Going Bowling: What to do when in town for the Birmingham Bowl

Traveling to the Birmingham Bowl to watch South Florida take on Texas Tech? Come early, stay after!

With all there is to do in Birmingham, there’s just no sense in coming to the Birmingham Bowl day-of. But, we know what it’s like visiting a new city, so for all you newcomers to the Magic City, here’s a handy-dandy, two-day itinerary.

Welcome! Are y’all hungry? Let’s get this party started.

BREAKFAST

For all of you who got here early with an appetite, there are plenty of options. If you’re into the art of the pancake, griddlecake, hotcake, or flapjack, you’re in luck. The Original Pancake House is your jam. What to have? The Dutch Baby or The Tahitian Maiden’s Dream are certainly high on the list. Or, you can go where the cool kids go and check out the Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, where you’ll want to order a Toastie and a cold nitro. Want more standard fare?  Hit Trattoria Centrale, where the autumn hash w/ pancetta, brussels sprouts, apples & fried eggs is darned near good enough to make you sell your return ticket. And if you’re looking for a quick brunch spot before the game Saturday, check here for the skinny on Birmingham’s brunch scene.

SHOPPING

Oh, you procrastinator, you! Still got somebody left on your “nice” list? Here’s a comprehensive look at the Birmingham shopping scene designed specifically to get your hind parts out of hot water.

SPORTS

For all of you organized, type-A, finished-your-shopping, sports-fan types, we have some excellent suggestions on how to spend your day. For example, how about a round of golf? You’ll find no finer courses than those at Ross Bridge or The Ridge Course at Oxmoor Valley. The rolling topography, exceptional Bermuda fairways, and Bentgrass greens of these Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses provide enough challenge to satisfy the shotmaker and the long driver alike.

Too cold to hit the links? Head over to the Barber Motorsports Museum, where you’ll find more than 600 immaculately restored motorcycles and cars exquisitely exhibited. What not to miss? The 1912 Indian Board Track Racer.

If sports memorabilia is your thing, you should consider a visit to Birmingham’s Negro Southern League Museum. Don’t miss the Satchell Paige exhibit, which allows you to watch the legendary pitcher deliver four different types of pitches through a fun, interactive holographic display.

Check out the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, and revel in the memorabilia from the likes of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Charles Barkley, Joe Namath, and Bart Starr.

LUNCH

You’re in Birmingham and we’d be remiss if we didn’t direct you to some of the finest barbecue this side of the Milky Way. From Saws Soul Kitchen, with their famous pork and greens, to Dreamland’s world-class ribs, to Full Moon’s craveable half-moon cookies, to Jim ’N’ Nick’s cheese biscuits, we’ve got barbecue and trimmings so good you’ll want to smack your mama.

And then there’s pie. Pizza pie. We’d put our pizza joints up against anybody’s. We’ve got the nationally-recognized Post Office Pies, the classic – Davenport’s, Slice, The Filling Station, Pies and Pints, and the newly opened Bird’s Bar & Pizza. If you ask anybody in Birmingham, they’ll have a favorite on that list. Bottom line – if you like the pie, we’ve definitely got the place.

SIGHTS

It’s afternoon, and a great time to take a walk. Check out Railroad Park and their outdoor ice rink right in the middle of downtown. Or wander through the Civil Rights District where you can visit the 16th Street Baptist Church, walk through Kelly Ingram Park, or take in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Interested in Birmingham’s iron and steel history? Visit Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, or go for a hike in either Red Mountain Park or Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, where many of the old mine openings and structures have been preserved. Or, if it’s just too cold for all that outside hoofing around, visit the Birmingham Museum of Art, one of the finest regional museums in the country, housing an amazing collection of more than 26,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts – from ancient to contemporary.

NIGHTLIFE

Well, if you didn’t get your golf in during the daytime, you should definitely check out Topgolf. For the unfamiliar, Topgolf takes the notion of a driving range and straps a rocket engine to it. Here, you sit with friends, have dinner, drinks, and hit golf balls equipped with sensors from climate controlled bays into a driving range with electronic targets. It’s exactly like nothing you’ve ever tried with a golf club.

Or consider dinner, and cocktails or a show. With some of the finest restaurants this side of the Mississippi to choose from, such as Highlands Bar & Grill, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Ovenbird, and Bottega, you can’t go wrong. Or enjoy one of the newcomers to the Birmingham culinary scene, like Fancy’s on Fifth, El Barrio, Bamboo on 2nd, and Roots and Revelry. And that’s just scratching the surface when it comes to eats.

As far as drinks go, you’ve can choose from craft breweries like Good People, Trim Tab, Ghost Train, and Cahaba, or excellent cocktail bars such as The Atomic Lounge, The Collins Bar, Carrigan’s Public House, Lou’s Pub, and The Louis at Pizitz. Or all, since we do have Über here.

Birmingham also sports a fabulous theatre scene. If a movie is what you have in mind, you should consider catching the classic, “White Christmas,” at The Alabama Theatre, a 1920s movie palace. On the other hand, you could also see a live version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Virginia Samford Theatre. Both are perfect for the season.

In short, we’re glad you’re coming to visit for a football game. Make sure you experience all the other enjoyment we have right here…in Birmingham.