10 Can’t-Miss Attractions in Birmingham, Alabama
Nestled in the heart of the Deep South, Birmingham, Alabama is a city with a rich history and plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained. From world-renowned museums to scenic parks and gardens, there’s something for everyone in Birmingham. Here are 10 can’t-miss attractions in this southern gem.
1. The Birmingham Museum of Art – With a collection of over 24,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of history, the Birmingham Museum of Art is a must-see for art lovers. The museum’s collection includes works from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas, as well as a growing collection of modern and contemporary art. Admission to the museum is free, making it a great option for budget-minded travelers.
2. The Civil Rights Institute – Located in downtown Birmingham, the Civil Rights Institute chronicles the struggle for equality during the Civil Rights Movement. The museum features interactive exhibits, films, and personal stories that bring to life the brave men and women who fought for civil rights. Admission to the institute is free for all visitors.
3. Vulcan Park and Museum – Vulcan Park and Museum is dedicated to Vulcan, the world’s largest cast iron statue. Standing 56 feet tall atop Red Mountain, Vulcan offers stunning views of downtown Birmingham. The park and museum are free to enter, though there is a charge for riding the elevator to the top of Vulcan’s pedestal.
4. Railroad Park – Railroad Park is a 19-acre green space in downtown Birmingham that was built on an abandoned rail yard. The park features walking and biking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a dog park. Railroad Park is also home to numerous events and festivals throughout the year. Admission to the park is free.
5. Oak Mountain State Park – Just outside of Birmingham lies Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama’s largest state park. The park spans 9800 acres and features hiking trails, mountain biking trails, lakes for fishing and swimming, campgrounds, and more. A daily entrance fee is required to enter the park.
6. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve – Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a 1120-acre nature preserve that offers miles of hiking trails with views of downtown Birmingham. The preserve is home to numerous species of plants and animals, including birds of prey such as hawks and owls. Admission to the preserve is free for all visitors.
7. Birmingham Botanical Gardens – The Birmingham Botanical Gardens feature more than 12,000 different plants spread out over 67 acres .The gardens also have several greenhouses filled with tropical plants , as well as an outdoor amphitheater that hosts concerts and other events throughout the year . Admission to the gardens is free , though there is a charge for some special exhibitions.
8. Birmingham Zoo – The Birmingham Zoo is home to more than 800 animals from around the world , including lions , tigers , giraffes , elephants , penguins , and more . The zoo also has a children’s petting zoo , an aquarium , and a train that takes visitors around the grounds . Admission to the zoo is charged by age , with discounts available for seniors , military personnel , and groups .
9. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark – Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark is a former iron foundry that operated from 1882 to 1971 . Today , the site operates as a museum dedicated to industry and innovation . Visitors can take self-guided tours of the furnaces , or take part in one of the many events held at the site throughout the year . Admission to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark is charged by age , with discounts available for seniors , military personnel , and groups.
10. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum – The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of vintage motorcycles . The museum also has race cars on display , as well as rotating exhibitions featuring different makes and models of motorcycles . Admission to the museum is charged by age , with discounts available for seniors , military personnel , AAA members , students ,and groups.
Whether you’re interested in history or nature or just looking for something fun to do outdoors, Birmingham has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained during your visit. With so many options available, you’re sure to find something that interests you in this southern city.