Swing Time: Play Great Golf
With 140,000 yards of some of the best public golf on earth, Birmingham is a near-year-round perfect place to play. Public golf highlights include two courses along the state’s famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
- Begin the day with a tee time at Ross Bridge, one of the most beautiful and challenging courses along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Carved into rolling terrain, the course meanders through indigenous landscape and is one of the longest courses in the world. Don’t let that deter you; Ross Bridge has multiple tees for golfers of all levels.
- Grab a bite in the comfortable clubhouse and go just down the road to Oxmoor Valley, the area’s other Robert Trent Jones-designed courses. The 54-hole facility consists of the Ridge, the Valley, and the Short Courses. All three are sculpted from the peaks and valleys of the Appalachians and are situated in scenic forests with creeks and challenging elevation changes.
- A long day of golfing calls for some liquid refreshment. Unwind at Avondale Brewing Company for some locally produced craft beer. In the heart of the Avondale neighborhood, this popular watering hole is the anchor for some good restaurants in the area, including Post Office Pies and Saw’s Soul Kitchen. Try the Avondale brew Miss Fancy’s Tripel.
- If you’re looking for something other than pizza or barbecue, try The Fish Market downtown. This is as fresh as seafood gets without catching it yourself.
- On your second day of golf, try golfing in the city at Highland Park Golf Course. This is the oldest golf course in Alabama, though it has had renovations through the years. Golfers have the unusual experience of viewing the city skyline from the course where the bent grass greens run fast and true.
- Golfers find more great play at a dozen more public courses in the area. For a thorough accounting of places to golf in the Birmingham area, check out our golf directory.
- Here’s a suggestion: Put away your sticks for the afternoon and check out another sport: motorcycling. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, just east of town, has the world’s largest collection of antique and contemporary motorcycles (and plenty of Lotus cars too). If you have time for only one attraction, this might be the best choice.
- It’s cocktail time again. This evening, try a couple of places in the downtown area. Start at Carrigan’s Public House, a relatively new bar specializing in craft cocktails and great pub food. If the weather’s cooperating, you’ll like their rooftop patio. Then tiptoe on over to The Collins Bar in the hip Second Avenue District for more craft drinks and a good vibe.
- Dinner calls for a short drive to Bottega in the same Highland Park neighborhood as Highland Park Golf Course. This well-loved eatery has the casual Bottega Café on one side and the more formal Bottega Dining Room* on the other. Flip a coin, then make a reservation if you choose the Dining Room! (Oh, and Order an Orange Thing).
- Wrap up the day with a nightcap at Paramount. One of Birmingham’s newer nightspots, this place is well-known for its haute bar food and its arcade of classic games. Yeah, we’re talking Lethal Enforcers and Nightmare on Elm Street Pinball.
* Requires reservation well in advance of your visit.
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