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A Getaway to Birmingham, AL

Visit revitalized green spaces, a brand-new ballpark, and an expanding list of cocktail dens in Birmingham, Alabama.

Written By:  Erin Byers Murray

Photographers:  Supplied

Birmingham Skyline | Photo by Ted Tucker

With its growing number of sought-after tables, Birmingham is most often touted for its food scene.
But the Alabama city sitting directly to our south boasts a whole lot more, including revitalized green spaces, a brand-new ballpark, and an expanding list of cocktail dens where you’ll find an expertly poured beverage.

TransportationGetting there:
Drive about three hours due south on I-65.

StayWhere to stay:
The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa just completed a massive renovation. Go for the Robert Trent Jones-designed golf trail. In town, the Westin Birmingham just opened last year.

What to DoSide trip:
As you’re heading home, take a detour west toward Florence, Alabama, where lifestyle brand, Alabama Chanin, has just expanded to open The Factory and Café. The spot houses a flagship store, a design studio, and gathering spaces for events and classes. Refuel with chef Yewande Komolafe’s local, organic fare and browse the collection of home goods and Alabama Chanin clothing made from organic, American-grown cotton.


Coffee culture, like the rest of Birmingham’s food scene, is exploding, which is why Atlanta roaster Octane Coffee has taken up residence in the Homewood neighborhood and begun selling their product all over town, including at Church Street Coffee and Books. Fuel up there with an espresso and triple berry muffin before browsing the racks. Or take in a more substantial morning meal over at Alabama Biscuit Company. You’ll need it when trekking to the top of the iconic Vulcan statue, which towers over town as a tribute to Birmingham’s roots in iron and metalwork (there’s also an elevator, so there’s no excuse to pass up this view).


We’re hoping Nashville’s forthcoming ballpark at Sulphur Dell is as sleek and good-looking as Birmingham’s Regions Field. Grab seats at a Barons game before stopping by Good People Brewing Company for a taste of their Bearded Lady brew. A more educational afternoon might be spent at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; last year, the museum helped the city commemorate “50 Years Forward” in honor of the anniversary of a number of civil rights events that occurred here. Afterward, take in a leisurely lunch at Bottega Café, where an afternoon crowd can be found munching on smoked salmon flatbread and perfectly charred pizzas.


The two most influential chefs on Birmingham’s food scene, Frank Stitt of Highlands, Chez Fonfon, and Bottega and Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club, have done their part to pepper the city with culinary offspring. So while Highlands is still the spot for impeccable dishes with an eye on local and seasonal ingredients and Hot and Hot is still the hottest table in town, you can now taste their influences in the casual Mexican dishes at El Barrio Restaurante y Bar and the high-quality cocktail program at The Collins Bar.

Looking for more? Getaway to the Gulf Coast!


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