They tell a tale to quake your bones at Warehouse 31—on October 13, 1875, a woodcutter by the name of Billy Turner killed his nine-year-old daughter in a horrific accident. Unable to cope with his grief, Turner killed himself. But the pain was too great for death to assuage. Soon Pelham was under siege from a series of mysterious events. A young girl found roaming unattended along a railway. The sound of a chainsaw echoing from the forest. Glass doors sliding open as soon as somebody stepped in front of them. Today, Warehouse 31 stands on the site of that ill-fated lumberyard, and guests can experience some scares of their own, thanks to a cast of monsters, high-tech animatronics, and gravely unhinged clowns.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute was designed as a living institution, ensuring that Birmingham's contribution to the civil rights movement translates to present generations. At BCRI, guests learn about the courageous men and women who dared confront centuries of bigotry to transform the American landscape. The dream of former Birmingham mayor David Vann, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opened to the public in November of 1992. Ever since, the BCRI has done everything in its powers to do justice to the heroes portrayed within the institute's halls.
Under the shadowy cover of nightfall, and by the flickering glow of a lantern, the Birmingham Ghost Walk weaves gaggles of ghost seekers through the city's spirit-populated historical sites. Tour leader Wolfgang Poe leads each march through time, beginning with a group-bonding ritual that tunes minds into the vibrations of Wolfgang's spirit guides. Winding toward the Alabama and Lyric Theaters, walks stop to discuss brothels, taverns, and townhouses long since gone, but not vacated by their former inhabitants. As the moon slinks behind clouds and shadows move into the shapes of embarrassing childhood nicknames, tour-takers shake off spine-tingling chills to finish the adventure at the Tutwiler Hotel. Cameras are allowed and, due to its dark themes and subject matter, the Ghost Walk gives itself a PG-13 rating.
More than 12,000 different plants line the meandering paths of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Spread across its 67.5 acres and more than 25 gardens are 30+ works of outdoor sculptures on display, making it one of the largest collections of public horticulture in the US. Between walks in the gardens, guests can relax in a Japanese garden with a traditional teahouse, and kids can opt into one of the educational programs to understand the science behind botany.
The botanical gardens also host events year round, such as antique shows, plant sales, and cocktail parties, so that the plants don't get bored and fall asleep. Additionally, the lecture series brings in big names and novelists to discuss their trade and put on shows for the garden's visitors.
Set on sprawling farmland, Vizzini Farms Winery bottles a diverse selection of wine crafted from West Coast and Alabama vinifera grapes. Daily tours sneak groups behind the scenes of the second-generation Italian family’s winemaking process, which yields riesling piqued with tropical fruits and pinot grigio that's as lively as a 30-piece kazoo orchestra. A charming tasting room recalls a sunny Italian café, with warm yellow walls, racks of wine, and bistro tables ideal for gathering over a bite of deli fare and Italian-style desserts. On warm days, the spacious patio is open for enjoyment, providing views of surrounding vineyards and breezes with notes of black currant, citrus, and oxygen.
A broad front porch stretches across the main residence at Hidden Meadow Vineyard, inviting visitors to kick up their feet, tip back a glass of fruit wine, and admire the verdant view. Owners Bill and Janette Bailey manage the small, family-run winery, which specializes in bottles made from muscadine, concord, niagara, and cynthiana grapes. Their roster of wines includes blackberry and blueberry wines as well as scuppernong, a sweet, old-fashioned white wine.