Birmingham offers many nationally recognized attractions.
Railroad Park, Urban Standard, and What's On 2nd were featured on CNN's "My City, My Secret":
Railroad Park was also voted People's Choice for Best New Park by The Daily Green. Railroad Park is a 19-acre urban green space.
Urban Standard is a downtown European style cafe and coffehouse founded by Polish immigrant Tomek Wrzesien offering Polish-inspired family recipes and locally roasted coffee.
What's on 2nd is an antique and curiosity store featuring, well, anything and everything. Its definitely not your typical antique store.
Birmingham is also home to nationally recognized restaurants. Southern Living magazine considers Birmingham one of the "10 Tastiest Towns in the South". Highlands Bar and Grill was one of several places featured in the New York Times' travel section as one the must go-to places if one has 36 hours to spend in the city. Owner Frank Stitt has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and has won or been nominated for seven James Beard awards. Highlands Bar and Grill won 5th place in Gourmet magazine's Best American Restaurants (2001). Chef and owner Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club was named "Best Chef on the South" (2012) by the James Beard Foundation Awards and won Iron Chef America (2012).
Shopping in BirminghamThe Summit features stores such as bebe, Urban Outfitters, Saks Fifth Avenue, and (most importantly) Apple.
Charm is an accessory store located in downtown Birmingham with definitive style. Nothing less would be expected of Chatham Hellmers, owner and proprieter, who interned at Barney's under Simon Doonan while a graduate student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her displays are featured in his book Confessions of a Window Dresser: Tales from the Life of Fashion.
Arts and EntertainmentBirmingham does not shy away from its checkered history. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a Smithsonian Institution affiliated museum. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opened the Smithsonian's National Youth Summit "Let Your Motto Be Resistance" in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides civil rights protests.
Birmingham has an art house movie theater, The Edge 12, featuring both independent and mainstream movies.
The Alabama Theater is a fully restored 1927 theater that hosts live performances (such as Tom Waits) and Birmingham's annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. The Alabama Theater is home to the Mighty Wurlitzer (Wurlitzer Opus 1783) pipe organ.
UAB's Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center is home to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as well as featuring world renowned performers such as Al Pacino, Cyndi Lauper, Aretha Franklin, Colin Quinn. Author David Sedaris performs almost annually.
Bottletree is both a vegan friendly cafe and event venue hosting local talent as well as national recording artists.
The Birmingham Museum of Art is home to the largest Wedgewood Collection outside of Great Britain. They also host travelling exhibitions such as Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History 1950 to Present, Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, and Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption. They once featured the video art of Adam Jones, guitarist for the heavy metal band Tool.