Birmingham (Alabama)

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Introduction

Birmingham, Alabama - United States of America

Birmingham, Alabama - United States of America

© airwolf09

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama with about 215,000 inhabitants. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area has a population of about 1,130,000, which is approximately one-quarter of Alabama's population. In much of the world, Birmingham is best remembered as the site of racist violence, bombings, and nonviolent protest in the 1960s, when the city was still racially segregated by law. Visitors today are often surprised to find a pleasant green city of ridges and valleys, with many attractive views and friendly, hospitable people.

The City of Birmingham is relatively young. Founded in 1871 at the crossing of two railroad lines, it soon became known for its iron and steel industries. Named for England's giant industrial city, Birmingham became a commercial hub as well, and today it is one of the top five banking cities in the United States.

"The Magic City" became known as a thriving and quickly growing community in what had once been a "poor, insignificant Southern village." White and black men migrated from rural communities to work in the iron mills, and so did many Greek and Italian immigrants. The Great Depression was disastrous for Birmingham, singled out as the "worst hit" city in America. World War II brought a strong recovery, but air pollution remained a problem. Old-timers recall that it used to take only a few minutes outdoors for a clean white shirt to turn gray in the sooty Birmingham air. Sloss Furnaces, a preserved iron mill with 1920s blast furnaces, commemorates this side of the city's heritage.

The Civil Rights era of the 1960s left lasting impressions of racial conflict, police dogs and fire hoses turned on nonviolent protesters, and the bombing of homes and churches. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" became one of the great statements of the nonviolent movement for racial justice in America. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and places of reflections such as Kelly Ingram Park symbolize the healing process from within and present a much different picture of a transformed city.

Today, Birmingham is a banking and medical center. The University of Alabama at Birmingham and associated hospitals are internationally renowned for their medical programs, research, and services. The city will host the 2021 World Games.

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Sights and Activities

  • Alabama Men's Hall of Fame, Harwell Goodwin Davis Library (Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Dr), ☎ +1 205 726-2362, fax: +1 205 726-4164. M-Th 7:30AM-midnight, F 7:30AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 2PM-midnight. Not many places have a hall of fame expressly devoted to men, but Alabama does. This unusual institution was set up by the state legislature in 1987 to parallel the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame, which had been established in Marion years earlier. Free. edit
  • Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, 1631 Fourth Avenue North, ☎ +1 205 254-2731, fax: +1 205 254-2785, e-mail: tours@jazzhall.com. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM (Guided tours M-W F 10AM-1:30PM). $3/2 (guided/self-guided).
  • Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, 2150 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N, ☎ +1 205 323-6665, fax: +1 205 252-2212, e-mail: info@ashof.org. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. Adults $5, seniors 60+ $4, students $3.
  • Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, 331 Cotton Ave SW, ☎ +1 205 780-5656. The home is a perfectly-preserved emblem of Southern heritage. Staff are well-versed in how the home, which is older than the city itself, has been involved in many pivotal points of Birmingham's development. It's an interesting and inexpensive way to learn of the city's heritage, the civil rights struggle, and more. Be advised the home, on Birmingham's West End, is in a somewhat blighted neighborhood. However, visiting during daylight hours carries very little risk. And the home is accessible through main artery roads off of Interstate 65 at the Green Springs Avenue exit. Homeowners on the street adjacent to Arlington have well-manicured properties, symbolic of efforts by West End leaders to strengthen this historic part of town.
  • Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and Motorsports Park, 6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, ☎ +1 205 699-7275, e-mail: bvmm@barbermuseum.org. April 1 - September 30: M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su Noon-6PM; October 1 - March 31: M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM. Adults, $10, children 4-12 $6, children under 4 free. The park is only five years old and is meticulously well-kept. Formula One and Superbike racing will thrill any visitor. This is truly world-class racing in a park that one would expect to see only in Europe or in a much larger city. The park is about a mile off of Interstate 20, near the town of Leeds.
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Rd, ☎ +1 205 414-3900. Daily sunrise to sunset. The Gardens are worth visiting for anyone with a horticultural flair. Displays are not limited to Southern offerings; instead, they also pay tribute to other parts of the world. Also, take a drive, or a stroll, through one of the nearby "villages" of Mountain Brook. This tony town next to Birmingham is divided into three separate, walkable villages that offer locally-owned shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th Street North (The museum is adjacent to historic Kelly Ingram Park and across from the 16th Street Baptist Church), ☎ +1 205 328-9696, toll-free: +1-866-328-9696, fax: +1 205 251-6104, e-mail: bcri@bcri.org. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Adults $9, seniors 65+ $5, college students $4, children under 18 free. Free admission on Sunday.
  • Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 8th Avenue North, ☎ +1 205 254-2566, fax: +1 205 254-2714. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Free.
  • Birmingham Public Library Murals.
  • Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, 20 32nd Street North, ☎ +1 205 324-1911, e-mail: info@slossfurnaces.com. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. Free.
  • Southern Museum of Flight, 4343 73rd St N, ☎ +1 205 833-8226, fax: +1 205 836-2439. Tu-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM. Adults $5, seniors & students $4, children under 4 and active military members free.
  • Vulcan Statue and Museum, 1701 Valley View Drive, ☎ +1 205 933-1409, fax: +1 205 933-1776, e-mail: info@vulcanpark.org. Park: M-Su 7AM-10PM; Museum: M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 1PM-6PM; Observation Balcony: M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 1PM-10PM. Enjoy sweeping views of the city from one of the highest points around. The museum offers a history of Birmingham that would be interesting even to those who are just passing through town. This is the world's largest cast-iron status and pays tribute to Birmingham as an historical center for iron and steel manufacture.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Birmingham has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers, mild winters, and abundant rainfall. January sees average highs in the 10-13 °C range, with lows just above freezing. In July temperatures are in the 32-34 °C range, with lows averaging around 21 °C. The record high temperature is 41.7 °C, set on July 29, 1930, and the record low is -21 °C, set on January 21, 1985. Precipitation is relatively well-distributed throughout the year, sometimes falling in the form of snow during winter. The spring and fall months are pleasant but variable as cold fronts frequently bring strong to severe thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes to the region. The fall season features less rainfall and fewer storms, as well as lower humidity than the spring, but it is also a secondary severe weather season. Birmingham is located on the heart of a Tornado Alley known as the Dixie Alley due to the frequency of tornadoes in Central Alabama. The greater Birmingham area has been hit by two F5 tornadoes; one in Birmingham's northern suburbs in 1977, and second in the western suburbs in 1998. The area has been hit by an EF4 tornado in 2011. In late summer and fall months, Birmingham experiences occasional tropical storms and hurricanes due to its proximity to the Central Gulf Coast.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max10.9 °C13.8 °C18.9 °C23.7 °C27.2 °C30.8 °C32.2 °C31.7 °C28.8 °C23.7 °C18.1 °C13.2 °C
Avg Min-0.4 °C1.4 °C5.7 °C9.6 °C14.3 °C18.4 °C20.8 °C20.4 °C17.2 °C10.1 °C5.3 °C1.6 °C
Rainfall129.5 mm119.9 mm157.2 mm126 mm123.2 mm94.7 mm133.4 mm91.2 mm99.8 mm71.4 mm110 mm130 mm
Rain Days8.97.99.27.98.47.410.67.56.75.17.78.4

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Getting There

By Plane

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is the main airport in Alabama and serves Birmingham and central Alabama. Connections include Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Memphis, New York, Baltimore, Houston, Chicago, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa, St. Louis, Denver, Charlotte, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

By Train

The Crescent operates between New York and New Orleans, stopping in Birmingham, Alabama.

By Car

Birmingham is linked to the rest of the US by the interstate highway network.

By Bus

  • Greyhound Bus Lines, 618 N 19th St, toll-free: +1-800-229-9424. Provides bus service to Birmingham from most locations throughout the US. After dark, the area can be quite deserted. However, the DART trolley running north and south on 20th Street North is a block or so east of the station.
  • Megabus. Service from Memphis and Atlanta. The bus stop is on the north side of Morris Ave between 17th St N and 18th St N.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

  • Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority. Most stops are made every 10-30 minutes, although on Saturday it may be up to 40 minutes. Do not expect to use public transportation reliably. If you are staying in the city, the DART/MAX system may work fine for you, but otherwise you'll be spending a lot of time waiting and coordinating. $1.25 or less. edit
  • MAX Bus System North/South: M-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-Midnight, Su 10AM-9PM; East/West: M-Su 9AM-5PM; South Side: M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-Midnight, Su 11AM-9PM.
  • DART Bus Trolley North/South: M-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-Midnight, Su 10AM-9PM; East/West Sa-Su 9AM-5:30PM; South Side: M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-Midnight, Su 11AM-9PM.

By Foot

The downtown areas of Birmingham (notably separated by railroad tracks into a "north" and "south" side) are quite compact, walking is a reasonable way to get around. However, it's near impossible to walk from downtown to further out neighborhoods such as Avondale or Woodlawn.

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Eat

  • Green Acres, 1705 4th Ave North, ☎ +1 205 251-3875. A take-out haven for all breaded soul foods. The fried chicken, catfish and okra are fresh and delicious and the location is a fun slice of local life. Lunches $4-8.
  • Irondale Cafe, 1906 1st Ave North in Irondale, ☎ +1 205 956-5258. This is "The Original Whistlestop Cafe," famous for Fried Green Tomatoes. It was the inspiration for the novel and movie by local native Fannie Flagg. Anything you ask for will be good. And you must ask for the tomatoes. All sorts of comfort foods are available. Also, drink Coca-Cola straight out of the vintage bottle, and/or have an ice-cold glass of Southern sweet tea.
  • Kool Korner Sandwiches, 1360 Montgomery Hwy (Vestrige Shopping Center), ☎ +1 205 822-4406. Cubano, plantain chips, Latin soft drink, and a Moon Pie: $8. Known for making the best Cuban sandwiches in Atlanta (with jalapeños upon request). With its friendly owner, Ildefonso Ramirez, and its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, Kool Korners became an Atlanta landmark over 23 years of business - and now lucky Birmingham-ers can take advantage! As-yet-untoasted cubanos are pre-made in the morning, and the store can run out of them later in the day. Call ahead for large orders.
  • Magic City Grille, 2201 3rd Ave North in Birmingham; 4610 Gary Ave in Fairfield, ☎ +1 205-251-6500 (Birmingham), +1 205-783-9393 (Fairfield). A great, locally-owned "meat and three" that will offer your fill of Southern fried chicken and other comfort and soul foods. The downtown location is very popular among business folks and other locals for a great lunch. The Fairfield location serves lunch and dinner. Both are owned by the same family.
  • O'Henry's Coffee, 2831 18th Street South, Downtown Homewood, ☎ +1 205 870-1198. Another pleasant break from the national coffee chains. It's worth it just to visit downtown Homewood, a scenic enclave on the southern foot of Red Mountain, just minutes from downtown Birmingham.
  • Purple Onion, Several Locations, ☎ +1 205 822-7322, fax: +1 205 822-1989. Daily 11AM-midnight. Good Greek fast food.
  • Pop's Neighborhood Grill, 1207 20th St S, ☎ +1 205 930 8002, e-mail: orders@popsneighborhoodgrill.com. M-F 6AM-3PM. The staff are super friendly, good proportion for what you pay. A real mom and pop type of restaurant.
  • Gordos, 433 Valley Ave, ☎ +1 205 916-0707. 8AM-9PM. Real Mexican food, great taste! You will enjoy all that they offer if Mexican is what you are looking for. Huarache, fresh and good! Burrito really good as well. They have a bakery, try the peach tres leches, fresh and very distinct.
  • The Bright Star, 304 19th St N, Bessemer, ☎ +1 205 426-1861. A locally-owned tradition for over 100 years. The popularity of this restaurant encompasses all cultures and demographics. Tip: For lunch, enjoy the beef tips over rice. Just a good Southern meal accompanied by friendly service. There's a different menu during dinner with prices ranging from $15 to $23. The fried catfish is excellent and recommended by locals. There are always Greek-style offerings, in tribute to the heritage of the immigrant owners.
  • Cantina Tortill Grill, 2901 2nd Ave. South, ☎ +1 205 323-6980. It's in the Martin Biscuit Building at Birmingham’s Pepper Place. Cantina is a restaurant specializing in Latin dishes. Cantina has very good food at reasonable prices. $8-20.
  • Demetri's BBQ, 1901 28th Ave S, Homewood, ☎ +1 205 871-1581. A popular BBQ restaurant with Greek roots. Aside from the reliably good BBQ, the Greek salad might be the best in town, same for the potato salad. The cream pies and fried apple/peach pies are homemade and definitely worth the 5-minute drive from downtown on the Highway 31 expressway to get there. Breakfast here, from 6AM-10:30AM daily, is notable for the deep-fried French toast. $5-15.
  • Dreamland BBQ, 1427 14th Avenue South, Birmingham, ☎ +1 205 933-2133, fax: +1 205 933-9770, e-mail: contactus@dreamlandbbq.com. M-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 11AM-10PM. An Alabama "must eat". Unlike the original in Tuscaloosa, which serves only ribs and white bread, the Birmingham location also serves chicken, side orders, and salads. $6-18.
  • Rojo, 2921 Highland Ave S, ☎ +1 205 328-4733. Rojo is a great neighborhood bar and grill located off Highland Ave right next to Caldwell Park. The food is good and reasonably priced, and they have a very good beer and wine selection. Rojo also has a great outside sitting area that overlooks the park and is especially popular during spring, summer, and fall. Rojo is good place to both eat and or grab a drink after work.
  • Surin West, 1918 11th Ave S, Birmingham, ☎ +1 205 324-1928, fax: +1 205 326-6688, e-mail: infosw@surinwest.com. Lunch: M-F 11AM-2:30PM, Sa-Su 11:30AM-2:30PM; Dinner: Su-Th 5:30PM-9:45PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. Surin offers Thai food and sushi that are as good as you'll find anywhere outside of Bangkok or Tokyo. Dinners $10-18.
  • 26 and Ocean, 1210 20th St. S, Birmingham, ☎ +1 205 918-0726. "26" and "Ocean" are next door to each other in the Five Points South neighborhood. Also, they are owned by the same family. While they're in the "splurge" category, prices are reasonable, and casual dress is the general rule. 26 has the "edgier" cuisine of the two, including some of the best shrimp dishes anywhere. Dining in at least one of these restaurants is a must.
  • Bellinis Ristorante & Bar, 6801 Cahaba Valley Road, Ste 106 (Across from Meadowbrooke Post Office), ☎ +1 205 981-5380. 100% prime organic beef, housemade pastas, veal, seafood and classic Tuscan Italian dishes. Extensive wine selection and weekly desert specials. Bar M-F from 4PM. Dinner M-Sa from 5PM.

Bottega, 2240 Highland Ave S, ☎ +1 205 939-1000, fax: +1 205 939-1165, e-mail: maitre-d@bottegarestaurant.com. M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. Dinners $25-35.

  • Chez Fon Fon, 2007 11th Ave S, ☎ +1 205 939-3221, e-mail: info@fonfonbham.com.
  • Highlands Bar & Grill, 2011 11th Ave S, ☎ +1 205 939-1400, e-mail: info@highlandsbarandgrill.com. Tu-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. With two 2018 James Beard Awards (Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Pastry Chef - Dolester Miles), Highlands Bar & Grill is one of four local restaurants owned and operated by renowned chef Frank Stitt. (The others are Chez Fon Fon, Bottega and Bottega Cafe). Highlands and Chez Fon Fon are primarily French in character, while Bottega and Bottega Cafe are Italian. Dinners $25-40.
  • Hot and Hot Fish Club, 2180 11th Ct S, ☎ +1 205 933-5474, e-mail: email@hotandhotfishclub.com. T-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. Reservations recommended. Try to get a seat at the "chef's table" to watch your food as it's prepared. Dinners $20-25.
  • Little Savannah, 3811 Clairmont Ave S, ☎ +1 205 591-1119, fax: +1 205 592-0415. Tu-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. Unique family-owned restaurant where Chef Clifton Holt visits local farmers every day and wife Maureen meets you at the door. The atmosphere is relaxed and gracious. Definitely a well-kept secret of the South. Dinners $20-25.

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Drink

  • Avondale Brewery, 201 41st Street South, Birmingham, AL, ☎ +1 205 777-5456. Awesome local brewery with some great beers. Large outdoor area and a cool event space on the second level.
  • Dave's Pub, 1128 20th Street South (across the street from Chik-Fil-a), ☎ +1 205 933-4030. closes at 2AM. Classic American bar in 5 points.
  • Dram Whiskey Bar, 2721 Cahaba Rd Mountain Brook, AL 35223. Whiskey bar with pretty good food. Overpriced but good food and unique cocktail selection.
  • The Garage, 2304 10th Ter. South, ☎ +1 205 322-3220. closes at 2AM. Very low key, locals spot. The Garage is an old antique store converted into a bar. The bar has a very unique back porch/ beer garden. The garden is filled with old antiques including stone tables, statues, etc. It is a great place to go when the weather is nice. It is a low key, hard to find place but that is the way everybody wants it.
  • Inisfree, 710 29th St S, ☎ +1 205 252-4255. Popular bar/Irish Pub in the Lakeview district. If you want to relive your college years with weak pours for high prices all while getting knocked around by an overcrowd of croakie wearers, even though it's midnight and the sun's been down for hours, this is the place for you.
  • The J. Clyde, 1312 Cobb Ln S (in a back alley off of 20th St), ☎ +1 205 939-1312. 3PM-2AM most nights, till 4AM on Fri. A wonderful, quaint Belgian-style beer pub in the Five Points South area featuring many beers on tap and quite a few more in bottle. A must-visit for beer enthusiasts and anybody else for that matter. It features a nicer restaurant menu earlier in the evening then switching to a pub-style menu for late night. Entrees range from $7 sandwiches on the pub-menu to $23 for steak au poivre. Tues and Thurs are half-off draft beer nights and are quite popular, arrive early for a seat. Once a month a beer dinner is held featuring one or two specific breweries' offerings that are paired with an appropriate food item; generally a five-six course meal for $45-50, call ahead for dates, the specific menu, and to reserve a table.
  • Jackson's Bistro, 1831 28th Ave S Homewood, AL 35209-2607. Bar/grill in Soho Square Homewood. Large outdoor patio which draws a great crowd when the weather's nice. Half price wine/beer specials on Tuesday nights.
  • Moe's Original Bar B Que, 731 29th St, ☎ +1 205 252-5888, e-mail: jeff@moesoriginalbbq.com. Daily 11AM-11PM. Bar B Que, live music, as well as a bar. Not usually much of a crowd except on special occasions such as Halloween.
  • The Nick, 2514 10th Avenue South, ☎ +1 205 252-3831. Has late night rock shows.
  • Oak Hill Bar and Grill, 2835 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, ☎ +1 205 870-8277. A classic neighborhood bar in Homewood. They also serve pub food.
  • Oasis Bar, 2807 7th Ave South, ☎ +1 205 323-5538. Cool blues bar in Lakeview.
  • Pale Eddie's Pourhouse, 2308 2nd Avenue North. Birmingham, AL. 35209. Great smoke-free bar with daily live music.
  • Rogue Tavern, 2312 2nd Ave N Birmingham, AL 35203. Good pub food, a large bar and live music 4 times a week. Known to have the best sound system of any bar in the city. Also lots of big screen TVs for sporting events
  • Steel First and 23rd, Corner of 1st Ave. N. & 23rd St. N., ☎ +1 205 323-4266, fax: +1 205 323-4260, e-mail: prajai@theu.us. Th-Sa 7PM-2AM. Trendy LA style martini lounge.

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Sleep

  • Econo Lodge Oxmoor, 195 Oxmoor Rd, ☎ +1 205 941-0990, fax: +1 205 941-1527. The Econo Lodge hotel is less than two miles from the University of Alabama and Samford University. Free continental breakfast, indoor pool, and an exercise room are available to guests.
  • Microtel Inns & Suites Birmingham, 251 Summit Parkway, ☎ +1 205 945-5550.
  • Motel 6, 151 Vulcan Road, ☎ +1 205 942-9414, fax: +1 942 942-9499.
  • Birmingham Microtel Inn, 251 Summit Parkway, +1 205 945-5550, Fax: +1 205 945-8823.
  • Cobb Lane Bed and Breakfast,, ☎ +1 215 918-9090. The only B&B in downtown Birmingham. Good location and very nice rooms. $89-119 (tax excluded).
  • Courtyard Birmingham Downtown UAB, 1820 5th Avenue South, ☎ +1 205 254-0004, fax: +1 205 254-8001.
  • Fairfield Inn Birmingham Inverness, 707 Key Drive (Off of US 280), ☎ +1 205 991-1055, fax: +1 205 991-2066.
  • Holiday Inn, 5000 Richard Arrington Blvd, ☎ +1 205 591-6900.
  • Holiday Inn - Hoover, 2901 John Hawkins Pkwy, ☎ +1 205 682-2901. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. In Hoover. $119-169.
  • Hyatt Place Birmingham/Hoover, 2980 John Hawkins Pkwy, ☎ +1 205 988-8444. In Hoover.
  • Ramada Birmingham, 226 Summit Parkway (I-65 Exit 256-A), ☎ +1 205 916-0464, fax: +1 205 916-0298.
  • Rime Garden Inn & Suites, 5320 Beacon Drive, ☎ +1 205 951-1200, toll-free: +1-888-828-1768, fax: +1 205 951-1692.
  • SpringHill Suites Birmingham Colonnade, 3950 Colonnade Parkway, ☎ +1 205 969-8099. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. All suites extended stay hotel located near downtown and airport. Suites include free Internet, microwave, mini-fridge, and pull out sofa. Hotel offers free parking, breakfast buffet, outdoor pool and fitness center. $86.
  • The Tutwiler Hotel, 2021 Park Place (Exit 22nd St from I-59, go south to Park Place, turn right, hotel on left in one block), ☎ +1 205 322-2100. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Birmingham's most famous historic hotel was renovated recently to preserve its historic charm. The Tutwiler Hotel features full service amenities such as meeting facilities, suite shop, room service, bar and restaurant with standard services of the Hampton Inn brand (free hot breakfast, free high speed internet, fitness center, business center and complimentary airport shuttle). $139-209.

Birmingham Marriott, 3590 Grandview Parkway, ☎ +1 205 968-3775, fax: +1 205 968-3742.
Hotel Highland at Five Points South, 1023 20th Street, ☎ +1 205 933-9555, fax: +1 205 933-6918.
The Westin Birmingham, 2221 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, ☎ +1 205 307-3600, fax: +1 205 307-3605, e-mail: Westinreservations@bjcc.com.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 18. Last edited at 9:59 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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