There are so many things to do in Birmingham, Alabama. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities or you want to explore the museums and malls in the area, you’re bound to find plenty of things to keep you busy on a trip to the city.
Be sure to book your accommodations at least a few weeks in advance so that you get the best price. There are so many wonderful Birmingham hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a budget hotel, a luxury stay, or something in between, you’ll find the perfect hotel that suits your price range. Here’s what to do while you’re in town.
Image via Flickr by kellyv
Outdoor lovers will want to head to Ruffner Mountain, an urban nature preserve with miles of hiking and biking trails to explore. If you’re visiting during the fall, Ruffner Mountain is one of the best places in Birmingham to see the fall foliage. Stop into the Nature Center to learn more about the conservation projects that the park is working on and how you can help.
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Birmingham Museum of Art is definitely the best art museum in the city. If you only visit one art museum on your trip, it should be this one. With over 24,000 sculptures, paintings, prints, and drawings, it is one of the largest art museums in the southeastern United States. There are pieces from Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, and North America, including a nice collection of pre-Hispanic art and Native American pieces.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a fascinating interactive museum where you can learn more about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. The museum is located in the Civil Rights District, where you can also visit the historic 16th Street Baptist Church, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Kelley Ingram Park, and the Fourth Avenue Business District. This area is such an important part of American history that is well worth exploring.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
While there are flowers and gardens to see almost all year round at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, spring is by far the best time to visit this park. The gardens are home to over 12,000 varieties of plants. There are 25 different gardens to wander through, including greenhouses, display rooms, fountains, a lily pond, and two wonderfully large rose gardens. The gardens are completely free to the public, and there are even different tours that you can take throughout the week to learn about the city’s various conservation efforts.
Sloss Furnaces is perhaps one of the most interesting places in Birmingham. Between 1882 and 1961, the factory operated as a pig-iron producing blast furnace. After it closed, it became one of the first industrial sites in the United States to be restored and turned into a public space.
You can now visit Sloss Furnaces and learn all about the industrial history of the region and explore the artwork that is on rotation throughout the year. It’s also a popular concert venue and has one of the best haunted houses every year around Halloween.
Every season in Birmingham has something to offer. No matter when you want to visit the city, you’re sure to enjoy its beauty and learn about its past.