Fly in to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, then take I-65 south.
Even if you're not interested in any of the sights here, it's worth it just to visit downtown Homewood, a scenic enclave on the southern foot of Red Mountain, just minutes from downtown Birmingham.
- 1 Alabama Men's Hall of Fame, Harwell Goodwin Davis Library (Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Dr), ☏ , fax: . M-Th 7:30AM-midnight, F 7:30AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 2PM-midnight. Not many places have a hall of fame expressly devoted to men, but Alabama does. This unusual institution was set up by the state legislature in 1987 to parallel the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame, which had been established in Marion years earlier. Free.
- Southern Magic's Romance Readers' Luncheon, Homewood Public Library. First Saturday in November. Meet Alabama Romance authors at the annual event.
- Samford Bulldogs, ☏ . If you're in the Birmingham area and want to catch college sports action without paying the (relatively) high costs of UAB sports, a cheaper alternative is Samford University, a member of the Southern Conference. Unlike UAB, whose football team plays in the top-tier FBS, Samford plays football in the second-tier FCS. As is the case for UAB, football and men's basketball tend to have the highest profiles. Samford's main athletic venues are on campus, most notably 1 Seibert Stadium (football) and 2 Pete Hanna Center (basketball and volleyball).
- Demetri's BBQ, 1901 28th Ave S, ☏ . A popular BBQ restaurant with Greek roots. Aside from the reliably good BBQ, the Greek salad might be the best in town, same for the potato salad. The cream pies and fried apple/peach pies are homemade and definitely worth the 5-minute drive from downtown on the Highway 31 expressway to get there. Breakfast here, from 6AM-10:30AM daily, is notable for the deep-fried French toast. $5-15.
- Jackson's Bistro, 1831 28th Ave S. Bar/grill in Soho Square. Large outdoor patio which draws a great crowd when the weather's nice. Half price wine/beer specials on Tuesday nights.
- Kool Korner Sandwiches, 1360 Montgomery Hwy., Vestavia Hills (Vestrige Shopping Center), ☏ . Known for making the best Cuban sandwiches in Atlanta (with jalapeños upon request). With its friendly owner, Ildefonso Ramirez, and its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, Kool Korners became an Atlanta landmark over 23 years of business -- and now lucky Alabamans can take advantage! As-yet-untoasted cubanos are pre-made in the morning, and the store can run out of them later in the day. Call ahead for large orders.
- Oak Hill Bar and Grill, 2835 18th Street South, ☏ . A classic neighborhood bar also serving pub food.
- Econo Lodge Oxmoor, 195 Oxmoor Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. The Econo Lodge hotel is less than two miles from the University of Alabama and Samford University. Free continental breakfast, indoor pool, and an exercise room are available to guests.
- Microtel Inns & Suites Birmingham, 251 Summit Pkwy, ☏ , fax: .
- Motel 6 Birmingham, 151 Vulcan Rd, ☏ , fax: .
- 1 Ramada Birmingham, 226 Summit Parkway (I-65 Exit 256-A), ☏ , fax: .