Birmingham is arguably the most well-known city in Alabama, and rightly so. The city is warm enough to avoid heavy snow but still experience the four seasons.
Because there’s such a sunny climate and diverse ecosystem, visitors and residents have a wide variety of things to do on any given day.
Ready to experience some of the fun that Birmingham has to offer? Make sure you add these activities to your itinerary!
- The Market at Pepper Place
Every Saturday on Second Ave in Birmingham, you’ll find locals and visitors shopping and exploring. You won’t see any chain retails here. Instead, this Alabama Farmers Market boasts everything straight from the sources!
Head to the Pepper Place Entertainment District from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to see the culture of the area. Farmers and artisans come together to sell their produce and artwork. There are over 100 stands!
This busy attraction started small but grew to become one of the most popular activities in the city.
Depending on the season, you’ll find fresh veggies and fruits, cheeses and meats, holiday decor, crafts, and more. Check out the Farmers Market website for popular recipes and the schedule of vendors!
- Alabama Theater
Deep in the heart of Birmingham lies the Showplace of the South, the Alabama Theater. This place has attracted performers from all over the world since 1927.
Audiences flock to this theater to see live performances, including concerts, pageants, and plays. But they also come to appreciate the architecture and ambiance of the building itself.
When you’re ready to visit, head to their website for events and showtimes. They offer classic movie showings in between headlining acts, so there’s always something going on!
- Railroad Park
You don’t have to be a railroad buff to enjoy Birmingham’s Railroad Park. The area uses a railway trail as its foundation but has an entire neighborhood of outdoor activities around it.
When you visit the park, you’ll get to explore 19 acres of flowers, trees, and relaxing rest areas. There’s even a collection of sculptures made from recycled objects, and the cobblestone walkways are original to the area.
This is the perfect place to get away from the concrete city and take a run or walk through the trails. But if you’re looking for ways to stay entertained, the event calendar includes many concerts and shows.
There are even fitness activities for those who like to stay healthy!
- Kelly Ingram Park
History lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy this public park. The walking and biking trails are part of the Civil Rights Trail that extends through much of the eastern United States. Sculptures along the way tell the story of the struggle for civil rights.
The park itself is adorned with shady trees and beautiful greenery. So, as you immerse yourself in Birmingham’s history, you’ll also enjoy the peace and relaxation.
- Historical Cemeteries
The civil rights movement is memorialized in the area’s historical cemeteries, like the Oak Hill Cemetery. Built in 1871, this land holds the memories and graves of the earliest pioneers and civil rights defenders.
You can book a public tour, check out the many pictures and artifacts, and even enjoy film nights in the quiet surroundings.
Another tragic piece of Birmingham’s history was the Spanish Flu pandemic. Birmingham was actually the site of the first breakouts. Victims of this virulent disease were buried and then forgotten in the city’s abandoned cemeteries.
Today, you can book tours of the unmarked graves and learn about the pandemic, its victims, and the survivors.
- Birmingham Zoo
Approximately 800 animals make their homes here at the Birmingham Zoo, and you can visit them all. You’ll find lions, alligators, elephants, and so much more.
Basic tickets are available to the general public. But, animal enthusiasts or those celebrating special events might want to splurge on a VIP pass. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibits, and you’ll get to meet the animals face to face.
Shopping and dining opportunities abound, so come early and plan on staying late!
- Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
Notable for being the site where the Confederate army and Union forces fought, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is now a destination for outdoor lovers.
History is not forgotten here. Tannehill pays homage to the ironworks industry, the first industry in the area. You can learn about the impact of iron at the on-site museum, then head out to enjoy the fresh air.
Whether you enjoy fishing, horseback riding, camping, or exploring trails, you’ll find something to do here.
- Red Mountain Park
Dedicated to preserving the region’s natural environment, this park is the go-to attraction for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers multiple trails, a dog park, and other activities, but it’s also the place to go when you want extreme adventures.
Start easy in the beanstalk forest and take the one-hour aerial tour across rope bridges, tight ropes, and zip lines. Then go for the gusto on the Mega Zip, a 30-mph thrill ride over 1,000 feet in the air!
Many adventures are offered. Which one will you choose?
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
Founded in 1978, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame’s mission has always been to educate and foster the love of jazz music. Jazz is considered to have started in America and is its own unique blend of sounds.
Part of the Hall of Fame includes the Carver Theater for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1993. Today, you can see performances in the huge theater or explore the nearly 3,000 square feet of artifacts in the museum itself.
Bonus: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Walk along the peaceful trails in these botanical gardens, where there’s always something beautiful in bloom. The greenery alone is worth the trip, but if you want to do a little more, check out their events calendar.
Many classes, like yoga, children’s camps, and adult education, are offered here. What better place to learn than surrounded by such a magnificent, soothing environment?
It’s easy to find ways to stay busy in Birmingham. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a history buff, outdoor lover, or shopaholic.
There’s no way to see it all in one trip, which is why many visitors to this historic city become residents!
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