Looks like Birmingham’s the new “it” city. Long a hidden gem among the South’s best cities, it seems the secret is out about Birmingham—or as Condé Nast Traveler put it in 2019, “Birmingham has arrived.” Minutes from UAB’s campus, you’ll find a downtown bustling with activity. Get a taste of a food scene ranging from the nationally recognized Pizitz Food Hall to Highlands Bar & Grill, crowned best restaurant in America in 2018 by the James Beard Foundation. Our music scene regularly attracts national headliners, and we have 19 acres of greenspace that brush up against the front steps of a classic American ballpark. You can find something to do on every corner of the Magic City.
We’re Turning Heads
–New York Times
The average person in Birmingham has become quite familiar with the James Beard Awards. They’re like the Oscars of the culinary world. Not only do we have a Best Restaurant in America prize (kind of like a Best Picture victory) but we’ve got lots restaurants and chefs who are winners and nominees. Plus, many a sous chef here has gone on to start world-class restaurants of their own. And we haven’t even begun to talk about our barbecue. Or our soul food. Or the Birmingham Hot Dog. So if you haven’t figured it out yet. We’ve got a lot of good food.
African-Americans fought for change and equality right here in Birmingham, and we couldn’t be prouder of their integral role in U.S. history. Learn about it at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, adjacent to the 16th Street Baptist Church. Both sit across from Kelly Ingram Park, which is filled with statues in honor of the struggle. Don’t forget to check out the Negro Southern League Museum next door to Regions Field.
If you like the outdoors, then we have lots of greenspace for you to explore. In the heart of our city sits Railroad Park—only a short walk from UAB—where joggers and picnickers alike enjoy the lush landscape, city skyline, and passing trains. Stroll a couple of blocks, and connect with our beautiful Rotary Trail that winds through downtown. Don’t forget a Ruffner Mountain hike, a visit to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, or one of the city’s best overlooks—Vulcan Park and Museum.
Whether it’s an on-stage performance, a swanky gallery, or a vibrant mural, it’s hard to beat the creativity in the Magic City. From our mainstay Birmingham Museum of Art to the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (which sits right on campus), we have quite a collection of talent to admire. Catch a performance by the Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Opera Birmingham, or Red Mountain Theatre Company. Check out the Sidewalk Film Festival, Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival, and, of course, the inspiring architecture at The Heaviest Corner on Earth. Or simply go for a walk, and keep an eye out for breathtaking street art that just might bring out the artist in you.
Some pretty famous musicians are from right here in Alabama. Like, way more than our fair share. And many of them cut their teeth at some of our favorite venues across the city. See a show at one of these spots, and you just might be catching a glimpse of the next big international sensation.
We love our sports in Birmingham. From major league to minor league, we’re teeming with options for you to check out. Catch a Baron’s game at Regions Field. See some of the biggest names in Indy at Barber or NASCAR stars at nearby Talladega. The Birmingham Legion soccer team plays in the USL. We also have Birmingham Bulls hockey, the Regions Tradition Golf Tournament, and an NBA G League team beginning play at Legacy Arena in 2022. Of course, we love all our Blazer sports. The football team will soon move into the newly constructed Protective Stadium downtown, and our men’s basketball team is now under the direction of Blazer legend Andy Kennedy.
Speaking of sports, we’re all super excited in Birmingham about the upcoming World Games. They’re kind of like the Olympics—they’re actually recognized by the International Olympic Committee—but they’re sports that aren’t in the Olympics. Like the Olympics, they’re every four years, but our 2021 Games were delayed a year by the COVID-19 pandemic. So the countdown to summer 2022 is on.
Sky’s the Limit
We’re proud of our skyline here in Birmingham. From UAB’s vantage point, it’s absolutely radiant. But it’s so much more than a beautiful sight. It’s opportunity knocking. You see, our city’s filled with businesses big and small. Some are well-established corporations. Others are innovative start-ups. And that doesn’t count our many government, nonprofit and other entities. Together, they offer so many chances for you to get an internship, mentorship, and career. It’s beautiful.