Five Things To Expect In Birmingham 2013

January 2, 2013 | By | Comments (20)

VulcanThe cat’s out of the bag: Birmingham is where everyone wants to be. The latest: 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? 


  1. Birmingham Barons’ Opening Day at Regions Field – The Daily South | Your Hub for Southern Culture

    […] an upgraded airport, fresh restaurants, and great music venues, it’s no secret we love our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Now, the Magic City has the […]

    April 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  2. Birmingham Barons’ Opening Day at the Regions Field – The Daily South | Your Hub for Southern Culture

    […] an upgraded airport, fresh restaurants, and great music venues, it’s no secret we love our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Now, the Magic City has the […]

    April 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm
  3. Julia

    This crazy conversation makes me giggle. Call me a Texas tourist. If I wanted the best food in the world I’d go to New York. I don’t. I want to sample regional cuisine from different parts of the country and I can’t wait to come to Birmingham to sample what is availalble there. I don’t have family or friends in AL. I really do appreciate an updated airport. However, you are right that I really don’t care about the radio stations because I’ll be bringing my I-phone with me. Jody, just as a prophet is never appreciated in his home country, we never appreciate the amenities where we live. That’s just the way it is and its true for all of us. I think Jody, you’d be well advised to spend a weekend in your hometown pretending you’re a tourist. You might experience wonderful things that would surprise you. As for me, I’m booking my flight and hotel today and can’t wait to arrive to experience the restaraunts, airport, museums and maybe I’ll even try the radio stations since I hear you have some great ones. Thanks for the article Erin.

    February 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm
  4. Justin

    As someone who was a resident of Birmingham for 7 years, originally from New Orleans, monthly flyer/traveler, and have/had strong ties in the underground music scene; I have to say Birmingham was rather dull. Yes, i love bbq, and it was spot on. But to say those points are reasons tourists flush through the city….tourists in birmingham seems like a foreign concept. And yes the civil rights museum is a nice feature, and not surprisingly at the top, but just because it is doesn’t relinquish the hate rooted in that city as one of the most hardcore fighters of civil rights in the hay-day. I do not enjoy most of the people, no delicious craft breweries, and an underlying sense of confederate racism and offputting snarkish attitudes. Minimal earth consciousness and closed minded people make this somewhere i would not live again, just visit. I love downtown though, and all of my old friends. And the rock quarries outside of the city .

    January 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm
  5. Matt

    Jody, for someone with such a “large” mind, you sure have a reading comprehension problem.

    Erin did not call Birmingham a top travel destination. did.

    You’ve been here 47 years, huh? That explains your attitude. Your entire generation holds a Birmingham in negative light. The white flight generation that wants nothing more than to see their property value in Hoover increase at the expense of Birmingham proper.

    I too will help fund your departure. A train ticket to Atlanta is only $39. Maybe you’ll like it better there. Or not. You’re probably more of the Marietta type.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:00 am
  6. Wade Smith

    Any idea on a timeline for Vittoria and Big Bad Breakfast? I love Bettola and BBB’s Oxford location. Really excited about both of these.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:40 am
  7. Jody


    i not only don’t need your sarcastic offer, but i don’t want it either. This is and has been my home for 47 years. I don’t know how long you have lived here but that is my entire life so therefore i must prefer Birmingham to anywhere else. I did not choose this home I was born in, but i have made the choice to stay here. So contrary to what small minds might think i do love this place.

    With that said, the question wasn’t about your snide and sarcastic comments about paved roads and bus stations. But the author of this story actually said people choose Birmingham as a place to vacation……….a destination spot in the top six in the entire country…….. she listed five reasons for people from all over the nation choosing Birmingham 6th overall of all places in the country to visit. Just that statement alone discredited any other thing stated. But, i gave her the benefit of the doubt, and kept reading. obviously you didnt finsin her article.

    I have her the first two reason people choose Birmingham for a vacation spot, albeit while shaking my head. It was the last three reasons that were just embarrasing to even think much less put to press so any and everybody could read it. These people laughed when they did read it, trust me.

    Again, her 3rd – 5th reasons were as follows:

    #3 Our Food
    #4 Birmingham has a better airport
    #5 We have new radio stations.

    if you have any brain activity at all you must be laughing at this. Are you really going to believe that there are people that decided to come to Birmingham for this years vacation because we have good food, a better airport, and my personal favorite……we have new radio stations?

    that was my argument. a sound reasonable argument challenging through common sense that there is anyone that would choose to vacation here because of the above stated reasons. there may be other reasons but those three she chose to state were in fact, idotic.

    have all the civic pride you want. just do it with some intelligence

    January 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm
  8. Jim Bornhere

    That airport has flights all day and into the night, believe it or not, there are paved roads, yes Interstates, leading North, South, East, and West. There is a bus station and trains. Since you are so unhappy with our great city, I suggest you select one of these modern travel methods and move. I would seed a fund for your ticket.

    January 8, 2013 at 11:43 am
  9. Carie

    I am glad to see any improvements in Birmingham and glad to read this article though not sure folks will come here from out of state unless they have family or live close enough for Bham to be a day trip vacation. I am from Missouri and have been in Alabama about 12 years and always eager to leave but have 2 kids/family jobs keeping us here. Now excited to see any and all improvements to increase our enjoyment of this area. We enjoy railroad park, Mcwane, occasional beer at good people, Jones Valley Farms, Red Mountain, and looking forward to baseball downtown and better airport for my family coming in from California and Pennsylvania.

    January 8, 2013 at 8:30 am
  10. Gregory LaDale Johnson

    No i want say that ,and yes we have lot more to do to even think that ,,,,but can we say that Birmingham,is on it’s way?

    January 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm
  11. Jody


    i am glad you have decided to set up business here in Birmingham, Thank you for opening up our cultural choices we have now. But…………

    She said that Birmingham is a, VACATION and TRAVEL destination because of the five prviously mentioned reasons of which food was one of. While i am sure you serve some of the best international cuisine in the country.

    I am sure even you wouldn’t say that people will take their vacation this year to Birmingham because of your cooking. Or others you compete with. I know you would never say this and believe what you are saying.

    Even you, in your response to my original posting, proves what i am saying. You said when people from out of town come to visit you, they love the choices of food. I have no problem with that statement. What i have a problem with is you or anyone else actually saying that there are real people that have Birmingham in their TOP 6 spots of vacation destinations for any reason.

    ANY REASON at all.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm
  12. jody

    I am here because this is my home and always will be. the article actually said, not just insinuated, that people make Birmingham a destination for vacations and travel. There is no way anyone with a straight face can say the five points made in the article were why people from the south and the country have Birmingham, Alabama at the top of their list to go on vacations.

    I gave the first two points of the Civil Rights Museum and a new baseball stadium as a reason to stop here on the way to another vacation spot. But even so, those two reasons DO NOT in any way make people decide that if they take a vacation this year, then Birmingham is the spot. The Civil Rights Museum is the ONLY thing we have that I have seen here in my 45 years that I would come to see no matter where i lived. That is a crucial site in American History and a place that all people should see at one point in their lives.

    But and idiot I am not, I am just a lifelong citizen of Birmingham that happens to be ground in reality. To say we are a travel destination among Birmingham citzens like me gives a muted sense of pride in a way only we can have.

    But to put it in print and actually think that someone from Richmond, LIttle Rock, Atlanta, Kansas City, or Paducah, Kentucky will decide to come to Birmingham on their vacation because we have a handful of great chefs, a BETTER AIRPORT, and NEW RADIO STATIONS is just a joke.

    And as much as I like home cooking, to even think that some come here on vacation for the Hot and Hot Fish Club, and other great places to eat such as this, is crazy. What this insinuates is that Birmingham is the only place that has great food so therefore we should go there on vacation. Please stop embarrasing us by telling others around the nation things like this. It is why we are laughed at and made fun of so much.

    What is wrong with saying, Birmingham is a great little quiet place to live, work, and stop by for a visit? We have the Civil Rights Institute, and that is it. So what? I like it like this.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm
  13. Gregory LaDale Johnson

    As a strong independent Chef that come to you with international cuisine sometime restaurant scene are a bit-much ,Ms.Erin Shaw Street take at look
    when you have out town guests,special occasion we come to you. I get more out of town
    calls then from in-town. Just for this reason ” I’m from Birmingham ” we have it all but all on one side of town not good. I will say the city need to open up just a little more
    some people talk about the “HAM” but you JODY are still HERE! I guess you are one of the Idiot ijs.

    Chef LaDale

    January 6, 2013 at 9:36 am
  14. whatever JODY……

    Jody…. why the hate?…… YES Birmingham is a Food Destination…… I have many friends from Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans who want to come and visit… just to sample our great dining choices.. and HAVE just for that reason…. if you are looking for more affordable options besides chick fil a…. you should check out…. Trattoria Central fantastic pizza and fresh pasta specials daily….. Brick and Tin….. El Barrio…… Chez Lu Lu….. Chez Fon Fon….. Saws Soul Kitchen…… Yes Highlands, Hot and Hot and Ocean are usually reserved for special occasions….. but what better special occasion than when you have out town guests who come especially for fine dining in Birmingham….. and btw… is name calling REALLY neccesarry?????

    January 6, 2013 at 8:32 am
  15. Erin Shaw Street

    Gunter and Stephanie, thanks for your commends. Jody, these are just a few things that are coming online in 2013. Birmingham is already well-establshed food destination (see: Beard-award winning Chris Hastings, Beard-nominated Frank Stitt, and a strong independent restaurant scene that continues to grow.) From a travel perspective, it does matter when improvements are made to airports.

    Birmingham is continuing to evolve, but our strides in cultural offerings and amenities make a difference to those visiting — and to residents. We’ll continue to report on what’s happening in Birmingham throughout the year — check back for more.

    January 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm
  16. Jody

    are you kidding me? we are a travel destination? this is a joke right? Look at the last three reasons for, “being a destination everyone wants to be”, as written by the author.

    #3 – Our Food ……….when did we become a location with international cuisine? Last I checked we have Bar-B-Que, Chick Fil-A, and a few pricey places that can be counted on one hand? Seriously, people want to come to Birmingham for the cuisine?????

    #4 – A Better Airport…………Are you writing this with a straight face lady? You want us to believe that people, as you say, want to be in Birmingham because………..we now have a better airport? what does that even mean…….better? Better than who’s airport, Oneonta?

    #5 – New Radio Stations……….OK, we get it now, you must be writing this in hope that the editors of Mad Magazine. You should be ashamed for even thinking this type of article up much less actually putting your name on it. New Radio Stations???????? yes, that is how i pick my vacation spots and places i must see, based on if the city has new radio stations or not.


    January 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm
  17. Gunter Giddens

    Railroad Park is definitely a gem that everyone should visit– locals and tourists alike– and take advantage of! Lots of new and exciting things happening there this Spring.

    January 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm
  18. Stephanie Werskey

    The Garden Conservancy is planning a tour of Birmingham private gardens through our Open Days Program – date still to come. Details will be posted at!

    January 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm
  19. AF

    Todd English isn’t British.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:29 am
  20. Is it worth visiting Birmingham for a weekend? – City-Data Forum

    […] Something else cool in print: Five Things To Expect In Birmingham 2013 – The Daily South | Your Hub for Southern Culture […]

    January 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

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