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Top Things To Do In Birmingham

Alabama’s largest city is home to upscale restaurants, a thriving art scene, and a massive statue of Vulcan, the Roman God of Iron. Birmingham also hosts a number of music festivals and shopping destinations. If you’re looking for fun things to do, these are some of the top attractions.

The largest cast-iron statue in the world sits atop Birmingham’s Red Mountain. Next to the statue, Vulcan Park and Museum offers jogging trails and information about the city’s history.

Here are some of the best things to do near Birmingham:

  • Travel the world through the cultural exhibits at The Birmingham Art Museum
  • Experience nature at Oak Mountain State Park just outside of town  
  • Take photos of the Rotary Trail sign downtown before a stroll through the park
  • Remember the Civil Rights Movement with the commemorative statues at Kelly Ingram Park
  • Admire the themed gardens at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham residents are passionate about art. Take advantage of the city’s enthusiasm by appreciating the public pieces, like the statues in Kelly Ingram Park and free admission to several institutes, like the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Cheap things to do near Birmingham include:

  • Wandering through nature at the Aldridge gardens
  • A quest for the treehouses on the Red Mountain Park trails
  • Attending a free workshop at Birmingham Public Library
  • Free games of bingo at Saturn, a local bar and concert venue
  • Touring the Eternal World Television Network’s studios during the week

Birmingham has a rich history, and takes pride in preserving many pieces of its past. For a look at Birmingham’s colorful past, visit the Historic Lyric Theater and the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Some of the most popular attractions near Birmingham are:

  • Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, the center of Birmingham’s industrial background
  • The classic cars and record breaking motorcycle collection at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
  • The Southern Museum of Flight, a popular field trip destination focused on the history of airplanes
  • Paying your respects to the man behind the Civil Rights Movement at Dr. Martin Luther King’s Memorial statue, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Free to the public, the Birmingham Art Museum is an inspiration for this art loving town. Stop by to marvel at the paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings before attending one of their monthly events.

Exciting activities near Birmingham include:

  • Listening to the trains while strolling the Railroad Park greenways
  • Shopping at the Brookwood Village  
  • Practicing your swing at Topgolf Birmingham
  • Heading to Homewood for a bite and drinks at Soho Social
  • Learning more about cultural history at the Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum

Birmingham has no shortage of industrious locals. Stop by one of the many breweries, including Good People, Avondale, Cahaba, and Trim Tab Brewing Company for a flight of expertly crafted Alabama brews.

Other nighttime activities near Birmingham include:

  • Having dinner and drinks at Avo and Dram in Mountain Brook Village
  • A blast from the past at the retro-themed Atomic Bar & Lounge
  • Solving a whodunnit case at the Murder Mystery Dinner show
  • Taking a ‘gram worthy photo at the Color Tunnel on 14th St.
  • Seeing a one-of-a-kind performance at Workplay

Birmingham is home to the University of Alabama, a leading medical research university. Located in the Southside neighborhood, the university campus brings a college town air to Birmingham that sparks many of the forward thinking perceptions of the town.  

Weekend activities near Birmingham include:

  • Watching a film at the historic Alabama Theatre
  • Settling in for a full Southern meal at Big Bad Breakfast
  • Going for a local beer at Good People Brewery downtown
  • Seeing a variety of concerts at Alys Stephens Center
  • Meeting the lions, elephants, and monkeys at the Birmingham Zoo

The McWane Science Center is Birmingham’s state-of-the-art, hands-on educational facility for children of all ages. Check out their Shark and Ray Touch Take, IMAX Dome theater, and NatureScope exhibits for a day full of fun.

Here are some other family-friendly things to do near Birmingham:

  • A day of water and rides at Alabama Splash Adventure
  • Watching a play at Birmingham Children’s Theatre
  • Training to become a champion at Tiger Rock Martial Arts
  • Riding a train to learn about locomotion at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum

Just southeast of Birmingham is wine country. Spend the day wooing your significant other with glasses of pinot and trips to Morgan Creek Vineyards, Ozan Winery & Vineyard, and Cat-and-Bird Winery.

Other date night ideas near Birmingham include:

  • Sipping some wine at The Wine Loft in Central City
  • Watching an intimate performance at Moonlight on the Mountain
  • A play or concert at the historical Alabama Theatre
  • Dinner for two at the trendy Hot and Hot Fish Club
  • Snuggling up for a movie in the car at Coyote Drive-In-Leeds

During baseball season, Birmingham locals watch the Barons play at Regions Field. The field is the crown jewel for the Parkside district, and has a number of rental spaces for events to be thrown year round.

Some of the best things to do with your friends near Birmingham include:

  • Satisfying your need for speed at Autobahn Indoor Speedway
  • Watching a game at Birmingham Barons Regions Field
  • A league game at Brunswick Zone Riverview Lanes
  • Touring the best local breweries with Red Clay Tours
  • Supper downtown at El Barrio with your friends and family

With an appreciation for creativity, it's only natural for Birmingham to have spaces for performance arts too. Clear your schedule for a night out at Red Mountain Theater, Lyric Theater, Virginia Samford Theatre, and the Alabama Theatre.

Other Birmingham indoor activities include:

  • Thinking over a cappuccino at Seeds Coffee Co. in Homewood
  • A painting lesson with moscato at Painting with a Twist
  • Listening to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra at Jemison Concert Hall
  • Pampering yourself at The Spa at Ross Bridge in the Renaissance Hotel
  • Watching the Alabama Ballet perform during ballet season

The Ruffner Mountain Nature Center is one of the largest urban parks in the country. This lush park features dog-friendly hiking trails and unparalleled views of the city. It is just one of the nature centers that help make Birmingham the number one city to have the most green space per capita in the nation.

Other outdoor activities in Birmingham:

  • Float, kayak, or canoe down the Cahaba River
  • Play on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
  • Clear your head on a leisurely walk on the Blue Ridge Nature Trail
  • Take a guided treetop tour or adventure at the Red Mountain Park
  • Climb the boulders and find waterfalls at the Moss Rock Preserve

Just outside the 16th Street Baptist Church is Kelly Ingram Park, a central hub for the demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement. The park is full of commemorative art, including an iconic statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Stop by these must-see experiences near Birmingham:

  • The story next to the creepy ram-man statue at Five Points
  • Learning about local haunts on a ghost walk with Birmingham Historic Touring Company
  • The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, dedicated to Alabama’s sports icons
  • Tasting the world famous ribs at Dreamland BBQ.
  • Finding a unique toy at the curio shop What’s On 2nd?

Top Attractions