The cat’s out of the bag: Birmingham is where everyone wants to be. The latest: Jetsetter.com named The Magic City one of the top six travel destinations for 2013 on The Today Show. Of course we already thought that. (Southern Living is based in Birmingham.)
We’re excited about the attention our hometown is receiving. Here are five things to look forward to here in 2013:
1. Civil Rights Movement Milestone
As mentioned on The Today Show, this year Birmingham commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Civil Rights Movement. A series of year-long events are planned to mark the impact of the brave activists who changed our city — and the world, including exhibits at the Civil Rights Institute and The Birmingham Museum of Art. In September, Birmingham will host the world premier of “A More Convenient Season” by composer Yotam Haber, a piece about and dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement.
2. New Stadium
The opening of a new $64-million minor league stadium downtown marks the return of baseball to the city proper. Located in downtown Birmingham, near the acclaimed green space Railroad Park (which opened in 2010), Regions Field will be completed by baseball’s opening day. The Birmingham Barons (who have played for 25 years outside city limits) will call the park home. The hope: the stadium will continue the downtown renaissance that Railroad Park and other efforts have kickstarted.
3. Our Food
Birmingham has long been lauded for its independent restaurant scene, and our food culture will continue to thrive. We’re looking forward to the much-anticipated Vittoria by James Lewis (Bettola) and John Currence’s Big Bad Breakfast. Plus chef (and PBS personality) Todd English will open a Todd English PUB in the new Westin Birmingham. We have a feeling that’s just going to be the start of a new wave of dining options.
4. A Better Airport
Getting in and out of Birmingham will be easier with the completion of the first phase of a $201 million modernization of the Birmingham Airport. (Think: more modern, easy-to-navigate terminals.) Plus we’ll also get new eats and drinks by local favorites Good People Brewing and Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q. (We did mention we’re into our food here, right?)
5. New Radio Stations
The Birmingham music scene keeps getting stronger, and it’s not just because of the lineups at great venues like Bottletree Cafe and Workplay. Internet-based Birmingham Mountain Radio has launched Dewya Radio, home of Substrate Radio (indie rock) and Vulcanite Radio (hip hop). The best part? You can listen to the stations anywhere in the world, but we prefer to tune in while exploring this city everyone is talking about.
What are you excited about in Birmingham in 2013?