When exploring the downtown district of Homewood, Alabama, you must remember two things: Wear your walking shoes, and make sure you stop in every store.
What makes this village south of Birmingham so special is the small-town atmosphere found on and around 18th Street South, coupled with the many restaurants, specialty shops, home stores, and art galleries.
Somewhat off the beaten path, but well worth the walk or drive to 19th Street South, is Christopher Glenn, Inc. This earthy emporium has a medley of garden and home decor, offering everything from cast-iron chandeliers and bronze lamps to classically sculpted brass garden sprinklers, bamboo, and Italian terra-cotta. There's also an outside patio sectioned into three distinct garden areas.
The stylish ornaments found here have as much personality as the owners themselves. Chris Carter and Glenn Sinichko create the perfect blend of classic and contemporary with their original displays, contributing to the extraordinary milieu of the area. "Each store has its own personal signature," says Chris. "Most stores are locally owned, which helps make Homewood work."
Behind the weathered wooden door of Three Sheets: A Linen Shop lie mountains of soft linens accented by the sweet aroma of scented candles and bath soaps. Bed and bath accessories, home furnishings, and clothing are just a few items for sale here. You may want to slip into one of their lavish bathrobes for a perfect fit.
Rustic yet elegant, Seibels specializes in items for lodge and outdoor living. Though much of its inventory is geared toward home or cabin decoration, you can also pick up some J.W. Hulme leather-clad luggage as well as cookbooks filled with tasty game and fish recipes.
You may want to pop in to My Favorite Things and look over their favorites in home furnishings and French imports. Be sure to check out the Marseille soap--hand-cut blocks of olive oil-based soap made the same way since the 1600s. Here, too, you'll find original paintings by local artist Suzanne Lambert.
Handcrafted furniture, quilts, clothing, and art by Birmingham's retirees can be found at Prime Time Treasures, operated by the Assistance League of Birmingham. The League gives its proceeds to different philanthropic projects in the area, including donations of clothing to needy children.
And if you appreciate fine art, you may want to stop in Monty Stabler Galleries. Oil on canvas, sculptures, prints, and framing are available in this popular shop on 29th Avenue.
For more information: Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, (205) 458-8000 or 1-800-458-8085.
This article is from the September 2001 issue of Southern Living.Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.