4 | B I R M I N G H A M T R AV E L G U I D E

IT S DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN WHAT sets Birmingham apart from her Southern sisters---almost impossible really. People who visit Birmingham, as well as those who live here, swear they sense a vibe to this city that they don t fi nd elsewhere in their travels. It s hard to put a fi nger on the particulars of it, but it s there.

Outdoor entertainment and the arts are a dominant part of Birmingham s character. Take a quilt and a picnic to Railroad Park in the heart of downtown and listen to Alabama music. Live music is the signature entertainment of the city. Visit the dozens of art galleries around the city for funk, fi ne and folk art treasures. Come for the city s annual


Sidewalk Film Festival, chosen one of TIME s Top 10 Film Festivals for the Rest of Us. That means we don t have to go to Cannes anymore! Opera, ballet and live theatre add to Birmingham s cultural wealth.

For visitors interested in architecture, the city s downtown buildings are a collection of Cinderella stories. Many early skyscrapers are now refurbished, dressed up and housing restaurants, law fi rms and luxury condos. Also look downtown for many of the city s best festivals and arts events. Spring brings the Magic City Art Connection, a juried contemporary art show that is widely respected in the festival community. Summer fi nds crowds downtown for

The Birmingham Vibe