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GIVE US ONE GOOD REASON TO VISIT BIRMINGHAM
We’ll do you 19 better. How about 20 reasons to visit in 2020?
Birmingham, Ala. ----- As we roll into the 20th year of the 21st century, the year’s travel plans come to mind. Birmingham isn’t Machu Picchu, but it also isn’t expensive, doesn’t require a passport, and is within easy traveling distance.
This Southern gem makes a quick and rewarding getaway for girlfriend weekends, buddy trips, and family time together. Here are 20 reasons to visit Birmingham in 2020:
- Come to the “Dinner Table of the South.” Make evening reservations at Highlands Bar & Grill, winner of the 2018 James Beard culinary award for America’s Best Restaurant. Save room for dessert. Highlands Chef Dolester Miles won Best Pastry Chef the same year.
- Belly up to the bar at one of Birmingham’s many inviting taprooms. The craft brew culture has grown like honeysuckle. Check out the brews at Good People, Ghost Train, and Cahaba Brewing. Or see why Forbes calls Trim Tab Brewing Company one of the 10 best breweries in the country.
- With moderate temperatures year-round, it’s almost always golfing weather in Birmingham. The city has courses along the famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Golf Magazine ranked the longer course, Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, among the top 100 resorts in the country and in the top 25 “buddy trips” in North America.
- Family adventure is calling at Red Mountain Park. Along with artifacts from the city’s industrial history, the park has experiences like the Zip Trip or the Mega Zip, reaching up to 30 mph at 80 feet high. Climbing walls and the Beanstalk Forest add adventure for all ages.
- Shop The Summit. This mall is so upscale that they call it a “lifestyle center.” It houses some of the country’s finest shops and stores and includes spas and other beauty treatment boutiques for rejuvenating outings and great girlfriend getaways. Lots of good restaurants, too….
- Cruise through the world’s largest collection of old, new, and rare motorcycles at Barber Vintage Motorsports Park. Here you’ll find everything from a 1912 Indian board track racer and a 1959 Triumph Bonneville to a collection of Lotus race cars.
- Call for reservations at Gianmarco’s, a charming Italian restaurant tucked away in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. The pan roasted Gulf grouper is topped only by the pistachio and goat cheese crusted rack of lamb. Yum.
- Take the kids up to Vulcan Park & Museum to see the view from the world’s largest cast iron statue. Vulcan’s wide, uncovered backside delights the young ones, and a glass-enclosed elevator whisks visitors up to the viewing deck.
- Birmingham’s rich civil rights history is a lesson for all ages. The Civil Rights District, now a national monument, includes the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, site of the fatal Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963. Historic Kelly Ingram Park has a free cell phone tour to guide visitors through park sculptures.
- Stop in at Pepper Place Saturday Market all through the summer and most of the fall. In addition to locally grown corn, peaches, tomatoes, herbs and more, you’ll find fresh honey and homemade goods of all varieties.
- Go to the Pizitz Food Hall for global bites served from a variety of stalls. Dig into the homemade Israeli cuisine, authentic Ethiopian dishes, or put your hands around a big ol’ pecan butter and honey biscuit. Get your cocktail at The Louis bar.
- No matter your golfing skills---or lack thereof---Topgolf Birmingham is great fun for everyone from pros to putt-putt players.
- Climb into the way back machine at The Atomic Lounge. Enjoy some of the city’s best mixology amid the mid-century surroundings.
- Looking for just the right souvenir for that someone you left at home? Stop in and visit with proprietor Jake Reiss at The Alabama Booksmith. It may be the world’s only bookstore that deals exclusively in signed editions.
- Fill your tray with Greek chicken, fresh collard greens, cream corn, fried green tomatoes, liver and onions, succotash, field peas, salmon cakes with cream sauce, seven-layer salad, and homemade coconut, pecan, and lemon pie. You’ve arrived at Niki’s West, and you’d better come hungry.
- Park your family in Railroad Park. This downtown green space is the right place to unwind on the walking trails and let the kids run off some energy. Eat at nearby Mile End Delicatessen to nosh on some lox and Atlantic salmon or potato latkes.
- Go for Bloody Marys at The Garage. Once filled with antiques, this neighborhood bar is known for the quirky detritus scattered about the outdoor seating. GQ magazine once called The Garage “one of the 10 bars worth flying for.” No credit cards---cash only.
- Check out one of the finest collections in the Southeast at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The BMA has a really good restaurant and a cool state-of-the-art space for children to explore their artistic interests.
- Visitors looking for good music need look no farther than Saturn, which is closer than you think. Also check schedules at Iron City, WorkPlay, and the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
- Time to dine again, and you can’t leave Birmingham without some of the world’s best ‘cue. Go to Rodney Scott’s BBQ in the Avondale entertainment district. Scott, who was the 2018 winner of the James Beard culinary award for Best Chef in the Southeast, specializes in whole hog barbecue, along with spareribs, fried catfish, BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, and banana pudding.
For more ideas and itineraries for your Birmingham visit, go to www.inbirmingham.com.