Birmingham Attractions

From the Industrial Age to the Civil Rights Movement to the sheer beauty of nature, Birmingham is a city that offers many visually captivating attractions. Regardless of your background or interests, there seems to be something to capture your imagination and learn about at every turn in this inviting Alabama city. So get your camera, make sure you're wearing some comfortable shoes, and get ready for a day of exploring some of Birmingham's most essential sites and attractions.

Vulcan
While the name may echo the classic television show Star Trek, there's nothing otherworldly about the Vulcan, the world's largest cast-iron sculpture. This visually compelling structure was created to pay tribute to the city's early iron industry. It weighs over 60 tons, stands over 55-feet-tall and was originally constructed for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Today the attraction stands next to an observation tower in the center of Vulcan Park that allows a somewhat closer look at this fascinating piece of history.

Address: 1701 Valley View Drive, Vulcan Park,
Birmingham, AL 35209 - MAP
Phone: (205) 933-1409
Web: www.vulcanpark.org

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The stories, the struggles and the triumphs of the people who lived through the era of segregation in Birmingham are all respectfully remembered at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The galleries in this impressive facility are filled with multimedia exhibits and attractions that vividly tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement both in Birmingham and other cities. This museum is also a research facility that focuses on human rights issues and presents various programs and seminars on a regular basis.

Address: 520 16th Street N, Birmingham, AL 35203 - MAP
Phone: (205) 328-9696
Web: www.bcri.org

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham's natural beauty, as well as the natural beauty provided by some of the most beautiful plants and flowers, shines brightly at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. You will be breathlessly enchanted by the gardens of roses, camellias, wildflowers, ferns that flourish in this truly serene and calming setting. Other highlights include a Japanese garden and teahouse as well as the largest greenhouse in the Southeast. Forget the stress of your day and come and breathe in the beauty of the floral attractions in bloom at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Address: 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, AL 35223 - MAP
Phone: (205) 414-3900
Web: www.bbgardens.org

Birmingham Zoo
If the idea of going on an actual safari doesn't quite fit into your schedule or your budget, then a trip to the Birmingham Zoo is the next best thing. This incredible zoo features over 1,000 animals and birds all presented in their meticulously recreated habitats and attractions. In addition to giraffes, lions, monkeys and hippos, the facility features a variety of special exhibitions as well as special presentations designed especially for the kids.

Address: 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, AL 35223 - MAP
Phone: (205) 879-0458
Web: www.birminghamzoo.com

Civil Rights District
Few places in the country have the historical resonance of Birmingham's Civil Rights District. The struggles and triumphs of the individuals who persevered in the face of overwhelming odds are remembered in many key places that make up this district. These include the Civil Rights Institute and Museum, Kelly Ingram Park, and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Other noteworthy attractions in the area include the Carver Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. And, since Birmingham is the home town of Temptations member Eddie Kendrick, his contributions are recognized at the Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park. The entire district is located just east of the downtown business district.

Address: 16th Street N, Birmingham, AL 35203 - MAP
Phone: (205) 458-8085
Web: www.birminghamal.org

Alabama Adventure
Go on an unforgettable adventure when you visit the appropriately-named Alabama Adventure! This is the summer park where great memories are made. Beat the summer heat when you take the plunge at Splash City that features rides and attractions in the Magic City section while Marvel City offers amusements for the smaller kids to enjoy. And mom and dad will appreciate the dining options and shopping destinations that are available on Celebration Street. Plus, there's a summer concert series that features the popular American Idol finalists, so make sure to include Alabama Adventure in your vacation plans.

Address: 4599 Alabama Adventure Pkwy I-20/59 at Exit 110,
Bessmer, AL 35022 - MAP
Phone: (205) 481-4750
Web: www.alabamaadventure.com

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is one of the most historically significant sites from the Civil Rights Movement. This is where four young girls lost their lives when the church was the subject of a bomb attack. That horrific event was a pivotal occurrence in the quest for equal rights for all citizens. The fact that it occurred in this particular church only underscores the importance of forgiveness and love despite overwhelming adversities. The congregation is one of the most spirited you will ever encounter, and the sanctuary is a true work of art. If you would like a tour of this historic attraction, please call ahead to make the necessary arrangements.

Address: 1530 6th Avenue N, Birmingham, AL 35203 - MAP
Phone: (205) 251-9402
Web: www.nps.gov

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
History and nature intertwine at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The park is of particular interest to history buffs as it was where the Confederate Army replenished its iron supply during the Civil War. The attraction is also significant because of the attack of the Confederate forces on March 31, 1865 that destroyed the workers' cabins when they were all set on fire. Today, the park is a drastically calmer place that offers hiking trails, horseback riding, picnic areas, and various camping sites that feature log cabins.

Address: 12632 Confederate Pkwy, McCalla, AL 35111 - MAP
Phone: (205) 477-5411
Web: www.tannehill.org