Birmingham may lack the name-brand recognition of musical powerhouses like New Orleans and Nashville, or business centers like Atlanta and Houston. What Alabama's largest city possesses instead is vast reserves of unexpected cool. Innovative urban renewal and beautification projects seem to lurk around every corner – at least, the ones that aren't occupied by fantastic bars and restaurants. And while opinions run the gamut, this is a far more liberal town than you may expect given the political proclivities of its home state.
This hilly, shady city, founded as an iron mine, is still a center for manufacturing – many Birmingham residents work at Mercedes Benz USA in Tuscaloosa. In addition, universities and colleges pepper the town, and all of this comes together to create a city with an unreservedly excellent dining and drinking scene. The past also lurks in Birmingham, once named 'Bombingham,' and the history of the Civil Rights movement is very much at your fingers.