A one day guide to Birmingham, Alabama
I had the privilege of passing through “The Ham” while on my drive to Chicago. I must say, it was a perfect mid-way treat. Alabama was quiet and quaint—even the atmosphere downtown was one of solace. Exactly what you would need after driving 12 hours and before driving another 11.
Our morning began at The Alabama Biscuit Company, a modern little biscuit and coffee shop. My dear friend, Rachel—an Alabama native, and our tour guide for the day, is also an employee of the Biscuit Company. She shared that they take pride in their coffee, and any place that takes pride in their coffee is a place for me. I was also excited about their local biscuits. The only biscuits I’m used to back at home are either home-made/frozen ones, or not-so-fresh biscuits from Denny’s. So, trying local Bama biscuits were a must. After eagerly peering at the menu for a few minutes, I decided to go for the Pecan butter/honey biscuit and a Sorghum latte. I’m not too familiar with the Southern sweetener, sorghum, therefore, trying it was something I had to do—and something I’m glad I did.
I’m big on food presentation, and my food looked adorable and delicious. The biscuit was literally oozing with honey and smoothly ground pecan butter. The taste out-did the presentation. It was phenomenal. If you are ever in Birmingham, The Alabama Biscuit Company is HIGHLY recommended.
After leaving the Biscuit Company we headed downtown for a stroll through the park. We ended up smack-dab in the middle of downtown Birmingham, right by the Region’s Field stadium. Which is the newly built and quite impressive baseball stadium built for the Birmingham Barons—definitely worth stopping by for a look.
The famous Railroad Park is intentionally placed by a train and track colorfully adorned with graffiti. It was a nice spot to stop, admire, and snap a couple pictures. My dear tour guide, Rachel, explained that Birmingham is proud of their Railroad Park—with reason, ‘twas very nice. We appreciated a beautiful little lake with fish the size of my femur, who thought it was cute to meet us at the edge and splash our feet with water (it actually was pretty cute). There’s a man-made waterfall wallowing over the edge of a bridge, which we were able to walk behind and take selfies by the green, vine-covered wall.
Lastly, Railroad Park led us to it’s freshly trimmed grass, beautifully decorated with dozens of shrubs, including Rosemary (which smell divine),and hundreds of purple ones that scream life into the park. We took advantage of the hot sun and fresh wind, and we sat on the grass with the beautiful purple-tainted shrubbery tall enough to tower over us. It was sweet and cozy, and the perfect atmosphere to reflect on the beauty of life. We shared about our dreams, our hopes and our fears. We encouraged each other, laughed, took more selfies and prayed. We asked our beautiful Jesus for direction, boldness and courage to take our dreams and make them realities. It was perfect.
When in Birmingham, stop by Railroad Park—enjoy it and explore it, but don’t forget to use your senses to soak it all in.
We decided that after leaving Railroad Park, it was time for more coffee. Local coffee shops are my favorite, and the weather was hotter than I expected—an iced coffee would satisfy abundantly. We headed over to The RedCat.
RedCat is a laidback coffee shop and music venue. They had books, board games, and really fun coffee. I enjoyed an iced white chocolate and almond latte, and a Mediterranean veggie wrap with artichoke and hummus. Everything was delicious. Another local and dear friend joined us. We had great coffee, good food, and more conversations about culture, society, genuine faith, and personal experiences. We left The RedCat with a full belly and a full heart.
Next up: Good People Brewery. I’m a local brewery junkie—I love to check out breweries and enjoy a local beer in each city that I visit. Birmingham is a good place to do so because of it’s many options. Good People is an interesting place, unlike any other brewery I’ve ever been to. With it’s distillery sharing the same space as the bar, you definitely get an organic feel. The bar isn’t impressive—which makes it’s focus the beer. I enjoyed a brown ale, while Rachel enjoyed a Bearded Lady—a hoppy, wheat beer. Good People is strategically placed a few blocks from Railroad Park, which makes the park + the brewery a perfect, lazy Saturday afternoon itinerary.
After taking some time to head back to the house to freshen up, we headed to the famous SteelCity Popsicles. SteelCity is literally a popsicle shop, where you can find all sorts of funky popsicle flavors. They had everything from Maple Bacon flavor, to avocado flavor, to Coffee flavor. It’s an interesting idea, and after enjoying a carrot cake flavored popsicle, I was sold—the idea is brilliant. Popsicle was delicious! Checking out these famous popsicles is a must when in Birmingham!
My one-day Birmingham adventure ended with a home-cooked Southern meal. With a 10-hour drive beginning at 5am the next morning, a Southern meal, chamomile tea, and early bed-time chats was sweetly perfect.
I had a wonderful day in the south. If possible, make a trip to Birmingham. If you’re up for a relaxing day in coffee shops, parks, and local breweries, Birmingham, Alabama is perfect for you. But the most important piece of travel advice when in Birmingham: make sure you’re with the right people—friends who will speak life, love and encouragement into your life. This, by far, was the best part of Birmingham.
Thank you Rachel and Matt—ya’ll were oh so wonderful to us!
Until next time!