Named after the United Kingdom’s second largest city, Birmingham, Alabama is a hub full of history. Founded in 1871 at the cross sections of the railroad lines, it became a major city for iron and steel production, quickly earning the name “The Magic City.”
During its heyday of iron trade, it was also a melting pot of racial tensions, segregation, and violence against African-Americans. Today, the city now nods to its controversial history by incorporating these issues throughout attractions and accommodations from its past, and the conflicts that still linger today.
Many entrepreneurs and corporations have helped bring life back to the city through subtle makeovers in recent decades. Birmingham is a great place to visit to embrace and learn America’s history in the deep south, and with many family-friendly attractions, the kids can tag along too.
What to See
Railroad Park is a 19-acre green space right in downtown Birmingham. The landscape celebrates the industrial and artistic heritage that the city holds. Known as “Birmingham’s Living Room,” is perfect for locals and travelers to gather from recreational activities, concerts, and special events.
The park’s land features a lake, running trails, skate bowls, an outdoor gym, and playgrounds. Whether you’re looking to take a stroll with the family, get in some exercise or even to just enjoy some great views, railroad park is a popular hub throughout the entire year.
Another nod to its rich heritage is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The moving story of the city’s role in the civil right movement is presented through exhibits and permanent and temporary galleries. These exhibits are not solely focused on the past but are used to present the ongoing international struggle for human rights.
These exhibits detail some of the most significant events that occurred in Birmingham, including the loss of the 16th Street Baptist Church after a bombing orchestrated by the Ku Klux Klan.
For a fun activity check out the Barber Vintage Sports Museum, a collection of George Barber’s motorcycles. The largest in the world, the facility features over more than 1,400 bikes from 200 different manufacturers.
The museum is also home to an extensive collection of Lotus cars, hundreds of motorcycles and early bikes, and an outdoor track. The outdoor track also hosts the Porsche Sport Driving School.
Where to Stay
Its doors first opened in 1925, but The Redmont Hotel is still a staple accommodating guests in the heart of the city. Its art deco décor creates a timeless feel that’s not overshadowed by elegance. The interior also features art and photography by locals of the present and past, to further showcase Birmingham’s rich history.
With in-house restaurants and the bustling downtown right outside the front doors, guests will not be short of dining options. Visitors have the option of dining at the Redmont’s very own Harvest Restaurant and Bar along with a plethora of lodging options. Not to mention, guests are close to some of the Magic City’s acclaimed attractions.
Opened in the summer of 2017, the Elyton Hotel takes the sophistication of the south to a new level. With modern interior décor and hats-off to rich tradition, the hotel is finished with tall ceiling, restored marble walls and bronze fixtures to illuminate the natural light in a loft-like setting.
Guests may enjoy the hotels restaurant, The Yard, choosing dining options from a southern-style menu and local fresh products. A rooftop terrace offers a whimsical experience for sipping on cocktails while enjoying the weather with a memorable view.
The Inn at Pursell Farms opened in fall 2017, and offer a 40-room escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Inn allows you to savor what Birmingham’s landscape and nature has to offer, just under an hour outside of the city.
The inn offers an array of cabins and cottages, each with four guest rooms opening to a spacious living room. To top it off, each cabin or cottage includes a personal golf cart to zip around the resort’s scenic property.
Pursell Farms also includes amenities such as the FarmLinks Golf Club, which was named Golfweek’s #1 all-access golf course in Alabama, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The property also offers over 3,000 acres of hunting, fishing and shooting and a farm-to-form dining experience. For a genuine southern experience, the Inn at Pursell Farms has so much to offer to guests and their families.
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