Happy Thanksgiving, readers! I hope your day is filled with yummy food and lots of laughter and love from family and friends.
Delicious food, eclectic bars and stunning nature — all of these things come to my mind when I think about Birmingham. My boyfriend, Ashton, and I spent a three-day weekend here, and we fell in love with its big city feel mixed with hilly streets and mountain scenery.
If you have never visited Birmingham before, it’s an excellent weekend trip if you live in the southern region. Once we packed up Ashton’s truck Friday morning, it only took us about three hours and 20 minutes to get there.
Beforehand, we booked an apartment in the Highlights neighborhood with Air BnB. It was our first time using Air BnB, and we LOVED it! When we pulled up to the apartment building, rich-colored leaves, towering trees and craftman-style homes greeted us with open arms. Talk about picturesque! Honestly, we felt like we lived here.
Friday afternoon – 2:30 p.m.
After we got acquanited with our “new apartment,” we walked outside and were stunned by all the beautiful fall leaves. So we had to take some pictures, of course! Below was one of the outfits I packed for the trip.
We called an Uber and headed to the downtown area. They have a lot of cool eclectic coffee shops and restaurants downtown, and we stopped in The Urban Standard for caffeine and a scrumptious espresso chocolate chip cookie. Ashton and I needed time to unwind before exploring the nightlife that evening. We also stopped in a few shops, and I found a Christmas gift for my mom. And I can’t forget the crazy bookstore we found. I was honestly so in awe of the stacks and stacks of books that I forgot the place’s name.
Friday evening – 7 p.m.
Friday night was spent indulging on sandwiches at Melt Avondale and drinking at a Speakeasy.
We had heard great things about the Avondale area from locals, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about! I had a classic grilled cheese with tomato soup, Ashton ate a Cuban sandwich with beer-battered fries and we washed it down with some local brew. My favorite was raspberry Berliner Wiesse pale ale from Trim Tab Brewing!
While we sat at the bar, we talked to the manager at the place who just happened to own a Speakeasy just around the corner. Yes, a real speakeasy. While at the coffee shop earlier that day, we had heard about this so-called speakeasy, The Marble Ring. I love anything related to the Roaring 20’s and The Great Gatsby, so we had to check it out!
Let’s just say after a few drinks and a police telephone booth at the Hot Diggity Dog, we were called to come in a secret door which, YES, led to the beautiful speakeasy. The room was filled with plush furniture, velvet curtains, a marble wrap-around bar and a golden bathrub. The drinks were superb! This was the coolest place we visited in Birmingham, by far.
We hit two other bars, Parklane and Saturn Birmingham, and ate late-night pizza at Post Office Pizza, before heading home. Let’s just say it was a late night for us!
Saturday morning – 8:30 a.m.
Despite the late night we had, I popped up bright-eyed and bushy tailed for our Saturday morning hike at Ruffner mountain. I ate oatmeal and granola for breakfast with some delicious matcha green tea. The park opened around 9 a.m. and was about a 15-minute drive from the apartment.
The hike was absoutely gorgeous and had some great trails, depending on one’s experience level. We got lost on one trail and ended up going around in a circle…gosh! haha. Nothing like a couple getting lost in the woods together and arguing about which way is the right way. Luckily, we found our way back. Honestly, the pictures from the hike don’t do it justice. The leaves were just starting to change color and the crisp, cool air made it ideal for a relaxing hike. I used to go hiking as a kid with my family in upstate New York, and I forgot how peaceful and mind-cleansing it is!
We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping at the Summit. This is possibly the coolest shopping center I’ve ever seen. It’s massive and has pretty much all my favorite stories: Anthropologie, Free People and Madewell. I also found some Christmas presents for my family!
Saturday evening – 6:30 p.m.
We were pretty tired by the end of the day, but still decided to go out and explore the Five Points South area. We ate dinner and drank beers at World of Beer and then walked to Highlands Bar & Grill for a delicious glass of red wine. I think Avondale was our favorite area for nightlife though!
Sunday morning – 10:30 a.m.
Sadly, Sunday was our last day in B-Ham! We “checked out” in the morning and went to a place locals rave about: Alabama Biscuit & Co. in Vestivia Hills. Basically, it’s biscuit heaven with great coffee in a chic urban setting with reclaimed wood. And I couldn’t leave the place without taking home some homemade almond butter and one of these coffee cups seen below. I love collecting coffee cups as souvenirs! Once we finished our biscuits, we headed back to the Summit to check out some other stores that we didn’t get to on Saturday.
Our last stop for the trip was seeing the Vulcan Park and Museum! The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world. A great exhibit inside the museum let’s you learn more about its history and about the city’s history. We then rode up the elevator to the viewing deck. It has gorgeous views of the city! I can only imagine what it’s like at sunset.
Birmingham was an amazing weekend getaway that we will never forget! The food, nightlife and nature will burn in our hearts for quite a while. Ashton and I looked at each other more than a few times on the trip and said we could see ourselves living here. Maybe one day!
Any places that we missed on our trip that you love?