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grand prize. Vulcan s viewing platform offers the best panoramas of the city and surrounding areas.
All this history of heat and flames just naturally calls for some great open-pit barbeque. Steer the tour toward Jim N Nick s Community Bar-B-Q in historic Five Points South. Their award-winning meats are cooked low and slow with great attention to detail.
Then head out to find more history at Tannehill Historical State Park, the birthplace of Birmingham s iron and steel industry and a major supplier of pig iron for Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Alabama Iron and Steel Museum is an interpretive center on 19th century iron making technology with belt-driven machines of the 1800s and tools and products of the times. From spring through fall, the blacksmith, miller and craftsmen demonstrate their skills. Craft shops occupy restored pioneer cabins, and the cotton gin, pioneer farm and working grist mill preserve a long-gone way of life.
A PATCHWORK QUILT: HIT THE HIGHLIGHTS OF BIRMINGHAM S TOP ATTRACTIONS JUST TWO DAYS TO TOUR? HERE S HOW TO SEE SOME OF EVERYTHING!
Wake up the animals at The Birmingham Zoo! Orientation begins with a train ride around the grounds all ages love this steam locomotive. See the Predator Zone, the Sea Lion Splash Show and the amazing Trails of Africa with the rare feature of having an all-male herd of African elephants.
Just across the street from the zoo, the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens blanket more than 67 acres, twenty-five themed areas include a massive conservatory, the Southern Wildflower Garden and the Japanese Garden with authentic teahouse. Make reservations to lunch at The Gardens Café where the menu of local ingredients changes seasonally.
It doesn t take a motorsports enthusiast to appreciate the country s most stunning collection of cars and motorcycles at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. The museum houses more than 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles and an extensive collection of Lotus cars, along with other significant makes. And every vehicle in the museum is in working order.
A fine way to wrap up a day of touring is with a Birmingham Barons baseball game at the new Regions Field. The team plays in the Southern League and is the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The menu at the park goes far beyond peanuts and Crackerjacks with everything from Magic City dogs to Dreamland Bar-B-Q.
When it s not baseball season, tours find grand evening entertainment with performances by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra or the Alabama Ballet. Especially popular with group tours are the Alabama Ballet s seasonal performances of George Balanchine s The Nutcracker.