32 Best Things to Do in Birmingham for Adults | 2024 (with Photos)

James A. Smith

James A. Smith - Chief Editor

Published: August 23, 2023

James is an experienced traveler with a passion for exploring and uncovering the best experiences in every destination. In his article "32 Best Things to Do in Birmingham for Adults | 2024 (with Photos)", James shares his top recommendations on how to make the most of your trip to Birmingham, ensuring an unforgettable adventure.

the skyline of downtown, Birmingham at sunset

Welcome to Birmingham, Alabama, the Magic City, where southern charm meets modern fun. 

Visiting Birmingham is an unforgettable experience, especially when you know all about the top Birmingham attractions.

So, we will guide you through 32 exceptional attractions and activities, including the Birmingham Museum, the Southern Museum of Flight, and the bustling downtown Birmingham area.

Get ready to experience live music, culture, history, gastronomic gems, and so much more during your unforgettable visit to Birmingham, Alabama.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Visit the Birmingham Museum of Art

Top Choice Hotel

Blue: The Tutwiler Hotel

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Spring and fall offer ideal weather for visiting.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Birmingham, USA is moderate.

Transportation Options

Cars, buses, trains, bikes; plenty of options available.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Start the day off by immersing yourself in Birmingham's rich history with a visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. As you explore the museum, you'll gain a profound understanding of the civil rights movement and appreciate the resilience of those who fought for justice.

Afterward, indulge in some retail therapy at the historic Pepper Place Market. Stroll through the charming streets lined with local artisans and vendors offering an array of unique crafts, fresh produce, and delectable treats. Take the time to converse with the friendly locals and gain insight into the city's culture.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Weather-appropriate clothing
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Travel documents (passport, ID, tickets)

What Not to Miss

  1. Vulcan Park and Museum
  2. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  3. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
  4. Birmingham Museum of Art
  5. Oak Mountain State Park

What to Avoid

  1. Avoid visiting Birmingham during peak summer months if you're not a fan of hot and humid weather.
  2. Avoid wandering around unfamiliar neighborhoods at night, especially alone.
  3. Avoid leaving valuables unattended in public places to prevent theft.

1. Birmingham Race Course

a horse race with people watching

Birmingham Race Course, located in Birmingham, Alabama, is a thrilling destination for horse racing enthusiasts. 

This historic track hosts live racing events and simulcast wagering, providing an adrenaline-pumping experience for visitors.

With a rich legacy and a vibrant atmosphere, it's a great place to enjoy the excitement of horse racing and socialize with fellow fans. Remember to dress up and make a day of it at the races.

2. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

a motorcycle show room with motorcycles on display

For motorsports enthusiasts and history buffs alike in Birmingham, AL, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is a treasure trove of classic motorcycles and racing cars.

Founded by George Barber, the museum houses one of the largest collections of vintage motorcycles in the world, as well as an impressive array of race cars.

3. Alabama Jazz Hall

statue of man in a suit and tie in Jazz Hall

Immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of jazz music at the Alabama Jazz Hall, a center dedicated to preserving the state's rich artistic heritage. 

With live performances, interactive exhibits, and engaging educational programs, the hall celebrates the contributions of Alabama musicians to the world of jazz.

Experience a fun night of live jazz music, dance, and history in this vibrant venue located in the heart of Birmingham, AL.

4. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

the entrance to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute serves as a poignant testimony to the civil rights movement. Through powerful exhibits and thought-provoking displays, this museum tells the story of the struggle for racial equality in Birmingham and beyond.

Walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices and achievements of those who fought for justice.

5. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex

a monster truck is racing in a dirt pit

The Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex is the city's premier event and entertainment center, hosting a wide variety of sporting events, concerts, and special events throughout the year.

From pop music performances to thrilling sports competitions, there's always something happening at this bustling venue. 

Experience the excitement of a live event, indulge in incredible food, and make lasting memories at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.

6. Birmingham Museum

a white picket fence surrounds the front of a gray house

Dive into the rich artistic and historical heritage of Birmingham, AL at the Birmingham Museum. This popular tourist attraction houses an extensive collection of decorative arts, regional history exhibits, and contemporary art pieces.

As you explore the galleries, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural legacy of Birmingham and its people. 

Don't miss the fascinating interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on learning experience for all ages.

7. Railroad Park in Downtown Birmingham

aerial view of downtown of Birmingham

Find an urban oasis in the heart of downtown Birmingham at Railroad Park. This 19-acre green space, often referred to as "Birmingham's Living Room," offers a relaxing escape from the bustling city.

Take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the park's scenic trails, enjoy a picnic with friends, or participate in one of the many events hosted by the Railroad Park Foundation. 

With its lush greenery, tranquil ponds, and impressive skyline views, the park is a perfect spot to unwind.

8. Birmingham Zoo

a group of elephants

Get up close and personal with over 950 animals from around the world at the Birmingham Zoo. This family-friendly attraction offers a unique opportunity to learn about wildlife and conservation efforts. 

Enjoy exhibits featuring animals such as African elephants, sea lions, and Alabama-native species.

With exciting events, educational programs, and unforgettable animal encounters, the Birmingham Zoo is a must-visit for nature lovers and families alike.

9. Alabama Sports Hall

a display of baseball memorabilia and memorabilia

Delve into the state's rich athletic history at the Alabama Sports Hall. This museum pays tribute to the achievements of Alabama athletes across various sports.

Explore the inspiring stories of legendary figures who have made significant contributions to the world of sports, and learn about their remarkable accomplishments. 

From football to basketball, the Alabama Sports Hall celebrates the passion and dedication of these sports icons.

10. Vulcan Park and Museum

a large monument with a statue on top

Vulcan Park and Museum, situated atop Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama, is a symbol of the city's industrial heritage

Home to the world's largest cast iron statue, Vulcan, the park offers breathtaking panoramic views of Birmingham's skyline.

It also features exhibits and educational programs that delve into the region's history and culture. This is a great spot to soak in the views and relax in Birmingham.

11. The Southern Museum of Flight

a large white helicopter

The Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama, is a captivating destination for aviation enthusiasts. Showcasing an impressive collection of historic aircraft, artifacts, and exhibits, the museum honors the region's aviation heritage.

From military aircraft to civil aviation displays, it offers an educational and inspiring experience for visitors of all ages. 

The Vietnam War helicopters exhibit at the Southern Museum of Flight is a highlight.

12. Kelly Ingram Park

the bronze statues of the three children in the park

Take a moment to reflect on the Civil Rights Movement at Kelly Ingram Park, a significant historic site in Birmingham, AL.

The park, located near the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, features poignant sculptures and installations commemorating the events and key figures of the movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and the Children's Crusade.

This peaceful park is a powerful reminder of the struggle for equality and social justice.

13. Alabama Theatre

the stage at the theatre

Experience the grandeur of classic theater at the historic Alabama Theatre, a beloved Birmingham, AL entertainment venue. Opened in 1927 and beautifully restored, the theater hosts a diverse range of live performances, concerts, and film screenings.

The theater has hosted movies, concerts, beauty pageants, and even the Mickey Mouse Club throughout the years.

14. Nightmare at 3008

two men sitting with skeleton mask on

Nightmare at 3008 in Birmingham, Alabama, is an immersive haunted attraction that unleashes spine-chilling horrors on brave visitors. 

With expertly crafted sets, professional actors, and cutting-edge special effects, this haunted house promises an intense and terrifying experience.

It's a must-visit for thrill-seekers looking for a heart-pounding Halloween adventure at any time of year.

15. McWane Science Center

a large room with a lot of different tables and chairs

Ignite your curiosity at the McWane Science Center, an interactive museum that offers fun and educational experiences for all ages. Explore a variety of exhibits covering topics such as Alabama dinosaurs, sea monsters, and cutting-edge technology.

The center also features a state-of-the-art IMAX theater, showcasing immersive films that take viewers on thrilling adventures around the world. 

With its engaging exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities, the McWane Science Center is the perfect destination for the whole family.

16. The Decorative Arts Museum

a room with a lot of vases on display

Immerse yourself in the world of arts at the Decorative Arts Museum in Birmingham, Alabama. This museum showcases a stunning collection of art pieces, ranging from ceramics and glassware to textiles and furniture.

As you explore the exhibits, learn about the history and craftsmanship behind these beautiful objects, and gain a deeper appreciation for the artistic heritage of the region.

17. Red Mountain Park

a man riding a bike down a dirt road

Reconnect with nature at Red Mountain Park, a sprawling green space located near the heart of Magic City. 

This popular Birmingham attraction offers numerous hiking and biking trails, scenic overlooks, and a history of Birmingham's mining past.

The park is an essential part of the city's outdoor adventures and a favorite among both locals and visitors. 

Red Mountain Park is more than just a place for recreation; it's also an opportunity to learn about the city's history and the role it played in the development of Birmingham, AL.

18. Alabama Aviation Hall

a display of memorabilia and memorabilias in a museum

The Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame is a prestigious museum located in Birmingham, Alabama, dedicated to celebrating the state's rich aviation history

Showcasing a collection of aircraft, memorabilia, and exhibits, the hall honors the achievements of aviation pioneers, military heroes, and innovators, inspiring future generations to reach for the skies.

19. Birmingham Children's Theatre

a group of people sitting in a library

Experience the magic of live theater at the Birmingham Children's Theatre, a renowned institution dedicated to entertaining and inspiring young audiences.

With a diverse lineup of performances that include classic tales, modern stories, and original productions, this theater offers a captivating experience for children and adults alike. 

Enjoy the enchanting world of storytelling and discover the joy of live performance at the Birmingham Children's Theatre.

20. Oak Mountain State Park

the stone bridge with the lake on the side

Escape the city and venture into the great outdoors at Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama's largest state park

This expansive park hosts a wide range of activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fishing.

Discover picturesque landscapes, serene lakes, and diverse wildlife as you explore the park's many trails. 

Whether you're seeking a challenging adventure or a peaceful retreat, this state park is the perfect destination for nature lovers.

21. The Cultural Research Center

group of people walking on the hallway

Immerse yourself in Birmingham's rich cultural heritage by visiting the Cultural Research Center. This unique institution is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the city's diverse history and arts scene.

Browse through the extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents, and participate in engaging programs and events that showcase the city's artistic and historical legacy.

22. Cheer on the Birmingham Barons

a group of baseball players kneeling on the field

Experience the excitement of a live baseball game by cheering on the Birmingham Barons, the city's beloved minor league team, located near the downtown Birmingham area.

Root for the home team as they take on their rivals at the state-of-the-art Regions Field, which is also within walking distance of other most popular tourist attractions like the Birmingham Museum and Kelly Ingram Park.

Revel in the camaraderie of fellow fans and embrace the magic of the Magic City as you create unforgettable memories with family and friends.

23. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

the sun sets over the valley from the top of a rock

Explore the beauty and serenity of Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, a hidden gem offering a peaceful retreat from the city's hustle and bustle. With over 1,000 acres of forested land, the preserve boasts numerous hiking trails, diverse wildlife, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Discover the area's history as you hike through the remnants of former mining sites and enjoy the natural beauty of this incredible Birmingham, Alabama attraction.

24. Arlington Antebellum Home

a garden with hedges and bushes

Step back in time as you tour the Arlington Antebellum Home, a historic building that tells the troubling story of the pre-Civil War South.

Wander through the restored rooms adorned with period furnishings and learn about the history of this important landmark. The picturesque grounds, complete with manicured gardens, make a great setting for pensive reflection.

25. Virginia Samford Theatre

group of performer bow to the audience

Experience the magic of live theater at the historic Virginia Samford Theatre, a cherished Birmingham institution. 

With a diverse lineup of classic plays, contemporary works, and musicals, this classic theater offers a captivating experience for theater enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Enjoy the intimate atmosphere, superb acoustics, and top-notch performances at this beloved cultural treasure in the heart of Birmingham.

26. Birmingham Botanical Gardens

the conservatory at the botanical gardens

Experience the beauty and serenity of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a lush oasis in the heart of the city.

Stroll through the picturesque Japanese garden, admire the vibrant decorative arts in the various themed gardens, and enjoy a delightful picnic lunch amidst the captivating scenery.

With a rich history and stunning landscape, the gardens are a must-visit for anyone looking for fun things to do in Birmingham, Alabama.

Discover the wide variety of plants, take part in special events, and explore the walking trails that wind through this enchanting urban retreat.

27. BumperNets

people playing video games in a room

BumperNets in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the best entertainment centers in Alabama for people of all ages. This unique destination offers a diverse range of activities, from indoor bumper cars and laser tag to an extensive selection of arcade games and table tennis.

With friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere, BumperNets promises a fun-filled experience for families and friends alike. You can pass the time on a hot summer's day in this fun indoor haven.

28. Pepper Place Saturday Market

a man and woman standing under a tent selling fruit

Pepper Place Saturday Market is a renowned farmers' market located in Birmingham, Alabama. Held at Pepper Place, a historic district, the market offers a delightful array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, local crafts, and delectable treats.

Here, you can engage with farmers, artisans, and fellow community members, fostering a vibrant and sustainable local economy. 

It's a beloved weekly gathering promoting a sense of community and supporting local businesses.

29. Avondale Brewing Company

a book and two glasses of beer on a table

Experience Birmingham's thriving beer scene with a visit to Avondale Brewing Company, a popular gathering spot offering an array of delicious brews in a laid-back atmosphere.

Sample a selection of their signature beers, including creative seasonal offerings, while enjoying live music, different events, and food trucks. 

The spacious outdoor patio and cozy indoor spaces provide the perfect setting for a fun time out with friends, complete with great beer and good times.

30. Escape Room

a room with a television and a sign

Challenge your wits and problem-solving skills at one of Birmingham's many escape rooms, where you and your friends will have to work together to solve puzzles, crack codes, and uncover clues to "escape" from a themed room within a set time limit.

With a variety of themes and difficulty levels to choose from, escape rooms offer an exciting and immersive experience that will put your teamwork and brainpower to the test.

31. Remy's Dog Park

a group of dogs playing in a field

Unwind with your furry friend at Remy's Dog Park, a popular destination for dog owners in Birmingham, AL. This spacious park features separate areas for large and small dogs, providing a safe and enjoyable environment for dogs of all sizes to socialize, exercise, and play.

With shaded spots, seating areas, and water stations, this dog park ensures both you and your pet have a fun and comfortable experience during your visit.

32. Enjoy Amazing Food and Craft Beer in the City

table with a plate of cheese and glass of beer

Indulge your taste buds with the amazing food offerings in Birmingham, AL. The city boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars offering diverse and delicious cuisine.

From Southern comfort food to international flavors, there's something to satisfy every palate. 

Don't forget to explore Birmingham's thriving beer scene, with local breweries producing a wide variety of unique and flavorful brews.

FAQs Regarding Things to Do in Birmingham, AL

Let's look at some frequently asked questions about things to do in Birmingham, Alabama.

Is there anything fun to do in Birmingham, Alabama?

Birmingham, Alabama, offers plenty of fun things to do, making it an exciting destination for visitors.

With attractions like the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Alabama Jazz Hall, McWane Science Center, and Red Mountain Park, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Is there a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham?

Sloss Furnaces is a national historic landmark in Birmingham, Alabama. It was once a pig iron-producing blast furnace plant that operated from the late 1800s to 1970. Today, Sloss Furnaces is preserved as a national historic landmark and serves as a museum and cultural center, offering tours, exhibits, and events that highlight the region's industrial past and the significance of iron and steel production in Birmingham's history.

What is Birmingham, AL famous for?

Birmingham, AL is famous for its cultural heritage. It is home to several national historic landmarks, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, and the Sloss Furnaces. The city is also known as the Magic City due to its rapid growth during the industrial era.

Is Birmingham, Alabama worth visiting?

Yes, Birmingham, Alabama, is worth visiting. With a wide range of attractions, from outdoor adventures to museums and art galleries, the city offers a unique experience for all visitors.

Moreover, Birmingham's history and southern charm make it an interesting destination that showcases the best of Alabama. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or a sports enthusiast, Birmingham, AL has something to offer everyone.

Summing up: The Best Things to Do in Birmingham for Adults

Now that you know all about Birmingham's top attractions, you can start planning your vacation to this vibrant southern city.

With its history, lively arts scene, and beautiful parks, Birmingham, Alabama, has something to offer everyone. Whether you are traveling with kids, friends, or a partner, you can create the perfect itinerary to suit your needs.

So, don't wait any longer, make the necessary reservations and start packing for an unforgettable getaway in Birmingham. Your Alabama adventure starts now.