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EXCURSIONS A GUEST DIRECTORY Birmingham Metro Area 2010-2011


Birmingham’s Premier Gentlemen’s Club 

5 Stages

2 Full Bars

6 VIP Lounges

Happy Hour Specials

Couples Friendly

Fine Champagnes & Cigars

The Furnace is unique to the Birmingham area - a club built from the ground up to engage all of your senses for an entertainment experience like no other. Whether you’re in the middle of the action on the main floor or relaxing with a fine cigar upstairs, you’re guraranteed a great view, a great time and great service. The Furnace features the most attractive, exciting and friendly entertainers you’ll ever meet. Our staff is dedicated to serving you and making your visit one to remember. Once you’ve met The Furnace Girls, you’ll understand why our guests come back again and again. Our “5 O’Clock Club” features free admission until 7 p.m. and drink specials from 4 til 7 every Monday through Friday. The Furnace is also your perfect party venue for any occasion. And while you’re always welcome at The Furnace, Individual and Corporate VIP Cards are available featuring many exclusive benefits. Visit www.thefurnacebham.com for more details.

Enjoy fine dining in an exciting atmosphere. Caldera’s classic American Grill menu is available in our private dining area and throughout the club.

309 28th Street North • Birmingham, Alabama • 205-251-5551 • www.thefurnacebham.com Monday-Thursday 4pm-2am / Friday 4pm-4am / Saturday 5pm-2am


1800 broiler . ยบ 180 difference. ยบ

Our steaks are cooked in a special 1800ยบ broiler to seal in the natural juices and lock in that delicious flavor.

Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Private party facilities for 10 to 300.

Birmingham | 205.879.9995 2300 Woodcrest Place at the Embassy Suites ruthschris.com


What brings you today? No matter the season or the reason, Riverchase Galleria’s outstanding collection of retailers means you’ll find what it is that brings you today. Aerie • Aldo • Banana Republic • Bebe • Forever 21 New York & Co • Sephora • Spa Japonika • Swarovski Lego • Victoria’s Secret • White House| Black Market Belk, Macy’s, JC Penney, and Sears lead the impressive line-up of 200 specialty shop, located inside a world of soaring glass, lush greenery, streaming neon and sparkling lights. Welcome to Riverchase Galleria, Alabama’s number one tourist attraction and one of America’s most unique shopping experiences! Here, beneath a nine-story glass atrium featuring the world’s largest skylight, you’ll find over 200 exquisite shops, luxurious lodging and fine dining to celebrate any occasion. The entire family will be delighted with every visit!

RIVERCHASE GALLERIA

Mall Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 12pm – 6pm 3000 Riverchase Galleria Hoover, Alabama 35244 205.985.3020 • riverchasegalleria.com


Contributors

Rachel Davis – Copy Editor

Rachel Davis is a 2005 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She currently freelance writes and edits from her home near Birmingham.

Josh Miller – Writer

Taylor Christian Jones – Photographer

Originally from Birmingham, Taylor now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, cameras, lights, and cat. Taylor has enjoyed making photographs of everyone from Ted Nugent to Snoop Dogg. www.taylorchristianjones.com

Michael Clemmer – Photographer

The work of golf landscape photographer, Michael Clemmer [pages 80-83] who lives in Birmingham, appears in all the national golf magazines. michaelclemmer. com, is consistently rated by Google & Bing as one of the top four websites for golf course photography in the world.

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Julie Mann – Writer

A Montgomery implant, Julie has called Birmingham home for more than ten years. Working for several arts and cultural attractions in town including the Birmingham Museum of Art and Birmingham Civil Rights Institue has given her an up close view of the city she now calls home. A freelance writer by night, she loves disclosing the hidden gems she’s found along the way in her Magic City.

Tim Kilgore – Designer

Tim Kilgore is a very busy guy. When he’s not using his talents to art direct the Huntsville and Birmingham editions of EXCURSIONS he’s hard at work elsewhere. Although designing for popular publications like Southern Living magazine takes up most of his time these days, in the past he found time to design for exclusive publications like Private Air and Cottage Living magazines. With a keen eye for design and a passion for typesetting, Tim is an invaluable member of the CityVision team.

Josh Miller works on and off with the EXCURSIONS crew, writing and editing to help bring the book’s stories to life. For the Birmingham edition, Josh interviewed local chef George Reis, the culinary mastermind behind Ocean and 26. “Interviewing George was a great experience,” Josh remembers. “In the same breath, he is fiercely passionate and yet completely down-toearth about his food. And boy, can he cook!” When Josh isn’t writing for EXCURSIONS, he spends his creative energy brainstorming fun culinary projects for KitchenMischief. com, a biweekly food blog he co-authors.

Nate Dreger – Photographer

Nate Dreger is a freelance audio engineer and amateur photographer based in Birmingham, AL, where he has lived for the past 10 years. A frequent traveler, Nate has shot all over the world, but still finds plenty of inspiration in the Birmingham area. He can be reached via www. natedreger.com.


Taylor Lander – Account Executive

Taylor Lander recently joined the CityVision staff as an Account Executive, working with advertisers across the state. Taylor worked in the non-profit field for the previous ten years, and is looking forward to her new adventure at CityVision! A Montgomery native, Taylor has been a Birmingham resident since 2000.

Padraic Major – Photographer

Padraic Major, is a highly committed and professional freelance photographer based in Central Alabama. His passion for people and photography makes him sensitive to the natural beauty that is all around and he captures that in every picture. His talent as a photographer has taken him around the world. He photographs for a broad-spectrum of American business, industry, weddings, environmental portraits, and sporting events. For the past ten years, he has been covering NASCAR races at the Talladega Superspeedway for the Associated Press. His work has been published in Street and Smith Sports Annuals, Winston Cup Scene and major sporting websites. His corporate client list includes: ESPN Regional Television, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, The City of Birmingham, Alabama Sports Foundation, Buffalo Rock, Miller Coors, Ford Motor Co. and NASCAR Public Relations Department. • Official Photographer Magic City Classic 2000, 2003, 2006-2009 • Official Photographer PapaJohns.com Bowl 2006-2010 • Official Photographer Meac Swac Challenge 2005-2010 • Official Photographer 76 Basketball Classic 2009 • Official Photographer SWAC Football Championship 2009

Lee Anne Bennett – Account Executive

Stephen McGhee –

Lee Anne Bennett has been working in Birmingham media for twenty-three years, first at an agency then in radio, cable and broadcast television.  She is currently an account manager at CityVision, working with both advertising agencies and direct clients in Birmingham and Huntsville.

Writer

Stephen McGhee is a freelance writer living in the Birmingham area. He most recently served as editor of Birmingham Works! magazine and also edited and designed the regional publication Fore: The South’s Golfing Monthly.

Jenny Adams – Writer

Jenny Adams is a freelance writer, living part of the year in Birmingham and part in the East Village in New York. She specializes in writing about cocktails, nightlife, food and travel, and you can find her work in Food & Wine, Budget Travel, Men’s Journal, and Coastal Living. She also pens a monthly column on great places to grab a drink around the globe for the Miami Herald. Her side hobbies include traveling, eating, drinking and generally making merriment. You can contact her at www.jennyadamsfreelance.com

Mary Thompson – Photographer

Mary Thompson graduated from UAB with a degree in communication studies in 2004 and is now pursuing her master of library and information science degree at the University of Denver. Although she is a librarian, Mary does not wear glasses or believe in shushing and she only has one cat.

Jeffrey Rease – Photographer

is a photographer and an art director in Birmingham, AL. He has a wide variety of awardwinning photography in his portfolio, ranging from sports and landscapes to natural light lifestyle portraits of children, teens, models and families. Visit his website at www.jeffrease.com. EXCURSIONS 5


Editor’s Letter

Letters of Birmingham The Perfect Souvenir from Your Trip to the Magic City.

Brilliant, professional photography of letters from Birmingham’s most notable landmarks and buildings.

ORDER YOUR POSTER TODAY!! Only $19.95 plus shipping & handling Choose from two sizes: 18” x 24” or 16” x 20” 18” x 24” posters are printed on 80# coated cover stock and 16” x 20” are printed on high quality photographic paper. We ship to anywhere in the continental US. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Rush delivery available for extra fee. For more information or to order, contact us at info@lettersofbirmingham.com

Customized prints are also available for special order and letters may be ordered individually.

W

elcome to the Magic City!

We are very pleased that you are visiting the Birmingham area and we hope we can encourage you to come back early and often. We are very fortunate to have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to the city we love. Birmingham is rich in so many ways – culturally, ethnically, socially and professionally. We hope you will use EXCURSIONS as your tool for pointing you in numerous directions to experience our culture, food and diversity. EXCURSIONS is made possible by the many businesses, large and small, who entrust us with their hard earned dollars to inform you about them and to get you out of your hotel room. I strongly encourage you to patronize as many of our supporters as possible during your stay. Borrowing from the old adage, it takes a small village to bring an edition of EXCURSIONS to life. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have assembled a team of excited and passionate professionals whose contribution to this effort cannot be measured. We take great pride and joy in bringing you this publication. Our sincerest gratitude goes to Mr. Jim Smither, President of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, for encouraging us to create EXCURSIONS. Please enjoy reading our second edition of EXCURSIONS for Birmingham. We hope that your journey home is safe and that you will tell great stories about your experiences in Birmingham. Safe travels,

Brent Boyd

editor - in - chief

p r e s i d e n t, c i t y v i s i o n , i n c .


EXCURSIONS A GUEST DIRECTORY Birmingham Metro Area 2010-2011

Contents 8 Interview with Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth 12 Main Attractions 22 Performing Arts 28 Interview with Taylor Hicks 32 Shopping 42 Birmingham Neighborhoods 62 Dining 74 Interview with Cleve Eaton 76 Nightlife 80 Golf and Outdoors 86 Annual Events

ON THE COVER: Downtown Birmingham offers popular subject matter for many local photographers. photograph by brent boyd

EXCURSIONS – A Guest Directory is published annually and is a registered trademark of CityVision, Inc., 3600 Sixth Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35222. (205) 595-0809. Copyright 2010-11 by CityVision, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without express written permission of CityVision, Inc.


Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, with the Historic 16th Street Baptist Church in the background.

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Shuttlesworth Speaks for Birmingham

Civil rights leader and icon grants us a rare interview at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. B y J e n n y A d a m s • P h o t o g r ap h s b y Ta y l o r C h r i s t i a n J o n e s

T

he air is decidedly still in the room around us when Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, now 88 years old, begins to speak. I instinctively sit up a bit straighter. A small man with dark eyes, he fills the room with an intense feeling of comfort and strength, despite having suffered a stroke in September of 2007. But the suffering this man has known extends much farther back and much deeper. It extends into Birmingham’s darkest days, into some of America’s darkest days, when fire hoses were turned on children and peaceful marches ended in violence again and again. Birmingham has known some very dark days, indeed. But through the toughest times, Christians believe God sheds a light. No matter your belief system, it’s evident that one light for our city—and for our country—has been Fred Shuttlesworth. Born Freddie Lee Robinson on March 18, 1922, in Mount Meigs, Ala., Shuttlesworth grew up with a strong sense of wrong and right and a strong sense that God spoke to him and would speak through him to others. He attended Cedar Grove Academy in Prichard, Ala., followed by Selma University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He moved on to earn a master’s degree at Alabama State College in 1955, and along the way, Shuttlesworth became the pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1953. “He always knew he wanted to be a doctor or a pastor,” his wife, Sephira Shuttlesworth, explains. “In those days, as a young black man in the state of Alabama, he knew all of the things he couldn’t be.” All of those things that black men and

women “couldn’t be” haunted Shuttlesworth and moved him to fight for change. He began working through the church, local groups and government organizations, and, in 1956, he was appointed the membership chairman the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) state chapter. In the same year, alongside Ed Gardner, he established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), which would take up the cause of the NAACP via a local collective, in a city that desperately needed attention. The cause grew, with Shuttlesworth hosting meetings and drawing up legal documents that demanded that the city of Birmingham hire black police officers. These efforts and more ignited the hatred of local extremists. On December 25, 1956, Christmas afternoon,

“The lesson for Birmingham can’t be half-taught. People can’t be halftaught. You don’t go to the dentist to get one half of a tooth pulled. You get the whole thing pulled.”

unknown persons placed 16 sticks of dynamite under Shuttlesworth’s bedroom window in an attempt on his life. “The blast made the roof cave in, and his entire family—his first wife and four children—were all inside,” La’Quita Singleton, docent coordinator and volunteer at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, explains. Miraculously, his family emerged unharmed. But instead of being paralyzed by fear, Shuttlesworth continued to fight. “The very next day, he was on the buses trying to desegregate the buses,” Singleton explains. After Rosa Parks’s sit-in on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, helped the U. S. Supreme Court to rule bus segregation “unconsitutional,” Shuttlesworth declared openly that the ACMHR would challenge segregation laws in Birmingham. “If you don’t do something, you get in the habit of doing nothing,” Shuttlesworth tells me, sitting calmly in a wheelchair in today’s Birmingham. “Doing nothing is bad for society, for everybody. If everybody gets in the habit of doing nothing, then we all lose.” His works continued in the late 1950s, and the attempts on his life continued, as well. In 1957, Shuttlesworth and his first wife, Ruby Keeler, tried to enroll their children in the allwhite Phillips High School and were attacked by a group of Ku Klux Klan members. She was stabbed, and Shuttlesworth was beaten severely with brass knuckles and chains before being pulled to safety inside of a car. “Basically, during those years, it was like Birmingham was one city with two worlds,” Singleton explains. “There was a period in the late 1950s when Birmingham had the reputation as being the most racially segreEXCURSIONS 9


The lessons of civil rights struggles worldwide begin in the rotunda of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

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“I like to believe that the negative extremes of Birmingham’s past will resolve into the positive and utopian extreme of her future; that the sins of a dark yesterday will be redeemed in the achievements of a bright tomorrow.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

gated place in the entire South.” The violence that occurred garnered the attention of the nation, who tuned in for a CBS special in 1961. Titled “Who Speaks for Birmingham,” the special featured two leaders who were standing up to the violence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Shuttlesworth, who were helping to spread their message of nonviolence to the rest of the country. By 1965, Shuttlesworth was recognized for having brought more suits to the U.S. Supreme Court than any other person in history, all of them dealing with racial discrimination and segregation. His actions were prolific during the years of the civil rights movement. And although he and his family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1961, he continued to commute back to Birmingham, which he believed to be the center of the country’s struggle. Today, the Civil Rights Institute stands

just across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church that was bombed in 1963. The Institute, built in 1992, stands as a place of education to harbor us from the doom of repeating the past. It is a physical marker that people living here today want what Shuttlesworth wanted all those years ago— understanding, education, compassion and equality. Inside, you can visit exhibits like the latest ones in the $2.5 million gallery update, including an armored artillery tank that Bull Connor used to drive around the city. “We have tons for people to see and do here,” explains Singleton, who trains the tour guides and volunteers. “We have a full archival section for research and outreach programs for children and adults. The reason we call this an institute instead of a museum is because of the education. You can look at exhibits, but we also want to teach you why we have what we

July 16, 2008

have and the importance of this movement.” The museum is open six days a week (closed Monday). On Sundays, you can visit for free between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm. Donations are recommended. The museum staff is also happy to help coordinate tours with the 16th Street Baptist Church. “Fred said to me once, ‘I’ve traveled all over the world, and I don’t love any city like I love Birmingham,’” his wife, Sephira, says, smiling. In 2007, the couple moved back to what was always “home.” “We still go to Bethel Baptist Church, and, as a matter of fact, they are renovating the old Bethel in Collegeville, Ala. Our pastor has asked Fred to lead everyone back in when they complete it in the summer of 2010. When I think on the fact that he originally wanted to be a doctor, it’s ironic. Had he been, he would not have saved anywhere near as many lives.” 

The Birmingham Airport Authority Board of Directors, in a called meeting, unanimously voted to change the airport’s name from “Birmingham International Airport” to “Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport”. The vote came after a resolution was passed and endorsed by the mayor and Birmingham City Council on June 24, 2008.

EXCURSIONS 11


Barber Vintage Motosports Museum is home to an unparalleled collection of motorcycles, racecars and sports cars from all over the world.

We’ll Let You Decide

No visit to Birmingham is complete without a tour of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.

F

rom vintage aircraft to zebras, the Birmingham/Hoover area boasts a plethora of sites and attractions that thousands of visitors to our area enjoy each year. If nature is your calling, be sure to take a stroll through Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Aldridge Gardens in Hoover. If you’re a history buff, Vulcan Park and Museum, Sloss Furnaces and the world-re-

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nowned Birmingham Civil Rights Institute are among the must-see sites for you. Sports enthusiasts will be wowed and amazed at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Art lovers should explore the vast collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art. Walk on the wild side at the Birmingham Zoo. Whatever your interests, the Birmingham metropolitan area has many places worth spending your time.

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is a unique facility, offering motorsport enthusiasts an opportunity to view an extraordinary collection of motorcycles and cars. Guests can stroll through five floors of displays representing the history of motorsports. However, the museum is not just for motorsport enthusiasts. It is a beautifully designed architectural wonder. Guests from all over the world are amazed when they enter the museum by its sheer size and splendor. Visiting the museum is truly an experience that can be enjoyed by all. The museum presently houses a collection of more than 1,100 motorcycles spanning 100 -plus years of production. There are more than 700 bikes on display at any given time. Guests can see a variety of unique cycles representing domestic and international manufacturers. Exhibits include common street bikes as well as

PHOTOgraphy COURTESY OF The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Grand Collection of Motorsports or Art Museum?

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum


SPECIALADVERTISING

Barber Vintage Motorsports Park & Museum entertains thousands each year from all over the world.

rare, “one off” factory-built racing motorcycles. The collection showcases cycles by familiar companies such as Harley-Davidson, Honda and Indian, as well as bikes made by less familiar manufacturers like Showa, DSK and Cagiva. In addition to motorcycles, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has a collection of rare, unique sport cars on display. The world’s most extensive collection of Lotus racecars resides here. The Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum’s car collection includes the only 158 Ferrari from 1964. Englishman, John Surtees,

drove this car to win the 1964 Grand Prix World Championship. Adjacent to the museum is a brilliantly landscaped motorsports park. The Barber Motorsports Park is home to a challenging 2.38-mile road course. The track is considered by many to be the best of the best. Throughout the year, thousands of people visit the Barber Motorsports Park to experience the excitement of a variety of motorsport events. Visit www.barbermotorsports.com for a schedule of upcoming events.

Hours of operation April 1 - September 30 Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday Noon - 6pm October 1 - March 31 Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm Sunday Noon - 5pm Closed on all major holidays

6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway Birmingham, Alabama 35094

EXCURSIONS 13


Mainattractions

Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation

American Village

Theatre hosted the premiere of Sweet Home Alabama during the Sidewalk Film Festival in 2002. The Summer and Holiday Film festivals are also big draws. Monday-Friday, 9 am-4 pm plus film screenings and events.

Guide To Main

Attractions

The Birmingham-Hoover area offers a broad range of attractions worth getting out of your hotel room. Alabama Adventure Gear up for a day of wet and wild fun for the whole family at this theme park and water playground. Take a daring plunge down the Acalpulco Drop or hold on as you go down the Wild River Gorge. Classic rides like the Pirate Ship and Scrambler sit alongside newer, faster rides like the Space Shot and Splashdown. Seasonal hours. Admission charged.

4599 Alabama Adventure Parkway, 205.481.4750, www.alabamaadventure.com

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Located in the historic 4th Avenue Business District inside the art-deco Carver Theatre that has seen the likes of Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton grace the stage, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame offers exhibitions honoring the Jazz greats with ties to Alabama. Honorees include W.C. Handy, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. TuesdaySaturday, 10 am-5 pm. Admission Charged. 1631 4th Avenue North, 205.254.2731, www.jazzhall.com

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Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) Over the last thirty-five years, the ASHOF has become the benchmark for other sports museums across the country, with more than 5,000 sports artifacts elegantly displayed in the 33,000 square foot building. On ESPN’s list of the top 100 athletes of the century, five out of the top fifteen are in the ASHOF: Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Willie Mays and Carl Lewis. This is Alabama, so also expect to see Paul “Bear” Bryant and Joe Namath memorabilia. Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm. Admission charged. 2150 Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. North, 205.323.6665, www.ashof.org

Alabama Theatre The Alabama Theatre was constructed by Paramount Theatre in 1927 as the Alabama showcase for Paramount films. It was used primarily as a movie palace for 55 years, but also hosted the annual Miss Alabama pageant and the weekly Mickey Mouse Club. Still a haven for movie buffs, the Alabama

1817 Third Avenue North, 205.252.2262, www.alabamatheatre.org

Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation This memorial is a place to reflect on the contributions Alabama veterans have made to preserve our nation’s freedom. Amid peaceful Alabama woodlands, you can peruse the names of Alabamians lost to war. A timeline in the memorial walkway outlines historic events and descriptions of Alabama’s 23 Medal of Honor recipients in the 20th century. In the courtyard, Medal of Honor stories appear on columns with artwork and letters. Closed major holidays. Liberty Park and I-459, 800.288.7890, www.alabamaveterans.com

Aldridge Botanical Gardens Noted horticulturist Eddie Aldridge was hired to plant three magnolia trees at the Cox Family Estate in 1966. That planted the idea for a public garden in ever-growing Hoover. Aldridge Botancial Gardens features more than 175 hydrangea species and cultivars. Of particular interest is the snowflake hydrangea, bred by Aldridge and his father and fellow horticulturist, Loren. Free admission. Seasonal hours.

3530 Lorna Road, 205.682.8019, www.aldridgegardens.com

American Village Join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and a host of other early-American historical figures on a tour of this replicated Revolutionary War town.


Mainattractions Birmingham Museum of Art

Aldridge Botanical Gardens

3727 Highway 119, 205.665.3535, www.americanvillage.org

Arlington Antebellum Home and Garden Arlington is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture dating from the 1840s, before the founding of Birmingham. The house was built by Judge William S. Mudd, one of the 10 founders. The house is furnished with a collection of 19th century decorative arts. Located on six acres in the heart of Old Elyton, the first permanent County Seat of Jefferson County, Arlington is a center for historical, cultural and civic activities. Admission charged. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am4pm, Sunday 1-4pm.

this five-story motorsports sanctuary. The bikes range in date from 1902 to present day and from common street bikes to rare one-off Gran Prix race machinery. The museum also showcases the largest collection of Lotus cars and other significant makes. It is located on a park that includes a world class 2.38 mile track that is home to the Porsche Driving School. Admission charged. Seasonal hours.

331 Cotton Avenue SW, 205.780.5656, www.informationbirmingham.com/arlington

6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, 205.699.7275, www.barbermuseum.org

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum This architecturally spectacular museum houses the world’s largest and best motorcycle collection, currently with more than 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles in

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama’s largest living museum with more than 10,000 different plants in its living collections. The Gardens’ 67.5 acres contains 25-plus unique gardens, 30-plus works of

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2612 Lane Park Road, 205.414.3950, www.bbgardens.org

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute The Institute tells the story and captures the drama of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. Once coined “Bombingham” for the violence that erupted in the city during this pivotal time in American history, the permanent collection envokes emotion as guests are confronted with images of the firehoses blasting children in Kelly Ingram Park, tells the amazing story of local hero Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, and displays the original cell door that trapped Martin Luther King, Jr. as he wrote the famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” The journey ends with a view of today’s continuing struggles for human rights. Admission charged. Donations only on Sundays. Free on Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm.

520 16th Street North, 205.328.9696, www.bcri.org

Birmingham Museum of Art The Birmingham Museum of Art, one of the finest regional museums in the United States, houses a diverse collection of more than 24,000 paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and decorative arts dating from ancient to modern times. The collection presents a rich panorama of cultures, featuring the Museum’s extensive holdings of

PHOTOGRAPHs: ( Inset) Nate Dreger

The tour brings to life America’s quest for liberty and independence, focusing on rekindling patriotism in children by teaching American history, civics and government in a hands-on fashion, including a mock election. Admission charged. Monday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm or by appointment.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

original outdoor sculpture and miles of serene paths. The Gardens features the largest public horticulture library in the United States, conservatories, a wildflower garden, two rose gardens, the Southern Living garden and Japanese Gardens with a traditionally crafted tea house. Free admission. Dawn to dusk daily.


Asian, European, American, African, PreColumbian and Native American art. Best known for its collection of Wedgwood, the Museum is also home to the finest collection of Vietnamese ceramics in the United States, the Kress Collection of Italian Renaissance painting and sculpture and the only known collection of early 19th-century European cast iron objects in the United States. Free admission. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday, noon-5pm. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd., 205.254.2565, www.artsbma.org

Birmingham Public Library The Birmingham Public Library, one of the largest and most well-respected library systems in the Southeast, consists of 19 branches and a main library located downtown. The main library is composed of two compelling buildings, the East Building, with its dramatic atrium, and the LinnHenley Research Library, with its beautiful wall murals, the Tutwiler Collection of Southern History (named one of the top 10 library collection for genealogists by Family Tree Magazine) and the Rucker Agee Map Collection. Free admission. Monday-

Tuesday, 9am-8pm, Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-6pm, Sunday, 2pm-6pm. 2100 Park Place, 205.226.3600, www.bplonline.org

Birmingham Race Course With more than 200 simulcast races on Saturday alone, this race course presents the best in simulcast wagering opportunities. Here, even the most ardent handicapper has the chance to “hit a big one.” From tieredtable seating on the clubhouse level, patrons enjoy cocktails and Southern cuisine served with down-home hospitality while watching select races on closed circuit television. Free admission; Pay to play. Opens 11 am daily.

1000 John Rogers Drive, 205.838.7500, www.birminghamracecourse.com

Birmingham Zoo The Birmingham Zoo is Alabama’s most popular attraction, drawing more than 500,000 visitors annually. Approximately 750 animals of 250 species call the 122-acre Birmingham Zoo home, including sea lions, kangaroos and endangered species from six continents. The “Trails of Africa” initiative is blazing new trails in elephant conserva-

Birmingham Public Library

tion. Intended to set new benchmarks for the care and breeding of endangered elephants, this mixed-species exhibit also features red river hogs, giraffes, rhinos, wildebeest and other animals of the continent. Other popular draws are the Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo and the interactive Sea Lion Splash Show. Admission charged. Open daily 9am-5pm. 260 Cahaba Road, 205.879.0409, www.birminghamzoo.com

Make it a BIG Day. While you’re in Birmingham, include a visit to Vulcan on your itinerary! This 56-foot tall cast iron statue is the largest in the world and stands above Birmingham as an iconic symbol for its people. Experience the city from a one-of-a-kind perspective and learn about Vulcan and Birmingham’s special history. Vulcan is an attraction like no other meet Birmingham’s iron man today!

Open 7 Days a Week

Fun Shown Actual Size.

visitvulcan.com

1701 Valley View Drive • Birmingham, AL 35209 • 205.933.1409

EXCURSIONS 17


Mainattractions

McWane Science Center

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

2717 7th Avenue South, 205.322.5326, www.cahabariversociety.org

DeSoto Caverns The cavern tour takes visitors through thousands of cave formations, making it 18 EXCURSIONS

5181 DeSoto Caverns Pkwy, 800.933.2283, www.desotocavernspark.com

International Motorsports Hall of Fame/Motorsports Museum Spanning three buildings and the enclosed courtyard, this collection of history-making vehicles includes more than six halls of fame and a racecar simulator. Opened in April of 1983, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to the

preservation of the history of motorsports. It has experienced tremendous growth, with its collection of racing vehicles and memorabilia, from 1902 to present, valued at more than $15 million, and increasing every year. Admission charged. Seasonal hours. 3198 Speedway Blvd. (Talladega), 256.362.5002, www.motorsportshalloffame.com

Kelly Ingram Park This historic park was the stage for one of the most pivotal scenes of the Civil Rights Movement. Under the direction of Public Service Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor, police and firefighters, armed with high-powered water hoses and snarling dogs, met demonstrators. Many of the demonstrators were children and images spurred a national outcry for racial equality. Today, dramatic sculptures depict the infamous scenes. Charge only for audio tour from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s admission desk.

Corner of 5th Avenue and 16th Street North

PHOTOGRAPHs: (Inset) Larry o. Gay

Cahaba River Grab your kayak or canoe and ride the current down this longest-free flowing river in Alabama. Both scenic and biologically diverse, the river is home to the unique Cahaba Lily, 131 species of freshwater fish (18 of which have not been found elsewhere), 40 species of mussels and 35 species of snail. The first provisional state capital, Cahawba, founded at its mouth in 1819, was the hub of riverboat commerce on the Alabama River.

one of the most concentrated collections in America. The tour begins in a room that is 12 stories high and larger than a football field. The caverns stays a comfortable 60 degrees year round, but 100 percent humidity inside the caverns makes the temperature feels closer to 70. With more than 25 family activities, such as the three-quarter acre Lost Trail Maze, Panning for Gemstones and Wacky Water Golf, everyone in the family will have a blast. Admission charged. Monday-Friday, 9 am-5:30 pm, Saturday, 9 am-6:30 pm, Sunday, 1 pm-6:30 pm.


McWane Science Center Fun and learning never end at this handson museum and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder — from an amazing collection of dinosaurs to innovative environmental showcases, imaginative early childhood playgrounds and an aweinspiring aquarium. The energy and excitement of discovery spring to life through an extensive lineup of science demonstrations performed daily by talented educators. The adventure intensifies in the IMAX® Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of films on a fivestory-tall screen surrounded bythree tons of high-intensity speakers. Admission charged. Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm, Saturday, 10 am-6 pm, Sunday, noon-6 pm. 200 19th Street North, 205.714.8300, www.mcwane.org

Moss Rock Preserve The 250-acre beautiful nature preserve is abundant with trees and plants, rock outcroppings, streams, waterfalls,  wildlife and other unique natural features. It includes miles of hiking trails through unspoiled forests. Ideal for nature lovers, Moss Rock is a magnet for anyone who enjoys bouldering, bird watching or just meandering through the woods. Free admission.

Rickwood Field See Sidebar

1137 2nd Avenue West, 205.458.8161, www.rickwood.com

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center Eleven miles of nature trails, ranging from easy to arduous, route visitors through this thousand-acre park. Hawk’s View Overlook is a moderate, three-mile, round-trip hike with a challenging incline. Along the way you’ll reach Cambrian Overlook and proceed with a switchback climb to a stunning vista of downtown Birmingham. The park has plans to expand and build a new visitors center in the near future. Guided hikes offered some Saturdays. Closed Mondays. 1214 81st St. South, 205.833.8264, www.ruffnermountain.org

Samuel Ullman Museum For years, Samuel Ullman (1840-1924) and his prose poem “Youth” have been admired by the Japanese, but the man and his work are largely unknown in the United States, even in Birmingham where the German-Jew spent the last 40 years of

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

his life. “Youth” of course is not a poem only for the Japanese but more a directive for the way one should live life. Japanese visitors commonnly make pilgrimages to the Samuel Ullman Museum, created to advance Ullman’s civic, educational and religious ideas and endeavors. To schedule a tour or meeting space call 205.934.3328 or email isss@uab.edu. 2150 15th Avenue South, www. main.uab.edu/sites/UllmanMuseum

Vulcan Park and Museum

Preserve Parkway, 205.739.7141, www.hooveral.org

Oak Mountain State Park As Alabama’s largest park, Oak Mountain provides 9,940 acres of pine-studded ridges and lush green hardwood bottoms. The park offers vacation cottages, golf, improved camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, mountain bike trails, backpacking, a demonstration farm and horseback riding facilities. Admission charged. Open 7am-dusk, later for registered campers. 200 Terrace Drive, 205.620.2520, www.alapark.com/oakmountain

Reynolds Historical Library A part of Historical Collections at the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Reynolds Historical Library maintains a growing collection of over 13,000 rare books and manuscripts pertaining to the history of medicine and science, dating from the 14th to the early 20th centuries. Free admission. Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm. 1700 University Blvd, 205.934.4475, www.uab.edu/reynolds

Vulcan Park and Museum Vulcan Park is home to the world’s largest cast iron statue and features spectacular panoramic views of Birmingham. Located atop Red Mountain, Vulcan Park tells the story of Birmingham’s past, present and promise for the future. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge, was originally built in 1904 as Birmingham’s entry in the World’s Fair contest. Vulcan won first place. A 10-acre urban green space surrounds the 56-foot high statue and observation balcony that sits upon a 124-foot pedestal. Visitors to the Vulcan Center find interactive exhibits and displays that give insight into the region’s history and industrial growth. Vulcan Park is open seven days a week from 7 am - 10 pm. Vulcan Center and Tower Observation Balcony is open Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday 1 pm-6 pm.

EXCURSIONS 19


Mainattractions

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church National Historic Landmark The church is the site of the most horrific occurrence of the American Civil Rights Movement, when a bomb shattered the quiet of a Sunday morning and took the lives of four young girls in September 1963. If any good came of the bombing, it was that it awakened the city and the nation and was a turning point in race relations. The sanctuary features a beautiful stained-glass window, a gift from the people of Wales. Tours are given 10 am-4 pm, Tuesday-Friday and by appointment on Saturdays. Groups should call to make arrangements. 1530 6th Avenue North, 205.251.9402, www.16thstreetbaptist.org

Rickwood Celebrates Its Centennial Rickwood Field remains as impressive as those who have played there. The legendary park played host to local and national celebrities through several decades. Burleigh Grimes, Hall of Fame inductee in 1964 and last of the legal spitball pitchers; Willie Mays, local baseball legend; Piper Davis, the player/manager of the Black Barons who later became the first African-American ball player signed to the Boston Red Sox; Reggie Jackson, a then-Oakland A’s farm team player stationed at Rickwood and Charley Pride, later inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, considered the old park home at some point. Opposing teams brought the likes of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, superstars to a generation of baseball fans and Hank Aaron, whose Atlanta Braves visited in 1974. As the oldest surviving professional ballpark in the country, Rickwood has been the backdrop to an almost unending list of high-profile players and dramatic sporting battles. Local industrialist, Richard Allen Harvey “Rick” Woodard purchased the majority of the Birmingham Barons in 1909, while still in his 20s. He built a stage to showcase his team, modeled after Shibe Park in Philadelphia, which he believed set the standard for model ball parks. As it should be in the “Steel City,” Woodward departed from the traditional wooden parks and constructed the stands using concrete and steel. His elaborate vision was set to play ball in late 1910.

20 EXCURSIONS

The park’s inaugural pitch was thrown on August 18, 1910, by Harry Coveleski as the Birmingham Barons batted for victory over the Montgomery Climbers. The opener was a dramatic one, as a crowd of more than 10,000 cheered as the Barons’ two-run rally in the ninth to win three to two.  The Barons would win five Southern League Championships and have an equal number of players go on to be Hall of Fame inductees before  the minor league team moved to the newer Hoover Met in 1987.   The Black Barons also called Rickwood home. They played for the Negro Leagues from the 1920s to the 1960s. Willie Mays was an early standout for the team, which played home games on the field while the Barons played away games. Synonymous with the culture of Birmingham during that time, there were specially-designated colored bleachers, notably uncovered and clearly separate from the main stadium seating. Today the stadium stands as a living time machine to what was, perhaps, baseball’s greatest era. The scoreboard has returned to the old drop-in number system. The ads in the backfield are replicas of those that would have been displayed in the 1920s. Even when the Barons return to play in the annual Rickwood Classic, don’t expect the loud music and silly mascots. Players and umps don vintage reproduction uniforms, reminding all of the history that has been played out on this field.

20 32nd Street North, 205.324.1911, www.slossfurnaces.com

Southern Museum of Flight/ Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame Explore the miracle of flight. Take off to the Southern Museum of Flight where visitors can view eight decades of aviation history

Southern Museum of Flight

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top) Michael wade

Rickwood Field

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark Sloss is a 32-acre blast furnace plant where iron was made for nearly 100 years. Now a museum of history and industry, the site preserves an extraordinary collection of buildings, industrial structures and machinery. These industrial artifacts typify the first 100 years of Birmingham’s history and the technology that drove America’s rise to world industrial dominance. Sloss is the only 20th century blast furnace in the country that is being preserved as a museum. It is rumored that Sloss is haunted by Theopholus Calvin Jowers, who died in the Alice Furnace and swore as long as there was a furnace in Jefferson County, he would be there. TuesdaySaturday 10 am-4 pm, Sunday noon-4 pm.


Talladega Superspeedway

ironworks and a large collection of 19th century cabins give visitors a glimpse into life in the 1800s. The third weekend of each month (March-November), shoppers and swappers come to Trade Days in search of tools, clothing, jewelry, knives, furniture and other treasures. Admission charged. 12632 Confederate Parkway, 205.477.5711, www.tannehill.org

Vulcan Park and Museum See Sidebar

1701 Valley View Drive, 205.933.1409, www.vulcanpark.org

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top) Getty images, (ron blakely

Sloss Furnaces

through aircraft, models and memorabilia of some of the country’s greatest aviation pioneers. New Tuskegee Airman exhibit is a must see.Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 am-4:30 pm. Admission charged. 4343 73rd Street North, 205.833.8226, www.southernmuseumofflight.org

Talladega Superspeedway Talladega Superspeedway is the biggest, fastest, most competitive motorsports facility in the world. Records for both speed

and competition have been established at Talladega. Two major races during the year draw thousands of fans from across the country for the heart-thumping action. The International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum is adjacent. Admission charged.

3366 Speedway Boulevard, 256.362.2261, www.talladegasuperspeedway.com

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park At Tannehill Historical State Park, the old

Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park Located in Oak Mountain State Park, the center is Alabama’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center. The center is open to the public for self-guided tours and features the Treetop Nature Trail. A beautiful, elevated walkway in the woods, the trail offers close-up views of non-releasable hawks and owls in natural habitat enclosures built among the trees. Oak Mountain State Park, 205.663.7930 , www.awrc.org ❖

EXCURSIONS 21


The Alabama Theatre represents preservation at its finest. photograph courtesy of the Alabama theatre

22 EXCURSIONS


Guide To

Performing Arts No longer an industrial giant, Birmingham’s new “magic” is in the thriving art community

B

by h e at h e r a d a m s

irmingham was nicknamed “The Magic City” at the turn of the 20th century due to its almost overnight emergence as a powerhouse in steel and iron manufacturing. The city thrived on the sudden influx of people and commerce. As with any new and bustling city, it did not take long for an active community of arts to form and grow strong. The steel and iron business may have faded but, although Birmingham is no longer an epicenter of the industrial movement, it has established itself as a quite a leader in the realm of visual and performing arts. And while the nickname, “The Magic City,” originally described Birmingham’s industrial prowess, it has come to accurately describe the city’s long-reaching influence on the arts. Merriam-Webster lists “magic” as a noun described as “an extraordinary power of influence seemingly from a supernatural source,” as well as “something that seems to cast a spell.” Birmingham does indeed cast a spell on patrons of the arts, ranging from theatre to music to film. Entranced audiences will have the chance to be anything, anywhere they had ever dreamed. Escape to Egypt through Opera Birmingham’s performance of Aida or to France through the Alabama Ballet’s adaptation of Giselle. Or unearth the treasures of home as you visit the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Samford Theatre, Birmingham staples that date back to the 1920s. If you find yourself drawn to independent arts movements, take a trip through the Theatre District in downtown. Here you will find

the Red Mountain Theatre, Terrific New Theatre and the Theatre Downtown, each of which boasts origins from an almost phoenixstyle rising of new art from the beloved traditions of the past. Wander through the Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival or come to the Cabaret. For a more mainstream show, take a drive south of Birmingham and enjoy the Verizon Wireless Music Center which has hosted acts ranging from Rascal Flatts to Kings of Leon and the Dave Matthews Band. Moreover, in Birmingham, the arts form a true community with each guild and theatre enmeshing themselves within the cultural and educational spheres of the city. The Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Birmingham Festival Theatre performed its first original piece on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College, whose stage mirrors that of William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, as the Alabama Ballet hosts their four annual productions at Wright Theatre on the campus of Samford University. And the Library Theatre is aptly titled, since it is housed inside the Hoover Public Library. The Virginia Samford Theatre and the Red Mountain Theatre both have intertwined past lives with Birmingham’s famous “Town and Gown” productions, while the Alabama Symphony Orchestra answered the city’s need for music after World War II. A guided tour through Birmingham’s performing arts venues will certainly make anyone a believer in the magic this city has to offer. Those who know choose Birmingham for visual and performing arts. EXCURSIONS 23


performingArts

Alabama Ballet

Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center

Alabama Symphony Orchestra

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra has entertained audiences for more than 70 years, playing a variety of classical and popular compositions and hosting performances by some of the finest international guest artists. The symphony’s 54 talented musicians bring to life some of the world’s most treasured musical masterpieces. 3621 6th Avenue South. 205.251.7727 or www.alabamasymphony.org

Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center’s trademark is diversity—diverse performances and diverse audiences. From classical, pop, jazz and world beat music to dance, comedy and family entertainment, the center welcomes the entire community into the magical world of performing arts. Some of the world’s most renowned performing artists take the stage at this concert hall and theater space on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus. 1200 10th Avenue South. 205.975.2787 or

Founded in 1972, Birmingham Festival Theatre is the oldest theatre in Birmingham producing contemporary and classic theatre. It is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors. Since its founding, BFT has staged more than 200 productions—involving more than 50 directors, almost 1,000 actors and 500 crew people— attended by almost 100,000 audience members. 1901 11th Avenue South. 205.933.2383 or www.bftonline.org

www.alysstephens.org

Opera Birmingham

Northern Alabama’s only professional, regional opera company, Opera Birmingham has entertained and informed audiences in the region for over 50 years. From its humble beginnings in 1955 to its 50th anniversary in 2005 and beyond, Opera Birmingham has produced world-class operatic productions and concerts that have been hailed by critics and loved by audiences. 3601 6th Ave. South. 205.322.6737 or www.operabirmingham.org

24 EXCURSIONS

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top left) Billy Brown (Bottom right) Dina Graphics, (opposite Page) Jeff Tombrello

Birmingham Festival Theatre

Alabama Ballet seeks to promote and foster the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high-quality education and community outreach. Under the direction of Tracey Alvey, this company of 41 professional dancers presents four full-length productions annually. 2726 1st Avenue South, For tickets and details, visit www.alabamaballet.org or call 205.975.2787.


EXCURSIONS 25


performingArts

Virginia Samford Theatre

The Virginia Samford Theatre presents a wide variety of musicals ranging from The Sound of Music, to Scrooge The Musical to Hairspray. The charming historic theater with its parkside setting is located on Birmingham’s southside and has a lovely outdoor courtyard. Their seasons begin in August and run through July each year. Also, a great place for small meeting, the board room seats twenty-two people and catering can be provided by the Theatre’s list of chefs. Check their website for current showtimes and ticket prices. 205.251.1228 or www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org

The Library Theatre

The Library Theatre is a professional venue bringing world-class entertainment to an intimate setting in the heart of Hoover. Hoover Public Library, 200 Municipal Drive, Hoover, Alabama. 205.444.7888 or

www.thelibrarytheatre.com

Theatre Downtown

Red Mountain Theatre Company

Red Mountain Theatre Company is a non-profit professional theatre organization with an emphasis on musical theatre. Red Mountain Theatre Company‘s season begins in September and runs through July each year with a wide variety of well-known musicals. Business Office: 2900 1st Avenue South, Suite A. 205.324.2424 or

Theatre Downtown was founded in 2006 and provides the city of Birmingham with cutting-edge contemporary theatre and a host of Alabama and Southeastern premieres. A traveling troupe, Theatre Downtown performs throughout the Birmingham area in a variety of locations. 205.306.1470 or www.theatredowntown.com

www.redmountaintheatre.org

Terrific New Theatre

Founded by Steve Stella and Carl Stewart in 1981. Terrific New Theatre (TNT) is the off-Broadway of Birmingham. Featuring avant garde performances, TNT thrills audiences with performances that aren’t seen anywhere else in town. Performances at TNT are always Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 pm. Only cash or checks, please. 2821 2nd Avenue South. 205.328.0868 or www.terrficnewtheatre.com

26 EXCURSIONS

Verizon Wireless Music Center

Each year between April and October, some of the world’s top musicians perform in the beautiful outdoor arena. Fee varies with each performance. Highway 119 exit off I-65, 1000 Amphitheatre Road. 205.985.4900 or www.verizonwirelessmusiccenter.net ❖


EXCURSIONS 27


28 EXCURSIONS


Taylor Hicks

Comes Home W I n t e rvi e w by J e n n y A dam s photography by taylor chri s tia n jo n e s

e sat down with Birmingham native Taylor Hicks to catch up on his life in the spotlight. We found out a few things from the platinum selling recording artist, Broadway star, author and season five American Idol winner, such as his love for a certain cheeseburger, his conversation with Weird Al Yankovic, and his previous starring role on Broadway playing Teen Angel in the hit musical Grease. Where are you living now when you aren’t on the road and how often do you get back here?

Depending on if I’m touring, I like to try and visit at least once a month. But I’ve literally been living out of a suitcase since 2005. I won Idol, and I remember walking out of my apartment in February of 2005 to go to the airport. I never went back. You could consider me a man without a house, but home has always been here in Birmingham. When you are in town, what’s the first place you hit up for some food and why that spot?

Special thanks to Old Car Heaven for providing the shoot location and to Bailey Brothers Music Company for lending the Fender Gibson 345 guitar.

(Taylor almost puts hair gel on his lips thinking it’s Chapstick, we all share a laugh) Let me begin by saying that there is no better place in the world for southern cuisine than Birmingham, Ala. Ultimately, I think that’s the one thing that this city has to offer that others don’t—quintessential southern cuisine. However, when you think about southern cuisine, there is a lot under that umbrella from gourmet to the proverbial meat and three. I do try to seek out a great cheeseburger when I travel, but as for the best one in the world I’ve found it. It’s the jumbo cheeseburger at Golden Rule on Hwy 31 in Hoover. When I was four years old, I remember walking into the same place, ordering the same great food—it is all still there today and I’m 33. OK, so you love that burger. But where are you taking a date, Taylor? Where do you head when you want to throw on a suit?

(He groans) That’s a tough question. There

are so many good places! If I’m able to take a small drive, then it’s Fox Valley in Maylene, Ala. Best crab cake in the world. In town, Hot & Hot Fish Club. I enjoy watching the open kitchen. I don’t have a kitchen or a house. For someone who is an entertainer, it’s just as important to be entertained. Having a great meal is my own little slice of entertainment. There have been two American Idol winners from Birmingham—you and Ruben Studdard. What does that mean to you in terms of hometown pride?

It shows you how much talent and pride this city and state have. People here are very supportive of the arts—from athletics to acting to music. You could say, to a certain degree, that winning American Idol in Alabama is equivalent to one of the state schools winning the national championship in football (Laughs). In your original American Idol profile, you were asked about your greatest personal goal and you said that you just wanted to be as happy as possible. Have you accomplished that? Have you set any new personal goals?

I think the goal is still the same—to be as happy as possible and make as many people as happy as possible. Speaking of American Idol, it will be very different this year, with all the changes in the judges’ positions. What do you think of the changes and how will it impact the show?

I’m completely excited for the possibility of new judges. It is a wonderful family show that provides young talent the opportunity to fulfill the American dream. When you have a night off in Birmingham where do you go?

Depends on the style of music. For local unplugged, the Oasis, Marty’s and Rogue Tavern. For jazz and blues, Ona’s. For regional and national acts, Workplay Theater and AlEXCURSIONS 29


abama Theatre. And just for drinks, the Blue Monkey. The whole street of Cobb Lane basically takes you back to another time in the Magic City. Weird Al Yankovic parodied your song “Do I Make You Proud,” changing it to “Do I Creep You Out.” Rumor has it that you sing that parody version during sound checks. Is this true? Have you met him?

That is true. And yes, we met and it was hilarious. First off, just being able to sit down with him was surreal. But to go one step further to have him cover one of your songs is truly amazing. With all your stage and performing experience, was it difficult to adapt to acting for your role in Grease?

having the knowledge to be able to help other artists and entertainers. It also keeps you plugged in to your fans. Few artists have fan bases as devoted as your “Soul Patrol,” what have they meant to you over the years?

The fan base is definitely what keeps you thriving as an artist. You have to stay out there, keep performing and do as many shows as you can to keep them happy and to keep yourself happy. What’s one thing you miss most about Birmingham when you are away, and what’s the thing you carry with you to keep you grounded?

The three F’s—friends, family and food

I think it was just kind of a learn-as-you-go process. I had to learn as I went. The experience was great and we had a great time. I’m looking at other roles right now in TV and film, as well.

You’ve tackled Broadway, American Idol, launched your own label, toured the world and released several albums—what’s next?

Are there any more acting or theatre projects coming up for you? And is that something you’re interested in pursuing?

You’ve become a very active “tweeter” and you also blog and use social networking sites to promote your career. So how has the popularity of social networking changed the way you market yourself?

I think the success with the Broadway show has really led me to seek out TV and film roles now, so that’s kind of the next jump, along with a brand new album soon. What are your plans for your label, Modern Whomp Records? Are you interested in signing and producing other artists?

I am looking at expanding the label and possibly signing other acts to the label. I definitely think all these experiences culminated to

More happiness—more touring, more shows and more fun.

I think it’s running neck-and-neck with live shows and touring. I think now, in this day and age, it could possibly be the singular most important asset that we have to get information out there quickly. I think it’s important for someone in the entertainment field to have that promptness at their fingertips. You can follow taylor Hicks ON Twitter

at TaylorRHicks. 

Career Timeline

May 24, 2006

30 EXCURSIONS

Taylor was named the winner of the fifth season of “American Idol” with over 63.4 million votes. Based on TV ratings released by Nielsen Media Research, Season five of “American Idol” was the most watched TV show of the decade with an average of 31 million viewers each Tuesday.

December 12, 2006

Taylor’s eponymous debut album, Taylor Hicks, was released on Arista Records, sold 298,000 in its first week and debuted in the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 charts.  The album was later certified Platinum.

June, 2006

Taylor was named People Magazine’s Hottest Bachelor. Taylor’s debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and certified Gold.

July 10, 2007

 Taylor’s memoir, Heart Full of Soul: An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way (Random House) was released.


Hicks poses in a 1962 Chrysler 300, once owned by Warner Bros. and rumored to be Marilyn Monroe’s last car. See this classic car and others at Old Car Heaven.

May, 2008

The USPS issued limited edition American Idol stamps, including two images of Taylor with all proceeds going to Idol Gives Back. Starred in the Broadway production of “Grease” in the summer of 2008 as Teen Angel and in the National Touring Production of “Grease” until May 2010.

August, 2008

Taylor’s own label, Modern Whomp Records, released Early Works (a compilation of his two, pre-Idol independent albums In Your Time and Under the Radar), through the Welk Music Group.

March 10, 2009

Taylor’s latest record, The Distance, produced by Simon Climie (Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Faith Hill), was released on his own Modern Whomp Records.

January 5, 2010 “Whomp at the Warfield” DVD was released containing more than an hour of concert footage recorded in 2007 at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.

July 25, 2010

Taylor kicked off a 24-city National tour in New York City’s Highline Ballroom which is slated to run through September, 2010.  

EXCURSIONS 31


Get Ready, Get Set, Shop!

B

This town offers shoppers a run for their money.

irmingham has long been known as the retail giant of Alabama and offers everything from major department stores and popular chains to quaint boutique shopping, including one-of-a-kind vintage and couture. Located in Hoover, The Riverchase Galleria is Alabama’s largest retail complex. You’ll find 200 specialty shops, 30 eateries and several major department stores. The Summit, located on Highway 280 at I-459 boasts more than 80 upscale shops to choose from and more than a dozen places to eat. Designed as an open air mall, The Summit can be a delicious, all day shopping experience. 32 EXCURSIONS

Colonial Brookwood Village, located in Homewood, combines the convenience of a traditional mall with the ambiance and novelty of village shopping. Department stores, Belk and Macy’s, anchor each end of the twolevel mall with unique couture shops and a food court in between. Travel outside for a bite at one of several restaurants like Cocina Superior. Historic downtown Homewood is best known for its sidewalk shopping as well as its mom-and-pop-style eateries, and now is home to a brand-new development called SoHo—a place to shop, eat and live that can rival even the trendiest of neighborhoods. The Villages of Mountain Brook offer shopping and dining experiences that are

not to be missed. Conveniently situated just southeast of downtown Birmingham, off of Red Mountain Expressway (Hwy 280), Mountain Brook Village is brimming with unique boutiques, antique stores and casual and fine eateries. This is a great place to spend a day or a couple of hours strolling from store to store. Come to downtown Birmingham to 2nd Avenue North, where you’ll find Levy’s Fine Jewelry. Specializing in antique and estate jewelry, Levy’s offers a huge selection of loose stones and designer pieces. Where ever you decide to begin you shopping adventure in Birmingham, you’ll enjoy our friendly people, ample selection of retailers and our beautiful mountains and valleys.


ďŹ nd yourself in

the village.

Find yourself shopping and dining well. Colonial Brookwood Village, Birmingham’s only shopping destination offering your choice of covered parking or complimentary valet service.

on lakeshore drive between highways 31 and 280 www.ColonialBrookwoodVillage.com


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thesummit

Hip clothing, accessories and apartment ware for young men and women. URBAN OUTFITTERS 205.262.2976 Alabama’s leading jeweler since 1836. BROMBERG’S 205.969.1776

Offering the best of skin care, makeup, perfume, hair products and more. SEPHORA 205.969.4848

Designer apparel, shoes, handbags, home accessories, gifts and more. SAKS FIFTH AVENUE 205.298.8550

Exclusive cookware, cooking utensils, kitchen décor and gourmet foods. WILLIAMS-SONOMA 205.970.4101

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Distinctive clothing for girls and boys. JANIE AND JACK 205.298.6161

Located at Hwy. 280 and I-459 - www.thesummitonline.com – 205.967.0111


brookwoodvillage

In the business of dressing Angels. Strasburg Children 205.879.8212

Fabulous handbags, jewelry and gifts. Street Level. Turkoyz 205.868.1401

WOW people with what you wear. Charlotte Russe 205.868.9400

Your Apple Specialist in Homewood. Perry Computer 205.870.7044

Located on Hwy 149 (Lakeshore Drive) between Highways 31 and 280 - 205.871.0406

We take a creative approach to dressing. Betsy Prince 205.871.1965

EXCURSIONS 37


riverchasegalleria

Exclusive in luxury crystal products. swarovski 205.682.0146

Fashion accessories to fit every style, personality, career and mood. brighton 205.987.1669

High fashion yet affordable clothing and accessories. lotus boutique 205.988.9988

38 EXCURSIONS

An Avedo Lifestyle Salon and Spa Spa japonika 205.402.2090

Contemporary clothing, accessories and shoes all in one place. arden b 205.987.7939

Located at I-459 and Galleria Blvd. – www.riverchasegalleria.com – 205.985.3020


The Summit Colonial Brookwood Village

The Birmingham area is one of the top shopping destinations in the Southeast. Ready, set, shop! Colonial Brookwood Village Conveniently located in Homewood right off 280 Highway, shoppers find specialty stores as well as larger retailers such as Macy’s, Belk and Books-A-Million. Also houses several particularly good restaurants. Garage and courtesy valet parking is available. Located on Shades Creek Parkway (Alabama 149) between U.S. 280 and U.S. 31 just minutes from downtown Birmingham. www. colonialprop.com

side area of Birmingham. Since the Pepper Place Market’s inception in 1999, it has become a great event for Birmingham during the summer. The Market is open, rain or shine. All Pepper Place Markets will open promptly at 7 am and close at noon each market day. Pepper Place also anchors the design district. www. pepperplacemarket.com.

Crestline Village In the heart of the suburb of Mountain Brook, these three distinct shopping areas are linked by tree lined sidewalks. Crestline Village has a nice mix of restaurants and high fashion shops with special emphasis on children’s clothing.

Riverchase Galleria Housed beneath the world’s longest skylight are more than 200 shops, a dozen restaurants and a colorful carousel. Look for American Eagle, Banana Republic, Godiva Chocolatier and Abercrombie & Finch, just a few samples of stores in this two-story city under glass. The complex also includes the Wynfrey Hotel. U.S. 31 and Alabama 150 at I-459. www.riverchasegalleria.com

Patton Creek Combines a “main street” element with parking and sidewalks in front of an eclectic mix of quaint, unique shops and restaurants, with larger retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Rave Motion Pictures. In the Birmingham suburb of Hoover between I-459, the Riverchase Galleria, and Alabama 150. www.pattoncreek. com

The Shops of Grand River (Opens October 2010) Set against the picturesque landscape of the Cahaba River Valley, The Shops of Grand River is a brand new shopping destination. A sampling of the distinctive outlet and specialty stores are Brooks Brothers, Gap Outlet, Jones New York Outlet, Bose, Polo Ralph Lauren, Carters Babies and Kids and more. www.shopsofgrandriver.com

Pepper Place Market Formerly the Dr. Pepper Syrup Plant and Bottling Company, Pepper Place is the focal point of the Lakeview District in the South-

The Summit This shopping destination continues to thrive and expand. A recent addition brought shops such as Coldwater Creek,

www.mtnbrookchamber. com

Riverchase Galleria

Anthropologie and J. Jill to the list which already includes Saks, Old Navy, Restoration Hardware, Williams- Sonoma, Chico’s, the Pottery Barn, a luxury spa and some very good restaurants. At I-459 and U.S. 280. www.thesummitonline.com

Trussville Shopping The booming suburb of Trussville includes two large shopping areas with a third scheduled to open in October. Target, Books-aMillion and Old Navy anchor the mall on U.S. 11. A second shopping area occupies both sides of Chalkville Road, just after the first I-59 Trussville exit, with a Wal-Mart and cinema on one side and a Kohl’s anchoring the other. The third cluster of shops is the Pinnacle Shopping Center, located behind Target and anchored by Belk and Best Buy. www. colonialprop.com Watermark Place This outlet center offers huge discounts on name brands such as Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, The Gap, Lane Bryant, Strasburg and more. Located west of Downtown Birmingham on I-59/20 at Exit 110. Adjacent to Alabama Adventure. www.watermarkoutlets.com EXCURSIONS 39


antiquesART Durbin Gallery/ Azar Art Studios 900 Arkadelphia Rd., Birmingham 205.226.4925 Four Corners Gallery 4700 Highway 280 Ste. B, Birmingham, 205.980.2600 fourcornersgalleryonline.com

Charlotte Woodson Antiques

Four Seasons Antiques, Art and Botanicals 2910 18th St. S., Birmingham 205.803.4059 4seasonsantiquesandart.com Gallerie Alegria 600 Olde English Lane Ste. 128, Birmingham, 205.868.9320 www.galleriealegria.com Jennifer Harwell Art Studio/ Gallery 1830 29th Ave. S., Ste. 130, Homewood, 205.802.7847 www.jenniferharwellart.com

Antiques 5th Avenue Antiques 2410 5th Ave. S., Birmingham 205.320.0500 www.5thavenueantiques.com Architectural Heritage 200 28th St. S., Birmingham 205.322.3538 www.architecturalheritage.com Argent 2949 18th St. S., Homewood 205.871.4221 Cahaba Heights Antiques 3131 Belwood Dr., Birmingham 205.967.2722 Christopher Glenn, Inc. 2713 19th St. S., Homewood 205.870.1236 www.christopherglenninc.com Christopher House Antiques 3205 2nd Ave. S., Birmingham 205.581.0202

Henhouse Antiques 1900 Cahaba Rd., Birmingham 205.918.0505 www.shophenhouseantiques.com Henry Maus Antiques 2734 Cahaba Rd., Birmingham 205.240.0014 www.HenryMausAntiques.com Jackson Galleries 2227 First Ave. S., Birmingham 205.714.9933 www.jacksonantiquegalleries.com

Village Firefly 2816 Culver Rd., Birmingham 205.870.4560 Zan’s 1910 1st Ave. N., Irondale 205.520.4600

Littlehouse Galleries 2915 Linden Ave., Homewood 205.879.7022 Loretta Goodwin Gallery 605 South 28th St., Birmingham 205.328.1761 www.lorettagoodwingallery.net

Art Galleries

Lyda Rose Gallery 2817 Crescent Ave., Homewood 205.879.5932, www.lydarose.com

Land of Was 106 22nd St. S., Birmingham 205.326.8870

Amanda Schedler Fine Art 2815-A 18th St. S., Homewood 205.591.9093 www.fineartbirmingham.com

Maralyn Wilson Gallery 3908 Clairmont Ave. S., Birmingham, 205.591.1150

Noordermeer Antieks 731 Broadway, Homewood 205.870.1161

Arceneaux Gallery 2880 Old Rocky Ridge Rd., Hoover 205.824.5800

On-A-Shoestring 601 Shades Crest Rd., Hoover 205.822.8741

Art Alley 109 Broadway, Homewood 205.879.1105, www.artalley.net

Monty Stabler Galleries 1811 29th Ave. S., Homewood 205.879.9888 www.montystablergalleries.com

Peck and Hills 2720 19th Place S., Birmingham 205.871.7233

Bare Hands Gallery 109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S., Birmingham, 205.324.2124 www.barehandsgallery.com

Circa Interiors and Antiques 2831 Culver Rd., Birmingham 205.868.9199

The Commissary 4984 Overton Rd., Birmingham 205.747.0814

Hanna Antiques/Books! By George 2424 7th Ave. S., Birmingham 205.323.6036

The King’s House 2807 2nd Ave. S., Birmingham 205.320.2535 www.kingshouseantiques.com

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Tricia’s Treasures 2700 19th Place S., Homewood 205.871.9779

Jennifer Hunt Gallery 2800 Cahaba Village Plaza Ste. 260, Birmingham, 205.972.3232 www.jenniferhuntgallery.com

Clay Scot Artworks 2915 Highland Ave., Birmingham 205.326.2350 Cobb Lane Gallery One Cobb Lane, Birmingham 205.939.0450

Naked Art Gallery 3815 Clairmont Ave., Birmingham 205.595.3553 www.nakedartusa.com Space One Eleven 2409 2nd Ave., N., Birmingham 205.328.0553 www.spaceoneeleven.org What’s On Second 2306 2nd Ave. N., Birmingham 205.567.1466 www.whatsonsecond.org ❖

PHOTOGRAPHs: (Inset) Becky Luigart-Stayner

Take home a fine piece of antique furniture or a sculpture or a painting from one of these distinct retailers.


2116 2nd Ave. N. Downtown 205.218.3381 • LevysFineJewelry.com


Magic City Charm

Birmingham’s neighborhoods and suburbs vary as widely as their visitors and offer something for every taste, interest and personality. Find the right one for you or visit them all.

Crestwood Village

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p. 44

Mountain Brook Village p. 48

irmingham is a unique city in many ways, one of the most obvious being its different neighborhoods and suburbs. Each neighborhood has its own distinct personality, culture and inhabitants. The various cultural flavors of Birmingham’s neighborhoods ensure that there is something, somewhere for everyone. Most locals use “downtown” as a directional marker. Dowtown Birmingham is our main business district and home to our tallest buildings. Many people in the past several years have also made their homes in downtown with an explosion of loft development. Accompanying the loft dwellers have been a variety of businesses, mostly restaurants and night spots, but also retailers. The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Civil Rights Institute and the Public Library are just some of the attractions in the area. Due east of downtown lie the historic neighborhoods of Avondale, Crestwood and Forest Park. A drive through the Forest Park neighborhood is well worth your time because of its unique historic homes. Crestwood also boasts many historic homes and is enjoying an insurgence of young married couples who prefer to be close to the city center. The areas are also known for boutique shops and unique restaurants. Many of Crestwood’s shops offer hard-to-find or one-of-a-kind items that are sure to be conversation starters. Due south of downtown is an area of town we call “Southside.” The UAB campus encompasses a large part of Southside, but the Highland Avenue area of Southside is also a fantastic place to see historic homes. Southside is also home to our most vibrant nightspots, Five Points South and the Lakeview District. Much of the city’s local music scene calls the area home. and local bands can often be heard playing in the small bars around every corner. You can even get in a round a golf at our urban golf course, Highland Park Golf Course. 42 EXCURSIONS

Homewood p. 54

Downtown p. 58

Venture up the mountain towards Vulcan, and you’ll be on Red Mountain. The Red Mountain ridgeline, also known as Redmont, is most notable for many fine and historic homes that have tremendous views of the downtown skyline. There is no better spot to see Birmingham from above and the view of the city at night is breathtaking. Cross over Red Mountain and you enter the southern suburbs of Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills. Within these suburbs are unique shopping areas and dining, as well as some of Birmingham’s main attractions, including Vulcan Park, the Birmingham Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Local shopping includes some of the most prestigious stores in the city, in Mountain Brook Village, The Summit and Brookwood Mall. Farther south of town, you will enter Hoover, Birmingham’s largest suburb. Hoover is the home to the Riverchase Galleria, Patton Creek and Regions Park where the Birmingham Barons baseball games are played. There are also a variety of restaurants and activties for families, couples and individuals. The Highway 280 corridor, which includes Greystone, Inverness and Chelsea to name a few neighborhoods, has also grown into a booming area of the city, boasting some of the city’s newest shopping, dining, entertainment and newly constructed neighborhoods. Continue east of downtown Birmingham on Interstate 20 and you will reach Irondale and Leeds. Irondale is home to the Irondale Café, most notable for its influence on the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes. A few more miles east and you reach Leeds, home to the Barber Motorsports Park and Vintage Museum, Bass Pro Shops and our newest retail outlet center, Shops of Grand River (opens October 2010). We hope that you have time to explore the many areas of the Magic City during your visit! The next several pages will help you navigate through the city and hopefully find fun places to visit for shopping, dining, nightlife and entertainment.


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The Village in Crestwood

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b y B r a n n o n S . D aw k i n s

visit to Birmingham isn’t complete without spending time in some of the city’s most unique neighborhoods. Crestwood is one of the most unique and eclectic of Birmingham’s neighborhoods. Here’s a look at what you will find at Crestwood Center, located at Crestwood Boulevard and 56th Street:

Crestwood Tavern

If you’re looking for a well-established neighborhood bar and grill, you don’t have to look much farther than Crestwood Tavern. Owner Blake Millican opened the popular spot five years ago. “I’ve lived in Crestwood since 1997 and I wanted to help make the spot an asset to the neighborhood.” Crestwood Tavern is decked out with a patio, pool tables and plenty of flat screen televisions to fill your sports craving “We have everything a neighborhood bar is going to offer,” Millican said. Seven days a week, the tavern offers popular bar foods 44 EXCURSIONS

including bacon ranch cheese fries and chips and queso, but they also serve up plenty of panini’s and pizzas with a variety of toppings. Millican loves the Crestwood neighborhood and has watched it evolve since he became a part of the community. “When it comes to living here, you just get more bang for your buck in homes,” he said. “But if you’re coming just to visit, the people here are just really cool.” And Millican knew the neighborhood needed a business like his for a long time. “Now Crestwood Tavern has become a place where people get together to meet neighbors and do business.”


Urban Cottage

When Katherine Rogers transitioned the shop she bought in Birmingham from a garden store to Urban Cottage, a home accessory and gift store, she wanted it to reflect the spirit of the neighborhood. “Crestwood is really convenient to downtown Birmingham,” Rogers said. “But this is a great, old neighborhood with bungalows and hippies. I used to live in Austin, Tex., and Crestwood reminds me so much of that area.” “There are all kinds of cool places here in Crestwood,” she said. “When I first opened the store, I was surprised how many young families there are here and how many young mothers come in the store with their strollers. I think that everybody that comes in here, they’re finding items they don’t find in other places.” She carries brands like Caldrea, Archipelago, Mixture and Bella. “Right now our candles, bath and body products and jewelry are our biggest sellers.” That goes for sales in the store and online. Since the launch of www.shopurbancottage.com, Rogers has been shipping items all over the country. “Massachusetts, California, Chicago, everywhere,” she said. “We’re shipping jewelry and picture frames every single week now.” It’s not unusual to find men wandering in these days, but they’re looking for a very specific item. “Men will come in looking uncomfortable and say they heard I had car hoods here,” Rogers said. Those guys are referring to swings and benches made from old car hoods, she said. The swings and benches are created by an artist in Enterprise, Ala. “He cuts the car hoods in half and they’re all totally different. Some are red and we just had one that was Dukes of Hazard orange. That’s what brings men into the shop.” Rogers knows it’s the draw of the Crestwood neighborhood overall, that will keep people shopping inside her Urban Cottage.

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Urban Suburban

PHOTOGRAPHs: carla r. johnson

If shopping and antiquing are what you’re looking for during your stay, Crestwood’s Urban Suburban needs to be on your must-do list. Owner Chris Feagin opened the store in the summer of 2010. Urban Suburban is filled with more than 50 vendor booths and wall spaces for mostly-local artist. “The vendors bring in their merchandise, but the store manages all of the booths,” Feagin said. The location was previously an antique shop before Feagin took over, but the items were not relevant to what the neighborhood needed. “Crestwood needed a cooler, more hip place where you can repurpose old stuff that people have a use for,” he said. “Antiques are getting older, but they’re also getting newer. There’s just a lot of flexibility in the way people decorate today.” Flexibility is a key characteristic of the neighborhood itself. “Crestwood seems isolated, yet it’s so close to downtown and right on the edge of Mountain Brook,” Feagin said. “It’s right in between a really urban world, yet on the edge of the suburbs.” “This neighborhood is eclectic and fun,” he said. “The creative set lives over here—people who are more open-minded, progressive and liberal. You can really get a little bit of the local flavor just by strolling through the booths here,” he said. Shoppers can get an idea of what’s in store for them at www.urbansuburbanantiques.com. “Crestwood is not like any other neighborhood,” Feagin said.

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Crestwood Coffee Company

When does a business become a destination? How does a quaint neighborhood spot become a neighborhood asset, woven indelibly into the fabric of its community? There well may be any number of “right” answers to these questions—including all of the current happenings at Birmingham’s Crestwood Coffee Company. Since buying Crestwood Coffee about a year-and-a-half ago, owner Pye Parson has concentrated on giving the place a personality all its own, transforming it from a sleepy coffee shop to a hip neighborhood bistro. From 7:00 a.m. until closing each day, customers can enjoy selections from a full menu of soups, sandwiches, desserts and coffees, as well as beer, wine and seasonal sangrias. The expanded menu is the work of chef Joe Babin, whom Parson also credits with Crestwood Coffee’s commitment to using fresh produce and other ingredients grown or made locally. “We call it ‘cooking with a conscience,’” Parson says. “In talking about how we could take our menu to a new level, Joe was very passionate about local produce, including some things we grow right here in our own courtyard.” In addition to its menu offerings, Crestwood Coffee serves the surrounding neighborhood with a variety of special events. Each Wednesday, the shop hosts “Open Vinyl Night,” when people bring their favorite vinyl record albums to be spun by a DJ. Fridays are for live music played by local bands, with an emphasis on original songwriting. A favorite event of Parson’s is the monthly “Cooking with…” series, an evening focused on the recipes of a selected chef and enjoyed, reservations only, as a family. “Our first dinner, a couple of months back was ‘Cooking with Julia,’ focused on Julia Child,” Parson recalls. “It was really kind of an experiment, but our customers had so much fun with it that we had the next one filled within a week.”

The real secret of Crestwood Coffee may lie in Parson’s own story. She arrived in Birmingham as a “refugee” from Hurricane Katrina, looking to regain a sense of being part of a community in the place she chose to start a new life. With the help of a friendly and knowledgeable staff, each with their own ties to the neighborhood, she has built a lively, vital establishment where food, drink and fellowship are proving to be a recipe for success. “It’s important for a neighborhood to have gathering places,” says Parson. “Whether you’re stopping in for coffee in the morning, taking some time here in the afternoon to read a book or work on your computer, coming out to listen to a good band, or attending one of our classes or other events, I like to think that we’re becoming an integral part of your life—and the life of the neighborhood.” EXCURSIONS 47


Shades Creek Mill House Mountain Brook, Alabama Built in 1926, the Old Mill remains a symbol of the City of Mountain Brook and is depicted in the city’s official seal. Source: waymarking.com.

photograph by Jeffrey Rease


Mountain Brook Village The perfect location for a stroll to enjoy some of the area’s best shopping, eating and beautiful homes.

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ountain Brook is a suburb of Birmingham situated just “over the mountain” from downtown. A short drive, but a different world in terms of the atmosphere and appearance. It’s probably one of the most notable small cities in America due to its high median income, lush, treelined streets and magnificent homes. Mountain Brook is also home to some of the most unique shops in the city, packaged together in areas that feel like little towns. These three distinct villages, English Village, Crestline Village and Mountain Brook Village, are similar but different and worthy

of investigating. Each of these villages has its own flair, great variety of privately owned specialty retailers, and fine and casual restaurants. When exploring Mountain Brook, one should travel the winding roads that connect village to village and enjoy the tremendous views of the private country club golf courses, spectacular homes and brilliantly manicured landscapes. The villages are perfect for strolling from store to store and exploring the many shops and eateries. Mountain Brook is also notable for the a host of celebrities including Wayne Rogers, Kate Jackson, Courteney Cox and former Green Bay Packers quarterback, Bart Starr.

Christine’s

Offering the best and broadest selection of frames, fragrances and gifts, Christine’s also has many lines exclusive to the store. MacKenzie-Childs has been a vital part of the Christine’s story for 25 years. You will also want to visit Christine’s children’s store with one-of-a-kind designs, and, our newest store, bagatelle, featuring European linens and home furnishings. 2411 Montevallo Road, Mtn Brook 35223, 205.871.8297

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Beverly Ruff Antiques

Filled with French furniture, hand painted accent pieces, softly worn tablecloths, antique lace, and collections of mirrors, frames, silver and china, each piece has its own story. Come, visit with Beverly and she will gladly introduce you to each piece and share in your passion for the perfect selection. 2417 Canterbury Road, Mtn Brook 35223, 205.871.7872

A’mano’s

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items from local artists, then A’mano’s is the place for you.  A’mano’s works with local artists to promote their artwork and help get their name and art into the community. They also “go global”, with artwork from the United States and all over the world.   However, A’mano’s isn’t strictly a painting gallery, they sell all kinds of artwork. From glass to pottery to furniture to wearable art, they have a wide assortment of unique and colorful gifts to cater to everyone’s taste.  

Charlotte Woodson Antiques

This charming shop offers hand selected delicious antiques and decorative arts from Italy, France, etc. 18th century tapestries, unusual lamps, silver sixpence, handmade sheep, and wonderful mirrors are just a sampling of wonderful treasures you’ll find here. Major credit cards, shipping, and gift wrapping. 2410 Canterbury Road, Mtn Brook 35223, 205.871.3314 www.charlottewoodson.com

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PHOTOGRAPHs: (Bottom Left) Becky Luigart-Stayner

2702 Culver Road, Mtn Brook 35223, 205.871.9093, www.amanogifts.com


Mulberry Heights Antiques

Mulberry Heights Antiques shop owner Carolyn Bradford is known for handpicking exceptional pieces of French and English antiques. The store, located in Mountain Brook Village, showcases an array of finely crafted dining tables, chairs, side tables, armoires and much more. Their reputation for their exquisite collection of transferware, creamware and staffordshire makes a visit to Mulberry Heights a priority while you are enjoying your stay in Birmingham. 2419 Canterbury Road Mtn Brook 35223, 205.870.1300, www.mulberryheightsantiques.com

Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers

Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers, where quality, fine workmanship, and exceptional customer service are the cornerstone of their 22-year established business. Barton-Clay prides themselves in their highend jewels, watches, and unique gift items. They are the exclusive Alabama dealer for the prestigious Patek Philippe and Panerai watch brands, giving Barton-Clay the title of “Top Watch Specialist in Alabama and the Southeast.” 2701 Cahaba Road, Mtn Brook 35223, 205.871.7060 www.bartonclay.com

Marguerite’s Conceits

A charming specialty shop located in Mountain Brook Village, featuring bed linens including Pine Cone Hill, Bella Notte and Matouk. Additionally, the store carries an array of bath and body products, candles, diffusers, pajamas and bathrobes, which makes this store a great place to find a gift for any occasion! Our beautiful gift wrap is complimentary. 2406 Canterbury Road, Mtn Brook 35223, 205.879.2730

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Olexa’s

When shopping Mountain Brook Village, Olexa’s Cafe is a must for a memorable and delicious lunch. The charming cafe is open Monday thru Saturday 10am to 4pm serving homemade quiche, crepes, grilled panini sandwiches, unique salads, soups and blissful desserts. Also a full service catering and wedding cake company, locals know to never leave without a piece of warm buttercreme cake. The warm white chocolate chunk bread pudding with butter rum sauce is a local favorite and perfect with a cup of coffee after a fun day in the village! 2838 Culver Road, Mtn Brook 35223 205.871.2060, Mon-Sat 10 - 4, www.olexas.com

Salon 2412

Our goal is to pamper you from head to toe and to bring out your individual, natural beauty. Whether you need a full day of relaxation, a completely new hairstyle or a quick manicure, you’ll find it here. Check out our services online, and call us to make an appointment today! Hours of operation: Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00am -8:00pm, Wednesdays & Fridays 9:00am-6:00pm, Saturdays 9:00am-3:00pm, closed Sundays and Mondays. 2412 Canterbury Road, Mtn Brook 35223 205.414.7854, www.salon2412.com

Brook 35223, 205.879.0125 , Table Matters is on Facebook, www.table-matrters.com

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PHOTOGRAPHs: (Bottom) fortunata

Table Matters

 Table Matters is a unique gift shop nestled in the heart of Mountain Brook Village.  They specialize in pottery from all over the world as well as unique table linens.  Table Matters provides in home consultations for accessorizing your home and setting your table.  They also offer bridal registry with free delivery within the Birmingham area. 2402 Montevallo Road, Mtn


The Buyer’s Agent

Buying a home in Birmingham? Who is representing your interests? The Buyer’s Agent, Bradford Realty, is the only exclusive Buyer’s Agent Company in the Birmingham area. Bradford Realty offers a team of real estate professionals representing you as the buyer throughout the entire process of buying a home. Bradford Realty does not list any properties for sale; therefore we listen to your needs and show you only the properties that suit your needs. As members of Multiple Listing Service (MLS), we can run a search with your specific criteria for what you want in a home or property and line up and take you to see as many properties as it takes to find you your perfect home! The Buyer’s Agent will negotiate everything from getting you the lowest purchase price to closing costs, home warranties, insurance, mortgage loans and even extras such as refrigerators and riding lawn mowers! The Buyer’s Agent runs a full Consumer Market Analysis (CMA) on your prospective property, which provides information such as sale price, number of days on the market and last date sold so we can negotiate for you the most competitive purchase price. We cover it all. We will arrange for your home inspection, find a closing attorney, obtain a survey of the property, negotiate your home owner’s insurance, negotiate with a mortgage company, do the title search and even get your termite bond. Best of all, you get all of these services at absolutely no cost to you. Working through The Buyer’s Agent will actually save you money! We split the commission on your purchase with the listing agent at closing which is paid 100 by the seller! If you are moving to the Birmingham area or know someone who is, put The Buyer’s Agent on your team. 

Buying A Home In The Birmingham Area? You NEED The Buyer’s Agent, Bradford Realty Representing Your Interest 100% of the Time!! Contact Jim Bradford at: (205) 563-2388 Cell Visit Our Web Site at: www.birminghambuyersagent.com

BRADFORD REALTY LLC 400 OFFICE PARK DRIVE BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA 35223 jimbradford@bradfordandcompany.net

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Homewood

Historic downtown Homewood is home to the most eclectic mix of shops, boutiques and eateries in the area.

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trolling from store to store, window-shopping. sipping on a coffee and catching the happy hour specials are a favorite pasttime for many who frequent downtown Homewood. Dowtown Homewood offers the charm and convenience of old-fashioned shopping and dining, while offering everything from antiques, to home accessories, the latest fashions for women, men and children of all ages. Many Downtown Homewood merchants have thrived in this area for decades. Whether you are staying in downtown Birmingham, on the Highway 280 corridor or in Hoover, downtown Homewood is easy to find and well worth your time. 54 EXCURSIONS


Three Sheets

Located in the heart of Homewood, Three Sheets is Birmingham’s choice for the latest luxury bed linens, baby items, bath accessories and home furnishings. Three Sheets carries bed linens by leading brands such as Bella Notte, Legacy, Leitner, Peacock Alley, Pine Cone Hill and Pom Pom, just to name a few. Stop in today for a fabulous shopping experience. 2904 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209, 205.871.2337

Soho Retro

Billed as a “vintage, modern and antiques” shop, you’ll find plenty of mid-20th century finds blended with a contemporary look at Soho Retro. Owner Steve Thomas is constantly on the prowl for the most unique items. The most frequent comment from customers is that Soho Retro always leaves them smiling. A browse among the unique selection of furniture, accessories, linens and jewelry will take you back to the “modern” era, and provide you with a whole new “retro” experience. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. 2805 18th St. South, Homewood, AL, 35209, 205.870.7655

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top Right) Jennifer Hagler

Briarcliff Shop

The Briarcliff Shop started out fifty years ago as a lamp store and over the years have added home accessories and furniture. A very traditional store, so what you find at The Briarcliff Shop will last you a lifetime. The Briarcliff Shop also has a wide variety of gifts for all occasions—wedding, birthday, anniversary, baby and a great holiday selection. Newly relocated to Homewood, the owner loves her new open space and location that allows shoppers to shop door to door. The Braircliff Shop has new merchandise arriving all the time so come see what we have to offer. 1829 29th Ave South, Homewood, AL, 35209, 205.870.8110, www.thebriarcliffshop.com

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Seibels

Seibels has been outfitting America’s camps and cottages since 1994, with quality and character from the finest names in rustic home furnishings and accessories. Seibels custom builds their own private line of architectural beds and swings, as well as chests, tables, bars, vanities and entertainment pieces, all created uniquely for the client. Also carrying upholstery, rugs, lighting, linens, tabletop, gifts and accessories, Seibels can completely outfit your home with an eclectic mix of well-made furnishings suited to your own personal style. 2927 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209, 205.879.3558, www.seibelscatalog.com

O’Carr’s

June and Cameron Carr opened the original O’Carr’s in 1975 at the Homewood location. Quality and consistency have been their watchword. Hearty soups, interesting salads, great sandwiches and homemade cheesecakes make up their lunch-only menu. This landmark restaurant is small and high energy. Drop in and be part of the neighborhood experience. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. 2909 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209. 205.879.2196, www.ocarrs.com

At Home Furnishings is a unique, privately owned store in historic Homewood. At Home Furnishings has been in business for eighteen years. In 2008, this store was voted by the people of Birmingham “Best Furniture Store.” The flea market style makes the shop charming and inviting. The incredible inventory, from India, China and Mexico changes daily. Vendors include Rowe Furniture, Bernhardt, Paul Roberts, Vietri, Uttermost, Bliss Studios and Aidan Gray, just to name a few. The owners invite you to visit anytime and make yourself “At Home.” 2921 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209,

205.879.3510, www.athome-furnishings.com

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PHOTOGRAPHs: Brent Boyd

At Home Furnishings


Shaia’s

Shaia’s is a men’s wear retailer in the finest sense of the tradition. More than a shop that sells suits, sportswear, shoes, accessories and formal wear, Shaia’s is a destination for camaraderie. Where dressing well is the premise for coming in, but like the coffee houses or men’s clubs of old, one lingers for the news of the day and the exchange of ideas. It’s a mingling of generations, personalities and points of view where anyone can feel at home upon arrival, and will be well dressed upon departure. 2818 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209, 205.871.1312, www.shaias.com

White Flowers

A shop of serenity, White Flowers offers unique clothing, home accessories, baby clothing and gifts—always white. Clothing available from all cotton t-shirts to lace skirts and gossamer gowns. Scented candles, bisque bowls, angels and greeting cards are among the selection in White Flowers. After only a few moments inside this shop, it is easy to feel as though you have stepped into a dreamlike world.

2800 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209, 205.871.4640, www.whiteflowers.com

PHOTOGRAPHs: (TOP) Courtesy of Shaia’s, Brent Boyd

Seasons to Celebrate

Seasons to Celebrate says it all. If you have an occasion of any type to celebrate, this is the shop for you! You’ll find unique items for the athletic fan, welcoming a new baby, ceramic, party hats, serveware, etc. This shop is a Christopher Radko Starlight Store as well as an authorized dealer for Fontanini. If Department 56 is your passion, a visit to Seasons to Celebrate is a must! 2801 18th Street South, Homewood, AL, 35209,

205.870.9265, www.seasonstocelebrate.com

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Downtown Birmingham Downtown Birmingham comes alive at night with some of the city’s best restaurants, night spots and cultural attractions.

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elcome to downtown Birmingham, the hub of business, but also a growing residential, entertainment and shopping area of town. Take a minute and explore downtown and enjoy some of the city’s best dining, nightlife and attractions while you are visiting the Magic City. Downtown is home to some of the most unique dining in the city. For quick dining, venture to O’Carr’s Delicatessen and try their famous chicken salad and fruit plate. For a true Irish public house experience, don’t miss Brannon’s: A Pub-

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lic House, known for their unique soups and sandwiches. Downtown nightlife is second to none. Watch the sun set over the city at Above on the penthouse level of the historic Redmont Hotel, grab a martini and relax at Steel, located at 1st and 23rd and end the night by grooving to local live music at Metro Bistro or Rogue Tavern. For cultural experiences, visit the Birmingham Museum of Art for some of the country’s premier traveling exhibits as well as a world-class permanent collection, or experience the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for an eye-opening look into the history of the civil rights movement.


Brannon’s: A Public House

Brannon’s: A Public House is a unique Irish restaurant located in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Brannon’s offers a gourmet sandwich take on traditional Irish, Scottish and English recipes and a wide variety of soups, with a menu that changes daily. The restaurant is cozy and well decorated, with delicious food selections to match. Open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 3 pm and for dinner on Friday night, Brannon’s is a dining experience you don’t want to miss! 1931 3rd Avenue North,

PHOTOGRAPHs: (opposite Page) Brent boyd; This Page: (Top) Constellation Imageworks Photos

Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205.326.8820, www.brannonspublichouse.com.

ABOVE at The Redmont Hotel

O’Carr’s Downtown

North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205.324.2101, www.abovebirmingham.com

300 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35203, 205.777.4002, www.ocarrs.com

Perched high atop the historic Redmont Hotel, ABOVE is Birmingham’s only rooftop bar and lounge. Open Tuesday through Saturday, ABOVE is the place for a relaxing sunset cocktail or a night out with friends. The Birmingham skyline sets the stage for an evening to you’re sure to remember. During the week, enjoy live music and, on the weekends, ABOVE turns it up with some of the city’s best DJs. Also, ABOVE is the perfect choice for receptions, parties and reunions. Take your nightlife to the top, at Birmingham’s only rooftop bar, ABOVE at The Redmont Hotel. 2101 5th Avenue

O’Carr’s downtown is the newest restaurant in the family. Interesting architecture makes the building a visual treat to complement the fresh, vibrant food. Chicken salad, fruit, salads, soups and desserts make for healthy fare. One of the few places in downtown to grab a healthy breakfast, O’Carr’s serves up a modified breakfast menu beginning at 7 am. O’Carr’s is also a premiere choice for catering your special event or meeting. Open Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 3 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

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Butler’s Grooming Lounge

Much more than your typical salon, Butler’s Grooming Lounge specializes in the grooming needs of today’s man. From our masculine lounge décor to the exclusive products we offer, we have covered every detail to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Butler’s staff of barbers and stylists is attuned to the special grooming needs of men’s hair and skin and will make sure you leave looking great and feeling confident. 2025 2nd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203, 205.323.4100, www.butlersgrooming.com.

Metro Bistro

MBM is located in the historic Loft District of Downtown Birmingham at 2nd Avenue & 22nd Street North. Established in 2004, MBM has a full bar, Jager on tap, and a wide variety of domestic and imported beer. Come enjoy live music 7 nights a week from a variety of local artists as well as happy hour prices from 2 pm - 7 pm everyday. Come make some bad decisions with us!

2125 2nd Avenue N, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205.323.7995, www.myspace.com/metrobistroandmarket.

Birmingham, AL 35203, 205. 324.0666, www.steel1stand23rd.com.

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PHOTOGRAPHs: (Top Right) Taylor Christian Jones

Steel 1st and 23rd

Steel is a premier ultra lounge located in Birmingham’s historic loft district, and its atmosphere is one of the most luxurious and unique in the city. Featuring a relaxed yet upscale feel, patrons can lounge on comfy couches while enjoying a martini and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Steel offers happy hour Monday-Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. as well old school hip hop night, karaoke night and a live D.J. on Friday and Saturday nights. 2300 1st Avenue North,


Neighborhood and Suburbs of Birmingham

This map provides general reference points and major roadways for navigating to the neighborhoods and suburbs highlighted in this section. Please ask hotel personnel for more specific directions. Please visit these neighborhoods and suburbs and let them know

that EXCURSIONS pointed you towards them, but please leave this copy of EXCURSIONS in your hotel room for the next guest to enjoy. You may also view our online version by clicking on the EXCURSIONS link at www.cityvision.tv.

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EXCURSIONS 61


Ocean

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Love at First Bite

Birmingham’s Trendiest Hot-Spots Are Sure to Delight

PHOTOGRAPHs: (opposite Page) BIGSWEDEFOOD.NET

daniel george

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ne of the best kept secrets about Birmingham is its dining. From casual dives to some of the country’s best fine- dining, your culinary experience in the Magic City will be one to write home about- and keep you coming back! Looking for a good place for lunch? Head to O’Carr’s Delicatessen at one of its three locations in Homewood, Downtown and Cahaba Heights for a famous chicken salad plate, a slice of warm blueberry cheesecake or a homemade milkshake. For great pizza and pastas, MAFIAoZA’a is a great spot to grab a slice. One of the city’s most family-friendly restaurants, be sure to bring kids! For great burritos, tacos and burgers served until 2 a.m., head over to Fuego Cantina in Five Points South. Sit outside on the spacious patio and enjoy people watching from the best spot in the area or head in to the Saloon for a drink and live music after dinner. While in the Five Points area, try J. Clyde for dinner and a beer in their Biergarten. The J. Clyde is the only place in Alabama that serves cask-conditioned ales with traditional British Beer Engines. If upscale Mexican is up your alley, Cocina Superior at Brookwood Mall is the place for you. A relaxed atmosphere paired with

A Stone’s Throw

great Tex-Mex cuisine makes for a great dining experience. For the meat eaters out there, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in the Embassy Suites in Homewood is a must try. Voted “Best Steak” by the Birmingham News, Ruth’s Chris is the place to go for a mouth-watering meal. If you are staying south of town, A Stone’s Throw in Mount Laurel is a casual yet upscale dining experience that captures the charm of this small community. If fine dining is what you are looking for, head to Ocean in Five Points South for some of the city’s best seafood. Or head next door to 26 for a more casual meal and a mojito at one of Birmingham’s trendiest spots. In Mountain Brook Village, daniel george is the place to go for a true southern fine dining experience in an unpretentious atmosphere. As part of the “slow food movement,” the chefs at daniel george use food from local farmers in all their dishes. Staying downtown? Try Century, the new restaurant at the historic Tutwiler Hotel, where familiar Southern staples mingle effortlessly with gourmet ingredients to create delicious signature dishes. For soups and sandwiches with traditional Irish flair, try Brannon’s: A Public House. No matter what you are craving, there is something for all tastes in Birmingham! EXCURSIONS 63


An Ocean of Flavor

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ew Southern cities can brag about their dining scene like Birmingham. It seems that every corner boasts an outstanding restaurant with an awardwinning chef. With so many delicious choices, navigating your way requires a skilled guide, and no one’s better than Chef George Reis. “Birmingham is a great culinary city, filled with world-class restaurants,” Reis says. “We’re very proud to be recognized as two of the better restaurants in a town with such a rich culinary scene.” Reis is chef and owner of two of downtown Birmingham’s most sought-after dining spots, Ocean and 26. Fortunately for you, they’re located right next door to each other, so treating yourself to both in one night makes for one delicious itinerary. As you’d expect, seafood steals the show

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at Ocean, while 26 is the place the see and be seen in Birmingham. But the one thing these restaurant siblings have in common is the creative palate of their head chef. “We feature a globally inspired menu, which makes us a little different in Birmingham,” says Reis. “A lot of the cuisine in this

J osh miller

town is pseudo-French southern; we pull in flavors from around the world.” Reis began acquiring his worldly palate at the tender age of four. His foodie parents encouraged him to explore cuisine hands on, even if it meant he had to stand in a chair to reach the stove. “My parents were very adventurous in the kitchen,” he remembers. “My dad took lessons from James Beard, and we’d cook with tofu, dried wood-ear mushrooms, all kinds of stuff that most kids those days had never heard of.” Early experiences with exotic flavors molded his culinary perspective as his passion for cooking grew. Whereas some chefs might lose their way working with such a variety of worldly flavors, each dish Reis conceives is a focused culinary discovery. He says the secret is starting with the best ingredients. “We’ve made a commitment to source and serve the best fish possible,” Reis says,

PHOTOGRAPHs: BIGSWEDEFOOD.NET

Chef George Reis serves seafood in style. b y


PHOTOGRAPHs: BIGSWEDEFOOD.NET

matter-of-factly. “That’s the beauty of really great seafood; it doesn’t take a lot to make it stand out.” All modesty aside, every dish that Reis creates stands out. Employing his global influences and the restaurant’s many tools, Reis uses his passion and creativity to deliver flavor-infused dishes that leave you almost speechless. “I’m part boy scout, part chef,” Reis muses, as he describes his passion for the wood-fired oven at Ocean. “You have to know how to build a fire, feed it, nurture it. It takes cooking to another level.” Love for the grill aside, Reis says if he had to pick one dish to eat at Ocean, he’d opt for the pan-seared grouper. “I love that old French style, where you have all six eyes of the stove going, and you sauté the world,” he says. Reading the menu at his flagship restaurant Ocean is like flipping the pages of a culinary atlas. Italy, India, Thailand, Jamaica, Greece, France...wherever waves crash, there Reis draws inspiration. “We picked the name Ocean because

oceans touch every continent in the world,” Reis says. “By focusing on seafood, we’re able to showcase any kind of cuisine…we’re not pigeonholed to a certain regional cuisine or flavor profile. The world is my palate.” He speaks the truth. A glance at the menu takes your senses on an exotic journey. Words like, “saffron-scented,” “wasabi-crusted” and “Thai-spiced” pique your interest, while comfort comes with a twist on the familiar, like his Tabasco beurre blanc, brown butter vinaigrette and house-made Worchestershire. With a respectfully gentle hand, Reis applies these flavor accoutrements to showcase the amazing array of fresh seafood and local produce that he and his staff painstakingly

source daily. It’s no surprise that their effort and talent have earned Ocean the AAA Four Diamond Award for four years running. Reis takes his restaurants’ ambiance as seriously as he does the food. The beauty of both Ocean and 26 is their approachability factor. While Ocean stands out as the more elegant setting, both are relaxed enough to welcome you as you are. Ocean’s white tablecloths, cool, aquatictoned lighting, and opalescent seafloor inspired tiled walls make it the perfect place for meaningful meals. Refined without being stuffy, the main dining room allows guests to dine in comfortable intimacy. Next door, 26 buzzes with a certain tangible energy you can feel in the air and taste on the plate. Named as a homage to his two young sons, 26 embodies their youthful exuberance. From the LED underlit concrete bar to the bright, wave-motif walls to the metal “waterfall” curtain, the mood here is vibrant and humming. A quick glance around the dining room of 26 reveals a remarkably diverse crowd. While twenty-somethings laugh and live it up down the bar, their friends are doing the same in the dining room, next to tables of baby boomers, businessmen and girlfriends out for a night on the town. In fact, the only thing the diners at 26 have in common is they all seem to be having an awesome time. That, and they’re staring adoringly at their dinner. The menu at 26, like at Ocean, is inspired by every place touched by the sea. And while seafood is a big star, George enjoys the opportunity to create some amazing dishes for landlovers. “At 26, you can’t beat the braised short ribs,” Reis says. “But the hidden secret on the menu is definitely the Asian stir-fried pork. Most people skip it because it’s the

cheapest on the menu. The taste is alive and vibrant — it’s screaming with flavor.” So at my last visit to 26, I took his advice and ordered the pork. No surprise —he was absolutely right. Saturated with flavor, the fork-tender pork paired perfectly with the spicy, crunchy slaw...every bite was pure pleasure. It wasn’t just the pork that made the night. It was the expertly mixed dry martini I had at Ocean, delivered by a bartender who took his craft as serious as rocket science; it was the fun and tasty appetizers we noshed on during the famous happy hour at 26 while we waited for our table; it was the smile and charm of our waitress as she guided us through the night’s menu. The sum total of these details is a completely satisfying dining experience that makes you want to come back for more. If you’d like to sample the taste and ambience of Ocean and 26 for yourself, they’re just a few steps from the Five Points district in Downtown Birmingham. Stop in for drinks and appetizers at 26. If you can manage to tear yourself away (and you should) head next door to Ocean for a dinner you’ll never forget.

Reservations are accepted at both restaurants; call ahead for availability. Ocean is located at 1218 20th Street South. Call 205.933.0999 or visit their website at www.oceanbirmingham.com. 26 is located next door at 1210 20th Street South. Call 205.918.0726 or visit their website at www.twentysix26.com.

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An Elegant Evening in Historic Grandeur

An experience you will remember for years to come. Treat someone special to a romantic dinner at the Century restaurant located in the historic Tutwiler Hotel. The Century offers the gorgeous grandeur of the Tutwiler along with a unique culinary experience that will make evening truly memorable! Call now for reservations

| 205-458-9611

2021 Park Place (inside the Tutwiler Hotel), Birmingham, AL www.culinard.com The Centur y restaurant is a teaching establishment where a staff of professional chefs provide a learning lab environment for culinar y and pastr y ar ts students.

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Jess Bourgeois

COCINA SUPERIOR ExECUtIvE ChEf

Cocina Superior 587 Brookwood Village Homewood, Alabama 205.259.1980 www.thecocinasuperior.com

Cocina Superior blends Tex Mex and modern style for a unique Birmingham dining experience. Cocina Superior serves all your Tex Mex favorites and some innovative dishes with an impressive selection of unique cocktails in a sleek contemporary setting of vibrant color and music to match. The restaurant can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner or brunch (on weekends), indoors or out, year round; thanks to a large heated and air conditioned patio. The full-service bar features an extensive array of Mexican and domestic beers, an impressive wine list, and a menu of house drinks that promise to satisfy. With an outdoor fountain side lounge and a unique glass walled bar, Cocina Superior is the place to have a relaxing evening with friends or to enjoy an extraordinary night.

A few items from our menu Especiales Filet Tacos Al Carbon Flautas Mauricio Deluxe Puff Taco Carne Asada Aperitivos Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Avocado

Brunch Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito

Reservations Accepted. Casual Attire. Open for Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week with Brunch on weekends.

Cocina Superior’s cuisine brings the best of both worlds- time-honored Tex-Mex favorites such as handmade tamales and chile relleno and modern dishes such as shrimp and crab stuffed avocados and chargrilled oysters. This concept gives customers an opportunity to experience the traditional TexMex dishes while venturing out to experience some inventive dishes that are uniquely Cocina Superior. Chef Jess Bourgeois’ love for food and cooking stems from growing up in southern Louisiana where he learned to cook by watching his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. Bourgeois recommends the fish tacos at Cocina Superior because of the variety they give the customer and the focus on fresh ingredients. Available grilled or fried, the fish tacos are served on handmade spinachcorn tortillas made daily by hand in his kitchen, complimented with a serving of pico di gallo and shredded red cabbage and finished with fresh cilantro. “It’s a light dish that is truly satisfying for lunch or dinner,” says Bourgeois.

Justin Spears

Century restaurant exeCutive Chef Justin Spears, Executive Chef for Century Restaurant located in the Historic Tutwiler Hotel in Downtown Birmingham got his start in the culinary/ hospitality industry about six years ago. He obtained a culinary degree from Jefferson State Community College in 2007. At 22 years of age, Chef Spears may well be the youngest Executive Chef in Birmingham. He’s very proud of that accomplishment as well as being employed by one of Birmingham’s largest companies, Culinard/ Virginia College. When asked what about his favorites at Century, he replied, “When I eat at Century, I order our grilled bone-in pork chop with celeriac mashed potatoes and spinach ragout with mushrooms and bacon.” When choosing ingredients, Chef Spears strives to work with as many local vendors as possible. “Alabama has a lot to offer in fresh produce and cheeses,” he adds. Chef Spears strongly suggests saving room for dessert when dining at Century, exclaiming, “I love sweets!”

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A Stone’s Throw 3 Mt Laurel Avenue Birmingham, Alabama 205.995.0512 stonesthrowgrill.com

Tucked away among the trees in the naturally beautiful town of Mt Laurel, you’ll find the perfect place to experience a relaxing evening. Join us and discover a delicious, new dining experience where fresh, seasonal flavors mingle with southern favorites.

A few items from our menu Hickory grilled beef tenderloin with garlic wilted spinach, wild mushrooms, Tabasco onions and a rich jus Seared Wild Salmon with shrimp risotto, sweet pea puree and Terra Farms pea tendrils Our shrimp & grits Sugar snap peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, capers, apple smoked bacon and white wine butter sauce

Welcome to the Neighborhood... Welcome to the “Family.” Birmingham 2 Dexter Avenue Birmingham, AL 35213 205.414.7878 www.mafiaozas.com

A favorite on the Birmingham dining scene since 2008, MAFIAoZA’s continues to “wow” crowds with its authentic Italian menu options, its impressive Old and New World wine list, 24 beers on tap and its comfortable, welcoming ambiance. Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays enjoy great music by some of Birmingham’s best musicians.

A few items from our menu The DeMartino-Pizza Because he’s not gonna tell you twice. Salame toscano, sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese and our homemade mozzarella topped with arugula and a basil chiffonade.

Piccolo Morsi— Antipasti Platter Build your own antipasti platter, to be enjoyed with friends, family and your favorite wine Hours of oPeraTion

HOurS OF OperaTiOn

Closed Monday Tuesday 4pm-12am Wednesday & Thursday 4pm - 10:00pm Friday & Saturday 11am-12am Sunday 11am - 10:00pm

Dinner: Tues. – Sat. 5:30pm to 10pm Lunch: Fri. – Sat. 11am to 2pm

You’re Gonna Love It.. Or Else!

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The J. Clyde 1312 Cobb Lane Birmingham, AL 35205 205.939.1312 www.jclyde.com

There’s no place like it. Birmingham’s largest covered patio! You can eat outside rain or shine! German-style Biergarten and a Parisian street cafe and there’s a little space for everyone. The J. Clyde offers more craft beer than any place in Alabama and the most taps of fresh ales and lagers in Birmingham.

A few items from our menu Southern-Style Caprese Stack Alabama grown tomatoes layered with marinated black eyed peas, fresh mozzarella and basil, garnished with fried okra and pancetta Chicken Fingers Hand breaded chicken tenders with ranch, honey mustard or bleu cheese dressing and your choice of sweet potato fries, steak fries or pasta salad The J. Clyde Burger 8 oz. Classic American burger topped with a fried green tomato HourS oF operaTion

Sunday: Closed Monday: 2pm – midnight (Pub menu only 3pm-10pm) Tues – Thurs: 2pm – 2am Friday: 2pm – 4am (kitchen closes at 2am) Saturday: 2pm – 2am


diningout

daniel george O’Carr’s Cahaba Heights 3150 Cahaba Heights Village Road Birmingham, AL 35243 205.967.4173 www.ocarrs.com

2837 Culver Road Birmingham, AL 35223 205.871.3266 www.danielgeorge restaurant.com

Taste the Flavors of Birmingham Southside and Downtown 26 1210 20th Street S. 205.918.0726 Bettola 2901 2nd Avenue S., Ste. 150 205.731.6499 Bogue’s 3028 Clairmont Avenue S. 205.254.9780

Relaxed fine dining in a comfortable atmosphere. Dedicated to the Slow Food Movement, Chefs and Owners Daniel Briggs and George McMillan, III change menus daily according to fresh local products. New American Cuisine with an emphasis on ‘farm to fork’ freshness.

O’Carrs in Cahaba Heights is the big sister to Homewood’s original O’Carrs. The same consistent chicken salad, fruit, soups and desserts are available Monday through Saturday. Outside dining and dinner served until 8 p.m. Bright and cheerful, O’Carrs serves up healthy, vibrant food for lunch and dinner. Closed on Sundays.

A few items from our menu Chicken salad and fruit plate Asparagus turkey salad Poached pear salad Pot Roast panini sandwich Cream cheese and olive sandwich Hours of operation

10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday Closed Sunday

A few items from our menu Salmon Tartare Ginger soy vinaigrette, ponzu aioli, wasabi tobiko Pan Seared Black Grouper Bacon and scallion mashed potatoes, asparagus, white shrimp beurre blanc Veal Picatta Fingerling potatoes, chili scented broccolini, caper meuniere Pappardelle Bolognese Veal, beef, pancetta, tomato, basil, parmesean HourS of oPeraTion

Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2 Bar opens 4:30 Mon-Sat Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30-10:00 facebook: daniel george twitter: DGrestaurant Open Table reservations accepted

Bottega Italian Restaurant and Cafe 2240 Highland Avenue S. 205.939.1000 BottleTree Cafe 3719 3rd Avenue S. 205.533.6288 Brannon’s: A Public House 1931 3rd Avenue N. 205.326.8820 Cafe de Paris 2801 7th Avenue S. 205.202.4024 Cafe Dupont 113 20th Street N. 205. 322.1282 Cantina Tortilla Grill 2901 2nd Avenue S., Ste. 110 205.323.6980 Carlile’s Barbecue 3511 6th Avenue S. 205.254.9266 Century Restaurant and Bar at the Tutwiler 2021 Park Place N. 205.458.9611 Chan Lee’s 401 19th Street S. 205.327.5000 Chez FonFon 2007 11th Avenue S. 205.939.3221 Cosmo’s 5 Pts Pizza 2012 Magnolia Avenue S., Ste. R.3 205.930.9971

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diningout

Gus’s Hot Dogs 1915 4th Avenue N. 205.251.4540 A Stone’s Throw

Highlands Bar & Grill 2011 11th Avenue S. 205.939.1400 Hot & Hot Fish Club 2180 11th Court S. 205.933.5474 Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar B Q - Five Points South 1908 11th Avenue S. 205.320.1060 John’s City Diner 112 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N., 205.322.6014 Kelley’s Neighborhood Sports Grill 720 29th Street S. 205.323.9786

Culinard Cafe at Innovation Depot 1500 First Avenue N. 205.271.8220 Dreamland Bar-B-Que 1427 14th Avenue S. 205.933.2133 Fish Market Restaurant 612 22nd Street S. 205.322.3330

Garage Cafe & Antiques 2304 10th Terrace S. 205.322.3220 Giuseppe’s Cafe and Expresso Bar 925 8th Street S. 205.324.2626 Golden Rule Barbecue and Grill 744 29th Street S. 205.327.5451

Fuego Cantina & Saloon 1101 20th Street S. 205.933.1544

Green Acres Cafe 1705 4th Avenue N. 205.251.3875

Full Moon Bar-B-Que Southside 525 25th Street S. 205.324.1007

Green Acres Cafe (The Original) 2724 29th Avenue N. 205.328.8099

Ga Briella’s Restaurant 317 17th Street N. 205.983.7249

Green Acres Cafe South 4350 3rd Court S. 205.595.1903

La Cocina 2111 7th Avenue S. 205.252.7626 Little Savannah 3811 Clairmont Avenue S. 205.591.1119

Moe’s Original BBQ & Blues Revue 2025 3rd Avenue N., Ste. 104 205.250.6333 New China Town Restaurant 1020 20th Street S. 205.251.2373 Newk’s Express Cafe 611 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S., 205.323.0992 Niki’s Downtown Cafe 1101 2nd Avenue N. 205.251.1972 O’Carr’s Restaurant – Title Building 300 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Ste. 100, 205.777.4002 Ocean 1218 20th Street S. 205.933.0999 On Tap Sports Cafe 737 29th Street S. 205.320.1225 Original Pancake House 1931 11th Avenue S. 205.933.8837

Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant 3324 Clairmont Avenue S. 205.324.5896

Oscar’s at the Museum 2000 Rev Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.., 205.254.2755

Lucy’s Coffee & Tea 2007 University Blvd. 205.328.2007

Pete’s Famous Hot Dogs 1925 2nd Avenue N. 205.252.2905

Magic City Grille 2201 3rd Avenue N. 205.251.6500

Pita Loco 2000 2nd Avenue N. 205.252.4899

Makarios Kabobs & Grill 940 20th Street S. 205.731.7414

Pita Stop Cafe Bar & Grill 1106 12th Street S. 205.328.2749

Mellow Mushroom 1200 20th Street S., Ste. 100 205.212.9420

Purple Onion Deli & Grill 1717 10th Avenue S. 205.933.7555

Chris HarriganA Stone’S throw executive chef After helping to open Standard Bistro ten years ago, Chef Chris Harrigan spent several years working in restaurants around the country. Harrigan bought Standard Bistro in early 2010 and changed the name to “A Stone’s Throw.” To help foster a more relaxed, family-friendly environment, Harrigan removed the white tablecloths added more casual fare and lowered the prices. So far, his strategy seems to be working very well. “When we first opened in March of 2010, our patrons would arrive in their Sunday best on a weekend evening. Now, we see the same people several times a week in shorts and golf shirts coming in after a round of golf at the nearby courses,” says Chef Harrigan. Something Chef Harrigan enjoys the most about his restaurant is the opportunity to be flexible. While the casual fare like burgers and flatbreads are great, you can still get a twelve course wine dinner anytime and bring friends and family into the private dining room for a five-course dinner. It’s a beautiful restaurant, with beautiful food, and as Chef Harrigan says,” I’m just glad to have this beautiful opportunity.”

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Rogue Tavern 2312 2nd Avenue N. 205.202.4151

V. Richard’s Market & Cafe 3916 Clairmont Avenue S. 205.591.7000

Rojo 2921 Highland Avenue S. 205.328.4733

Veranda on Highland 2220 Highland Avenue S. 205.939.5551

Sekisui Pacific Rim 1025 20th Street S. 205.933.1025

Zoe’s Kitchen - Downtown 1819 5th Avenue N. 205.252.5200

Silvertron Cafe 3813 Clairmont Avenue S. 205.591.3707

Trussville Costa’s Mediterranean Cafe 5891 Trussville Crossings Pkwy., 205.655.9779

Sol y Luna 2801 7th Avenue S. 205.322.1186 Surin Thai Bowl & Sushi Bar 2100 Third Avenue N., Ste. 100 205.297.0996 Surin West 1918 11th Avenue S. 205.324.1928 Taj India 2226 Highland Avenue S. 205.939.3805 Ted’s Cafeteria Restaurant 328 12th Street S. 205.324.2911 The J. Clyde 1312 Cobb Lane 205.939.1312 The Mill at Five Points 1035 20th Street S. 205.933.6363 The Red Cat Coffeehouse 2901 2nd Avenue S., Ste. 120 205.616.8450 The Winery at Pepper Place 2801 2nd Avenue S. 205.250.6326 Urban Standard 2320 2nd Avenue N. 205.250.8200

Golden Rule Barbecue Trussville 120 S Chalkville Road 205.655.4849 Jim N Nick’s Bar-B-Q Trussville 1660 Gadsden Hwy. 205.661.3100 John’s City Diner #2 1483 Gadsden Hwy., Ste. 156, 205.655.7552 Konomi 5870 Trussville Crossings Blvd. 205.661.1821 Sal’s Italian Restaurant 256 Gadsden Hwy. 205.833.9272 Seafood & Chicken Box 5954 Chalkville Rd., Ste. 200 Tomato Pie Pizzeria 5880 Trussville Crossings Blvd., Ste. 100, 205.655.4900

daniel george

Crestwood Tavern 5500 Crestwood Blvd. 205.510.0053 El Cazador Mexican Grill 1540 Montclair Road 205.951.1205 Golden Rule Barbecue Irondale 2504 Crestwood Blvd. 205.956.2678 Hacienda Mexican Grill 1676 Montclair Road 205.956.2550 Hamburger Heaven 1703 Crestwood Blvd. 205.951.3570 Irondale Cafe, the original Whistlestop Cafe 1906 1st Avenue N. 205.956.5258

Homewood, Mountain Brook, Inverness Acapulco Bar and Grill 430 Green Springs Hwy. 205.941.1183 Another Broken Egg Cafe 2418 Montevallo Road 205.871.7849 Avo 2721 Cahaba Road 205.871.8212 Bambinelli’s Italian Cafe 2031 Cahaba Road 205.871.2423 Billy’s Bar & Grill 2012 Cahaba Road 205.879.2238 Black Pearl Asian Cuisine 3419 Colonnade Pkwy., Ste. 600, 205.262.9888

Airport, Eastwood, Irondale, Leeds

Shangri-La Restaurant 4500 Montevallo Road, Ste. B103, 205.951.3168

Bongiorno Italian Restaurant 68 Church Street, Ste. A 205.879.5947

Crestwood Coffee Company 5512 Crestwood Blvd. 205.595.0300

VJ’s Cafe on the Runway 5100 East Lake Blvd. 205.808.0582

Brio Tuscan Grille 591 Brookwood Village 205.879.9177

Daniel Briggs and George McMillan, IIIDaniel george executive chefs daniel george executive chefs George McMillan III and Daniel Briggs opened daniel george in Mountain Brook Village 10 years ago, and both agree that this milestone is the proudest moment of their culinary careers. Both chefs are Birmingham natives and committed to the “slow food movement”, supporting local farmers. McMillan trained at Jefferson State Culinary Program and worked at Arman’s, Hot and Hot Fish Club and was a private chef prior to opening daniel george. His favorite dish at daniel george is veal piccata, and when asked his preferred meal, George answered that he is a “four-course meal type of guy.” Daniel Briggs trained at Johnson and Wales University in Vail, CO and worked at Highlands Bar and Grill, Hot and Hot Fish Club and The Tyrolean in Vail. Briggs also spent three years as a personal chef to a gentleman with a heart condition, which Briggs says helped him develop a much lighter style of cuisine. Briggs favorite dish at the restaurant is fish on a light set, and when asked his preferred meal responded that he likes many small courses with wine pairings.

EXCURSIONS 71


diningout Carrabba’a Italian Grill 4503 Riverview Pkwy. 205.980.1016 Chez Lulu/Continental Bakery 1911 Cahaba Road 205.870.7011

DeVinci’s Pizza 2707 18th Street S. 205.879.1455

GianMarco’s 721 Broadway Street 205.871.9622

La Paz Restaurante 99 Euclid Avenue 205.879.2225

DoDiYos 1831 28th Avenue S., Ste. 110 205.453.9300

Golden Rule Bar-B-Que Crestline 81 Church Street, Ste. 104.105 205.803.0083

Lloyd’s Restaurant 5301 Hwy. 280 S. 205.991.5530

Dragon Restaurant 114 Wildwood Pkwy. 205.945.8711

Cocina Superior 587 Brookwood Village 205.259.1980

Dyron’s Lowcountry 121 Oak Street 205.834.8257

Costa’s Famous Bar-B-Que Wildwood 215 Lakeshore Pkwy. 205.263.0145

Edgar’s Old Style Bakery 3499 Colonnade Pkwy. 205.987.0790

Courtyard 280 Oyster Bar & Grill 4643 Hwy. 280, Ste. M 205.980.9891 Crape Myrtle’s Cafe 2721 18th Street S. 205.879.7891

Fire Restaurant- Crestline Village 212 Country Club Park 205.802.1410 Fish Market Restaurant 5407 Hwy. 280 205.980.8600

Crazy Cajuns’ Boiling Pot 125 Inverness Plaza 205.408.0630

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar 103 Summit Blvd. 205.262.9463

Crestline Bagel and Pizza 66 Church Street, Ste. B 205.871.4583

FLIP Modern Burger Boutique 220 Summit Blvd, Ste. 140 205.968.2000

daniel george 2837 Culver Road 205.871.3266

Franklin’s Homewood Gourmet 1919 28th Avenue S., Ste. 103 205.871.1620

Davenport’s Pizza Palace 2837 Cahaba Road 205.879.8603 Dave’s Pizza 1819 29th Avenue S. 205.871.3283 Demetri’s Bar-B-Q 1901 28th Avenue S. 205.871.1581

Full Moon Bar-B-Que Homewood 337 Valley Avenue 205.945.9997 Full Moon Bar-B-Que Hwy 280 4635 Hwy. 280 S. Birmingham 35242.5031 205.991.7328

Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant 4673 Hwy. 280 205.980.8266

Lovoy’s Restaurant & Lounge 1830 29th Avenue S., Ste. 160 205.870.9811

Iz Cafe Altadena 4700 Cahaba River Road 205.262.9733

MAFIAoZA’s Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub 2 Dexter Avenue 205.414.7878

Iz Cafe Rocky Ridge 2518 Rocky Ridge Road 205.979.7522

Maki Fresh 2800 Cahaba Village Plaza 205.970.3242

Jackson’s Bar & Bistro 1831 28th Avenue S., Ste. 175 205.870.9669

Max’s Deli 3431 Colonnade Pkwy., Ste. 400, 205.968.7600

Jade Palace Chinese Restaurant 330 Inverness Corners 205.980.8001

McCormick & Schmick’s 719 Shades Creek Pkwy. 205.871.5171

Jim N Nick’s Bar-B-Q Greystone 2831 Greystone Commerical Blvd., 205.991.1306

Michael’s Restaurant @ Aloft Hotel 1903 29th Avenue S. 205.874.8055

Jim N Nick’s Bar -B-Q Homewood 220 Oxmoor Road 205.942.3336

Miss Myra’s Pit Barbecue 3278 Cahaba Heights Road 205.967.6004

Jinsei Sushi Bar & Lounge 1830 29th Avenue S., Ste. 125 205.802.1440

Miss Rosemarie’s Special Tea Salon & Shoppe 5299 Valleydale Road 205.980.8335

Johnny Ray’s Bar-B-Que 3431 Colonnade Pkwy., Ste. 500, 205.967.0099

Moe’s Original BBQ & Blues Revue 2501 Rocky Ridge Road 205.822.2773

La Dama Pizzeria 8000 Liberty Pkwy., Ste. 102 205.967.7729

Momma Goldberg’s Deli 2829 18th Street S. 205.834.8871

Brett CorrieriMAFIAoZA’s executIve cheF Brett Corrieri, executive chef of MAFIAoZA’s in Birmingham and Nashville, brings a solid culinary portfolio to the table in his multi-pronged role at three of Nashville, TN’s most frequented businesses: MAFIAoZA’s, Corrieri’s Formaggeria, and, Vinea Wine & Spirits. Corrieri, a native of Maine, began his culinary career by owning and operating The Owl’s Nest Coffeehouse in Nashville, before setting off for Rhode Island’s prestigious Johnson & Wales University. Following graduation, he embarked upon his apprenticeship at the renowned four-star Hotel Metropole in Brussels, Belgium. Upon his return to the states, Corrieri soon became a player on the Nashville “food scene” by serving as owner/operator of his own catering company, Bellissima Catering. Corrieri says his proudest moment as a chef was opening the second location of MAFIAOZA’S, located in Crestline Village. In addition to the Crestline Village location, Corrieri recently launched Barolo Catering in Nashville and Birmingham.

72 EXCURSIONS


Mudtown 3144 Green Valley Road 205.967.3300

Sam’s Super Sandwiches 2812 18th Street S. 205.871.0046

Zea Rotisserie & Grill 595 Brookwood Village 205.380.3118

Nabeel’s Cafe & Market 1706 Oxmoor Road 205.879.9292

Satterfield’s Restaurant 3161 Cahaba Heights Road, Ste. 113, 205.969.9690

Zoe’s Kitchen - Crestline 225 Country Club Park 205.871.0060 - Homewood 1830 29th Avenue S., Ste. 155 205.870.1100 - Summit 323 Summit Blvd. 205.967.5800

New York Pizza 1010 Oxmoor Road 205.871.4000 O.T.s on Acton Neighborhood Grill 2409 Acton Road, Ste. 129 205.822.2062 Oak Hill Bar & Grill 2835 18th Street S. 205.870.8277 O’Carr’s Deli 2909 18th Street S. 205.879.2196 O’Carr’s Deli 3152 Cahaba Heights Village Road, 205.967.4173 Olexa’s - Mountain Brook Village 2838 Culver Road 205.871.2060 On Tap Sports Cafe Inverness 810 Inverness Corners 205.437.1999 Open Door Cafe 1115 Dunston Avenue 205.879.6659 Otey’s Tavern 224 Country Club Park 205.871.8435 P. F. Chang’s 233 Summit Blvd 205.967.0040 Pablo’s Restaurante & Cantina 3439 Colonnade Pkwy. 205.969.1411 Petruccelli’s Italian Eatery 10 Meadowview Drive 205.991.7455

Savage’s Bakery & Restaurant 2916 18th Street S. 205.871.4901 Saw’s BBQ 1008 Oxmoor Road 205.879.1937 Shogun Japanese Steak & Sushi Bar 4618 Hwy. 280 S. 205.991.0033 Stone’s Throw Bar & Grill 3 Mt Laurel Avenue 205.995.0512 Superior Grill 4701 Hwy. 280 S. 205.991.5112 Surin 280 16 Perimeter Park South 205.968.8161 Surin of Thailand 64 Church Street 205.871.4531 Sweet Bones Alabama 245 Summit Blvd. 205.970.3022 Tavern on the Summit 225 Summit Blvd, Ste. 100 205.298.1222 Taziki’s Greek Fare 2737 Hwy. 280, Ste. 121 205.870.0455 Taziki’s Greek Fare 3439 Colonnade Pkwy., Ste. 1700, 205.968.6622

MAFIAoZA’s

Hoover, Vestavia Bellini’s Ristorante 6801 Cahaba Valley Road 205.981.5380 Bistro V 521 Montgomery Hwy., Ste. 113, 205.823.1505 Bone Daddy’s 201 Doug Baker Blvd. 205.980.3300 Bonefish Grill 3430 Galleria Circle 205.985.9545

La Dolce Vita 1851 Montgomery Hwy. S., Ste. 107 205.985.2909 Michael’s Steaks & Seafood 3340 Galleria Circle

Cajun Steamer Bar and Grill 180 Main Street, Ste. 200 205.985.7785

205.982.0144

Dale’s Southern Grill 1843 Montgomery Hwy., Ste. 107, 205.987.4757

Ste. 117, (205) 985.8841

Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill, 191 Main Street 205.733.2002 Fish Market Restaurant 1681 Montgomery Hwy. 205.823.3474 Formaggio’s Italian Bistro 1779-A Montgomery Hwy. 205.989.7999 Full Moon Bar-B-Que 2000 Patton Chapel Road 205.822.6666

Moe’s Original BBQ 2341 John Hawkins Pkwy,

New Orleans Food and Spirits 1919 Kentucky Avenue 205.822.7655 On Tap Sports Cafe . Riverchase 1845 Montgomery Hwy., Ste. 207, 205.988.5558 Pablo’s Restaurante & Cantina 2760 John Hawkins Pkwy 205.682.1211 Sol Azteca

The Cheesecake Factory 236 Summit Blvd. 205.262.1800

Ginza Sushi & Korean BBQ 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 101 205.981.1616

1360 Montgomery Hwy.,

The Olive Branch 3236 Cahaba Heights Road 205.967.4600

Golden Rule Barbecue 1571 Montgomery Hwy. 205.823.7770

4524 Southlake Pkwy, Ste. 20

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 2300 Woodcrest Place 205.879.9995

Village Tavern 101 Summit Blvd. 205.970.1640

J. Alexander’s Restaurant 3320 Galleria Circle 205.733.9995 or 733.9537

Salem’s Diner 2913 18th Street S. 205.877.8797

Yankee Pizzeria 3144 Heights Village 205.967.6266

Jim N Nick’s Bar-B-Q 1810 Montgomery Hwy. S. 205.733.1300

Pho Que Huong Vietnamese Restaurant 430 Green Springs Hwy., Ste. 15, 205.942.5400

Ste. 128, 205.979.4902 Tin Roof BBQ 205.987.4002 Tortugas Homemade Pizza 2801 John Hawkins Pkwy, Ste. 169R, 205.403.9800 Zoe’s Kitchen . Patton Creek 180 Main Street, Ste. 140 205.989.4020

EXCURSIONS 73


Jazz Musician and Alabama Music Hall of Famer, Cleve Eaton with his beloved bass.

74 EXCURSIONS


Play On,

Cleve , Play On Cleveland Eaton’s life is a testament to the power of music

S

B y J enny A dams photography by taylor christian jones

itting on a couch in the greenroom at Old Car Heaven, I watch Cleveland Eaton push through a side door. Everyone turns to see the small man in his early 70s toting a mammoth instrument. “Here, let me help you with that,” one guy offers. As he approaches, “Cleve” waves him away with a broad smile and a weathered, sturdy hand. “Son, I been managing this bass for most of my life. I reckon I can still carry it now.” To watch Eaton “manage” a bass on stage is to understand a partnership, cultivated over a lifetime filled with both intense struggle and extreme success. Eaton began, not with a bass, but in a room full of women and pianos. “My passion for music started at home,” he says. “My mother played piano and organ. My aunt played and taught, and I had two sisters that played. In our house in Fairfield, Ala., we had four pianos and an organ. Man, I had to do something. But being around all these women and their pianos, I stupidly got it in my head that pianos were for sissies. I started with the saxophone.” He moved to the trumpet at the ripe old age of seven. Eight years later, Cleve met a man who changed his life and the history of jazz forever. “At our school, there was a music teacher named John Springer,” Eaton recalls. “One day I was passing his car and saw a thing in the backseat so big I thought it was a body. I had never seen a bass. He said, ‘You want me to play it?’ He played the devil out of it. I was hooked for life right then at 15.” Upon graduating from high school in 1955, Eaton was already playing gigs. Thanks to theory classes taught by his sister, he graduated from Tennessee State’s five-year course in three years. But it was at a jam session in the Sutherland Hotel in Chicago, Ill., when Eaton’s career really began. During a time when the country was poised on a needle in

regard to race relations, young African-American musicians like Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis were meeting to play jazz. “I heard about a jam session they had at the Sutherland. I drove there, and Ike Cole [Nat King Cole’s brother] was looking for a bass player. I did a year and a half with Ike Cole Trio.” Cleve’s personal progression evolved into 30 recordings over a 10-year stint with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and four gold singles, including “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water.” With Count Basie Orchestra for six years, he produced 10 recordings. Traveling the world, slapping bass strings alongside the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr. and Herbie Hancock, teaching music and refusing to give in to pressures to play his bass in any style but his own, Eaton put Alabama on the map as well. His version of “Bama Boogie Woogie” became a best seller in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, France and Australia, and his personal successes confirmed that talent lived in all places—and in all colors of skin. In 2004, Cleveland Eaton and the Alabama Allstars was formed, and 2008 brought his induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. “It was a sight that evening,” Eaton recalls. “They had 2,000 people there. I got to meet so many interesting guys.” Birmingham is home for Eaton and his wife, Myra, and you can catch a live show every Sunday at the Open Door Café in Crestline Park. A recent battle with oral cancer behind him, Eaton’s aiming high. “Now that I’m cancer free, I’m going to stir up some things,” he says. “For example, the Cleve Eaton Orchestra. I couldn’t afford to keep it going because it was 18 pieces. But I’m ready to do that again. Big bands are dying out, but it’s time for another big band to sting the world.” We say, “Play on, Cleve. Play on.”  EXCURSIONS 75


Lou’s Pub and Package Store

Birmingham

Nightlife V b y J enn y A dams

isitors may not realize just how much there is to do in our Magic City once the dinner plates are cleared and the bands begin their soundchecks. If nightclubs are your scene, there are a few to choose from. The Lakeview Entertainment District offers New Orleans-like atmosphere with several clubs within walking distance to each other. Be sure to check Lou’s Pub and Package Store, a longstanding Birmingham landmark establishment. The Historic Five Points District is home to

76 EXCURSIONS

The J. Clyde, which offers hundreds of beer options and Fuego Cantina & Saloon, which offers live music Tuesday through Saturday. If you are a cocktail connoisseur, stop by Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar on Clairmont Avenue for a post-dinner drink from their classic and contemporary cocktail menu or join the locals at the bar at Highland’s in Five Points South for original drinks like the beloved Orange Thing or a glass of pastis. Both Sol y Luna’s Margaritas and The Wine Loft’s extensive by-the-glass lists are very popular on weekends and weekdays, and if you love martini’s, The

Blue Monkey on Cobb Lane in Five Point’s South has over 150 kinds of liquor and a wickedly long martini list. Birmingham’s most applauded nightlife in annual “best of” publications often goes to the city’s diverse dive bars, from The Garage Café—whose antique-filled low-lit courtyard and dozens of beers by the bottle have graced Esquire’s pages, to Rojo— lauded for allowing pups on the patio. Visit Zydeco for a low key atmosphere and live Jam bands or Bottletree Café—which features a largely vegan/vegetarian menu and live Indie tunes. Birmingham’s darkest dive bar, The Nick, was once called “the CBGB of the South” by Rolling Stone magazine and Metro Bistro downtown are both extremely popular spots for shooting darts and catching a variety of local and regional acts. Hoover offers Gabriel’s Cafe, which also showcases live bands, Wine’d Down, which has a cigar room, and also Iron Horse, where you can shoot pool while listening to live country-western music. These are just a few of Birmingham’s after-dark options. Most venues serve until 2 am and during football season, you will find the game on just about everywhere.


Downtown, Southside Above 2101 5th Avenue N., Birmingham, 205.324.2101, www.theredmont.com Barking Kudu 2929 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, 205.328.1748, www.barkingkudu.com Blue Monkey Lounge 1318 Cobb Lane South, Birmingham 205.933.9222, www.bluemonkeylounge.com BottleTree Cafe 3719 3rd Avenue S, Birmingham 205.533.6288, www.thebottletree.com Cantina Tortilla Grill 2901 2nd Avenue South, Ste 110, Birmingham 205.323.6980 Courtyard Oyster Bar and Grill Southside 2015 Highland Avenue S, Birmingham 205.558.4995 Crush 2001 Highland Avenue S, Birmingham 205.558.4320 Dave’s Pub 1128 20th Street South, Birmingham 205.933.4030, www.davespubsouthside.com Fuego Cantina and Saloon 1101 20th Street S, Birmingham 205.933.1544, www.fuegobirmingham.com Gable Square Saloon & Games 803 9th Court S, Birmingham 205.251.0960 Garage Cafe and Antiques 2304 10th Terrace S, Birmingham 205.322.3220

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top) Mary thompson

Innisfree Irish Pub 710 29th St S, Birmingham 205.252.4255, www.innisfreepub.com Lou’s Pub and Package Store 726 29th Street S, Birmingham 205.322.7005

Oasis

Marty’s 1813 10th Court S, Birmingham 205.939.0045, www.martysbar.com

Old Car Heaven

Matthew’s Bar and Grill 2208 Morris Avenue, Birmingham 205.862.6261 Metro Bistro and Market 2125 2nd Avenue N, Ste 100, Birmingham 205.323.7995 www.myspace.com/metrobistroandmarket Nana Funks 708 29th St. South, Birmingham 205.250.8003

2807 7th Avenue South, Birmingham 205.323.5538, www.oasisbar.com

115 35th Street S, Birmingham 205.324.4545, www.oldcarheaven.com On Tap Sports Cafe—Lakeview 737 29th St. South, Birmingham 205.320.1225, www.ontapsportscafe.com Our Place 2115 7th Avenue S, Birmingham 205.715.0077 Parkside Cafe 4036 5th Ave S, Birmingham 205.595.0920

Above the Redmont Hotel

EXCURSIONS 77


NightLIFE Fuego Cantina and Saloon

Steel 1st and 23rd

Upside Down Plaza 2012 Magnolia Avenue S, Birmingham 205.930.0333 WorkPlay 500 23rd St. South, Birmingham 205.879.4773, www.workplay.com Zydeco 2001 15th Avenue S, Birmingham 205.933.1032, zydecobirmingham.com Platinum Club 821 2nd Avenue N, Birmingham 205.324.0791, www.platinum-bham.com

Airport, Eastwood, Irondale Bourbon Street Bar and Lounge 1568 Cooper Hill Rd, Birmingham 205.957.1006

Rag’s Bar and Grill 728 29th Street S, Birmingham 205.327.7247

Crestwood Tavern 5500 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham 205.510.0053

Rogue Tavern 2312 2nd Avenue N, Birmingham 205.202.4151, www.roguetavern.com

Tenampa Nightclub 5800 Oporto-Madrid Blvd, Birmingham 205.951.8200

Speakeasy 1920 3rd Ave. North, Birmingham 205.251.1506, www.speakeasy1920.com

Stillwater Pub 2109 7th Avenue S, Birmingham 205.202.5625, www.stillwaterpub.com The Break Restaurant and Billiards 1001 20th Street S, Birmingham 205.252.3779 The H Martini Bar 1023 20th Street S, Birmingham 205.933.9555 The High Note/Rock n’ Horse 414 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd S, Birmingham 205.251.7625,

78 EXCURSIONS

The J. Clyde 1312 Cobb Lane, Birmingham 205.939.1312, www.jclyde.com The Mill at Five Points 1035 20th Street South, Birmingham 205.933.6363 The Nick 2514 10th Avenue S, Birmingham 205.252.3831, www.thenickrocks.com The Wine Loft 2200 1st Avenue N, Birmingham 205.323.8228 www.wineloftbirmingham.com

Billy’s Bar and Grill 2012 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook 205.879.2238, www.billysbarandgrill.com Black Market Bar 3411 Colonnade Parkway, Ste 800, Birmingham 205.967.8787, blackmarketbar280.com Cafe Firenze 110 Inverness Plaza, Birmingham 205.980.1315, myspace.com/cafefirenze Courtyard 280 Oyster Bar and Grill 4643 Highway 280, Ste M, Birmingham 205.980.9891 Dram Whiskey Bar 2721 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook 205.871.8055, www.dramwhiskeybar.com

PHOTOGRAPHs: (inset) Mary thompson

Steel 1st and 23rd 2300 1st Avenue N, Birmingham 205.324.0666, www.steelurbanlounge.com

Homewood, Mountain Brook, Inverness


Fox and Hound Pub and Grill 3425 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham 205.968.3823

Blackwells Pub 3151 Green Valley Rd, Vestavia 205.967.3798, www.blackwellspub.com

Hogan’s Irish Pub and Grill 507 Cahaba Park Circle, Suite B, Birmingham 205.995.0533

Buffalo’s American Grille 700 Montgomery Highway, Ste 140, Vestavia Hills, 205.380.5017, www.buffalos.com

Jackson’s Bar and Bistro 1831 28th Avenue S, Suite 175, Homewood 205.870.9669

Bumpers Billiards 2132 Lornaridge Ln #100, Hoover 205.823.4006

Loco’s Deli and Pub 230 State Farm Pkwy, Homewood 205.943.0080, www.locosgrill.com

Comedy Club Stardome 1818 Data Drive, Hoover 205.444.0008, www.stardome.com

Oak Hill Bar and Grill 2835 18th Street S, Homewood 205.870.8277

Iron Horse Cafe 1694 Montgomery Hwy, Ste 184, Birmingham 205.978.5599, www.ironhorsecafe.net

On Tap Sports Cafe—Inverness 810 Inverness Corners, Birmingham 205.437.1999, www.ontapsportscafe.com

Ivory’s Wynfrey Hotel, 1000 Riverchase Galleria, Hoover 205.987.1600, www.wynfrey.com

Otey’s Tavern 224 Country Club Park, Birmingham 205.871.8435

Martini’s Fine Food and Club Ultra 2132 Lorna Ridge Lane, Hoover 205.822.4488

Starz Karaoke Lounge 730 Valley Avenue, Homewood 205.944.0007 Superior Grill 4701 Highway 280 S, Birmingham 205.991.5112, superiorgrillbirmingham.com The Upper Deck Sports Bar and Grill 449 Valley Avenue, Homewood 205.942.3289

Hoover, Vestavia Barrister’s Tavern 1535 Montgomery Highway, Hoover 205.978.2168

On Tap Sports Cafe—Galleria 3440 Galleria Circle, Hoover 205.988.3203, www.ontapsportscafe.com On Tap Sports Cafe—Riverchase 1845 Montgomery Hwy, Ste 207, Hoover 205.988.5558, www.ontapsportscafe.com Pub 261 9340 Helena Road, Suite C, Hoover 205.444.0261 www.myspace.com/pub261 Redline Bar and Grill 1615 Montgomery Highway, Birmingham 205.823.1488, www.redlinebar.com 

EXCURSIONS 79


Oxmoor Valley Ridge 18 Green photograph by Michael Clemmergolf landscapes


Southern

Draws

Alabama’s prestigious golf courses and state parks offer a variety of fun – and challenges – for all.

S

B y S t e ph e n M c G h e e

ituated in the diverse terrain at the edge of the Appalachian foothills, Birmingham is home to more than its share of great public golf courses. Whether you’re seeking a picturesque setting in the mountains, working your way along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail or just looking for an old-style municipal course to take a few swings on, Birmingham has the course for you. One of the area’s best is limestone springs, located just 25 miles northeast of the city. Golfweek magazine’s choice for Alabama’s Top Public Golf Course, Limestone Springs also provides one of the most beautiful settings for golf you’ll find anywhere. The Jerry Pate design takes full advantage of the area’s natural beauty and, like most great golf courses, is both challenging and playable for the average golfer. Closer to town—in fact, right in the heart of the city—is highland park golf course. Believed to be Alabama’s oldest course (the original track dates back to 1904), Highland was completely redesigned by Bob Cupp in 1998, and the results were nothing short of spectacular. The new layout, though short by modern standards, is immaculately conditioned and makes for a fun and sometimes diabolical (see the par-four seventh hole) test of golf. With dramatic elevation changes and beautiful views of the Birmingham skyline, Highland Park provides a unique and memorable setting for downtown golfing. No discussion of Alabama golf courses would be complete without mention of the renowned robert trent jones trail (rtj). The RTJ at oxmoor valley, just south of the city, offers two spectacular full-length courses

(Ridge and Valley) and the challenging parthree short course. This trio features rolling fairways, severe elevation changes and a stunningly beautiful backdrop for golf. The unique Short Course enjoys a national reputation and has been named by Golf Digest as one of the country’s “Great Value” courses. Nearby renaissance ross bridge resort and spa is home to yet another RTJ layout. The Ross Bridge course plays to an astounding 8,184 yards from the back tees, making it one of the longest golf courses in the world. Ross Bridge also features no fewer than 10 lakeside holes and an 80-foot waterfall. Designed for tournament golf, as well as recreational play, Ross Bridge is currently the home of the PGA Champions Tour’s Regions Charity Classic. Located some 30 minutes south of Birmingham, timberline is an outstanding Jerry Pate design. This par-71 starts out as a lakeside course, then gently winds upward into wooded, rolling terrain. An old railroad line (now used only as a tourist attraction) cuts through the property and is a perfect complement to the beauty of the golf course. Timberline was recently named as one of the state’s Top Ten Public Courses by Golfweek. Also south of Birmingham are ballantrae and the course at oak mountain state park. Ballantrae, which bills its experience as “fun, fast and friendly,” opened in 2005 and was selected as that year’s “Best New Affordable Public Golf Course” by Golf Digest. Ballantrae has also earned a reputation as a terrific place to record a career round. Only a few miles away, Oak Mountain’s beautiful setting and relatively flat terrain create a near-perfect course for walking golfers. The layout is also a classic shot-maker’s course EXCURSIONS 81


Golfoutdoors

82 EXCURSIONS

Highland Park No. 8

Ballantrae Golf Club

Eagle Point Golf Club

1300 Ballantrae Club Drive, Pelham, AL 35124 Phone: 205.620.4653 Because not everybody can travel to Scotland to play golf, now there is Ballantrae. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72, Yardage: 7,310 Rating/Slope: 74.5/130 Practice Range: yes

4500 Eagle Point Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242 Phone: 205.991.9070, www.eaglepointgolfclub.com This course, created by architect Earl Stone, is located 15 miles from downtown Birmingham. No. of holes: 18, Par: 71, Yardage: 6,493 Rating/Slope: 70.1/119 Practice range: yes Tee times can be made five days in advance.

Bent Brook Golf Course 7900 Dickey Springs Road, Bessemer, AL 35022 Phone: 205.424.2368, www.bentbrook.com Once a dairy farm, this beautiful course is located approximately 15-20 miles from downtown Birmingham. No. of holes: 27, Par: 36-36-35 Yardage: 6,000-7,000 Rating/Slope: 69.6/117, 70.2/121, 69.2/116 Practice range: yes On-site restaurant. All major credit cards accepted.

Cedar Creek Golf Course 900 Cedar Creek Drive , Bessemer, AL 35023 Phone: 205.424.8450 An 18-hole course with large Bermuda greens located only 20 minutes from Birmingham. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72, Yardage: 6,004 Rating/Slope: 67.9/114 Practice range: yes Tee times required for weekends only. Visa and MasterCard are welcome.

FarmLinks Golf Club 2200 FarmLinks Blvd., Sylacauga, AL 35150 Phone: 205.403.4653 www.farmlinksgolfclub.com FarmLinks is the world’s first research and demonstration course. The Hurdzan-Fry design offers a diverse layout with dramatic elevation changes and striking views of the mountains and lakes on Pursell Farms. Golfweek named FarmLinks in the top five public-access courses in Alabama. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72, Yardage: 7,444 Rating/Slope: 73/134, Practice range: yes Tee times may be made up to 30 days in advance. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Groups and outings welcome. All inclusive golf experience includes unlimited range balls, golf and lunch in the charming FarmHouse Grille. Managed by Honours Golf.

PHOTOGRAPHs: Michael Clemmer - golf landscapes

that provides a fun and fair test of the game in a relaxed environment. A truly unique golfing experience waits only an hour southeast of Birmingham. Opened in 2003, farmlinks was conceived as the world’s first demonstration and research golf course, and the Hurdman-Fry design covers an incredible 350 acres. Playing at 7,400 yards (7,000 yards from the second set of tees), Farmlinks’ intimidating length is offset by its generous fairways, some of which are easily twice the width of a typical layout. A pristine setting and nearly unparalleled course conditions make Farmlinks well worth the drive. Also southeast of the city is eagle point golf club, a beautiful facility set against the foot of Double Oak Mountain. This relatively short par-71 features large bunkered greens, tight fairways, steep elevation changes and some beautiful (and treacherous) water hazards. Southwest of the city, in nearby Bessemer, is bent brook golf club. The first of the city’s premier public golf courses, Bent Brook was opened in 1988 and has hosted events such as the Alabama State Amateur and U.S. Open qualifying. Relatively level (at least by local standards), Bent Brook offers three nine-hole layouts—Brook, Windmill and Graveyard—each with its own unique features and challenges. A bit further down the road, toward Tuscaloosa, is the capstone club. This Gil Hanse-designed course has quickly earned a reputation as one of the best courses in Alabama. Capstone is also a great value—Golf Magazine recently listed the course as one of America’s top 50 with green fees under $50. For those whose tastes run toward the less expensive (and more informal) municipal course, Birmingham provides a nice pair of options within easy driving distance. Historic roebuck golf course (site of the legendary Bobby Jones’ first tournament victory in 1915) marks its 100th anniversary this year. Roebuck offers a great walking golf course, low fees and a terrific spot for a low-key afternoon round. Bessemer’s frank house golf course is another solid municipal course with a relaxing atmosphere. The short layout features small greens and few bunkers, but there are great scoring opportunities for players who can shape their shots. Whatever state your game is in; Birmingham has the right course for you. We invite you to try a Birmingham-area public course today.


Limestone Springs No. 12

Oxmoor Valley - Valley 7

FarmLinks No. 18

Highland Park Golf Course

Oak Mountain Golf Course

the go and the putter with time on his hands.

3300 Highland Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35205, Phone: 205.322.1902, www.highlandparkgolf.com Known as the oldest course in Alabama, Highland Park still sparkles from the 1998 restoration by renowned architect, Bob Cupp. It offers 18 enticing holes with uphill approach shots, heavily bunkered greens, lakes and beautiful vistas of the Birmingham skyline. No. of holes: 18, Par: 70, Yardage: 5,801 Rating/Slope: 68.1/128, 66.1/123, 63.8/114 Practice range: yes, Practice Range on-site. Tee times may be made up to five days in advance. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Groups and outings welcome. Managed by Honours Golf.

Oak Mountain State Park Road Pelham, AL 35137, Phone: 205.620.2522 Located 17 miles south of downtown Birmingham in Oak Mountain State Park. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72 Yardage: 6,748-5,615 Rating/Slope: 71.5 / 127, 69.8 / 124, 66.7 / 117 Practice range: yes Pre-noon tee times must be made five days in advance. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are welcome.

• Short Course

PHOTOGRAPHs: Michael Clemmer - golf landscapes

Limestone Springs Golf Course 3000 Colonial Drive, Oneonta, AL 35121 Phone: 205.274.4653 www.limestonesprings.com Located northeast of Birmingham in Oneonta, this Jerry Pate design stretches almost 7,000 yards throughout the Appalachian Mountains with strategically placed bunkers and numerous lakes. Rated number 64 in “America’s Greatest Public Golf Courses” by Golf Digest, it offers some of the most dramatic elevations and picturesque views in Alabama. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72, Yardage: 6,987 Rating/Slope: 74/139, Practice range: yes Tee times may be made up to seven days in advance. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Groups and outings welcome. Golf cottage sleeps eight, and is available for rental. Managed by Honours Golf.

Robert Trent Jones Golf TrailRoss Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, 4000 Grand Avenue Birmingham, AL 35226 Phone: 205.949.3085, 800.949.4444 www.rtjgolf.com/courses/ross_bridge/ A big, muscle-bound course, its 18 holes sprawling over 330 acres and stretching almost 8,200 yards from the back tees, Ross Bridge is big and brawny, yet inviting to golfers of all levels. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72 Yardage: 8,191 Rating/Slope: 78.5/135 Practice range: yes

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Oxmoor Valley 100 Sunbelt Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35211 Phone: 205.942.1177 or 800.949.4444 www.rtjgolf.com/courses/oxmoor_valley/ One of nine state-spanning courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Oxmoor Valley’s course has three sets of links to challenge the golfer on

No. of holes: 18, Par: 54, Yardage: 3,360 Rating/Slope: n/a, Practice range: yes

• Ridge Course No. of holes: 18, Par: 72 Yardage: 7,055-4,974 Rating/Slope: 72/136 Practice range: yes

• Valley Course No. of holes: 18, Par: 72 Yardage: 7,055-4,974 Rating/Slope: 71/129 Practice range: yes Tee time policies and green fees vary throughout the year, so call ahead. All major credit cards are accepted.

Timberline Golf Club 300 Timberline Trail , Calera, AL 35040 Phone: 205.668.7888, www.timberlinegc.com A beautiful course located 30 miles south of Birmingham. No. of holes: 18, Par: 72, Yardage: 6,773 Rating/Slope: 72.3/126 Practice range: yes Tee times can be made up to seven days in advance. All major credit cards are accepted.

Trussville Country Club 7905 Roper Road, Trussville, AL 35173 Phone: 205.655.2095 www.trussvillecountryclub.com This is a beautiful sculpted and challenging par71 course surrounded by the Cahaba River. No. of holes: 18, Par: 71, Yardage: 6,024 Rating/Slope: 67.9/116, 66.9/113, 70.3/119

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Golfoutdoors

Hiking

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center Eleven miles of nature trails, ranging from easy to arduous, route visitors through this thousand-acre park. Hawk’s View Overlook is a moderate, three-mile, round-trip hike with a challenging incline. Along the way you’ll reach Cambrian Overlook and proceed with a switchback climb to a stunning vista of downtown Birmingham. The park has plans to expand and to build a new Visitors Center in the near future. Guided hikes are offered some Saturdays. The park is closed Mondays. For more information: 205.833.8264 or www.ruffnermountain.org. Getting there: The center is at 1214 81st St. South in Birmingham’s East Lake area.

Moss Rock Preserve

Oak Mountain State Park Alabama’s largest state park offers plenty of trails for hikers who want a peaceful outing apart from the mountain bikers. New park goers might want to try the EagleTrail or Treetop Nature Trail for starters, but those are only two of many. The Peavine Trail, four-and-a-half miles round trip, is moderate to difficult, but it’s still a popular hike because of the payoff—it leads to Peavine Falls, which cascade down a rock wall and splash into a pool below. Three suggested hiking loops begin at the North Trailhead. Maggie’s Loop is an 84 EXCURSIONS

Peavine Falls Ruffer Mountain

Alabama 119. Follow three miles to left turn at Oak Mountain Public Lake sign.

Steele’s Horse Pens 40

easy two-and-a-half-mile walk. North Loop is three-and-a-half miles long; it’s rated easy to moderate because of some ascents. Shackelford Loop is rated moderate to difficult because of its six-and-a-half-mile length. Maps for these and other Oak Mountain trails are available at the park office. For more information: 205.620.2524 or www.alapark.com Getting to the front gate: Take exit 246 off I-65. Turn west onto Alabama 119, left at the first light on State Park Road. Follow one mile to stop sign, and turn left onto John Findley Road through the front gate into the park. Getting to the back gate: Take U.S. 280 to

Horse Pens 40 is a 120-acre nature park atop Chandler Mountain, and one of the Southeast’s best boulder fields. There’s a warm-up field with relatively easy routes to the top as well as more challenging climbs. Instructions on the rocks tell climbers how to start their ascents. A national bouldering competition held each fall draws hundreds of climbers from around the United States. For more information: 256.570.0076 or www.hp40.com. Getting there: From I-59 North, take the Ashville exit. Go north on U.S. 231 for about four miles. Watch for signs. For RVs and campers, the easy way is to take I-59 to exit 174. Go north on Steele Station Road. At U.S. 11, take a left. You’ll soon see a sign at St. Clair 42. Take a right and go to the top of Chandler Mountain. After this road turns left, follow it for three miles to the entrance; look for signs. Birmingham’s Vulcan Trail This easy one-mile paved trail in Alabama’s largest city runs from Vulcan Park to 11th

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top) Nate Dreger , (inset) bob farley

This 250-acre preserve has boulders for climbers of all skill levels. It is home to four rare plant species, rock outcroppings, streams, waterfalls and wildlife. The wilderness within the preserve continues to improve as hardwoods grow and age and trails become more defined by continued use. Maps and signs help direct and guide difficulty. For maximum mileage, take the loop made up of the Blue and White Trails, which is a little more than three miles long. Or just spread out in the shady coolness of the preserve and picnic. Please remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints. For more information: 205.444.7866 or www.ci.hoover.al.us Getting there: From I-459 in Birmingham take Exit 10 onto Alabama 150. Turn east toward downtown Hoover. Turn left on Stadium Trace Parkway. Stay straight; this road becomes Sulphur Springs Road. Go about two miles to the intersection with Preserve Parkway. This road leads to Moss Rock Preserve and to parking for the boulder field.


Lake Purdy

Place South. It’s open to walkers, bikers and inline skaters and is wheelchair accessible. Pick up a map at the office. For more information: Call 205.933.1409 or visit www.vulcanpark.org. Getting there: From downtown Birmingham, head up 20th Street South toward Red Mountain. Look for a small parking lot on the right just before you reach Vulcan Park.

Canoeing and Kayaking

PHOTOGRAPHs: (top) Jeffrey Rease

Cahaba River Alabama’s longest river is a great place to canoe or kayak. Just remember along the way that you’re sharing space with several rare and protected fish and the imperiled Cahaba Lily which once thrived across the southeast. Floating down the Cahaba’s gentle waters provides a pleasant respite and a close-up look at some of the interesting species. If you’re looking to make a bigger splash, head to the river’s northernmost portions for some Level I-III whitewater rapids. Because shallower waters mark the Cahaba’s steep banks and rocky shoals, it’s best to go canoeing after a heavy rain. The Cahaba River Society hosts canoe trips down the river, including day trips, moonlight trips and overnight canoeing. Among the most popular outings are the Lily Trips, which run when the rare and endangered Cahaba Lily is in bloom, from midMay to mid-June. All trips are free if you bring your own canoe, and reservations are required. For more information: Cahaba River Society, 205.322.5326 or www.cahabariversociety.org. For boat rentals: Alabama Small Boats, 205.424.3634. Locust Fork Just a short drive from Birmingham, Locust Fork is on the Black Warrior River. This is an excellent whitewater run with some very difficult rapids known as Double Trouble and House Rock. Beginners will do best to avoid these rapids. Beautiful limestone bluffs accent the rapids. The National Park Service places Locust Fork in the top two percent of rivers in the country for its recreational value, among other assets. Getting there: Take I-59 North to Tallapoosa Street Exit (Tarrant). Take Alabama Hwy. 79 North through Cleveland (about 40 minutes). Follow signs to Blountsville and cross the bridge over the Locust Fork River. Just past the bridge on the right is King’s Bend. Turn into King’s Bend and follow the gravel road through the gate.

The endangered Cahaba Liliy

For more information: www.flfr.org (Friends of Locust Fork River)

Mountain Biking

Oak Mountain State Park Oak Mountain has a 17-mile mix of bike trails ranging from technical and tight single track, to fast roller coaster rides, to wideopen fire roads. You can download a map of Oak Mountain bike trails at www.bump.org, the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers Web site. Here are some adventures to try: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride—No hills along this just-less-than-a-mile single-track trail, but there are some tight turns and narrow sections between trees. Foreplay—A half-mile-long smooth single-track trail with one sharp S-turn followed by a bumpy, but short, downhill ride. Johnson’s Mountain—This hilly and woody single-track trail measures a little

less than two miles. You’ll cross a creek via a bridge, then follow the creek until you climb the spine of the mountain’s first ridge, and have a quick descent along two remaining ridges. BUMP Trail—A single-track path climbing one-and-a-quarter miles to Red Road at the top of a ridge. It’s hilly but smooth at the bottom, and rocky, steep and technical at the top. Red Road—A fire road leading about five miles counterclockwise from the top of the BUMP Trail to the North Trailhead parking lot. The last two-and-one-half miles downhill will get your heart pounding. There are eight creek crossings. Rock Garden—A challenging trail, and you may see deer along the way. Family-Beginner Trail—A short loop built by BUMP to encourage young riders to take up the sport. The lollipop-shaped ride – with a spur and loop at the end – is about one-and-a-half miles long. There are a couple of stream crossings, but no road crossings, and a gentle grade. For more information: Call 205.620.2524. Getting to the front gate: Take exit 246 off I-65. Turn west onto Alabama 119, left at the first light on State Park Road. Follow one mile to stop sign, and turn left onto John Findley Road through the front gate into the park. Getting to the back gate: Take U.S. 280 to Alabama 119. Follow three miles to left turn at brown Oak Mountain Public Lake sign. ❖ EXCURSIONS 85


NASCAR races at Talladega Superspeedway draw thousands of enthusiastic race fans to central Alabama each year. photograph by Padraic Major

86 EXCURSIONS


Guide To Annual

Events From art shows, parades, music festivals and football to bass fishing, NASCAR and motocross, Birmingham has something for adults and kids alike every month of the year.

EXCURSIONS 87


annualevents ONB Magic City Art Connection

Alagasco Corks & Chefs

M A RCH

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale

ONB St. Patty’s Day Parade Go Green…or at least wear it! Everyone Irish and those who want to be will be traveling down Birmingham’s “green” 20th St. All are welcome, so come one, come all and jump in the parade line! 205.324.8797

JA N UA RY Birmingham Bowl SEC meets The Big East in the annual Birmingham Bowl, a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A college football bowl game played annually at Legion Field. Order tickets by phone: 205.733.3776 ext. 3

Birmingham Feline Fanciers Annual CFA Pedigree and Household Pet Cat Show Feline Frenzy! Watch the cat parade as judges choose the best kittens, championship cats and premiership cats at the BJCC. There’s even a household pet award if you want to enter your furry friend. Admission charged. www.birminghamfelinefanciers.com

Red Nose Run Lace up your running shoes, put on your big red clown nose, and take off from SoHo in downtown Homewood! Choose to run a 10K, 5K or one-mile Fun Run to benefit the Ronald McDonald Charities of Alabama. Kids will love the Ringling Brothers clowns. www.rednoserun-bham.com

F E BRUA RY Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Black History Month The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the citizens of Birmingham attend celebrations and educational experiences throughout the month. Admission charged. www.bcri.org or 205.328.9696

Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast Local choirs perform and a special guest speaker lifts spirits. Following the breakfast, march to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute blocks away for a free tour of the museum and across the avenue to 16th Street Baptist Church’s afternoon service. Admission charged. 205.324.8797

88 EXCURSIONS

Mercedes Marathon and Half Marathon Folks from all over run in this down-South, down home qualifier to the Boston Marathon, but you don’t have to be a seasoned runner to participate in the weekend events and festivities. Sideline crowds line up early Sunday to cheer on the athletes in the big race! www.mercedesmarathon.com or 205.870.7771

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale Bring your green thumb! This annual plant sale raising money for educational programs at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a sight and smell to behold. There are more than 85,000 plants to choose from, including many native and heirloom specimens, making this fundraiser a must-do for all gardeners and plant lovers. www.bbgardens.org or 205.414.3950

Aaron’s 499 Race and Dream Weekend A NASCAR fan’s dream! This NASCAR Nationwide race is action-packed at Talladega Superspeedway. The Superspeedway is the biggest, fastest, most competitive motorsports facility in the world, drawing huge crowds from around the globe for big race weekends. Admission charged. www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or 877.GO2.DEGA

**ONB Magic City Art Connection Experience contemporary art amidst the beautiful shady trees in historic Linn Park. One of the best festivals of its kind in the region, the weekend-long event features more than 200 exhibiting artists, creative activities for children, workshops, live music and fun for the whole family. Corks and Chefs **an excursions sponsored event

PHOTOGRAPHs: (Left) Brent boyd, (right) Alagasco Corks & Chefs, (Inset) Birmingham botanical gardens

A PR I L


Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

(next listing) is also a popular draw at the festival.

PHOTOGRAPHs: Barber Motorsports Park, (inset) Brightroom.com

www.magiccityart.com or 205.595.6306

**Alagasco Corks and Chefs This highly anticipated food and wine extravaganza is the place where art, food and wine meet to create an explosion of sights, aromas and flavors. Taste cuisine from Birmingham’s top restaurants and chefs, known as the Birmingham Originals, and sip a bounty of unique wines from around the world. Seven chefs are featured daily. Guided wine seminars are offered hourly by knowledgeable wine experts. Seats fill up fast. This is the only ticketed portion of the Magic City Art Connection (previous listing). www.magiccityart.com or 205.595.6306

Indy Grand Prix/Porsche 250 Indy is back! An IRL IndyCar Series openwheel race, the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is held at Barber Motorsports Park. Fans filled the park in the race’s inaugural year to see Helio Castroneves bring it home. This is one of the most anticipated events of the year among race fans around the world! Admission charged.

www.barbermotorsports.com or 205.967.4745

Mercedes Marathon and Half Marathon

Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival Locals rush to Saint Elias Maronite Catholic Church to be first in line to taste traditional Lebanese cuisine. The kibbie plate and spinach pies are must-eats. And the deserts—wow! Traditional dancing and music daily. www.stelias.org or 205.252.3867

M AY Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil Party with the pop stars! Crawfish are still a draw to this music festival, but the main attractions have become the big musical acts that take the stage. Admission charged. www.schaeffercrawfishboil.com

The Regions Tradition The Regions Tradition, one of five major tournaments on the Champions Tour, will be played at Shoal Creek Club, an internationally recognized course in Birmingham with a history of hosting championship tournaments.  This will be the first Champions Tour Major to be played in Alabama.  Admission charged.  www.regionstradition.com or 205.967.4745.

SEC Baseball Tournament Played at the home field of the Birmingham Barons at Regions Park in Hoover, the heavy hitters of the SEC take to the diamond to square off in this eight-team double elimination series. The premiere college baseball tournament in the country, teams hope to win to get an automatic spot in the College World Series. In 2010, the tournament saw a record attendance of 126,071 fans. Admission charged. www.secsports.com

J U N E Juneteenth Culture Fest Celebration Celebrating the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute throws a family fun day in EXCURSIONS 89


annualevents

Kelly Ingram Park annually. The day’s activities include live music from local gospel choirs, children’s games and blow-up fun activities, performances from local dance troops, lots of wacky contests and more. www.bcri.org or 205.328.9696

Alabama Sports Festival This sports festival provides Alabama residents of all ages and skills levels opportunities to play in Olympic-style games in such sports as soccer, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, bowling, volleyball and track and field. Entry fee required. www.alagames.com or 800.467.0422

www.magiccitybrewfest.com

**Headwaters Festival The inaugural Headwaters Festival located along a beautiful stretch of the Cahaba River. Join us for dance, art, competitive games, live music, nature, kids’ activities and summer eats. Free admission . www.HeadwatersFestival.com or 205.595.6306

Thunder on the Mountain

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

J U LY Thunder on the Mountain Vulcan Park and Museum throws a Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza on top of Red Mountain, showering the beloved iron man, Vulcan, with sparkling light. Folks bring lawn chairs and line the streets of southside, downtown and Homewood to celebrate our nation’s independence together. www.visitvulcan.com or 205.933.1409

Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series This historic theatre is a must for film lovers in the summer! Classics like Gone with the Wind, Adam’s Rib, Tammy and the Bachelor, Psycho and The Sound of Music are featured on Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees. Select Sundays offer Kids Matinees such as Lady and the Tramp, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Admission charged. www.alabamatheatre.com or 205.251.0418

AUGUST **Sloss Furnaces Stokin’ the Fire BBQ and Music Festival Nominated as one of the best in the country, this People’s Choice BBQ Competition allows you to pick your favorite cook team. Winning teams receive cash prizes and hand-made iron trophies made by Sloss Furnaces iron artists. This annual fundraiser for Sloss Furnaces also features high-gravity beer tastings, music throughout the two-day festival as well as a kid zone and remote control stock car racing. Admission charged. www.slossfurnaces.com or 205.324.1911

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Sloss Furnaces Stokin’ the Fire

**Birmingham Arts and Music Festival (BAAM!) Explore the best of the local music and cultural arts scene, a la SXSW. BAAM! showcases the Birmingham’s talent with this weekend-long festival features local musicians, artists, filmmakers and spoken word artists in area performance venues and gallery spaces including Rogue Tavern, The Wine Loft, Old Car Heaven, Work Play, Bottletree, Rojo, Parkside, Stillwater Pub, Zydeco, Flirt and Metro Bistro. www.baamfest.com

SEP TE M BE R **Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival Downtown screening venues are packed with enthusiastic crowds excited to see the best movies, documentaries and short films **an excursions sponsored event

PHOTOGRAPHs: (Left) Thunder on the Mountain, (Top) Sidewalk moving Picture festival (Inset) bob Farley

Magic City Brewfest This annaul festival is the best way to sample the best beers in the South. While you can purchase a “beer only” ticket, it’s worth it to ante up a few extra dollars to sample some of fine gourmet food while you are tooling around Historic Sloss Furnaces. Admission charged.


Barber Vintage Fest

from near and far to browse and buy art. Come early as sales are brisk. This is an art show for the whole family featuring handson art activities, music and good eats. Free shuttle from nearby parking lots.

Moss Rock Festival

www.bluffparkartassociation.org or 205.822.0078

by independent filmmakers from around the world. Voted by TIME Magazine as one of America’s “Top 10 Film Festivals for the Rest of Us,” this festival provides the opportunity to see films that don’t normally appear in local theatres and the chance to vote for Viewer’s Choice. Admission charged. www.sidewalkfest.com or 205.324.0888

SHOUT! Film Festival Now a part of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, this gay and lesbian film festival showcases narrative films, documentaries and shorts by new and established filmmakers. Admission charged. www.sidewalkfest.com or 205.324.0888

Break ‘N Bread

Car Show, Tail Waggin’ Dog Pageant, 5k run, Arts and Crafts, Children’s Parade, Kid’s Zone and Greased Pig Contest and so much more- rain or shine! Free Admission.

PHOTOGRAPHs: (Left) Moss Rock Festival, (Right) Barber Motorsports Park, (Inset) Brent boyd

www.albutterbeanfestival.com

**ArtWalk City streets from Morris Avenue to 2nd Avenue open their doors to artists featuring original works in all media. Storefronts, coffeehouses and lofts generally donate their space to be used as makeshift galleries for the weekend. The Kids Zone features art activities for the family, while bars and restaurants scattered through downtown open for food and local music. www.birminghamartwalk.com for information on participating spaces and featured artists

Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival The 4th Avenue Business District will be filled with the sounds of live jazz music and the taste of the best soul food that Birmingham has to offer. The children’s area offers a fantastic array of activities for the whole family. Booths showcasing Birmingham’s talented artists and sculptors line the streets. Bring your lawn chairs! www.justataste.org or 205.876.7305

OCTOBE R Talladega AMP Energy 500 Race This race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is the ultimate racing experience for NASCAR fans at action-packed Talladega Superspeedway. The Superspeedway is biggest, fastest, most competitive motorsports facility in the world, drawing huge crowds from around the globe for big race weekends. Admission charged. www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or 877.GO2.DEGA

State Farm Magic City Classic Get ready to rumble! Alabama State University collides with Alabama A&M at Legion Field to battle for victory in this long-standing football rivalry. Like any legendary football rivalry, the competition always proves to be bitter and close with spectacular plays, fiercely loyal fans and lots of school pageantry. www.themagiccityclassic.com or 205.967.4745

**Alabama Butterbean Festival Labor Day Weekend each year. This is one of Alabama’s premiere festivals. Butterbean and Cornbread Cooking Contest, Antique

Bluff Park Art Show This juried art show has grown in popularity since its 1964 start, now drawing crowds

**Break ‘N Bread This premiere food and wine event is hosted by the Birmingham Originals, an association of the city’s best local independent restaurant owners. This outdoor wine and dine event is held at the 2nd Avenue Design District at Pepper Place in Birmingham’s southside. Besides the delicious cuisine, expect live music and fun for the kids. Admission charged. www.birminghamoriginal.org for complete list of participating restaurants and activities.

Barber Vintage Fest The Barber Vintage Festival is a motorcycle enthusiasts dream come true! Set against the backdrop of the Barber Motorsports Museum’s collection of more than 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles, the festival offers access to motorcycles and the legends that made the sport what it is today. Also available is the motorcycle parts swap-meet where locating that needed hard-to-find part for your project is made easier. Admission charged. www.barbervintagefestival.org or 205.699.7275

Fiesta! Experience Hispanic culture through music, food, art and dance. Fiesta! gives Alabamians a unique opportunity to learn about more than 20 Latin American countries represented in their own community. Set on the lawn of Linn Park, this festival draws fun crowds of more than 20,000, making it one of the largest of its kind in the Southeast. www.fiestahbc.com

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure The Komen Race for the Cure Series, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world with well over one million participants, draws a host of runners and walkers EXCURSIONS 91


annualevents to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Many come to celebrate surviving the disease or to honor those who have lost the battle. Registration fee. www.komen.org or 205.930.8886 for race registration information

Boo at the Zoo Put on a costume and come to the Birmingham Zoo for a spooktacular night! Ride the Graveyard Express, Ghastly Carousel and The Not-So-Scary Hallows Hay Ride. There is nightly entertainment, an Everything Creepy and Crawly Barn, and a Halloween Light Show. Safe candy villages and game zone are also a must do. www.birminghamzoo.com or 205.879.0409

NOV E M BER **Moss Rock Festival This eco-friendly festival held at The Preserve in Hoover celebrates nature and open spaces and explores eco-ideas through art made from recycled or natural materials and design through installation and sculpture. Enjoy a geo-positioning game, guided hikes, good food and beautiful Alabama

92 EXCURSIONS

fall weather.

www.moss rockfestival.com or 205.595.6306

Veteran’s Day Parade Recognized as the nation’s oldest and largest Veteran’s Day observance, the day’s events include an elaborate parade, a dinner honoring the National Veterans Awards recipient, a World Peace Luncheon, ROTC/ JROTC Drill Competition and a Memorial Service.

and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are just a part of what makes this film fest magical. Sing along to Christmas carols to get you in the spirit. Watch for plenty of Cousin Eddie look-a-likes, as dressing in character with dickeys showing through tight sweaters has become a popular accessory to the main show. Admission charged. www.alabamatheatre.com or 205.251.0418 for a complete schedule

www.nationalveteransday.org or 205.325.1432

Vulcan 10K Run Experienced runners and novices lace their sneakers for this fun 10K that begins downtown at the Boutwell Auditorium and weaves through beautiful Highland Park area. The roads are blocked off and crowds gather along the route to cheer on the participants. Registration fee. www.vulcanrun.com for info or to register

DECE M BE R Alabama Theatre Christmas Film Festival Annual screenings of It’s A Wonderful Life

Jingle Bell Run With bells on their shoes, red noses and occasional Santa’s hat or antler headgear, runners hit the cold winter pavement to benefit the Alabama Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Get in the spirit of holiday giving with the 5K or fun walk. www.arthritis.org or 205.979.5700

Zoolight Safari See the Birmingham Zoo illuminated with more than half a million lights by train ride or foot. Take a ride on the Jingle Bell Carousel or jump aboard the winter hayride. One of the few times to enjoy the zoo at night. www.birminghamzoo.com or 205.879.0409 

**an excursions sponsored event


now what? you’re here...

that’s where we come in.

This year, more than 4 million travelers will turn to CityVision to find out where to shop, dine, and play. With our 24-hour Visitor’s Channels, Guest Directories, and brochure services, we connect travelers with local businesses across the Southeast. BIRMINGHAM, AL

-24-hour Visitor’s Channel -EXCURSIONS--A Guest Directory -Brochure Distribution Network

HUNTSVILLE, AL

-EXCURSIONS--A Guest Directory

BOWLING GREEN, KY

-24-hour Visitor’s Channel

Contact us today and start making a great first impression. www.cityvision.tv 205-595-0809


SEPHORA

J U I C Y CO U T U R E

APPLE BCBG

S A K S F I F T H AV E N U E

ANTHROPOLOGIE

VERA BRADLEY

COACH

YOUR VISIT TO BIRMINGHAM ISN’T COMPLETE WITHOUT A TRIP TO THE SUMMIT, WITH ITS 90 STORES, 16 RESTAURANTS, AND 16 MOVIE SCREENS. Visit Guest Services for a free gift and an exclusive shopping passport with special store offers.

Located at the intersection of HWY. 280 and I-459

facebook.com/thesummitbham | 205.967.0111 | thesummitonline.com


EXCURSIONS - BIRMINGHAM 2010-11