photo of Graham Boettcher


The Birmingham Museum of Art, ( one of the finest regional museums in the United States, houses a diverse collection of more than 27,000 paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and decorative arts dating from ancient to modern times. The collection presents a rich panorama of cultures, featuring the Museum’s extensive holdings of Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art.

But that is just the beginning of the city’s robust arts community, from film to painting and sculpture you can find great art almost anywhere you look.

Eileen and Alex Kunzman with framed paintings in front of a stylized mural of paint dripping

Clockwise from top left: Graham Boettcher, head of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Chloe Cook manages the city’s Sidewalk Film Festival; Artist Michael Swann owns Vox Gallery in Tarrant; a couple enjoys the museum’s Art on the Rocks; Eileen and Alex Kunzman run the Magic City Art Connection and the Moss Rock Festival.

Lists and Links

Arceneaux Gallery
Art Alley
Artists Incorporated
The Atchison Gallery
Beverly McNeil Gallery
Canary Gallery LLC
Daniel Day Gallery
Four Seasons Gallery
Gallery 1930
Gallery Services
Gallery Vox
Grand Bohemian Gallery
Ground Floor Contemporary
Liz Lane Gallery
Maus Contemporary Gallery
Paperworkers Local
Red Dot Gallery
Sojourns Fair Trade on Facebook
Space One Eleven
Stephen Smith Gallery

Photo of Chloe Cook
photo of Michael Swan
a couple enjoys the museum’s Art on the Rocks


From sports to wildlife, from music to civil rights, Birmingham has a wide variety of attractions to delight travelers and residents alike. The Civil Rights District which includes the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park celebrates some of the most seminal events of the struggle for civil rights in 1960s America.

Clockwise from top left: The 16th Street Baptist Church, a giraffe at The Birmingham Zoo, and the entrance to McWane Science Center.

Lists and Links

Alabama Iron and Steel Museum
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Alabama Theatre
Alabama Wildlife Center
Aldridge Gardens
American Village
Arlington Home & Gardens
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and 16th Street Baptist Church
Birmingham Holocaust
Education Center
Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum
Birmingham Zoo
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
The Lyric Theatre
McWane Center
Pepper Place Saturday Market
Protective Stadium
Regions Field
Rickwood Field
Sloss Furnaces
Southern Environmental Center
Southern Museum of Flight
Uptown, the BJCC
Vulcan Park and Museum

Good People Brewing Company sign

From the earliest days of the city’s Free the Hops movement championing the cause of craft beer, Birmingham has been enamored with beer. Not surprising. Shortly after the city’s late 19th century founding, breweries were among the most plentiful of businesses.

That history is being replayed with the love affair city residents have with craft beer and the local breweries creating it.


Close up of several beers

Lists and Links


Avondale Brewing Company
Back Forty Beer Company
Birmingham District Brewing
Cahaba Brewing Company
Ghost Train Brewing Company
Good People Brewing Co.
Grocery Brew Pub
Trim Tab Brewing Company
Slag Heap Brewing Company

Great Beer Bars

5 Point Public House
Carrigan’s Public House
Hop City Craft Beer and Wine
On Tap Sports Cafe
Todd English P.U.B.
Slice Pizza & Brew
The Beer Hog


The famous third space created by the coffee shop is a more welcoming place than ever, and the city has plenty of options for wireless, cappucino or anything else your favorite barista can cook up.

cup of coffee with fern pattern in the cream

Lists and Links

The Abbey Coffee Shop
Baba Java
Church Street Coffee & Books
Crestwood Coffee
East 59 Vintage
and Café
Filter Coffee Parlor
Gatos and Beans
Grinders Cafe
Innova Coffee
O’Henry’s Coffee
The Red Cat
Revelator Coffee
Santos Coffee
Seeds Coffee Co.


Lists and Links

Barber Vintage
Motorcycle Festival
Birmingham Artwalk
Birmingham Freedom Fest
Birmingham Restaurant Week
Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival
Breakin’ Bread
Dia de los Muertos
Do Dah Day Festival
Greek Festival
Gumbo Gala
Magic City Brewfest
Magic City Art
Moss Rock Festival
National Veterans
Day Parade
Secret Stages
Sidewalk Film Festival
Southern Voices Festival

Larry Allen shows off his pottery work
a woman in Day of the Dead skull mask and floral costume

At top: an artist showcases his work at the Magic City Art Connection; At left: a festive attendee at the annual Dia de Los Muertos, a festival celebrating the Mexican day of the dead.

The new Hot n Hot restaurant with customers

Food & Drink

James Beard award-winning restaurants and chefs. Food from every corner of the globe. An appreciation of the effort chefs put into the plates they serve. And a city populace that loves to eat.

Those are the ingredients of a great food town, and Birmingham has an abundance of riches when it come to its food culture. A generation of great chefs have grown up under the mentorship of Frank Stitt and top chefs like Chris Hastings to in turn create the places we’ll be talking about and eating at tomorrow.

a barbecue sandwich at Saw’s.

Local restaurants have had a mighty struggle during the Covid crisis with many turning to take-out only and other other strategies to remain viable.

This column, Clockwise from top left: The new Hot and Hot at Pepper Place; a churros appetizer at El Zunzun in Cahaba Heights; a barbecue sandwich at Saw’s.

Norwegian salmon at Ocean
aura Newman mixes a drink at Queen’s Park

This side  top left: Norwegian salmon at Ocean;  top right: the grilled pork chop at Cayo Coco Rum Bar. Left: Laura Newman mixes a drink at Queen’s Park; 

Lists and Links

Automatic Seafood
Common House
Bamboo on 2nd
Bistro 218
Bistro V
Blueprint on 3rd
Brick and Tin
The Bright Star
Café Dupont
Chez Fonfon
Chez Lulu
Dreamland Bar-B-Que
El Barrio
The Essential
El ZunZun
Fancy’s on Fifth
The Fish Market
Five Point Public House
Food Bar
Full Moon Bar-B-Que
GM Pizzeria
Galley and Garden
Hattie B’s
Highlands Bar & Grill
Hot and Hot Fish Club
Iron City Grill
La Paz
Little Donkey
Mr. P’s Deli
Niki’s West
Ollie Irene
Perry’s Steak House
Pizitz Food Hall
Post Office Pies
Red Pearl Restaurant
Ruth’s Chris
Saw’s BBQ
Saw’s Soul Kitchen
Silver Coin
Surin West
Ted’s Restaurant
Texas de Brazil
Todd English P.U.B.
Trattoria Centrale
Real & Rosemary
Rodney Scott’s BBQ
Roots and Revelry
The Yard
Urban Cookhouse
The Woolworth


suited and masked surgeons at work, one looking at the camera

From the global struggle to find a vaccine for the novel corona virus to exciting new developments in the battle against cancer and cardiovascular disease, Birmingham’s healthcare community is among the nation’s finest. With both community and research hospitals serving patients, the city’s doctors, nurses and researchers are hard at work in the struggle to make us well.

glass IV in foreground with a blurred hospital hallway behind

Lists and Links

Brookwood Baptist
Medical Center
Children’s of Alabama
Citizens Baptist
Medical Center
Coosa Valley
Medical Center
Cullman Regional
Medical Center
Medical Center
Medical West

Princeton Baptist
Medical Center
St. Vincent’s
Saint Vincent’s Blount
St. Vincent’s East
St. Vincent’s St. Clair
Shelby Baptist
Medical Center
UAB Hospital
UAB Hospital – Highlands
Walker Baptist
Medical Center


Birmingham has grown a reputation as a great town for live music in recent years, with many talented musicians gracing stages and bandstands throughout the city. While the scourge of the corona virus has shut down the stages of the city, musicians continue to ply their craft through virtual performances while we all await the reopening of  the metro’s music venues. 

Local music venues are some of the hardest hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lists and Links

Alabama Symphony
Alys Stephens
Performing Arts Center
Avondale Brewing
Bar 31
Iron City Birmingham
Marty’s PM
The Nick
Oak Mountain
Perfect Note
SAW’s Juke Joint
Tin Roof

closeup of man playing a guitar
worm's eye view of three hikers in a field


A city blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, Birmingham provides every reason imaginable for getting outside, great climate, unbelieveable hiking and nature trails, and parks built for relaxation. Take a deep breath and enjoy everything the great outdoors should be.

Lists and Links

Moss Rock Preserve
Oak Mountain State Park
Railroad Park
Red Mountain Park
The Rotary Trail
Ruffner Mountain
Nature Preserve
Tannehill Ironworks
Historical State Park

Magic City Rotary Trail entrance
Woman ready to use the zip line at Red Mountain Park

Above: the zip line at Red Mountain Park; the replica of the original Magic City sign marks the entrance to the Rotary Trail downtown.

Local theatre and dance organizations have undergone great disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The performing arts have always been among the city’s greatest assets. Red Mountain Theatre is bulding a new arts campus in Parkside. Sidewalk Film Festival created a cinema in the basement of the Pizitz. Virginia Samford remains a great community space. Even with the shadow of Covid, many great things lay ahead for the Birmingham performing arts community.

Above: a Red Mountain Theatre performance.
Below: TNT director Tam Debolt.

photo of director Tam Debolt.

Lists and Links

Alabama Ballet
Arts Council of the
Trussville Area Theatre
Birmingham Children’s Theatre
Festival Theatre
Comedy Club Stardome
The Extemporaneous
Theatre Company

Homewood Theatre
Opera Birmingham
Red Mountain
Theatre Company
South City Theatre
Terrific New Theatre
Theatre Downtown
Virginia Samford Theatre

Player for the Birmingham Legion soccer team attempts a goal


Disrupted and in some cases cancelled seasons have been the story of the past year in Birmingham sports, though UAB has begun playing football and Birmingham Legion have remained in play throughout 2020. The city loves its sports and is waiting anxiously for a full return.

UAB Football cheerleaders enter the field
Birmingham Barons baseball pitcher throws a ball

Above: the Birmingham Legion takes a shot on goal and Barons baseball; below: UAB cheerleaders.

Lists and Links


Birmingham Barons
Birmingham Bulls
Birmingham Legion


Samford University
Birmingham-Southern College
Miles College
University of Montevallo

Above: Dance at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Below: a night view of UAB and Birmingham-Southern campus.


With some of the state’s and the South’s best institutions of higher learning, Birmingham is a great place to learn. A magnet for students in the health and science field, as well as law, business and the liberal arts, the city has developed a network of private and public schools to assist young people in developing the skills and careers of the future.

Lists and Links

Private Schools

Advent Episcopal School
The Altamont School
Briarwood Christian School
Catholic Schools, Diocese of Birmingham
Cornerstone Schools of Alabama
Creative Montessori School
Evangel Classical
Christian School
Highlands School
Hilltop Montessori
Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic
Indian Springs School
Jefferson Christian Academy
Islamic Academy of Alabama
John Carroll Catholic High School
Joseph S. Bruno
Montessori Academy
N.E. Miles Jewish
Day School
Southminster Day School
Spring Valley School
Westminster School at Oak Mountain

Lists and Links

Public Schools

Alabama School
of Fine Arts
Birmingham Board of Ed.
Homewood Board of Ed.
Hoover City School Board

Jefferson County Board
of Education
Mountain Brook Board
of Education
Shelby County Board
of Education
Trussville City Schools
Vestavia Hills Board of Ed.

Colleges and Universities

Birmingham School of Law
Jefferson State Community College
Lawson State Community College
Miles College
Samford University
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Montevallo

Birmingham Southern Munger Memorial Hall entrance
UAB Birmingham at night


From the sophisticated shops at The Summit to home-grown retail throughout the city’s neighborhoods, a craving for the shopping experience is easy to satisfy in Birmingham.

Two women in sunglasses and shopping bags smiling at the camera

Lists and Links

Brookwood Village
Riverchase Galleria
Lane Parke
Outlet Shops of Grand River
Patton Creek
Pinnacle at Tutwiler Farm
The Summit


Downtown Birmingham Railroad part
four kids happily jumping
Shelves stuffed with books
fancy's on 5th sign

Above: a sign of the times in the Avondale entertainment district. Top Right: wearing a Chewbacca mask at Atomic Lounge. At Right: garden shop in Forest Park. At left: an aerial view of Railroad Park. Below left: Satellite coffee shop next to Saturn music venue. Below: Sloss Furnaces. Bottom Right: swings at Mt. Laurel. Bottom Left: a bookshelf at Church Street Coffee and Books in Crestline.

Someone sitting at a coffee counter while wearing a Chewbacca mask as a woman looks on
Sloss Furnace
boy on a swing in a park
text: Guide to the best in the city

2020 Accounting
20-20 Accounting Solutions, LLC strives to support our clients with the profession’s most advanced technologies, ensuring your experience is convenient, cost-effective and client focused. Today’s fast paced, information-driven society demands it!
205-434-1CPA (1272), Birmingham
256-384-9CPA (9272), Athens AL

Alabama School of Fine Arts
Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) is the only tuition-free school for the arts and sciences serving the entire state. ASFA is for students who strive for excellence in the arts and sciences in one of six specialty areas. Students can focus on creative writing, dance, math-science, music, theatre arts and visual arts. The school also offers comprehensive core academic classes. ASFA’s nationally acclaimed faculty provides unmatched preprofessional arts and college preparatory training.
1800 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Birmingham, 35203
(205) 252-9241

Bearden Design
Bearden Design et Boutique is the creation of local Interior Designer, Debbie Bearden Mouyal. Deb has been serving the greater Birmingham area for over 20 years. Deb’s dream has been achieved by bringing international fashion and cutting edge trends to women. Deb has merged her clothing boutique with husband Gil Mouyal’s hairsalon to create a unique experience for both of their customers.
2846 18th St. S, Homewood, 35209
(205) 502-7678

Children’s of Alabama
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 45 other states and six foreign countries last year.
1600 7th Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35205 205-638-9100

text: B-Metro's Best of the City 2020

Closets By Design
Welcome to Closets by Design Central Alabama, where they specialize in custom closets, garages, and home offices in Central Alabama and its surrounding areas. Closets by Design designs, builds, and installs an attractive storage space for any area of your home that needs organizing, from the closet, to the pantry, the garage and everywhere in between.
3806 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35222

Cookie Fix
Inspired by a Pillsbury Bake-Off Cookbook while at the grocery store with her mother, Amy Jason’s earliest baking memories are of sitting on the counter helping her mom make cookies and brownies. Years of perfecting cookie recipes led to dozens of variations, giving Cookie Fix over 60 flavors for their rotating menu, always with natural premium ingredients, baked daily and served fresh.
2854 18th Street S., Homewood 35209

Hanna Antiques
Hanna Antiques, Birmingham’s oldest and largest antiques mall, is open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. Come browse two floors and 27,000 square feet of American and European furniture, rugs, vintage linens, fabulous accessories, and 39 showcases of jewelry, silver and collectibles.
2424 7th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

Issis & Sons
Over the last 30+ years Issis & Sons has grown from a 1,000 square-foot space to four stores equal to about 200,000 square feet. Issis & Sons offers everything from carpet and flooring to furniture and accessories. And with a global network of design professionals staying abreast of the latest trends in home design and furnishings from around the world, they are able to provide their customers with options beyond the ordinary.
Flooring Locations: 2858 Pelham Pkwy, Pelham, AL 35124, 205-663-2310
2815 Greystone Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35242, 205-981-2311
Furniture Locations:
1493 Montgomery Hwy S, Vestavia, AL 35216, 205-874-9586
250 Cahaba Valley Rd.,Pelham, AL 35214.

Levys Fine Jewelry
A Birmingham tradition since 1922, Levys is famous for its customer service, estate jewelry, wedding rings, antique and vintage pieces, and watches.
2116 2nd Avenue N. Birmingham 35203

McWane Center
McWane Science Center’s mission is to “spark wonder and curiosity about our world though hands-on science.” To accomplish this, McWane combines its unique assets to create unique, hands-on, science-learning experiences parents and teachers value and kids love.
200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery
Dr. Daniel E. Rousso would like to welcome you to his private practice in facial plastic surgery and hair replacement surgery. With over 25 years of experience serving the Birmingham area, Dr. Rousso continues the tradition of enhancing and enriching people’s lives with state-of-the-art techniques in facial plastic surgery and hair replacement and restoration.
2700 Highway 280 Suite 300 w, Birmingham, AL 35223

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
From its humble beginnings with a single restaurant in New Orleans in 1965 to its current position as the global steakhouse leader, Ruth’s Chris welcomes steak enthusiasts at more than 150 restaurants worldwide. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is proud to give back to local communities by donating money, time and service. Over the past ten years, they’ve donated nearly $150,000 from their franchise group to organizations in the local community.
Embassy Suites, 1304, 2300 Woodcrest Pl, Birmingham, AL 35209

Shay’s Jewelers
For years, Shay’s Jewelers has been one of the most trusted names in jewelry in Hoover. They are a well-established jewelry store that has grown with the community from a small store to a multi-brand jewelry retailer.
3301 Lorna Road, Hoover, AL 35216
(205) 978-5880

The Yak Shak
The Yak Shak is a kayak pro shop in Pelham that brings together outdoor enthusiasts and builds community around supporting and conserving our natural waterways. We carry fishing kayaks, tackle, apparel and offer kayak rentals year-round.
649 Pelham Parkway, Pelham 35124
(205) 767-3201

Vicki Lugar, ReMax Southern Homes
Vicki Lugar is an experienced Re/Max agent, who provides professional service and builds a relationship with each client. Vicki strives to provide a customized experience by creating a strategic marketing plan to sell your home as well as a personalized checklist to fulfill every desire for your new home.
Vicki Lugar ABR, GRI, CRS, ABR, E-Pro 
(205) 563-3444 •

Woodhouse Day Spa
The Woodhouse Day Spa is a tranquil, transformational environment that’s both memorable and healthful. From beginning to end, the dedicated spa team ensures that your visit enhances your well-being.
125 Summit Blvd. Birmingham, Alabama 35243 (205) 905-7676