City of Birmingham was our pit stop en route to the Gulf shores for the Christmas holidays. It is the largest city in Alabama and is also known as the Pittsburgh of the south due to the large scale presence of Iron and Steel industry around the city. Birmingham also was center of National attention during the Civil Rights movement commencing in 1950s which led to the passage of Civil Rights Act.
Today Birmingham is a cosmopolitan city with rich cultural heritage, strong industrial presence, booming financial sector, distinct southern cuisine, music and arts.
Vulcan Park is located on the heart of the city, gets the name from the cast iron statue built by an Italian sculptor named after the Roman God of fire. Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world built to reflect the Iron and steel industries of the area. The park also has a museum and trails around it which is today a popular picnic place for the locals.
Barber Vintage Museum
Barber Motorsport Park is a huge multi purpose facility showcasing over 1400 private collection of motor bikes and cars of the businessman turned ex-racer George Barber. It is the largest collection of motorcycles in the world including rare collections like the Beatle’s car, first Lotus racing collections, world record winning cross country bikes and many more. Museum also has race track (FIA Grade II), off road trails, Porsche ultimate driving experience as well as hosts Indycar series and annual Barber Vintage car festival. A must visit for auto-enthusiasts, it is a sparkling treat indeed.
Mountain Brook & Vestavia Hills
Mountain Brook is a suburb popular for its architecture and well built layout. There are lot of good eateries and trails around the village. Good recommendation for breakfast in the area is Another Broken Egg Cafe .
Vestavia Hills, another popular residential suburb of Birmingham is a landmark location with many mansions and huge estates
Oak Mountain State Park & Red Mountain Park
Oak Mountain State Park, is the state’s largest park on the outskirts of the Birmingham city. Park activities include hiking, swimming, camping, fishing, horseback riding, golf and dedicated dog parks for the kennels.
Red Mountain Park, is another urban park outside of the city along the Shades Valley. It is named so due to the rich presence of minerals especially Iron, and now you can relate this to the well flourished Iron and Steel industry in this region. Today Red Mountain Park is also popular site for many closed mines, wildlife and also for adventure activities like zip lining, mountain BMX etc.
Gus Fried Chicken
While wandering around the city, we also got chance to savor the famous Southern inspired Gus Fried Chicken. Originally from Tennessee, this brand has now spread across many southern states and is a must try place for its distinctively fried chicken and beans combo.
Though a small city it is, our stop for a day at Birmingham gave us opportunity to spend some quality time, explore the length and breadth of the city. Our road trip started from Philadelphia and continues to the south. Until later with more blogs, adios.