Fun things to do in Birmingham

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  • Things to Do
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  • Things to Do
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Birmingham

  • lisa_lise's Profile Photo

    Smell the Roses and Thump the Bamboo

    by lisa_lise Written Jun 29, 2004

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    The Botanical Gardens are free, and they have a rose garden filled with roses of all different scents and colors. One pink rose named Perfume Delight smelled just like a lemon drop. The Japanese garden is also good. I'd never seen live bamboo and could not resist lightly thumping it. Green bamboo looks so much more solid than dried bamboo, but it is still hollow.

    One small part of the rose garden
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    five points

    by doug48 Updated Feb 15, 2012

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    the five points and highlands areas are the nicest parts of downtown birmingham. five points is birmingham's entertainment district and is an area that has a number of good restaurants and bars. five points is the safest area in the city of birmingham for nightlife.

    five points
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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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    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.

    Kelly Ingram Park Kelly Ingram Park
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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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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    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 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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    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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    Birmingham Botanical Gardens

    by RhondaRuth Written Apr 28, 2003

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    Hours of Operation
    Dawn until Dusk daily
    FREE ADMISSION

    The grounds are cultivated into 12 different gardens - a few are the Japanese garden, a climate controlled conservatory, a rose garden with over 150 varieties. This is a must see in Birmingham, I'm told, and I AGREE!
    But then, I LOVE flowers and gardens!
    Check out my travelogues also.

    Botanical Gardens entrance

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    Japanese Gardens

    by RhondaRuth Updated Apr 29, 2003

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    This is part of the Botanical Gardens, and I wouldn't want you to miss it. They are simply beautiful and I got some of my best pictures in this garden. Very tranquil to walk through as well. Stop by and enjoy it!

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    Birmingham Botanical Garden

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 18, 2007

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    The last thing of the day, we went to the the Birmingham Botanical Gardens - we got there about 3:30. Admission is FREE.

    At present, there is no transportation through The Gardens other than on foot, but the website says that with advance notice, it is possible to arrange a short tour on a golf cart for 1-5 individuals. Please contact the volunteer office at 205.414.3962 for more information about scheduling and requested donation. It is also possible to arrange group tours through certain sections of the garden.

    I went to the bathroom there (there were none at the Sloss Furnaces), and walked around the main greenhouse. It was too cold to be outdoors for too long. The Gardens close at dusk and I had thought we might eat there, but you had to have a reservation for the restaurant and it didn't open for another hour or two. So we left about 4.

    The website says "Welcome to Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The largest living museum in the state of Alabama fills 67 acres along the Birmingham – Mountain Brook line. Open daily, 365 days a year, from sunrise to sunset, The Gardens are filled with sculptures, exquisite plantings,and both local and world wide species.

    ...Located at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Cafe de France, an elegant French restaurant in The Gardens. Group reservations may be made by calling 205-871-1000.

    The Garden Center

    Open daily from 8AM to 5PM Monday-Friday and on most weekends. The Garden Center is closed on city holidays.

    Gift Shop (which was under construction when we were there)

    Open 10:00AM to 4:00PM Monday-Saturday.

    Bob walking up to greenhouse Christmas Poinsetta display Cactus section of the greenhouse Sculptures outside Flowering vine
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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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    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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    Hall of fame - over 125 historical engines

    by Luchonda Updated Oct 15, 2005

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    International sports - The hall of fame
    The collection features racers and their vehicle from the world of Indy cars, stock cars, TransAm, even powerboats, truck racing, drag racing.
    The orange N°1 Riverside Autoparts Oldsmobile won the ATCA NC in 77 & 78 - the driver was Martin Smith

    Hall of fame The orange N��1 - Martin Smith
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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    As we drove towards Birmingham on I-20, I saw that we were approaching the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. That hadn't been in my plans at all, but since the railroad museum was closed at this time of year, we stopped.

    This turned out to be a fantastic museum which mostly concentrated on motorcycles, although they did have some race cars and a powder blue 1958 Chevrolet plus some ship and car models.

    George Barber (whose museum this is) raced, modified, and maintained Porsches in the 1960's. His interest soon turned to motorcycles.

    "He wanted to preserve motorcycle history in the United States in a way that represents an international aspect and to supply an example of motorcycles that until then could only have been seen in books and magazines."

    There are 750 vintage and modern motorcycles displayed on walls, two-tiered platforms and just about everywhere you look. The bikes are displayed randomly, rather than by date and year,

    Restorations are done in-house. The original museum opened in March 14, 1995. It moved to the new location at The Barber Motorsports Park on September 19, 2003.

    "The collection now has over 900 vintage and modern motorcycles... There are approximately five hundred motorcycles on display at any given time. (There are over 900 in the collection.) These bikes range from 1904 to current-year production. There are bikes from 16 countries that represent 143 different marques. "

    There is also a race track associated with the museum. We arrived at 11:30 and were there for a hour.

    Admission

    Admission rates are $10 for Adults,
    $6.00 for Children ages 4-12, and
    FREE for Children 3 and under.

    3 day Weekend Pass
    $ 15.00 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday
    (can only be used on consecutive days)

    Hours of operation

    April 1 - September 30
    Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
    Sunday Noon - 6pm

    October 1 - March 31
    Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
    Sunday Noon - 5pm

    Closed Easter Sunday and July 4th.

    From the elevator Motorcycles displayed from above. One motorcycle Motorcycles stacked by the elevator Motorscooters
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Birmingham Things to Do

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