Southern Travel Guide: Birmingham

From artisan cocktails to award-winning restaurants, our hometown of Birmingham has never been hotter. Here’s the ultimate insider’s guide to the Magic City.


At Southern Living, we're proud to call Birmingham home. It's one of the most dynamic southern cities and we're not just saying that because we're biased. Here's an insiders guide to the magic city. Begin your day with a latte and blueberry donut at Urban Standard. Located on burgeoning Second Avenue North, it's a favorite sport for locals. From there, take a drive to Vulcan Park and Museum to see this Birmingham icon. Built in 1904, the largest cast iron statue in the world was created to honor the city's steel industry. $6 will get you a ticket to the observation tower over the city And admission to the museum. Another one of our favorite shopping destinations is Homewood's 18th Street. We suggest women's boutique SOCA for a personalized experience. And SoHo Retro for home inspiration. For lunch, head to the Avondale neighborhood for pork and greens at Saw's Soul Kitchen. The dish is a sky-high stack of cheese grits, collared greens, pulled pork, and onion rings. Or visit Miss Myra's for barbecue chicken with mayonnaise based Alabama white barbecue sauce. And it's hard to find a better brunch than the one at El Barrio. No visit to Birmingham is complete without a tour of the Civil Rights Institute. Which provides an interactive overview of the city's vital on going role in this historic movement. A living institution, the museum hopes to use the city's pass to pave a brighter future. While downtown, stroll through Railroad Park, a 19-acre urban oasis with walking trails and train spottings. [MUSIC] Grab a locally crafted beer at the nearby Good People Brewing Company taproom. Birmingham is a city that is redefining modern, southern cooking. Among it's not miss chefs is Frank Stitt. Often referred to as the godfather of modern southern food. You can't go wrong with dinner at his award winning Highlands Bar & Grill. Grab a seat at the bar for a dozen oysters with a glass of bubbles. Or try Chez Fon Fon next door for a French twist on Southern. Start with a chicken liver mousse followed by the burger. It's rated number one in the city. Another headline chef in town is Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot. Grab a nightcap at the vanguard of the city's cocktail revolution, The Collins. Tell the bartenders what you like. Whiskey or gin. Sweet or bitter. And they'll make you a custom drink. Or swing by the Garage Cafe for a local experience in an antiques yard turned bar. Finally, rest your head at the Westin. Located in Birmingham's uptown district, it's centrally located. And the perfect place to unwind after a great day in the Magic City. [MUSIC]
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