Special thanks to Nate Menaker and Shannon Garrison for the recommendations and pictures.

Sweet home, Alabama. Though many may not realize all this southern state has to offer, there are some incredibly unique and lively pockets. Grab tickets to an SEC football game, fire up the grill to tailgate, and check out these simply stunning southern cities!

BIRMINGHAM

Things to Do

Birmingham Barons Baseball Game: Their beautiful park set in downtown Birmingham, Thirsty Thursdays feature $2 tall-boys. Also, this is the former minor league team of Michael Jordan for a bit.

Oak Mountain State Park: For a $5 per person entrance fee, there's tons of hiking and biking trails sure to entertain all day. Try to check out Peavy Falls after a heavy rain, it's gorgeous.

Brewery Tour: With a plethora of breweries to check out, rent a Zyp Bike and cruise to different breweries throughout downtown.

Pepper Place Market: If you're here on a weekend, check out their lively Saturday morning Farmer’s Market.

Places to Eat

Brunch

Trattoria: Cozy spot downtown, but their French toast is out of this world! Show up after 12:30 or 1 p.m. on Sundays to avoid the lines.

Five: Jazz brunch, it's colorful and funky. Doesn’t start serving booze until noon, but has a make your own Bloody Mary bar.

Holler and Dash: Wide variety of generously-sized gourmet biscuits.

Roots & Revelry: Strong and refreshing drinks plus awesome Chicken and Waffles!

Lunch

Pizitz Food Hall: An eclectic mix spanning across a cultural and ethnic food spectrum. Ono Poke has seriously delicious poke bowls.

Saw’s: Southern-style BBQ at its finest. The Pork & Greens plate is an absolute classic, we recommend mixing it up by adding some North Alabama White BBQ sauce.

Hattie B’s: For any spice seekers, go here for hot chicken. Unless you're feeling brave, "Hot" is a good heat level to draw the line.

Dinner

El Barrio: Zesty Mexican food, show up early or expect long waits. Their Barbacoa Quesadilla is a must!

Melt: Every different type of grilled cheese you could dream of or conjure up. Try the 3 Amigos or Ragin’ Cajun.

Slice:  Maybe the best pizza and beer combination in town, with an awesome outdoor porch area to boot.

Gianmarco’s: Top-notch Italian restaurant, get a table in the back wine cellar.

Treats

Sweets

Big Spoon Creamery: THE premiere spot to get ice cream in Birmingham. Fresh, artisanal, and seasonally-rotating flavors available.

Cookie Fix: Creative cookie and flavor combos.

Hero Doughnuts: Fluffy, delicious doughnuts the size of your face. Find it in a brick and mortar store in Homewood.

Places to Drink

Breweries

Avondale: Solid variety and selection of beer with a generously-sized outdoor area. They frequently hold outdoor concerts and they're dog-friendly!

Trim Tab: Among the best craft beer in Birmingham. They frequently switch-up small batch kegs.

Good People: Trace the city's roots to the original Birmingham brewery. They host Dia Del Gordo each year, an event where they release high gravity beers. Ideal spot to pregame a Barons baseball game.

Bars

Carrigan’s: The most popular place to be on Friday night. They have a great beer selection, cool rooftop patio, and surprisingly solid gourmet bar-food. If you're fiending for something, get the Corn-dog.

Hop City: Outside of the breweries, this is a beer snob's delight. Catch their 50+ rotating beer taps, plus impressive selection of bottled and canned beer. Grab a growler to take home, too.

Moon Shine: Hip rooftop bar at the top of the newly redesigned Elyton hotel (drinks are pricey, but teriffic views).

Places to Stay

Hotels: Generally cheaper than many other big cities and still close to all the action. Search around for the best rates, but Airbnb is always an option as well.

Transportation

Car: If you're flying in, renting a car could be the best way to get around Birmingham. While it is possible to bike within downtown Birmingham, the surrounding terrain is quite hilly.

Uber/Lyft: If you're here to have fun and drink a bit and don't want to rent a car, these apps are both readily-available.

Zyp Bike: Find stations scattered throughout the city. These are day-long rentals that you can use to scoot around downtown.

Sloss Fest: A poppin' annual music fest in July. Find it nestled in the historic Sloss Steel Furnaces.

 

Note: Lots of restaurants are closed Sunday night and Monday, so look online before heading out.

General Info

TUSCALOOSA

Things to Do

Tuscaloosa Amphitheater or Druid Music Hall are great, cheap venues that always have fun shows. See if anything's going on while you're in town!

Visit the Riverwalk to run, walk, or Eno on during the day.

Lake Tuscaloosa is a short drive out of town. Swim or go cliff jumping here. 

Bama Football: I mean, you can't really miss out on the multiple Championship winning team. 

Places to Eat

Chuck's Fish: A diverse menu, with of course both fish and sushi.

The Avenue Pub: Great for brunch. A casual vibe. 

The Side By Side: French style restaurant with a wide variety of wine. 

301 Bistro: In an awesome historic building, a good place for a fancy meal. 

Five Bar: Great southern food in the heart of Tuscaloosa.

River: More southern food to ensure you get your fix. Patio seating is available. 

Taco Mama: Includes a taco and nacho bar!

Places to Drink

Innisfree Pub: A typical Bama bar. Great on game days and weekends. 

Moe's BBQ: Don't miss their happy hour and Alabama style BBQ!

Catch 22: Cocktails that go beyond your typical whisky coke or vodka soda.

The Houndstooth: The best place to be on game day. Huge college hangout with an outdoor patio, tons of TVs, darts, and pool tables. 

Gallettes: Home to the yellowhammer drink and includes three different sections. 

Loosa Brews: Great Tuscaloosa Brewery!

Places to Stay

Hotels are generally cheap, but if you're wanting to splurge, Bama Bed and Breakfast is a cute B&B. 

Transportation

Renting a car or catching an Uber is your best bet. 

Railroad Park

Oak Mountain State Park

Birmingham Color Tunnels

Railroad Park

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Oak Mountain State Park

Oak Mountain State Park

Hattie B's

Trim Tab

 
 

Alabama

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