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Red Mountain Park consists of 1500 acres (607.02 hectares) full of outdoor fun and excitement. In addition to the 11 hiking trails in the park, there are also zip-lining facilities, historic mines, three tree houses and the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest and Kaul Adventure Tower. The park is one of Birmingham's favorite destinations for outdoor adventure.
Birmingham's warm climate ensures that something is always blooming at the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy spring azaleas, summer roses, fall leaves and winter camellias as you tour the extensive grounds. Or, step inside the Southeast's largest clear-span glass greenhouse to enjoy orchids and other tropicals. Visit the Japanese Tea House and Garden and the Southern Living Garden, plus vegetable, fern, iris and other special gardens. Other attractions include the Gatehouse Gift Shop, a café and a library. Lectures, demonstrations, concerts and other events occur almost daily; inquire for a schedule. Admission is free. All paths are wheelchair and stroller-accessible.
This outstanding nature center situated on the site of an iron ore mine was closed in the 1950s and reopened as a nature refuge in the 1970s. Visitors to this mid-city refuge can explore the former quarries and ore crushers, hike 10 miles of trails, watch hawks soar, study rock formations and enjoy the wildflowers and wildlife.
The very genesis of Birmingham, Sloss Furnaces were one of the pioneers in the process of smelting pig iron. Established in 1882, it is this iron industry that prompted the city of Birmingham to grow around it. Over the years, the machinery has gathered abundant rust and experience, both of which tell stirring tales of the industry's glorious heyday. Proclaimed a National Historic Landmark, this antiquated site is an escape into the ancient industrial processes of the country. The site was restored in 1983, and, in addition to the impressive furnaces, there is an industrial museum, a sculpture garden, and a park which lend deeper insights into the history and legacy of Sloss Furnaces. The furnaces also play host to concerts, festivals, events, and activities.
Kelly Ingram Park is a treasure trove of sculptures occupying the heart of Birmingham. Formerly known as the West Park, the park served as the platform for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. It is home to several sculptures that thoughtfully commemorate those who fought for racial equality. The bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, the 'Four Spirits' sculptures, and the 'I Ain't Afraid Of Your Jail are three of the park's standout sights. Thriving under the aegis of the 16th Street Baptist Church, this park is a beautiful amalgamation of history and culture.
Five Points South is a district located right next to the University of Alabama Birmingham. The district is well known and popular for its wide array of restaurants, clubs and nightlife. The area is also home to several city landmarks including the Storyteller Fountain, Pickwick Plaza and the Brother Bryan statue.
Cradled in Downtown Birmingham, the Civil Right District is the center point of the state's long-standing history. The very site where several important events of the Civil Rights Movement were birthed, this historic district sprawls across six blocks. The district has witnessed many of the most significant happenstances of the Birmingham arm of the movement, including the fateful bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. Kelly Ingram Park, which is also a part of the district, was the location of many demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement. Numerous sculptures in the park commemorate the historical protests. Some of the most important sites in the district include the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Carver Theater, which has now been transformed into a live music venue, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Harboring several historical sites, the Civil Rights District reads out America's most significant chapter out loud.
See more than 1000 different animal species from around the globe, from the Siberian tiger to the San Esteban Island chuckwalla. Of course, there are lions, tigers and bears, as well as giraffes, geckos, a white rhinoceros and gorillas. If your feet get tired, hop aboard the Zoo Express Train. ZooSnoozes, their overnight camping program, is available by reservation. Also, check out the zoo's many classes, which are fit for visitors of all ages.
Located just southwest of Huntsville about two hours from Birmingham, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is one of the most extraordinary destinations in Alabama. On display here are rockets, boosters, capsules and space suits used in NASA missions over the years. There is also a planetarium and a summer space camp for children. The center is open daily except for major holidays. The admission price includes a trip to the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center, where you can watch the construction of NASA's new space station.