Travel Guide: Birmingham, Alabama

Hello, my name is Margaret B. Kuester, and I recently decided to start a travel blog! My vision for this blog is to document my travels through pictures as well as to suggest restaurants, shops, and anything else I find when visiting a new destination. Thank you for following along!

Here’s a little bit about me to get started!

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My name is Margaret, and I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in a neighborhood called Buckhead. I am currently attending Samford University in Birmingham, AL as a pre-law double major in International Relations and French. I love discovering new stores and restaurants, and I love sharing those new discoveries with other people! My favorite retail stores as of right now include J. Crew, Tuckernuck, and Kate Spade.

For my first destination post, I want to write about Birmingham, Alabama! I am living and working in Atlanta, Georgia this summer, but I recently visited Birmingham, and I wanted to document this trip as well as write about my favorite restaurants and stores! Birmingham, a city with so much history, is going through a transition into more urban living. The whole city is being revitalized, and it’s really cool to experience as an outsider! Here are my favorite discoveries!

Must see:

If you’ve never been to Birmingham, you absolutely must check out the Pizitz Food Hall, Railroad Park, and the Birmingham Museum of Art in downtown Birmingham. The Pizitz is home to many restaurants and a couple of retail stores. Railroad Park is a new park downtown that’s walking distance from coffee shops and restaurants. The Birmingham Museum of Art has a really fantastic permanent collection, and it’s completely free to guests! If you find yourself visiting Birmingham any time soon, I highly recommend visiting these three sites!

During the spring and summer, there’s also a farmer’s market in downtown Birmingham called Pepper’s Place on Saturday mornings. I highly recommend going if you can! Farmers from all around Alabama bring their best produce as well as flowers, jewelry, woodworking, and lots more! I also highly recommend the Botanical Gardens and the Birmingham Zoo!

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One thing to know about Birmingham is that it’s comprised of neighborhoods. Between Avondale, Mountain Brook, and Homewood, there are many dining options! For just about any meal, I recommend Chez Lulu in Mountain Brook. Chez Lulu is an amazing French restaurant with a cafe next door.

For fine dining, I suggest Bistro 218, Chez Fonfon, and Bottega all in downtown Birmingham. Bottega is actually a two-in-one: it’s a cafe on the right side of the building and a nicer restaurant on the left side.

For lunch, I recommend Brick & Tin in Mountain Brook (there’s also one in downtown Bham) and Feast & Forest downtown. I also recommend Feast & Forest for brunch as well as Habitat restaurant at the Grand Bohemian hotel in Mountain Brook. Habitat has a delicious Sunday brunch as well as a great view of Mountain Brook if you choose the outdoor dining!

Birmingham also has many great coffee shops. My favorites include Revelator downtown (there’s also one in Mountain Brook) and the cafe at Chez Lulu. That being said, if I really need to get work done, I usually retreat to Church Street Coffee & Books in Mountain Brook. This coffee shop has a great attic for quiet work space! If you can’t tell, I really enjoy eating out!

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Birmingham has some of the best shopping in the state. The Summit is home to many retail stores including Kate Spade, J. Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, and many more. I am also really into thrift shopping. I recently visited Zoe’s in Forest Park, and I really loved their vintage selection. They have many lovely designer brands at a fraction of the price! Jewelry Accessories Etc in Mountain Brook is also a fantastic store if you’re looking for high end retail and gifts. I highly recommend the shopping in Birmingham!

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Here are a few more of my favorite pictures from the weekend! The first is from a lookout spot near downtown. The second is a shot of a building in downtown that I really loved. The third is another picture of a friend of mine at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Birmingham is an amazing city, and I always enjoy visiting!

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