Fun things to do in Birmingham

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Birmingham

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    16 th street baptist church

    by doug48 Updated Oct 23, 2010

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    the 16 th street baptist church was bombed by members of the klu klux klan on september 15 th 1963. four young african-american girls were killed in the bombing and several others injured. this bombing outraged the nation and contributed to the passage of the 1964 civil rights act. today the 16 th ave. baptist church is open for tours. for those interested in civil rights history the 16 th street baptist church is an important site to visit.

    16 th street baptist church bomb damage
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    Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 5, 2010

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    This is an attractive, well designed museum on the Tannehill grounds. If you are interested in heavy industry and large machinery, this is for you. The museum covers the iron and steel manufacture from Ancient Egypt to today's specialized alloys. It is all very colorful, and, dare I say, very boyish - in the best sense of the word.

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    Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 5, 2010

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    Near a busy campground, you can visit the granddaddy of Sloss Furnaces, the Tannehill Ironworks. Iron was produced here starting in the 1830s. The three charcoal blast furnaces at Tannehill could produce 22 tons of pig iron a day, most of which was shipped to the Naval Gun Works and Arsenal at Selma.

    This is a pleasant visit, which includes the remarkable Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama in the same park.

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    Sloss Furnaces

    by calcaf38 Written Aug 5, 2010

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    The Sloss Furnaces is a large iron foundry complex which operated from 1882 to 1971. Saved from demolition by preservationists, it is today a "stabilized ruin" open to the public (and the location for some concerts and music video shoots).

    Sloss Furnaces is not a bit like one of those places where you are carefully roped off and kept from the real substance. You can go down pitch-dark steps and through drippy tunnels. You can get dirty! It is a wonderful experience. And you get to know how to make pig iron in the bargain (the markers that dot the site are very instructive).

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    Ruffner Mountain Nature Center

    by calcaf38 Written Aug 5, 2010

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    The Ruffner Mountain Nature Center is a large nature reserve with superb trails, situated just a few minutes from downtown Birmingham. The trails are "threaded" in an intelligent way, allowing you to hike as long as you wish with a minimum of backtracking. The Overlook Trail offers vistas of old quarries and a panorama of Birmingham. One of the trails leads to a small wetland area.

    Some of the trails entail quite a climb. Be sure to download the trail map or to pick it up at the office, and don't forget your water bottle, insect repellent, and nutrition bar.

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    16th Street Baptist Church

    by calcaf38 Written Aug 5, 2010

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    This is the Church which was bombed on September 15, 1963, by members of the Ku Klux Klan, resulting in the death of four little girls. The church wasn't picked at random by the terrorists. Throughout 1963, it had been a rallying point for Civil Rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth. The loathsome attack shocked the whole country, and the following year, president Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

    A small exhibit exists in the basement of the church, commemorating its turbulent yet hopeful legacy.

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    Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 5, 2010

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    The BCRI is located on a meaningful location: across the street from the notorious 16th St. Baptist Church, and near the once bustling African-American neighborhood around 4th Avenue.

    The building itself is rather bland, but the exhibit is excellent: A short black and white film describes the early decades of Birmingham and the origins of the Civil Rights struggle. Subsequently, the movie screen itself goes up - like a curtain - and you are faced with one of those ghastly two-class water fountains, the start of the exhibit. After a thorough description of the bad old days, you get a solid chronology of what happened between the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 and the Obama inauguration.

    Of the four Civil Rights museums I visited, this was the only one that was relatively crowded.

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    ingram park

    by doug48 Updated Dec 25, 2009

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    ingram park is located in downtown birmingham across the street from the birmingham civil rights institute and the 16 th street baptist church. this park has a number of interesting statues depicting the birmingham civil rights protests in the 1960's. pictured is a statue of a water hose used by the police to disperse protesters.

    water hose statue fireman dispersing protesters
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    mountain brook

    by doug48 Updated Aug 20, 2009

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    mountain brook is a wealthy community located just south of the city of birmingham. this hilly area has scores of beautiful estates on large wooded lots. mountain brook has three shopping and entertainment "villages" which offer upscale shopping and dining. a very nice place to visit in the birmingham area. for more information see my mountain brook alabama pages.

    mountain brook village
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    vestavia hills

    by doug48 Written Aug 20, 2009

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    vestavia hills and nearby homewood alabama are very nice upper middle class areas just south of downtown birmingham. vestavia hills and homewood have a number of good restaurants and bars. for travelers to the birmingham area vestavia hills and homewood have a number of good hotels and is a safe place to stay in the birmingham area.

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    birmingham zoo

    by doug48 Updated Aug 20, 2009

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    the birmingham zoo is a very nice place to visit when traveling with children when in the birmingham area. the zoo has displays of animals from all over the world in a natural setting. a very interesting place to visit when in birmingham. see the attached web site for admission and times.

    birmingham zoo
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    birmingham botanical gardens

    by doug48 Written Aug 20, 2009

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    the birmingham botanical gardens is a very worth while place to visit when in the birmingham area. the gardens have a spectacular display of azaleas and dogwoods in the spring. the botanical gardens has a large greenhouse with tropical plants and a beautiful japanese garden. on premises is a nice cafe style restaurant and a garden shop. admission is free.

    birmingham botanical gardens
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    McWane science center

    by doug48 Written Aug 20, 2009

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    the McWane science center is a interesting place to visit especially when traveling with children. the science center has a collection of dinosaurs, a shark and sting ray tank, and a imax theater. there are a number of interactive displays that are fun and educational for children.

    Mc Wane science center
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    birmingham civil rights institute

    by doug48 Written Aug 20, 2009

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    the birmingham civil rights institute is a good first stop for visitors to birmingham interested in u.s. civil rights history. this museum has exhibits on the 1960's civil rights struggles in birmingham and the state of alabama. the museum also has temporary exhibitions on black history in america.

    birmingham civil rights institute
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    sloss furnaces

    by doug48 Written Aug 20, 2009

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    the sloss furnaces were built by james wither sloss in 1882. the furnaces were in constant operation between 1882 and 1971. the sloss furnaces were closed in 1971 due to the clean air act and that most of the iron ore in the birmingham area was depleated. the sloss furnaces were opened to the public in 1977. the sloss furnaces national historic site has a museum and is a very interesting place to learn about the iron and steel industry in alabama. see the attached web site for admission and times.

    sloss furnaces national historic site
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Birmingham Things to Do

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