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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, Alabama
canoe on still lake birmingham

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 traveler.

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 amphitheater.

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.

Birmingham’s moderate 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

Flight 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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