Once a center of the steel, iron, and railroad industries, Birmingham is now a vibrant and diverse metropolis with an array of world-class museums, vast greenways, and a thriving local music scene. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Birmingham makes for a perfect destination if you’re looking for both indoor and outdoor adventure.
After its establishment in 1871, Birmingham grew so quickly that it earned the name Magic City. Any visit to this storied destination wouldn’t be complete without exploring its rich history, much of which is connected to the civil rights movement. Explore the district dedicated to this era, which includes several historic sites, and retrace the steps of the demonstrators who changed the course of American history on the Civil Rights Heritage Trail. The trail winds through downtown Birmingham, marking significant locations along 1963 civil rights march routes. Tour the adjacent Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which focuses not just on the past, but also on the continuing international struggle for human rights through permanent and temporary galleries.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Birmingham’s past, get to know its present-day identity. Experience one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city when you visit Avondale, a district that preserves its industrial architecture while being a hotspot for some of the best dining and shopping in the city. Satisfy your inner fashionista by browsing the high-end boutiques and artisan shops. If you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a seat at one of Avondale’s many restaurants, ranging from farm-to-table fare to Birmingham’s distinct barbeque style.
When you’re not filling up on Birmingham’s fantastic food, you can spend time on the trails just outside the city. Red Mountain Park is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts, a 1,200-acre wooded site where visitors can enjoy miles of walking, hiking, and mountain biking trails. You’ll find various treehouses among the trails, which offer incredible views. If you’d prefer to stay in the city for outdoor activities, Railroad Park is the perfect spot. This 19-acre greenspace in the heart of downtown Birmingham celebrates the industrial and artistic heritage of the city and serves as a venue for local recreation, family activities, and concerts. Whether you’re looking for a nature escape outside the city or a stroll through the city’s many green spaces, Birmingham has all you need when planning your next outdoor adventure.
Discover more of what makes Birmingham the Magic City and book a flight today with Southwest®. When you book with Southwest, you can book with confidence, knowing that the process will be straightforward from flight selection to checkout. Of course, having a memorable trip is about more than finding a great deal on a flight. Learn more about the Southwest® Experience and book your upcoming flight to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
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Things to do in Birmingham.
- Oak Mountain State Park
- Red Mountain Park
- Ruffner Mountain
- 16th Street Baptist Church
- Kelly Ingram Park
- Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
- Birmingham Museum of Art
- McWane Science Center
- Southern Museum of Flight