We had the opportunity to visit the largest city in Alabama – Birmingham. On our visit to the “Magic City,” we were able to experience some of the best Birmingham had to offer.
Before we visited this city in the Heart of Dixie, we knew the great State of Alabama was famous for their legendary College Football programs and fantastic barbecue cuisine, but this cultural city is so much more than pig skins and smoked pigs.
The city of Birmingham is located in a valley and the nearby mountain ridges offer excellent vantage points of the city’s skyline. A visit to Vulcan Park Museum located south of the city on Red Mountain offers visitors breathtaking views of the city. This mountain top museum is also home to the largest cast iron statue in the world. If you have the chance to spend time on Red Mountain, be sure to look around for the remains of the Sloss Mines which were the areas main producers of iron ore. Admission to the museum is $6.00 per adult, but the stunning views of the cityscape are free.
Gardens of Paradise
Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a place you won’t mind getting lost in. This garden paradise is home to an extensive variety of plants in thirty themed gardens, including one of the most beautiful Japanese Gardens we’ve seen in the States. Admission to the gardens is free and is definitely worth a few hours of your time in Birmingham.
Not Your Normal Mall
For a truly extravagant shopping and dining experience while in Birmingham, visit The Summit. This outdoor shopping and dining mecca features both department and specialty stores along with chain and local restaurants. The Summit is one stop shopping at its best. With over 100 shops and restaurants, this hilltop shoppers paradise is sure to have something for everyone. For shoppers new to the area don’t forget to pack your walking shoes. Although it is a beautiful outdoor shopping experience, The Summit’s stores are quite spread out. This may not be an issue for some, but for those who have trouble walking long distances you may want to map out your shopping trip before wandering about this massive lifestyle center.
A point worth noting, the city of Birmingham currently has a sales tax rate of 10% for all purchases which may make things you can purchase elsewhere even more expensive.
Let Them Eat Pancakes
Lastly, if you didn’t know already – we love a good stack of homemade pancakes (now you know!). After hearing rave reviews about The Original Pancake House located in downtown Birmingham, we simply couldn’t leave without a visit. A word of caution if you plan to try these delicious pancakes, make sure you arrive early! Our meal was definitely worth the wait but wait times for tables on the weekends can be over thirty minutes.
Have you been lucky enough to spend time in the “Magic City?” If so, we’d love to hear about your visit! If you haven’t already, hopefully you too will find yourself experiencing the beautiful city of Birmingham in the future. For more information on what Birmingham has to offer, please visit the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau website.