T R A V E L P L A N N E R S G U I D E | 2 5

DAY #2:

Let s make this an artsy kind of day with the first stop at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The museum holds a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, African, Pre-Columbian and Native American. Highlights include the museum s collection of Asian art, the collection of 18th century European decorative arts, and the museum s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood. The museum also regularly hosts top-quality traveling exhibitions. This is a good place for lunch as well, with Oscar s at the Museum serving sophisticated American cuisine.

Schedule your tour to coincide with one of Birmingham s many art festivals. The Magic City Art Connection is highly regarded nationwide, and attracts painters, sculptors, potters and jewelry craftsmen from around the country for this three-day festival each spring. In the fall, Birmingham s annual Art Walk transforms the downtown loft neighborhoods into art districts, with the work of more than 100 visual artists, live music, street performers and food and drink vendors.

Then check out the art of discovery at the McWane Science Center. A ball for all ages, McWane adventures include four floors of interactive exhibits, from a walk with dinosaurs to the shark and ray petting tank. Alternate attractions tours you might consider are visits to Aldridge Gardens, known for their spectacular hydrangeas, and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, honoring legendary athletes with ties to the state.

Consider too an afternoon tour at the Mercedes-Benz US International Visitor Center in nearby Vance. The visitor center, the first one of its kind outside Germany, displays the star-studded history of these high-end vehicles. Factory tours are available by reservation and are well worth scheduling.