Birmingham, Alabama, located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, has a wide variety of attractions that will suit your desire. It's also a great place to live, work and play.
Birmingham is listed among the 150 most affordable cities in the US and is praised as a city "that hasn't lost its Southern soul." Birmingham, home to six Fortune 500 companies, is given high marks for its diverse residents and housing prices that "are affordable but appreciating quickly."
Birmingham likes to refer
to itself as the Magic City. To add a touch of magic to your travel plans, get
ready to experience this truly southern city. Birmingham welcomes its visitors with an array of things to do and
see. Regardless of the season, and all of them are mild, there are activities,
attractions, sports, entertainment and dining for even the most seasoned
Located 140 miles west of
Atlanta, in the foothills of
the Appalachian Mountains, Birmingham holds the honor of being Alabama’s largest
city. Its metropolitan population alone is nearly one million people. It hasseveral universities, the prestigious University of Alabama Medical
Center and an impressive range of cultural offerings.
The Birmingham Museum of
Art, has a large Asian art collection. It also offers major traveling
exhibitions and a fine collection of Renaissance art, Wedgwood china and
Remington bronzes. Two tranquil spots are the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with
67 acres of wildflowers, rose gardens, Japanese gardens and 200 species of
birds, and the Birmingham Zoo whose 800 resident species include the scarce
white rhino. Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens is Birmingham's only
antebellum mansion (the city was founded after the Civil War).
Birmingham's McWane Center
focuses on science, technology and the environment. Visitors can interact with
the many hands-on exhibits and see a movie in the IMAX theater. The 70-acre
VisionLand Theme Park has thrill rides, a water park, a children's area and an
The Alabama Jazz Hall of
Fame honors jazz greats who have ties to the state and tells the story of jazz
from its beginning to the present. Shoppers may want to visit Riverchase
Galleria, which has close to 200 stores.
Birmingham was once a
steel-producing city as important as Pittsburgh. The Sloss blast Furnaces, now
a National Historic Landmark, have become a museum devoted to industrial
history, especially the forging of iron in the early 20th century.
If you happen to be someone
who “knows” someone, you will be visiting the birthplace of such famous people
as Ruben Studdard of Fox Network’s American Idol fame; Condoleezza Rice,
President George W. Bush’s National Security Director; Courtney Cox Arquette,
star of Friend; Bart Starr, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback; Paul “Bear”
Bryant, Alabama’s legendary football coach; and Nell Carter, gospel singer and
television star of Gimme A Break. This is just to name a few of the
over 40 world known celebrities who call Birmingham home.
climate is welcoming and generally mild; with winter daytime temperatures usually no lower than 35 - 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A few
snow flurries may occur during winter months, but snow seldom accumulates. You can
see the blossoms popping out in February after their winter’s rest, with the
peak blooms in March and April for many of the flowering plants. Birmingham
remains colorful throughout the summer and fall.
The University of Alabama
at Birmingham is nationally recognized. Leave time to visit, as the University and
medical center encompass 82 city blocks and have a student enrollment of 16,000.
The University is home to the famous Crimson Tide. A visit to the Southern Museum of
will reveal exhibits from eight decades of all aspects of flight
history, from acres of representative aircraft down to details such as a
display of the actual light
bulb that shed light on the Wright Brothers' first night flights.
Because of its central
location, many visitors use Birmingham as a base from which to tour other
attractions. Some of the more popular day trips are to Tuscaloosa, Huntsville
and Cullman. Cullman is a farming, light-manufacturing town that is the home of
the Ave Maria Grotto, a fantastic landscape of more than 125 miniature churches,
shrines, and famous buildings constructed on a 4-acre hillside. Its design and
construction were the life work of a Benedictine monk.
Another potential day-trip
destination is DeSoto Caverns (40 miles southeast, near Childersburg). This
complex of onyx caves, originally inhabited by the Creek Nation, became a
popular speakeasy during Prohibition. The highlight is the Great Onyx Chamber,
which is larger than a football field.
No matter what the season
or what the occasion; Magical Birmingham has something to enchant everyone.
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