Things to do RGB 2Illustration by Corey BrightTamara Imam - Managing Editor
managing@insideuab.com

Rotary Trail

Nestled in downtown and adorned with a 46-foot sign paying homage to the “Magic City” marking its entrance, the Rotary Trail features a four-block walking, running and biking pathway. When the trail officially opened to the Birmingham community in April of this year, it was only two blocks along 1st Avenue South. According to local radio station WBHM, it will eventually run from 20th Street to 24th Street. The trail is complete with benches, picnic tables and solar-powered cell phone charging stations.


Miles Erbe, a senior nursing major, took advantage of the Rotary Trail this summer.

“We had gone to eat at one of the many restaurants downtown and then went for a nice walk. Lots of different kinds of people taking advantage of the new downtown scene,” Erbe said.

According to Erbe, part of the new trail’s appeal is its usability and accessibility.

“I would say that’s it’s a really cool project idea building a park that’s usable in a part of the city that was kind of unusable space,” Erbe said. “It also connects Railroad Park all the way to Sloss Furnaces on the Jones Valley Trail so it’s accessible to a lot of different parts of town, from UAB’s campus to Lakeview, almost.”

Zyp Bikes

It’s been less than a year since the Zyp BikeShare program launched in October, so this must-do Birmingham activity is also quite new. Started by REV Birmingham, the program placed 40 kiosks and around 400 bikes around the city in popular areas such as Pepper Place Market, Sloss Furnaces, the Civil Rights Institute, the UAB Green, Uptown at the BJCC, Railroad Park and Regions Field. Additional stations are sometimes added for special events and Zyp plans to add more permanent stations in the near future, including one at the UAB Hill Student Center, according to its website.

The bikes are accessible 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, and members can purchase day passes, week passes or a year-long membership for $75 a year.

Zyp also boasts a commitment to sustainability, as its biking and docking stations are charged entirely by solar panels.

For Hersh Patel, a senior in the School of Health Professions who hails from a small town, riding Zyp bikes is a unique way to experience Birmingham’s urban scene.

“Zyp bikes are a fun way of getting around Birmingham - just make sure you get the electric pedal assist one, it makes going up hills a lot easier,” Patel said. “It’s fun going around Birmingham at night because the roads are emptier and it’s a fun alternative to exercising. I come from a small town in Connecticut so it’s a nice way of experience city life.”

Birmingham Barons Games at Regions Field

While the Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, are certainly not new to the city, their home at Regions Field is one of the more recent downtown Birmingham treasures. Opened to the public during the 2013 season, Regions Field is a popular destination for hardcore Barons lovers, casual fans and baseball novices alike. As baseball season is in full swing, attending Barons games is a celebrated Birmingham summer activity.

For the 21 and up crowd, Regions Field hosts “Thirsty Thursdays” every Thursday that the Barons play at home. The park offers $2 soft drink, beer and wine specials.

Josh Newcomb, a senior civil engineering major, says he’s been to every Thirsty Thursday at Regions Field for the past three years and has worked at the park for two summers since coming to UAB.

“The games are awesome because it is the 3rd nicest minor ballpark in the nation opening in 2014 and being built for 64 million dollars,” Newcomb said. “I like going because there has never been a time where I have not seen somebody I know at the game. It is walking distance for people who live on campus, they have 50 cent hot dogs on Tuesday’s and it’s a great place to meet new friends or even future employers.”

Coyote Drive-in (Leeds)

One of the newest of the Birmingham area’s offerings is the Coyote Drive-in movie theater, located at the Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds.

As the largest drive-in theater in Alabama, the Coyote Drive-in features four large screens, a full-service restaurant, bar, and concessions and a miniature golf course — and is pet-friendly.

The theater is open daily from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and features the latest releases.
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