There’s a lot to learn about Alabama’s history – from steel mills to civil rights, Birmingham has a complicated and complex past that has shaped the city it is today.
Birmingham, once the industrial center of the Deep South of the United States, was established as a city in 1871 thanks to the discovery of limestone, coal and iron ore in the city’s soil. The mills that sprung up to accommodate the swell in productivity led to the prevalence of manufacturing opportunities in Birmingham today: A hefty population of Birmingham’s residents have either worked in the mills or had family members working the mills, which led to Birmingham’s nickname as the “Pittsburgh of the South”.
Birmingham was the site of explosive, violent protests that took place in the city during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Known as “Bombingham” during the 1960s and 1970s, Birmingham’s streets saw unspeakable horrors as Civil Rights Demonstrators made their way through the city streets. Today, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is open to educate the masses about the conflicts responsible for shaping Birmingham’s role in 20th century in American history.
Whether you’re visiting Birmingham for a trip through history or just stopping through on your way across America, take time to revel in one of the “last of the Southern cities” that proudly refers to itself as Alabama’s “Diverse City.”
Regardless of when you visit Birmingham, you’ll be met with mild seasons that shy away from drastic changes in temperature. Winters (November to February) in Birmingham are rainy with chilly temperatures resting well above freezing at around 42 degrees Fahrenheit on average. Birmingham’s summers are hot and humid with temperatures rising as high as 89 degrees in the months of July and August. The transitional season of spring, though not nearly as damp as the winter months, experiences some precipitation and average temperatures of 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flights to Birmingham fill up particularly in the summer months, when the sun is out and Central Alabama’s weather is on its best behavior. Birmingham gets busy during the winter holidays, as well: as a high-traffic time for most destinations, Birmingham, like many other major American cities, is subject to the hike in ticket prices and accommodations rates that last from the beginning of December through January.
Birmingham frees up in spring and fall, after the rush of the winter holidays dies down and before the heat of summer sets in. If you were able to find a cheap flight to Birmingham for a trip during the month of April, you’re in luck: The Birmingham International Festival has been taking place since 1951 and features food, entertainment and fun activities of a particular foreign country.
You can get around Birmingham easily by taking a bus or public transportation. Spend some time on the ground and travel to and from Birmingham from several southern states by Greyhound buses or Amtrak trains.