

For something a little different, head on over to Cahaba River Walk Park, and set up your picnic by the river’s edge. This is a great spot to get away from the city noise, despite it being in the city, and it is wonderful to listen to the river flow by as you tuck into your lunch. There aren’t any picnic benches here, but there’s lots of space, and it’s an ideal place to bring your dogs for a walk at the same time.

You may not associate Birmingham with great parks, or picnic spots, but this city has more than their fair share of awesome places to go when you want to get outside for the day. You barely even have to leave the city to see some of the most beautiful places in the state.

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Celebrating LGBT Pride Month in Birmingham AL

Celebrating LGBT Pride Month in Birmingham, AL, is a fabulous and vibrant affair. When we think about the Pride movement it is easy to think of the big cities like NYC and LA but in Birmingham, Pride is also a huge event and it shows the growth, change, and reinvention the city has already undertaken against deep-rooted discrimination. Now the gay scene is diverse, welcoming, and open and has a range of places and activities for you to hang out and enjoy.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

The start of the Pride movement began in June 1969, at the Stonewall Inn. Members and allies of the LGBT community began rioting to show and highlight the inequality the community faced. This escalated over the month with people coming together demanding change. A year later, and annual Pride Marches started to take place in cities across the country, where the people marching were there to remember and thank the patrons of Stonewall Inn, and to highlight the need for more inclusivity.

HOW PEOPLE CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH IN BIRMINGHAM, AL

Central Alabama Pride is the organization that is responsible for holding Pride events throughout the year and supports events such as LGBT dancing competitions, an equality baseball game, a skate party, interfaith services, a prom, and so much more.

Birmingham, AL is bustling with things to do and enjoy any day of the year, but during June you are in for some pride filled fun – here are some of the highlights.

THE PRIDE PARADE

When: Second weekend in June around 8 PM

Where: Lakeview, the Entertainment District, Seventh Avenue South, 32nd, and 21st Streets.

Supported by local and national businesses the Central Alabama Pride Parade is judged so you can expect to see an explosion of color and creativity. It is open to everyone and all ages so you can enjoy some family-friendly fun.

OUT AT THE FIELD EQUALITY NIGHT

Everyone loves baseball, right? So what better way to kick off pride month than with a night of baseball and beers. The national anthem is performed by members of the LGBT community and the stadium, flags and teams get a rainbow pride overhaul to celebrate the diversity, inclusivity and to push for equality for all members of the LGBT community. So grab a ticket, take a seat and enjoy watching Birmingham Barons take part in one of America’s favorite past-times.

BARS AND CLUBS

Head to some of the city’s best LGBT bars and clubs to continue the celebrations into the night.

THE QUEST CLUB

A bustling night club known for its DJ nights, drag shows, karaoke, and dancing.

BLACK MARKET BAR AND GRILL

Sporting a large pool and outdoor area this gay-friendly venue is a great way to relax and enjoy your day whilst tucking into a burger or two.

Birmingham, AL is a fun and exciting city that has come along way since the beginnings of the LGBT movement. Celebrating Pride Month there is truly an incredible and unforgettable experience, full of people spreading the message of hope, and equality for all.

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Where to Buy Souvenirs Near Birmingham, AL

Souvenirs are the best way to take a little piece of your trip home with you. It serves as a reminder of a wonderful family holiday, a jam-packed adventure weekend, or even a successful business trip. We all love to pick up some souvenirs before we head back home, and we are here to help you do that. Therefore, if you need to know where to buy souvenirs near Birmingham, AL, before you leave, then check out our list below so you can save time and head straight to the souvenir shop closest to you.

Sojourns

This is a wonderful little store where you can get a little souvenir or trinket that represents the city and the surrounding areas. This is a fair trade store so it is less commercial than usual souvenir stores, but they have a wide variety of items to choose from, including necklaces, key chains, and ornaments.

Address: 2017 3rd Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203

Swoozies

Swoozies has all your needs covered. They have a massive range of souvenirs from clothing, mugs, magnets, and even a section representing the sports of the city. This place is big, bright, and colorful, and you may find yourself picking up far more than you planned to when you see their fantastic selection for sale.

Address: 305A Summit Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35243

Alabama Goods

For the higher end of the souvenir and gift spectrum, check out Alabama Goods and be greeted by a huge range of unique and distinctive hand made items. This is a wonderful store to buy products that you can’t find anywhere else and will serve as a great memory for your trip. They stock jewelry, gift baskets, candles, food, and everything in between. Take an authentic piece of Alabama back home with you.

Address: 2933 18th St S
Homewood, AL 35209

Jaa Kats Gifts & More

This small independent shop has been around for less than a year, but in that time has managed to build a reputation for being one of the best spots to visit when you want to buy some souvenirs and gifts in the area. Most products are custom made meaning you get something that no one else has and is a great alternative to the usual souvenirs. For a range of products including t-shirts, accessories, and other home decor items, then check out Jaa Kats at the address below.

Address: 1308 Eastern Valley Rd
Bessemer, AL 35020

Souvenir Shop

This conveniently named souvenir shop is super handy when you are rushing through the airport back home and remember that you forgot to pick up the gifts and souvenirs that you wanted. Check this place out which is situated just after the security gate in the airport and grab what you need before boarding your flight.

Address: 5900 Meser Airport Hwy
Birmingham Regional Airport
Birmingham, AL 35212

Fill your shopping bag with some of the best souvenirs in the area, and pick up a few gifts for your friends and family along the way!

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Best Coffee Shops in Birmingham AL

On average around one hundred and fifty million adult Americans drink at least one cup of coffee a day, and if you are here then you are most probably part of that statistic. Coffee has the power to lift us up throughout the day and help us relax when we are feeling overwhelmed; it is a drink for all occasions and one that is loved the world over. In light of this, we have created a guide of the best coffee shops in Birmingham, AL, to make sure you have a great cup of coffee whenever you need it.

Seeds Coffee

Seeds Coffee aims to create an experience for anyone who comes into their shop, this trendy joint is both open and welcoming where they have utilized all the space and made it a place to stay and get comfortable. Seeds Coffee is known locally for its blends with the espresso being a particular customer favorite. Seeds Coffee delves deep into the process of coffee making, with a desire to tell the story from the farmer to the bean.

Address: 174 Oxmoor Road

Birmingham, AL 35209

Website: seedscoffee.com/

Magic City Sweet Ice

From the outside, you will get the impression that this place specializes in authentic Italian ice cream and desserts, and in fairness it does. However, they take those authentic Italian methods used for creating their ravishingly good sweet treats and use them for making their coffee as well. The perfectly blended Italian coffees are a little taste of Italy right here in the south. Check out their information below.

Address: 715 Oak Grove Road

Homewood, AL 35209

Website: mcsweetice.com

Woodlawn Cycle Cafe

Woodlawn is slightly more upmarket than you might expect for a cafe, but don’t let that put you off. The inside may be overly stylish, but the coffee is still humble. Among their signature food dishes and wine options, they also have an espresso bar where they serve some of the best coffee in the city. The prices here are a little more than you might find in other places, but Woodlawn goes above and beyond with service, atmosphere, and quality. If you fancy something that is a little more luxury then this is the place to go.

Address: 5530 1st Avenue South

Birmingham, AL 35212

Website:woodlawncyclecafe.com

ThirsTea Cafe

One of the first of its kind, the owner of ThirsTea opened specifically to bring the trendy bubble tea and smoothie options from the west coast over to Birmingham. Fortunately, the idea was well received and six years later the business has managed to build a great reputation. Among the list of teas and juices that you may be unfamiliar with, you will find the coffee that you will definitely be familiar with. Their coffee is as delicious as everything else on the menu and they are well worth the visit, especially if you want to discover something new.

Address: 170 Inverness Plaza

Birmingham, AL 35242

The coffee shop culture isn’t always as popular in the south as it is on the coasts, but with so many delightful coffee houses to choose from, you can always fantastic quality.

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Best Michelin Restaurants near Birmingham, Alabama

You can’t go to the southern states without thinking of music, football, and most importantly, food. So much food. There is an abundance of great options on seemingly every street, and Birmingham is no exception, However, despite being the perfect location for Michelin star restaurants, the Michelin Guide is yet to come and carry out inspections in the area, therefore, in the meantime we have found the best-rated restaurants according to Yelp; so, if you want a taste of what the south has to offer, check out the guide below.

El Barrio

Before you even think about the food, the interior of El Barrio is a sight to behold, a beautifully decorated restaurant full of rich woods, textures and bold art, it is both sophisticated and elegant without leaving you feeling like you don’t belong. El Bario is modern Mexican cuisine, where they keep the flavors and dishes authentic but add a few innovative twists into the menu; all the food is fresh with some explosive flavors that deserve the recognition it gets. They also have a great drink selection, and are not tight on the alcohol if you order one of their cocktails, which is always a nice touch! The restaurant is a lovely place to visit, and you won’t find a better Mexican dining experience in Alabama, you can look on their website for more information and have a read of their menu – http://elbarriobirmingham.com/

Yo’ Mama’s

Comfort food is the name of the game in the south, and Yo’ Mama’s delivers exactly what you need; the food is unfussy and simple, but with all the flavors and feelings you want in a restaurant like this. You don’t always want to go out to dine in a restaurant that you pay over the odds to experience a tasting or an a la carte menu, sometimes you just need good old heartwarming food that has that home-cooked vibe. It has a casual environment and excellent service, the staff here are very attentive and go out of their way to make you feel at home. Yo’ Mama’s hits all the right spots and offers a great menu that you can see for yourself here. https://www.yomamasrestaurant.com/

Samurai Japan

You would probably never even consider a sushi restaurant to make it into the list, but the people have spoken and Samurai Japan is very highly rated indeed. The food here is prepared exceptionally well in an open kitchen and all the dishes are made using the freshest of fish and seasoned to perfection, and the burst of colors in the dishes are delightful. It is pleasantly decorated inside to give it a feel of Japan without being outlandish, and the food is presented in a manner you would receive if you were in a fine-dining restaurant. It is the perfect little spot whether you want a quick lunch, or if you want to make an evening of it, either way, you will receive excellent service and top-class food for reasonable prices; you can find more information on the restaurant opening times and plan ahead with their online menu, on their website here – http://www.fusionsamuraijapan.com/

The best thing about Birmingham is the diversity of the restaurant choice they have on offer; southern comfort food, while utterly delicious, doesn’t swamp the food scene like many people might think, rather there are plenty of national and international delicacies to choose from, and when the Michelin Guide does finally come to town, you can bet that there will be lots of places that will make the cut.

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7 Things To Do in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham is the largest city in the state of Alabama. Not only rich in history but also home to an array of enthralling things to see and activities to do, Birmingham has historical landmarks and museums, as well as cultural events and marketplaces. There are just so many things to discover and explore in this metropolis!

Visiting Birmingham sounds like a fun yet costly adventure, no? But, there’s really no reason to worry about your budget because most of the breathtaking sites and activities in this city are free and easy on the pocket. Now, if you’re considering Birmingham as your next tour destination, here is a list of great places to see and things to do in town!

1. Birmingham Civil Rights District

Birmingham is widely known for its active participation in the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1950s and 1960s. In this city lies the 58,000 square feet Birmingham Civil Rights Institute which houses galleries, temporary exhibits, archives, and meeting rooms.

You may also find along the Birmingham Civil Rights District the 16th Street Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church, and the Kelly Ingram Park. There’s just plenty of place to explore in this patch of land!

2. Birmingham Botanical Gardens

If you are a lover of nature, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the perfect tourist destination. The largest living museum in Alabama, it received the most visits from tourists among all the free attractions in the state. It contains over 10,000 plants, with two rose gardens and more than 30 sculptures around the area.

Aside from getting yourself lost in the beauty of this enchanting garden, there are also gift shops, cafes, and picnic tables.

3. Birmingham Museum of Art

There is no better way to spend your afternoon than by appreciating some of the most gorgeous European and American masterpieces of art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. With over 25,000 sculptures, paintings, drawings, prints, and decorative arts from around the world housed within its walls, the Birmingham Museum of Art definitely has one of the largest art collections in the country.

If you’re traveling with kids, the museum has a hands-on area where children can practice their creativity. Don’t worry about the admission fee because entry to the museum is free.

4. The Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

The Sloss Furnaces is declared a historic landmark. It commemorates the early days of iron production that took place between 1882 and 1971. Your stay at Birmingham will not be complete without exploring this national monument. Visit this landmark to get a better understanding of why Birmingham has been widely referred to as the Iron City. Take a camera with you for some magnificent pictures. There are free public guided tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

5. Pepper Place Saturday Market

The Pepper Place Saturday Market was founded in 2000 and is usually open from April to December. Farmers from within 100 miles of the market come here to sell their farm-produced crops and goods to eager tourists and local buyers.

The marketplace offers a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, bread, meats, cheeses, berries, and other organic products. You may also indulge yourself to some delightful food and local delicacies offered in the area. This is indeed a haven for organic product lovers and certified foodies!

6. The Golden Flake Factory

Have you ever wondered how your favorite potato chips are being made? Well, wonder no more because paying the Golden Flake Factory in Birmingham a visit will surely satisfy your curiosity. There is a free 45-minute tour of its facilities where visitors learn how potato chips are being processed. Not only that, but tourists also have the chance to eat some hot and fresh chips from the factory line. Please note however the factory follows a strict tour timeline, so you will need to make reservations first before visiting the place.  

7. Attend a Show at the Shed Series

The Shed Series is a gorgeous and intimate venue that hosts local concerts and entertainment events. The site belongs to an Avondale couple who offered their backyard as a performance place to talented songwriters and singers. It’s a BYOB setting where songwriters and singers from all over the world can come to perform their private shows. Shows at the Shed Series are free so don’t ever miss the opportunity to visit this music place.

With all these locations in your list, Birmingham will definitely become one of your most favorite tourist destinations. However, we know how hard it is to look for cheap parking spaces near the airport when visiting another state or city. But, worry no more! We offer the most affordable airport parking in Birmingham.

Come visit our city, and we’ll take care of your parking problems!

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