Next month I will have lived in Birmingham for two years. This weekend a dear friend is visiting from out of town, so I’ve been thinking about the places I want to share with her. It seemed like a good time to reflect on the parts of my new city that are beginning to feel like home.
My move to Birmingham in 2014 wasn’t the first time I’d been here; I visited frequently when my husband and I were still dating and his family lived here. We visited the zoo, had dinner at The Summit, and spent what seemed like hours on Highway 280. In fact, the 280 corridor was where I felt most comfortable, and when we got married we moved to an apartment there. After a year, we moved closer to downtown in a walkable area called Homewood. This location makes it easier to explore what the city has to offer.
I am hoping to keep this list updated, but here are the first five.
One of the first local coffee shops I visited. It’s almost always packed, but I like it primarily for its location in the middle of charming downtown Homewood. My husband and I have spent many hours there (separately and together) writing, reading, and talking.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Free to enter, the gardens are one of the most tranquil places you’ll find in the city. The gardens were one of the first places I explored on my own just shortly before my dad passed away. I feel a special link to them for that reason.
The Civil Rights Museum
I am not normally a museum person, but this one is truly powerful. I would put it at the top of a “must-see” list for anyone visiting or living in Birmingham.
My husband and I discovered this pub-like pizza place on our way back from a brief getaway to Chattanooga. Since then, it’s felt like our very own piece of Birmingham. (Nevermind that it’s one of the most popular restaurants in the area.)
I love Homewood’s ever-winding streets; I always seem to discover a new road or a lovely house I haven’t seen before. Walking through Rosedale, part of Homewood to the north of Central Park, it’s easy to think I’m back in England. Maybe it’s the cottages—or the church bells.