The Rainbow Light Tunnel is one of the best things to do in Birmingham, Alabama

City Guide / Birmingham

13 Fun Things to Do in Birmingham

By Landing | Jan 14, 2021

Birmingham, Alabama, is a beautiful, flourishing city set in the Appalachian foothills. With many iconic landmarks, several colleges, stunning outdoor space, and dynamic growth, the metropolis has something for everyone. These are just some of the reasons we’ve expanded our offering of furnished apartments in Birmingham.

Are you new to the area or thinking about relocating to the Magic City? Landing is here to help you explore Birmingham and enjoy all its best attractions. From Vestavia Hills to the Dixie Railroad Museum, there is something for everyone moving to Birmingham AL

What are some fun things to do in Birmginham, Alabama?

Birmingham isn’t just the largest city in Alabama but also the one with the richest history. Originally an industrial hub for steel and iron production, it earned the nickname Pittsburgh of the South. The city was also front and center during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

In recent decades, the metro area has transformed into a popular tourist destination. Today, perks like a low cost of living, educational opportunities, and a promising job market are enticing more and more people into calling it home. After learning about the pros and cons of living in Birmingham, the city has attracted many different kinds of people. 

Ready to see what the city has to offer? Landing rounded up 13 fun things to do in Birmingham, Alabama. Check them out below.

Visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

If you’re into motorcycles—and even if you’re not—the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is worth a gander. Former Porsche racer George Barber began collecting and restoring bikes in his retirement. With lots to show for his hobby, he opened the museum in Birmingham, which now houses the world’s largest collection of motorcycles.

Stop by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

As we mentioned, Birmingham was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement, and the city hasn’t forgotten its past. The Civil Rights Institute is a cultural research center that strives to enlighten and educate future generations about the city’s place in American history, as well as today’s human rights issues.

When you visit the massive brick building, you can take a self-guided tour of the galleries, archives, and exhibits featured in the Birmingham museum. 

Explore Kelly Ingram Park

While you’re in the area, you might want to stop by Kelly Ingram Park. Set in downtown Birmingham’s Civil Rights District, the four-acre site was once a primary location for human rights demonstrations in the 1960s. It has many monuments, sculptures, and statues representing the historic era.

Take the kids to McWane Science Center

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Birmingham with kids, we recommend taking them to McWane Science Center. The museum and educational center offers hands-on science demonstrations, interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater, and lots of other engaging family-friendly activities.

Stop by Pepper Place

As its name suggests, Pepper Place Saturday Market is open on Saturdays. With stands offering produce from farms throughout the metro area, it’s a great way to spend a few hours, pick up some fresh ingredients, and get to know the local scene. The family-friendly event has expanded over the years, now hosting upwards of 100 farmers.

Catch a showing at the Alabama Theater

Built in the 1920s, the Alabama Theater is a historic structure in Birmingham. The building is a spectacle in and of itself. But with upwards of 300 showings a year, it’s a great place to catch movies and live performances too.

Enjoy some Southern fare

Even when you can’t think of anything to do in Birmingham, there’s always something to eat. If you appreciate authentic southern food (or have yet to taste it), you’ll be impressed by the abundance of mouth-watering offerings.

Some of the best places to enjoy soul food include the Southern Kitchen and Bar, Ted’s Restaurant, Dreamland Barbecue, and SAW’s Soul Kitchen. From barbecue ribs and crispy chicken to home fries, grits, and greens, there’s much to crave at Birmingham’s southern joints.

Revel at Sloss Furnaces

Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham that represents the city’s industrial roots. It operated as a blast furnace to produce pig iron from the late 1800s up until the early 1970s.

After it closed, it was restored and then preserved and is now a museum and public spectacle. Sloss Furnaces is also a venue, hosting live music, weddings, corporate functions, parties, and other events throughout the year.

Visit the Birmingham Zoo

Another fun all-ages activity is visiting the Birmingham Zoo. The 122-acre park has been operating for over 60 years and houses nearly 1,000 animals and more than 200 species from all over the world.

You’ll see several unique, endangered, and exotic animals, like the komodo dragon, red panda, and the double-wattled cassowary. The zoo also has all the recognizable creatures kids know and love, including elephants, zebras, giraffes, and tigers.

Bike or hike Red Mountain Park

If you’re an outdoorsy type or just like to stay active, you might consider hiking or biking your way through Red Mountain Park. The 1,500-acre urban park has 15 miles of hiking trails, an off-leash dog park, and two city overlooks. There are also multiple tree houses, historic mines, industrial artifacts, and the Kaul Adventure Tower, an 80-foot climbing structure.

Check out Vulcan Park and Museum

Just outside Birmingham at the top of Red Mountain is the Vulcan, a giant iron statue of the Roman god of fire. The sculpture is nearly 60 feet tall and weighs 50 tons, making it the world’s biggest iron statue.

Vulcan Park has one of the best views of Birmingham and is a lovely place to hang out on a sunny day. You can also stroll through the museum, which educates visitors about the city’s industrial and cultural history.

Picnic at Railroad Park

Railroad Park is another must-see outdoor destination. Lying just below the rail lines of Downtown Birmingham and known locally as Birmingham’s Living Room, the urban park is a popular place to gather.

With outdoor seating and ample grass, the eight-block green space is perfect for picnicking. Pack your own food or pick up some delicious grub from one of the food carts at the aptly named pod Trucks by the Tracks.

Enjoy craft beer at a brewery

There are around 30 craft breweries throughout Alabama, and a handful are right in Birmingham. If you’re interested in tasting locally brewed beer, we recommend stopping by Avondale Brewing Company, which is known for its flagship Saison brew.

Other top-rated breweries in the Birmingham area include Slag Heap, Cahaba, People Brewing, TrimTab, and Birmingham District Brewing Company.

Apartments for rent in Birmingham, Alabama

These destinations should keep you busy and entertained, but it’s nowhere near an exhaustive list. Birmingham, Alabama, is a lively city with endless fun things to do. We’re talking highly rated golf courses, excellent nightlife, a great local music scene, gorgeous botanical gardens, and some of the best college football in the country.

Haven’t made the move yet? Landing offers comfortable, modern apartment rentals in some of the best neighborhoods in Birmingham, Alabama. We have fully furnished apartments in Birmingham with flexible leases, 24/7 concierge service, and all the amenities you need to make yourself at home.

Living in a Landing takes the stress out of relocating to an unfamiliar area. You can get to know the city and explore its many offerings before signing a year-long lease or buying a home. Browse our Birmingham apartments today!

Want to learn more about how it all works? Get in touch with us at Landing.

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About the author

Landing

Fred may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Fred will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.