Located at 16th Street North across the street from Kelly Ingram Park and the 16th Street Baptist Church, this fascinating gallery tells the story of Birmingham's tragic and triumphant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This state-of-the-art facility utilizes multimedia presentations, photographs and other artifacts to document the African American struggle for racial equality, and relates this history to other human rights struggles around the world. Admission is free on Sundays.
Considered one of the top three motorsports museums in the world, this structure holds nearly vintage 600 motorcycles in its collection. Inside, there are motorcycles as far as the eye can see. This museum was the largest single lender to the Art of the Motorcycle exhibition, which drew record crowds to the Guggenheim museums in New York City and Bilbao. The Barber also houses a restoration shop and library.
Birmingham's Railroad Park is a 19 acre (7.68 hectare) park that was created in 2010. The park has water features, trails, and lots of grassy areas for playing and picnicking. The park often plays hosts to special events and concerts throughout the year. A welcome slice of green amid the steely concrete of the city, this park is also a serene place for leisurely walks and jogging. Couples who frequent the park often cap off their walks with a nice snack at the Boxcar Cafe located within the park premises.
Regions Field is a state-of-the-art ballpark built in 2013 as the home of the Birmingham Barons AA Minor League team. The stadium features 8500 seats and is conveniently located right in Downtown Birmingham. The ballpark has a host of activities and special features, including a mini-wiffle ball diamond, a batting cage and family fun park. Of course, no baseball game is complete without a hot dog and a beer (or soda), and you can get that, along with all the other classic ballpark snacks at Regions Field, too.
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.
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.
Situated along 6th Avenue, the 16th Street Baptist Church is a beautiful church in the heart of the city. Conceptualized as early as 1873, it has had a long history. The initial building was demolished in 1908 and the current structure was built in 1911 by the famous Wallace Rayfield. During the Civil Rights Movement, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing killed four young girls. Today, the church continues to function with great vitality, and has also been declared a National Historic Landmark. Call to book individual or group tours.
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.
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.
Face it. Birmingham and the civil rights movement go hand and hand. But, often overlooked by tourists is A.G. Gaston Gardens, Birmingham’s first African-American owned hotel. Built in the 1960s by African-American businessman A.G. Gaston (arguably the richest black man in America at the time), the former hotel housed black guests and civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, and served as a meeting place to plan and organize activities. But, don’t be fooled by the current facade of pale pink, the A.G. Gaston motel provided first class accommodations of master suites with air conditioning and private bathrooms, something unheard of during that time. Not to be missed.