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Birmingham NomaD
ND Young Alumni Present:
ND AL Young Alumni Present:
Birmingham NomaD
Birmingham is the best kept secret in the South. Located in the Jones
Valley at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Birmingham has all the
ingredients needed for active, productive and vibrant living. The weather is
pleasant and makes outdoor activities from golf to tennis possible year-round and
one can find a group of fellow enthusiasts for just about any hobby or recreational
activity imaginable. If you survived several South Bend winters, you are in for a
treat –you should be able to thrive during an Alabama winter with a Polartec
fleece, hat and mittens…leave the thermal underwear in Indiana. Locally grown
fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are available for reasonable prices and are
increasingly popular in Birmingham, a city which takes eating seriously and is
home to world class chefs as well as people from all over the world who brought
along their native cuisine and culture.
Established in 1871 as a steel-producing “Pittsburgh of the South” (we are
one of the few places in the world where the raw ingredients needed for steel
production—iron ore, coal, limestone—are all in the same place), Birmingham’s
economic engine is now driven by banking, law and medicine and a healthy
entrepreneurial spirit. These industries, along with local research universities,
have brought some of the best minds to Birmingham and with them
opportunity. What sets Birmingham ahead of cities with similar characteristics is
the Magic City’s small-town warmth, friendliness, and strong social networks. If
you strike up a conversation at work or casually with someone in Birmingham, the
odds are very likely that you will both know a bunch of local people in
common…and may run into each other in the very near future. Relationships
matter and folks will take time to chat with you and also introduce you to their
friends and colleagues. Continued on following page . . .
The Basics
p. 2-4
Where to live, home goods,
medical, grocery, bank, church, etc
p. 5-7
P5: Movies, History, Outdoor
P6: Shopping, Golf, Bars
P7: Clubs, Music, Annual
p. 8-9
Finest restaurants this side of the
Day trips
p. 9-10
Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Talladega,
Atlanta, Tupelo, and more
Overnight trips
p. 11
Nashville, Memphis, the Gulf
Coast, and New Orleans
Birmingham NomaD
Introduction, Cont
The Notre Dame Club of Alabama is a portal
through which you can connect immediately with local
folks who hail from all walks of life but who share with
you a strong and enduring bond—a love for Our Lady’s
University. We exist as a Club to SERVE you and to be
your immediate family here in Birmingham and a link
to the global Notre Dame family. Our local club is
larger than one might expect and very active. We
serve Central Alabama, which includes the major cities
of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Anniston.
Young Alumni are active in leading the Club and
will continue to play a significant role in its growth and
evolution. We value and continue the traditions of the
larger Notre Dame family—camaraderie, community
service, continuing education, Catholicism in action,
and supporting current students – while encouraging
the local growth of important new initiatives (ND
Young Alumni, ND Women’s Connect, ND Senior
Alumni) that aim to meet the changing needs and
demographics of our family. This guide represents the
contributions and best wishes of all current
Birmingham Young Alumni. Enclosed are information,
lessons, and local jewels it has taken us years of living
in Alabama to discover. We share it with you along
with an open invitation to call on us at ANY time while
you relocate to and get started in Birmingham. Let us
know when you arrive in town. We look forward to
meeting you!!
It’s nice to have you…IN BIRMINGHAM
Notre Dame Club of Alabama
How to Get Connected? Please contact us.
Bryan Wetta, President ‘01 ([email protected])
Shatomi Kerbawy ‘03, Young Alumni Rep
([email protected])
Constance O’Brien ’85, ND Women’s Connect
([email protected])
Larger map of places to live in Birmingham here
The Basics
So you’ve now landed in the Magic City but there is lots to
do before you can call it home – from finding housing and
utilities to locating banks and churches. We’ve all been
there ourselves and have learned from our cumulative
experiences and hope you can benefit as well.
Finding a Place to Live:
The Birmingham Metropolitan area lies roughly in the
center of the state in a valley formed by the Appalachian
foothills. Birmingham and its many suburban communities
offer a variety of neighborhoods to choose from, each with
its own unique characteristics. Several major highways run
through the outskirts of the city and converge in downtown
Birmingham, including I-65, I-20, I-59, US-280, and US-31.
While many of these offer a convenient commuting option,
be aware of the traffic patterns during rush hour before
you choose your new location; US-280 and US-31 are
particularly notorious for heavy commuter traffic. On the
next page, we describe several neighborhoods that are
popular among ND young alumni. There are options for
every taste.
Birmingham NomaD
The Basics, Cont
Places to Live, Continued
Highland Park
Downtown Loft District
The historic Highland Park neighborhood
is popular with young professionals and
young families. A mere mile from the
UAB campus and Five Points district, this
area is centralized around Highland
Avenue South and three public parks.
You will be struck by the lush greenery of
this semi-suburb within the city limits
and the many beautiful historic homes
and apartment buildings. Many
residents find this area to be good for
owning a dog and running or walking
through the parks. This neighborhood
also offers easy access to many other
areas of Birmingham and is generally
thought to be very safe.
Southside is the area closest to
UAB occupying the streets south of
10th Avenue S. and between US-31
and Greensprings Hwy. It is
convenient to UAB’s campus and
Five Points and has a diverse group
of residents. This neighborhood is
well known for its affordable
condominiums and townhomes as
well as its many rented historic
homes. This area is especially
popular among undergraduate and
graduate students.
This area occupies the north side of
town running from 20th St N to 24th St
N and from Morris Avenue to 3rd
Avenue North. Most of the buildings
in this area were warehouses or large
office buildings that have been
converted to loft-style apartments or
condos. This area has a more urban
feel to it and has several businesses,
bars, coffee shops, and cultural
activities that are within walking
distance. While it is often bustling
with activity, some areas can become
isolated after major businesses are
closed. Pictured: City Federal Bldg.
Pictured below: Rhodes Park, one of
Highland Parks many open parks
Avondale/Forest Park
This is a beautiful neighborhood
within city limits located just 3-4
miles from downtown Birmingham.
This area is popular with young
families and professionals and has
many historical homes, mostly for
sale. Avondale Park offers a lovely
place to walk your dog and is host
to many annual events. This area is
also close to V. Richard’s market
and several popular restaurants
and just a few minutes from the
large shopping plazas of Irondale.
Vestavia Hills
Homewood is a suburb of Birmingham,
located just south of Red Mountain and
is a densely populated area with its own
downtown. This neighborhood provides
the perfect balance of suburban and city
living. Birmingham is just a short drive
away and you are still close to many of
Homewood’s finest restaurants, bars,
parks, and shops. Furthermore, the city
is fairly diverse and has a fantastic school
Vestavia Hills is another suburb of
Birmingham, located just south of
Homewood. This area is close to
downtown Birmingham as well as to
other suburbs such as Homewood,
Hoover, Mountain Brook, and Cahaba
Heights. Vestavia Hills is most
popular among couples and families
and has a renowned public school
Pictured above is part of
downtown Homewood, home to
many local restaurants and
Birmingham NomaD
The Basics, Cont
Setting up your new home
Like most cities, Birmingham has a variety of stores that will be essential to
you as you make your new place your home. Popular furniture stores
include Mazer’s, Haverty’s, Thomasville, and La-Z-Boy . You’ll find great
bargains at Ashley Furniture Homestore, Sticks N Stuff, and Rooms to Go. If
appliances are what you need, check out hhgregg in addition to the wellknown national chains. You will find a variety of other helpful stores in
Hoover, located in and near the Riverchase Galleria Mall.
Medical Care
Should you find yourself in need of
urgent medical care, there are
several emergency rooms located in
Birmingham, including UAB Hospital,
St. Vincent’s Hospital, Children’s
Hospital, and the Veteran’s Affairs
Hospital. If you seek urgent medical
care for a non-life-threatening illness,
American Family Care has several
medical clinics in the area. See a map
of locations for urgent medical care.
If you wish to find a primary care
physician, the Kirklin Clinic may be a
good place to start (pictured right).
Grocery Stores
Birmingham offers many choices
when it comes to picking up the
essentials. In addition to national
chains such as Wal-Mart and Target,
other major supermarkets popular in
the southeast include Publix, Piggly
Wiggly, Winn-Dixie, and The Fresh
Market. If you are looking for
specialty or gourmet food you will
find what you need at Whole Foods
or V Richards Market (pictured).
When setting up your utilities in
Birmingham, you will not have too
many choices. Alabama Power will
be your electric company and if
you have gas, Alagasco will be
your new gas company. If you
would like to get cable or internet,
you will most likely be using
Comcast or Brighthouse Networks
and this will vary based on the
building you live in. The Dish
Network is always an alternative
to basic cable and AT&T provides
high speed internet as well.
Keep the following banks in mind:
Wells-Fargo, Regions Bank, BBVA
Compass Bank, Bank of America,
RBC Bank, First Commercial Bank,
Citizen’s Trust Bank, Bancorp
South, Superior Bank, America’s
First Federal Credit Union, and
Legacy Credit Union.
If you need to transfer your out-ofstate Driver’s License to an
Alabama License, you should head
to the Alabama Department of
Public Safety office, located at 908
Bankhead Highway West, with
your current license, social security
card, and birth certificate or
passport. Consult the Department
of Public Safety Driver License
Division for more information.
Vehicles must be registered in
Alabama within 30 days of your
relocation here through the
Jefferson County Revenue
Department. First time vehicle
registration can be completed at
the Jefferson County Courthouse,
located at 716 Richard Arrington Jr
Blvd N and annual renewals may
be completed online or at the
Birmingham and the surrounding
communities have a large number
of churches. For locations of
Catholic Churches, check out the
Birmingham Diocese website. The
Cathedral of St. Paul, located
downtown, is beautiful example of
Birmingham’s American Neogothic Architecture.
Birmingham NomaD
Movie Theaters:
Every town has movie theaters,
and Birmingham is no exception.
But to help you choose which
theater to go to when looking up
movie times, here are some
suggestions from your fellow
Rave Motion Pictures. One
of the newer theaters in
town, nice screens and
Carmike Summit 16.
Another big new theater
with special deals on
snacks every Tuesday
Carmike 10 (Dollar
Theater). Want to see a
movie without all the cost?
The dollar theater shows
movies that have left the
big theaters, but for only
$1 a person.
McWane Center IMAX.
While the number of
showings are limited,
seeing a movie at the IMAX
is quite the experience.
At first glance, many might think Birmingham is
limited when it comes to ways to enjoy your free
time. In fact, this couldn’t be farther from the
truth. No matter what you are interested in, there
is a great chance you can find it within a short
drive from downtown Birmingham. Even if you are
looking to start a new hobby, there are tons of
clubs around town that are always welcoming
newcomers. So check below for lists of the top
things to do in Birmingham.
Culture and History:
The city of Birmingham offers one of the richest cultures and most storied histories
of any southeastern city. From its beginnings as a southern steel town and
“battleground” of the civil rights movement, the city has played a major role in the
history of our country. While you are here in Birmingham, be sure to check out
these places to learn about not only our city, but also the United States as a whole.
Civil Rights Institute. Opened in 1992, the Civil Rights institute showcases
the major role Birmingham played in the civil rights movement, and the
dedication to progress and unity for all.
Vulcan Park. The big statue overlooking downtown Birmingham is one of
the most well known landmarks in town. Not only offering a great view
of the city (ride an elevator to the top observation deck), the park also
tells all about how the statue came to Birmingham (pictured)
Sloss Furnaces. Birmingham owes its beginnings to the large steel
industry that started here after the Civil War. This national historic
landmark is the only blast furnace in the U.S. preserved for public use.
Free self-guided tours, events and concerts are all things to check out
Outdoor Activities:
Among the rolling hills and dense trees, Birmingham offers a wide range of outdoor activities for everyone. It is difficult to
pick the best outdoor activities, so be adventurous, and you will be surprised how much the Birmingham area has to offer.
Oak Mountain State Park. Oak Mountain State Park truly offers days and days worth of activity on its own,
from kayaking, hiking, mountain bike riding, trail running, golfing, fishing and more
Railroad Park. A brand new park right in downtown Birmingham, this beautiful park was voted best new
park in the U.S. for 2011.
Ruffner Mountain. Although smaller the Oak Mountain, Ruffner Mountain offers a great free option for
hiking and walking along miles of trails through beautiful wilderness. Once the site of a mining operation, it
also has a large quarry that is open to explore.
Other Outdoor activities: Birmingham Baron Baseball Games, City leagues for softball, kickball and ultimate
Frisbee, Running groups like the Birmingham Track Club, Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham NomaD
Entertainment, Cont.
Just like any big city, Birmingham has plenty of shopping centers to find whatever you
are looking for. However, knowing the right places to go can also introduce you to
some local boutiques that provide unique items not found elsewhere.
The Summit. The Summit on HWY 280 offers a wide range of well-known
stores and restaurants as well as some more local establishments.
Downtown Homewood. The quaint downtown of Homewood/SOHO
Square offers many unique boutiques not found elsewhere.
Riverchase Galleria. A very large indoor Mall located in Hoover (pictured)
Pepper Place. What was originally a Dr. Pepper Syrup Plant, this shopping
center is now home to numerous design, antique, and interior furnishings
shops. During summer, it hosts the Pepper Place Market every Saturday
morning with fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, as well as
other items from local merchants (pictured).
Golf Courses:
The lush greenery in Birmingham and the surrounding area provides homes for
numerous golf courses that are often included in professional tours. Below are some
of the most popular (and affordable) public courses.
Highlands Golf Course. Just south of downtown Birmingham, this public
course offers affordable rates and a course that is fun for all skill levels.
Robert Trent Jones Trail. This Alabama-wide golf trail offers multiple wellmaintained golf courses in and around Birmingham.
The Birmingham night life is far from ordinary, offering a wide range of bars from upscale to
‘Backer-esque’. Whether you are in the mood to watch sports while drinking a couple cheap
beers, expand your beer knowledge at a brew house, or sip Martinis, Birmingham has a bar for
The J. Clyde. Often considered the oldest bar in Birmingham, the rustic looking J. Clyde
offers beers from breweries all over the country. Just don’t try ordering a Miller Light. No
mass-produced beers found here (pictured)
Rogue Tavern. A very popular spot for ND alumni gatherings, this smoke-free bar has good
drinks, food and live music.
The Garage Café. A very unique outdoor courtyard makes this a great place to sit outside
and catch up with friends. Cash only.
Marty’s. What looks like an old shack on the outside is actually home to a very distinct bar,
with food, drinks and live music all night long (literally till 6am). Cash only.
Dram Whiskey Bar. Just like the name implies, a very extensive collection of whiskeys
served in cocktails or on the rocks.
Dave’s Pub. Whether you are looking to enjoy a few drinks on an outdoor patio, watch
sports, play darts or pick songs on a classic jukebox, Dave’s is a great place to hang out
with friends.
Birmingham NomaD
Entertainment, Cont.
If you are the type that enjoys
dancing the night away, then
Birmingham has plenty of places for
you. Be careful though, many of
these places stay open almost all
Live Music:
Live Music: Although not the largest town in the southeast, you will be surprised
by the number of bands that stop through Birmingham as they tour the country.
Knowing the places to see live music will help make sure you don’t miss a show.
Nana Funks. One of the most
popular late night spots in
Birmingham, the dance floor
at Nana Funks stays crowded
until the wee hours of the
night. (pictured)
Steel. With its modern décor,
Steel provides a more upscale
Innisfree Pub. More than just
an Irish bar, this pub offers
regular live music with a
crowded dance floor.
Bottletree Café. The true indie band scene in Birmingham, this is the
place to go to see up and coming acts. (pictured)
Workplay. With two different stages, this venue hosts a variety of
shows, from popular headliners to mixed band ensembles.
Gip’s Place. A one of a kind blues house, Gip’s Place is truly hard to
describe. Difficult to find, not much to look at, but Gip’s Place is
definitely worth the trip. The rules are simple “no drugs, no profanity
and no baggy pants”. If you are a fan of the Blues, or just live music in
general, this is a must see. BYOB and be willing to share.
Alabama Symphony Orchestra. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra is a
gem in Birmingham, playing masterful classical music and pops
concerts throughout the year at the Alys Stevens Center and BJCC
Other Notable Venues: Zydeco, Alys Stephens Center (pictured),
Verizon Wireless Music Center, Sloss Furnaces Stage
Annual Events:
Even though there is plenty to do on a regular basis in Bham, these annual events make it even harder to find free time!
Crawfish Boil. The crawfish boil, occurring every spring, brings some of the biggest names in the music
industry to Birmingham, as well as cooking up more Cajun crawfish than you can imagine.
 Sidewalk Film Festival. If you are a fan of cinema, then the sidewalk film festival is a must. Every
September, directors from all over the world submit their independent films to Sidewalk. Hosted in
numerous venues within walking distance of each other, it has been called the “best kept secret” by
Moviemaker Magazine.
 Brewfest. Just like the name implies, the Magic City Brewfest is a celebration of beer. With over 200 beers
available to sample from breweries across the United States, this event is a must for all beer lovers.
 Doo Dah Day. Want to hang out with thousands of canines and fellow dog-lovers and listen to live music?
Then don’t miss Doo Dah Day or the parade. With 100% public participation, you never know what kind of
float or costume you will see.
 Other great Annual Events: Mercedes Marathon, Art on the Rocks, Gumbo Gala, Chili Cook Off
Birmingham NomaD
Jim and Nicks*- the best
cheese biscuits you’ve ever
Full Moon
Saws (pictured)
Golden Rule
One of the finer aspects of Birmingham life
is the assortment of fine local restaurants.
Birmingham is filled with great eating
opportunities. Whether you are looking for
fajitas, falafel, or fried chicken, you’ll have
your pick of food spots. Here are our
alumni’s favorite places to eat. We’ve put
asterisks beside restaurants with the
highest votes. And for those of you who
might be looking for a good place to take a
date, we marked the best options with a
heart. Bon appétit!
Momma Goldbergs* –
custom-made sandwiches
plus must-have nachos
Max’s Delicatessen
Lucy’s Coffee & Tea
Chez LuLu (pic below)
Kool Korner Sandwiches
Pita Stop
Dodiyos (pictured below)
Flip Burger Boutique* – fork
over the extra cash for a liquid
nitrogen milkshake
Sam’s Super Samwiches
Al’s Deli & Grill
Tip Top Grill
Marty’s Bar
Jinsei * best sushi in town.
The Kadoma Tuna appetizer
is a must
Mr. Chen’s
Surin of Thailand
Thai House
New China
Soul Food
LaPaz* - great patio
Iguana Grill
Camp Taco
Sol y Luna
Taco Truck (pic below)
- REAL Italian pizza in a
cozy and warm atmosphere
Mellow Mushroom
New York Pizza
Bright Star*
Green Acres
Irondale Whistle Stop Café
Mrs. B’s
Birmingham NomaD
Dining, Cont
Fine Dining
Bottega* - Delicious food in
a great atmosphere. Frank
Stitt at his finest (pic)
Hot and Hot Fish Club
Chez Fon Fon
Original House of Pancakes*(pic
Another Broken Egg
Chez Lu Lu/Continental Bakery
Over Easy
Crestline Bagel
Ice Cream/Desserts
Savage’s Bakery*
Edgewood Creamery
Yogurt Mountain
Klingler’s German Bakery
Tuscaloosa, AL
Located 60 miles due West of
Birmingham, Tuscaloosa (or “TTown”) is the home of the
University of Alabama and the
Crimson Tide—2009 National BCS
Champions. A mecca for SEC
football and athletics, Tuscaloosa
comes alive during the football
season and especially when it
hosts the Iron Bowl. If you’re on
campus you can visit the Paul
“Bear” Bryant Museum for a dose
of college football history and the
exact spot where Governor
George Wallace made his “Stand
at the Schoolhouse Door” in
1963. Enjoy breakfast at the
Waysider Restaurant or authentic
BBQ at the original Dreamland. If
you like cars, stop by the
Mercedes Benz plant in Vance.
O’Henry’s Coffees* Home of an unreal sweet
iced coffee (pic above)
Urban Standard
Red Cat Coffee House
Day Trips
Want to get out of town to relax and soak
up a bit of Alabama culture, cuisine,
history, and natural beauty along the
way….but still be able to return home the
same evening without spending a ton of
time behind the wheel? Thanks to
Birmingham’s central location at the
crossroads of several major highways,
there is a lot to within a couple hours drive.
So pack a backpack, a cooler, grab the car
keys and enjoy an Alabama day trip.
Silver Coin Indian Grill
Golden Temple Health
Food Store and
Auburn, AL
Home of Auburn University and
located 150 miles Southeast of
Birmingham, Auburn is a postercard worthy all-American college
town with “Mayberry-esque”
friendliness and charm that comes
alive on Saturdays during football
season. If you can score tickets to
watch the 2010 National
Champions play in Jordan-Hare
Stadium, be sure to participate in
some Auburn game-day rituals: the
crab cakes at the Amsterdam Cafe,
watching the team enter the
stadium via the Tiger Walk and, if
they win…toilet-papering the
historic oak trees at Toomer’s
Corner. For those of you who may
imagine that nobody could rival the
ND fervor of our fans, SEC fans may
be the closest.
Birmingham NomaD
More Day Trips
Huntsville, AL
Home of NASA’s Marshall Space
Flight Center, the US Space and
Rocket Center, and birthplace of
the Saturn V rockets (which took
Americans to the moon),
Huntsville is a fast-growing
family-friendly town and a hotbed for high-tech research. It is a
1.5 hour drive directly north of
Bham off I-65. Check out the
Panoply Arts Festival every spring
(one of the largest and best of its
kind in the SE) or get back to
nature by exploring the Cathedral
The ATL is an easy 2.5 hour drive East of Birmingham and is a city rich in
culture, history, and bustling nightlife. Leave work on time to catch an evening
Braves MLB (below), a Hawks NBA or a Thrashers NHL game. Visit the High
Museum of Art, the world famous Georgia Aquarium (largest in the world), or
sample every Coca-Cola product at The World of Coke museum. If you are an
adrenaline junkie, feel the rush at Six Flags Over Georgia theme-park, located
right outside downtown Atlanta or spend a day at Stone Mountain. For dinner
and dessert, choose from an extensive menu of ethnic and all-American
restaurants, live music venues, and bazaars (closed and open-air markets). You
might even run into P Diddy and his entourage out for the evening in Buckhead,
Virginia Highlands or Little Five Points.
Talladega National Forest—a
hikers paradise located 60 miles
east of Birmingham.
More Outdoor Activities:
Tupelo, MS
Atlanta, GA
Visit the birthplace of Elvis Aaron
Presley . Walk into the very
room where The King of Rock n’
Roll was born!!
Mt. Cheaha -- Hike or bike the trails, enjoy national forest waterfalls and
a “mountain” of outdoor activities at this national park, home of the
highest geographic point in AL. A 1.5 hour drive east of Birmingham.
Test your mental and physical stamina by signing up for the annual
Pinhoti 100/Mt. Cheaha 50K Ultramarathon.
Lake Martin -- popular site for swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing,
golf and camping with lots of small islands to explore; 80 miles southeast
of Birmingham
Moss Rock Preserve -- great place for mountain climbers or boulderers
of all skill levels. Located in Hoover, AL
DeSoto Caverns -- located in Childersburg an hour’s drive Southeast of
Birmingham, the Caverns are an amazing and extensive underground
network of geologic formations featuring the “main room”, which has 12
story ceilings and is a big as a football field. For some above-ground
adventure, try the plentiful hiking and camping opportunities in the
Appalachian Mountains.
Smith Lake/Sipsey Falls – savor the natural beauty of frequent rock
bluffs that rise up from the water’s edge and the serene beauty of the
densely wooded hill country as you float along in your canoe or kayak.
Canoe or Kayak the Cahaba River -- the longest free-flowing river in
Alabama that passes through Birmingham (above)
Birmingham NomaD
Overnight Trips
Nashville, TN
The “Music City” is located 200
miles due north of the Magic City.
Home to a vibrant music and arts
scene featuring multiple venues
for live music (Grand Ole Opry,
Country Music Hall of Fame,
music clubs, honky tonk bars) and
the annual CMA Music Festival,
“Nashvegas” is also packed with
art (Frist Museum), and Civil War
history (Battle of Nashville,
antebellum plantation home).
The Bonnaroo Music Festival
(pictured below) occurs on a 700
acre farm in Manchester, TN just
north of Nashville and features a
diverse array of live music
performances on multiple stages.
Franklin, TN is a historic town just
south of Nashville where you can
enjoy an authentic Main Street
USA experience. Also, consider
visiting the Jack Daniel’s Distillery
in Lynchburg, which is along the
way to Nashville from Bham.
Birmingham is within striking distance of bigcity excitement, rural quaintness, natural
beauty (beaches, mountains, forests) and
surrounded by the rich history of the Deep
South. Consider taking a long weekend to
explore what’s around. Here are a few
The Gulf Coast
Enjoy a beach-side weekend vacation with
surf, sun and sand on the Gulf-Coast in AL
(Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Dauphin Island),
MS (Biloxi, Gulfport), LA or FL (Destin,
Pensacola)—your choice. Pick a different
beach to visit each weekend!! Visit historic
Mobile, AL (260 miles from Bham) and mome
of historic Fort Morgan and the original Mardi
Gras celebration. Feast on a shrimp boil at
Mudbugs Restaurant prepared with Gulf
shrimp and crawfish caught fresh that same
day. For some night-time fun and live-music,
visit the Flora-Bama – the legendary beachside bar and music venue where Jimmy
Buffett launched his career.
Memphis, TN
The 240 mile drive to Memphis
up HWY 78 opens up a menu of
abundant possibilities for an
exciting weekend. Participate in
one of city’s signature annual
events/festivals (Memphis in
May, Beale Street Music Festival,
World Championship BBQ
Cooking Contest) or dive into
Memphis’ rich live music scene
(blues, gospel, rock n roll, crunk,
sharcropper country music) or
historical sites (National Civil
Rights Museum, Graceland, Stax
Records Museum, Mud Island
River Park, Chucalissa Indian
Village mound site).
New Orleans, LA
NOLA beckons as a fun getaway
at anytime of the year—not just
Mardi Gras. It’s a 5 hour drive
from Birmingham or you can take
the Amtrak train. In addition to
the sights and sounds of Bourbon
Street, there is always something
going on and tasty to eat in New