Visiting Birmingham: G&G’s Guide to the Alabama City
The biggest town in Alabama is full of small charms and memorable flavors—here are our picks for new sights and classic delights
By JENNY ADAMS
The Alabama Theatre and Lyric Theatre in Birmingham. PHOTO: BIRMINGHAM LANDMARKS, INC.
Birmingham is a dichotomy of visuals. Red Mountain, named for its rust-colored seams of red hematite iron ore, divides the downtown’s brick warehouses, silver high-rises, and terracotta façade architecture from the suburbs, where twisted, cliffside roads snake against golf courses and historic homes, shaded by a leafy canopy of elms and oaks.
Birmingham is also a dichotomy of reputations. Not shying away from telling a full story of the city, including the brutal days of the civil rights movement and the black soot of the city’s steel-producing era, the newer generations have worked tirelessly to lift up a fresh reputation for their Birmingham home.
WHY WE LOVE IT
An international leader in modern healthcare, Birmingham is also devoted to history. You’ll find restored theaters, the nation’s oldest baseball park, and sweet spots for fine antiques as well as the everyman’s-treasure. When it’s time to eat and drink, this mid-sized city delivers like a metropolis, with plenty of barbecue, plus a shocking number of James Beard recognitions at all price points. New hotels, independent shopping, an international airport, and exceptional, easily accessible wild spaces make any season a good season for traveling to Birmingham.