TRAVEL, ADVENTURE & EXPLORATION

Birmingham Hosts Huge Haunted House

Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama also known as The Magic City, is the largest city in Alabama. If you ever doubted whether Southern hospitality is real, you will have no doubt after visiting Birmingham, my hometown.

They call Birmingham “The Magic City” because it grew so quickly around the steel industry that began there.

Birmingham has it all – rich in history, beautiful theaters, fabulous food and breathtaking scenery. There are numerous activities to do with friends and family, such as hiking, zip-lining, river and lake sports, and top golf. You can even catch a hockey game or Braves baseball game at Regions Field.

Birmingham visitors may wonder why a huge statue of a bearded, bare-bottomed man keeps watch over the city. This is Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge – a symbol of Birmingham’s origins in the iron industry.

Considered the world’s largest cast iron statue, it has overlooked Birmingham atop Red Mountain at Vulcan Park since the 1930s. Visitors learn the fascinating history of Birmingham here and experience spectacular views.

Birmingham

On a Saturday afternoon, a visit to Pepper Place, a local farmer’s market is a must. Pepper Place is open every Saturday from mid-April to mid-December. Fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers are always in abundance, along with food trucks, homemade desserts, jams, and the best sweet tea in the South served to you in a large glass mason jar. All of this is experienced while listening to live local music.

A short walk from Pepper Place is Railroad Park, a popular place among  locals. It is 19 acres of green space in the middle of downtown Birmingham often referred to as “Birmingham’s living room.” Railroad Park has food trucks on the weekends, an amazing view of the sunset, and it’s a great place to picnic.

If picnics are not your style, there are also wonderful restaurants all around Railroad Park. In December, there’s an ice rink with hot chocolate – a great activity for friends.

Birmingham has many historical buildings, such as The Alabama Theater, also located in downtown Birmingham. Built in 1927 for silent films, it is a regal building.

The Alabama Theatre hosts many events year round, but a favorite are classic Christmas movies shown in December. This is one of my favorite things to do. It is such a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. However, get your tickets early because this tradition sells out fast.

Birmingham

If you are in Birmingham in October, visit Sloss Furnace. Once one of the largest producers of pig iron in the world and now a historical landmark, Sloss Furnaces in October is transformed into one of the largest haunted houses in the nation. However, you must enter at your own risk because it is said that Sloss is truly haunted by a sadistic foreman who was killed there in 1906.

Since his death, there have been many horrifying tales and over 100 reports of suspected paranormal activity at Sloss recorded in Birmingham police records. If you are brave enough to venture in, it is a very spooky experience.

All of these places are fantastic, but one of the best things about Birmingham is the food. There is something for everyone, from classic Southern to gourmet. Local, family-owned restaurants are our hidden secrets. A favorite among these is Miss Myra’s, a little, hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

 

Birmingham

From the outside, it does not look like much, but it is pit-smoked perfection. The barbecue pork and chicken are fantastic, but the big porker potato is my favorite. Top any of these entrees with their famous, unbelievably good, vinegar-based, white barbecue sauce, and you have a delicious meal. Be careful though. The white sauce is addictive.

Miss Myra’s was visited by Andrew Zimmerman from the Food Network, who said it was his all time favorite barbecue chicken and dessert heaven.

After a great meal at Miss Myra’s, walk next door to Doodles, a family-owned, homemade sorbet and Italian ice place. They have a myriad of flavors and sugar-free ices. A few fan favorites are peanut butter cup, birthday cake, cappuccino, and strawberry sorbet, but everything is good, so trying something different every visit might be the best option.

Birmingham, Alabama is an exciting place to visit to experience culture, history, parks, fabulous scenery, professional sports and great Southern hospitality. I was born and raised in Birmingham, and wherever I go, I will always consider this “Magic City” my home.

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