Blog

8 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer

Alabama Splash Adventure

Water slides, wave pool, lazy river, kid’s area…there’s so much fun to have at Alabama Splash Adventure this summer! Grab the kids and plan to spend the day beating the summer heat.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Have you considered how exquisite a motorcycle is in its styling, mechanics, and capabilities? Their artistry is what Birmingham native George Barber saw when he began collecting motorcycles in 1988. Six years later, he established the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Today, it is home to the largest collection of motorcycles in the world.

Cook Museum of Natural Science

The Cook Museum of Natural Science, located in downtown Decatur, Alabama, is a hands-on, immersive experience where guests can explore, interact with, and learn about nature.

High Point Climbing

High Point Climbing and Fitness in Birmingham is located in the completely renovated Next Fitness facility on Highway 280. High Point Birmingham brings world class climbing to Alabama with 25,000 square feet of indoor climbing surface featuring up to 52+ feet of climbing. The facility is now completely open with the Kid Zone, Bouldering, Weight, Aerobic, Yoga Room, and Route Area! Climbing Clubs and Team can be joined at anytime.  Yoga is now offered five nights a week and is included with any Membership or Day Pass.Come have fun and get fit at High Point!

McWane Science Center

Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder — from an amazing collection of dinosaurs to innovative environmental showcases, imaginative early childhood playgrounds, and an awe-inspiring aquarium. The energy and excitement of discovery spring to life through an extensive lineup of science demonstrations performed daily by talented educators. The adventure intensifies in the IMAX® Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of breathtaking films on a 5-story-tall screen surrounded by 3 tons of high-intensity speakers.

Point Mallard Park

The Point Mallard Waterpark is home to America’s First Wave Pool and so much more! There’s also Point Mallard Golf Course, Point Mallard Ice Complex, Point Mallard Camp Ground, and Strike Zone Batting Cages.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Since opening its doors in 1970, nearly 16 million people have toured the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The vast majority of those visitors have been from out of state or from foreign nations. Many of the more than 550,000 annual visitors are school students on field trips to their future. Dozens of interactive exhibits encourage visitor participation, prompting one official to note: “Here, everyone can be an astronaut for the day!”


Home to Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge® Camp, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world. Its large rocket and space hardware collection is valued in the tens of millions of dollars. From America’s first satellite, Explorer I, to next generation space vehicles like Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser, the museum showcases the past, present and future of human spaceflight.


The USSRC is more than just artifacts! Experience the physics of astronaut training like never before in simulators like Space Shot and G-Force. Our Spacedome IMAX® Theater transports you to different worlds with amazing documentary films like Hubble, and live demonstrations in the Discovery Theater will have you seeing space science in a whole new light. There’s always something happening at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center!

See an actual moon rock at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Vulcan Park & Museum

What kind of city builds a huge statue of a burly, bearded, bare-bottomed man to tower over its entire population? One that never forgets its roots. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge, watches over all of Birmingham as a symbol of the city’s iron origins–and the ever-present spark of its indomitable spirit at the Vulcan Park & Museum.

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Performing Arts

From live theater and cabaret to opera and the symphony, Birmingham’s performing arts scenes is bound to amaze.

Alabama Ballet


2726 1st Ave. S; 205.322.4300;
alabamaballet.org
Alabama Ballet seeks to promote and foster the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high-quality education and community outreach. They offer a variety of classes for all ages. Under the direction of
Tracey Alvey, this company of professional dancers presents four full-length productions annually.


Alabama Symphony Orchestra


3621 6th Ave. S; 205.975.2787;
alabamasymphony.org
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra has entertained audiences for more than 70 years, playing a variety of classical and popular compositions and
hosting performances by some of the finest international guest artists. The symphony’s 54 talented musicians bring to life some of the world’s most
treasured musical masterpieces, giving 190 performances a year.


Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center


1200 10th Ave. S; 205.975.2787 or
alysstephens.org
The trademark of UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center is diversity—diverse performances and diverse audiences. From classical, pop, jazz and world beat music to dance, comedy, theater and family entertainment, the
center welcomes the entire community into the magical realm of performing arts.


Birmingham Children’s Theatre


2130 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd N;
205.458.8181; bct123.org
Birmingham Children’s Theatre was founded in 1946. Since that time, it has become one of America’s largest professional theatres for young audiences and now operates in a three-theatre complex at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. The theatre produces eight shows shows seasonally, four of which tour, giving the theatre a combined audience of over 200,000 each year.


Birmingham Festival Theatre


1901 11th Ave. S; 205.933.2383;
bftonline.org
Founded in 1972, Birmingham Festival Theatre is the oldest theatre in Birmingham producing contemporary and classic theatre. It is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors. Since its founding, BFT has staged more than 200 productions—involving more than 50 directors, almost 1,000 actors and 500 crew people—attended by almost 100,000 audience members.


Central Alabama Theater


36 Church Street; 888.870.2477;
centralalabamatheater.com
Central Alabama Theater (CAT) was founded in 2013 by Carl Peoples with the tag line “Where The Stars Fall On Alabama!” CAT produces a New York style Cabaret series titled CAT CABARET; a “free to the public” play reading series titled CAT SCRIPTS, as well as full productions of musicals and plays. CAT is most proud of their Junior Advisory Board (JAB); the educational arm
of the non-profit, where each year, 12 students from local high schools and colleges are chosen to serve (free of charge) on JAB where they learn performance best practices, as well as the “business” of theatre!


Opera Birmingham


3601 6th Ave. S; 205.322.6737;
operabirmingham.org
Northern Alabama’s only professional, regional opera company, Opera Birmingham has entertained and informed audiences in the region for over 50 years. From its humble beginnings in 1955 to its 50th anniversary in 2005 and beyond, Opera Birmingham has produced world-class operatic
productions and concerts that have been hailed by critics and loved by audiences.


Red Mountain Theatre Company


301 19th Street S; 205.324.2424;
redmountaintheatre.org
Red Mountain Theatre Company is a nonprofit professional theatre organization with an emphasis on musical theatre. Red Mountain Theatre Company‘s season begins in September and runs through July each year with a wide variety of well-known musicals.


Terrific New Theatre


2821 2nd Ave. S; 205.328.0868;
terrificnewtheatre.com
Founded by Steve Stella and Carl Stewart in 1986, Terrific New Theatre (TNT) is the off-Broadway of Birmingham. Featuring avant garde performances, TNT thrills audiences with performances that aren’t seen anywhere else in town. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm. Cash or checks only.


Theatre Downtown


2410 5th Ave. South;
205.565.8838; theatredowntown.org
Theatre Downtown was founded in 2006 and provides the city of Birmingham with cutting-edge contemporary theatre and a host of Alabama and Southeastern premieres. A traveling troupe, Theatre Downtown performs throughout the Birmingham area in a variety of locations.


Verizon Wireless Music Center


1000 Amphitheatre Road;
205.985.0703 ; theoakmountaintainamphitheater.com
Each year between April and October, some of the world’s top musicians perform in the beautiful outdoor arena, formerly known as Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Fee varies with each performance. Now a LiveNation venue, located just south of the city, Highway 119 exit off I-65.


Virginia Samford Theatre


1116 26th Street S; 205.251.1206;
virginiasamfordtheatre.org
The Virginia Samford Theatre presents a wide variety of musicals. The charming historic theater with its park-side setting is located on Birmingham’s southside and has a lovely outdoor courtyard. Season begins each August.

Super 7 Experiences in Downtown Huntsville

Experience our Arts and Culture

Looking for a cultured night out on the town? Head to the Von Braun Center for a variety of performances by local and regional and national groups. Treat yourself to an evening with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and enjoy classical and modern performances led by maestro Gregory Vajda. For information, visit hso.org. The Huntsville Ballet Company also calls the VBC home. Visit huntsvilleballet.org for a schedule of performances by some of the country’s most talented professional dancers. The VBC hosts Broadway Theatre League shows, brought straight from NYC to the Rocket City. For a list of dates and shows, visit broadwaytheatreleaque.org. If you are looking for local theater talent, the Von Braun Center Playhouse hosts the Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater (fantastplayhouse.org) and Theatre Huntsville.

Art can be found all throughout Downtown Huntsville. Don’t miss the murals that bring life to the walls of downtown buildings. The newest mural in Downtown can be seen off of Washington Street on the side of the Clinton Row Garage. This mural is in honor of the “Votes for Women” campaign.

You can also enjoy art in hidden locations through the Downtown Huntsville Secret Art Trail. Art can be found on ceilings, in alleys, and even underneath your feet! Plus, the new Mae Jemison segment of the Secret Art Trail in Big Spring Park features seven painted power boxes in honor of the first African American woman in space. You can learn more at downtownhuntsville.org/secretarttrail.

If you want to bring Downtown Huntsville Art back home to you, then check out the Friday Night Art Walks. From May to October, Downtown Huntsville, Inc. hosts their Friday Night Art Walks, where local art vendors gather around the Historic Square in Downtown Huntsville for a night of fun local shopping. More information about Friday Night Art Walks can be found at downtownhuntsville.org/FridayNightArtWalk.

Located in the heart of Downtown Huntsville in Big Spring Park, the nationally accredited Huntsville Museum of Art fills its numerous galleries with a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including prestigious traveling exhibits, the work of nationally and regionally acclaimed artists and exhibits from the museum’s own 3,000-piece permanent collection. After you take in the art, stop in the Museum Store for unique jewelry, pottery, glasswork and more.

For more Downtown History and Culture, head to any of our Historic Residential communities. The city of Huntsville boasts more homes on the National Register of Historic Places than any other in Alabama. Located downtown, the Twickenham District is one of the South’s best-kept secrets, featuring the largest collection of antebellum homes in Alabama.

Kids and adults alike will be impressed by the recreated world of the past at EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, the Alabama Constitution Hall Park, where interpreters live the lives of early Huntsville settlers. And who doesn’t love trains? Stop by the Huntsville Depot Museum for a ride through railroad history. Can’t decide which one you want to visit? See all three and enjoy a discount. Call 256.564.8100for more information.

Experience the Downtown Trail Network

If the Downtown Huntsville Secret Art Trail interests you, then you might want to consider journeying on the other Downtown Huntsville Trails. These include the Craft Beer Trail, Craft Coffee Trail, and the newest Craft Cocktail Trail.

For craft beer fans, Huntsville is a popular destination for your favorite ales, stouts and more, and many of the top craft beer establishments are concentrated in the Downtown Huntsville area! The Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail is an informal alliance of local craft breweries and craft beer stores. Guests on the trail can pick up a trail card at any of the establishments on the trail. From there, you can get your trail card stamped at each stop. Once you complete all the stops, you can redeem your trail card for free trail swag. In other words, the Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail rewards you for tasting all the great local craft beers in the city center.

If Huntsville wasn’t known for it’s beer, then coffee would be the runner up! With the same concept in mind as the Craft Beer Trail, the Craft Coffee Trail rewards You for staying caffeinated! Visit local craft coffee establishments to get a trail card, stamps, and earn a fabulous Craft Coffee Trail mug!

The newest addition to the Downtown Huntsville Trail Network is the Craft Cocktail Trail. These impressive cocktails may seem like a reward themselves, but you might as well start earning your stamps while you are indulging!

Drink handcrafted cocktails, collect your stamps, and at the end of the trail receive a cocktail strainer to make your favorite drink right at home! For a true Rocket City experience, book a ride on the Rocket City Rover party trolley and take to the trails in style and comfort!

Whether you’re looking to grab a drink and chill to some tunes or dance into the night, you can find just the right spot in Downtown Huntsville. Live bands are a mainstay at many bars and clubs, including The Martin Bar & Bistro, Jefferson St. Pub, and Sidetracks where you can also grab a bite to eat. Or, you can rock out at such local favorites as Sammy T’s Music Hall and Whiskey Bottom Saloon.

Unique rooftop experiences and the city’s top bartenders await you at Stella’s Elixir Lounge and Rhythm on Monroe where you may also enjoy live music many nights of the week. Church Street Wine Shoppe, Purveyor, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Domaine South also offer handcrafted cocktails and glasses of wine and appetizers. Nightlife in Downtown Huntsville is an adventure around every corner.

Experience Shopping Local

In the mood to do a little shopping? Then look no further than the Clinton Row District. This one-of-a-kind shopping destination in historic Downtown Huntsville is home to some of the city’s most unique boutiques. From boho chic goods at Indigo Boutique, Caley Paige Home and Gifts, Silhouette Boutique, 5th Avenue inspired fashions at Elitaire Boutique to a full servicemen’s provisioner at Roosevelt & Co., these locally-owned and operated shops are sure to have a unique selection of items you won’t find anywhere else. Plus head underground to the Clinton Row Shops for some of Downtown Huntsville’s best keptsecrets! See all the unique shopping in theClinton Row District at shopclintonrow.com.

Around the Historic Square, you will find the oldest store in DowntownHuntsville, Harrison Brother’s Hardware.Established in 1894, the store retains its original historic fixtures and offers merchandise that reflects “American made” at its finest. This shop is not just a great place to find Huntsville gifts and galore, but an entire experience with plenty to learn about Huntsville history.

If you are heading up to the mountain, stop by The Little Green Store and the gift shop at Burritt on the Mountain for great Monte Sano themed merchandise and amazing gift ideas.

Other notable shopping locations include the Preservation Company, Holtz Leather, and Brooks & Collier all located within the Lincoln Mill District. Find handmade artisan goods at the Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Center. In the Medical District, you can find Merchants Square and Merchants Walk full of quirky boutiques. Twickenham Square is home to a few small businesses as well as a Publix for convenient grocery shopping. Supporting local small businesses is easy when there are so many great options from which to choose.

For a full list of shops, visit downtownhuntsville.org/shopping.

Experience an Active Lifestyle

Without a doubt, Big Spring Park is the epicenter of life and culture in Huntsville, and now zipping around downtown is easier than ever. Downtown Huntsville Blue Bikes, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, are spread out throughout downtown at eleven stations including at the VisitorsCenter, Big Spring Park, and Campus 805. Riders will pay a simple $2 per 30 minutesof riding.

Throughout the year, the park plays host to numerous events, including the Panoply Arts Festival, Crush Wine & Food Festival, Tinsel Trail and Paddle the Canal. But you don’t have to wait for a major event to enjoy the park. Children will love the famously friendly ducks, geese and koi that call the lagoon home. Or, use the park as a starting point for your exploration ofHuntsville. Visitors can enjoy strolling the walking trail, viewing the light displays every evening after dark, stopping for a peaceful picnic or even surfing the web courtesy of free wi-fi.

However, don’t miss out on Downtown Huntsville’s other parks! Visit our urban pocket park, Washington Park, for a splash of nature in the middle of bustling buildings. Or enjoy thrilling sports and a covered patio at California Park. For a peek at many of our Downtown Parks, check out the Downtown Huntsville Explorer Vlog Park Series at downtownhuntsville.org/vlog.

Downtown Huntsville is also only five minutes away from over 40 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. Land Trust of North Alabama’s Monte Sano Nature Preserve offers 22 miles of free public trails showcasing native wildflowers, historic sites, waterfalls and more. Anchoring the district is Monte Sano State Park which offers panoramic views of Huntsville.

If you are seeking an indoor fitness experience, Downtown Huntsville offers everything from cycling, to martial arts and everything in between. Cycling classes can be found at Zoom Fitness or the new Cyclebar. Enjoy Yoga with Light On Yoga Fitness. Learn martial arts through Maverick Training, or try trainer led classes at Regymen Fitness. For a full list of indoor fitness experiences, visit downtownhuntsville.org/dorentorn-outdoors.

Experience Dine Huntsville

One thing’s for sure you won’t go hungry while you’re visiting Downtown Huntsville. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite, a leisurely dinner or fine dining, there are plenty of options to please your palate. In the downtown core try local favorites like Rhythm on Monroe, Honest CoffeeRoasters, and Domaine South. The Church Street Family has several dining options in the downtown core including the new Church Street Wine Shoppe on Gates andSea Salt: Oyster Bar. For hand crafted cocktails and an unforgettable dinner, try Purveyor; they have an inventive menu and they’re open late for shareables. Downtown is also home to Cotton Row and Commerce Kitchen by celebrity chef James Boyce.

In West Huntsville you can find Fresko Grille at Stovehouse for a healthy option or stop into Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza at Campus 805 for a meal for the whole family.

The Medical District is home to fine steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.Find more dining options atdowntownhuntsville.org/dining-nightlife.

See ExcursionsGo.com for a complete list of dining options.

Experience Live Music

The Von Braun Center has multiple facilities to host live musical performances. Big name concerts as well as local musician lineups are held at the VBC. It is located conveniently next to many downtown restaurants, parks, and hotels. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy a night out at the Von Braun Center in Downtown Huntsville.

The newest addition to the VBC is the Mars Music Hall. Its open-floor plan and balcony overlooking the oversized stage make this one of the most unique live music venues in the state. It is also equipped with four bars/food service areas perfect for big events.

Aside from live music venues, Downtown Huntsville is also home to the Women in Music weekend. Celebrating women in music, this weekend is filled with Huntsville’s top women musicians performing at local establishments downtown. You can enjoy music sessions with multiple artists at bigger venues or cozy up with a single artist in smaller unconventional stages. Learn more at downtownhuntsville.org/womeninmusic.

If you can’t make it out to any live music event venues or the Women in Music weekend, you can visit downtown any day or time and be able to find buskers performing. Local buskers are welcome to set up in certain areas of Downtown Huntsville to provide live music for those dining or shopping in the area.

Experience Unique Venues

Campus No. 805 has become the connecting point for the resurgence of West Huntsville neighborhoods, the treasured historic districts and the hundreds of exciting new loft residences in downtown. Campus 805, once home to classrooms filled with students, is now filled with a growing list of tenants including craft breweries, restaurants, catering, bars, retail and entertainment venues!

Stovehouse, an old factory building, is now one of the best social pubs in downtown. Great food and beverage options line the courtyard at Stovehouse all encompassing a beautiful area for socializing or listening to live music. Recurring events here include trivia night, dueling pianos, movie nights, and more.

Find more information about our venues at downtownhuntsville.org/shopping.

Stop by the Welcome Center

Need information about what to do during your stay in the Rocket City? Stop by the Visitor Center, located in the lobby of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau in Downtown Huntsville. Pickup Passport coupons to use at area attractions. Sports fan? Pick up an All-Star Sports Pass which allows you to buy one ticket and get one FREE to Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Huntsville Havoc hockey, UAH Chargers hockey and Huntsville Tigers women’s football. TheVisitor Center is also the perfect place to pick up a Rocket City souvenir, or the Arts & Entertainment Pass.

For more information about the Visitor Center and to see online listings of where to stay, shop, dine and play, call 800.SPACE.4.U or visithuntsville.org. Open seven days a week, the Visitor Center is conveniently located at 500 Church Street NW in Downtown Huntsville.

Mellow Mushroom

Out of This World Pizza, Wings and More in a Fun and Quirky “River City” Inspired Setting

When the Mellow Mushroom location in Decatur went up for sale in 2017, the new owner was just next door. Ryan Helsley owned the Moe’s Barbeque next door and was ready for a new challenge. While Ryan knew the Moe’s brand and barbeque, he was a newbie to the pizza game initially, but felt that both brand espoused similar values with a foundation in good food and good service in timely manner.

He called the foray into pizza making “‘intimidating” because there were more moving parts and almost three times more staff than the Moe’s location required. But, ultimately the idea of good food, cold drinks and a unique workforce.

While Mellow Mushroom is known for its pizza variety, Ryan says the most popular at this location seems to be Holy Shiitake, an olive oil and garlic base with shiitake, button and Portobelo mushrooms, caramelized onions, mozzarella and MontAmore. It’s finished with a garlic aioli swirl and spritz of black truffle oil and garnished with fresh chives and shaved Parmesan.

The wings are also a popular choice at the restaurant particularly the new “Cloud 9 Wings” which are double baked and coated in a rich garlic parmesan sauce with a hint if heat. They are garnished with grated aged parmesan and chives and served with the traditional wings sides of carrots, celery and ranch or bleu cheese.

Salads are a surprise favorite at the restaurant something Ryan attributes largely to the fact that the corporate office for Mellow Mushroom is always creating and testing new recipes. The salad menu, which ranges from a basic caesar or Greek salad to a bacon and bleu cheese wedge and an Enlightened Spinach Salad, also features exotic dressings like “Pomegranate Acai” that are sure to delight every dinner at the restaurant.

The location, like all Mellow Mushroom locations, is decorated in a unique style, with a nod to the surrounding area’s history, culture or population. For instance, here in the “River City,” the focal point of the funky interior design is a jon boat that hangs overhead and has been converted into a chandelier.

  • 202 Moulton Street E, Decatur, AL 35601
  • 256.355.5161

Baja California Cantina and Grill

With outstanding reviews and consistently high praise from customers, Baja California Cantina and Grill in Hoover should be on the top of your list for the best Tex-Mex cuisine, delicious drinks with your favorite spirits and impeccable service.

All of their margaritas are made with fresh-squeezed lime juice.

Baja California Cantina and Grill is open seven days a week and conveniently located to all hotels in the Hoover, Vestavia Hills, and Bessemer areas. Catch live music performances by following them on Facebook.

On the Menu

Appetizers: California Nachos, Crazy Nachos, Chorizo Dip, 3 Amigos Dip

Entrees: California Fajitas, Carne Asada, Chimichangas, Burrito Bandito Seafood: Baja Fishing Trip, Fish Tacos, Seafood Taco Salad

Desserts: Sopapilla! (our famous home-made dough deep-fried covered with cinnamon, sugar and butter), Fried Ice Cream

Children’s Menu and Vegetarian Options Available

  • 1694 Montgomery Highway, Hoover, Alabama 35216
  • 205.761.1061
  • Facebook @Baja-California-Cantina-and-Grill-Hoover
  • HOURS OF OPERATION: Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Simp McGhee’s

Featured in Alabama Tourism’s Guide “100 Alabama Dishes to Try Before You Die”

When Christy Wheat started working as a server at Simp McGhee’s, she thought it would be a fun way to make some money while she went back to school. “Things changed, I fell in love with it, and I’ve been here ever since,” she said. After ten years, she bought the restaurant.

These days, the 35-year-old Bank Street restaurant is a favorite for locals and is often called “Decatur’s Favorite Corporate Gathering Spot.” Although it bills itself as “fine dining with a cajun twist, “Simp McGhee’s is more than just good food. It has become as iconic as the river boat captain whose name it bears.

Simp McGhee was a notorious river boat captain who was known to navigate the most dangerous stretches of the Tennessee River at full throttle, rather than the slower, safer way the law required. He was also known for his antics around town, including drinking beer at local bars with his pet pig.

Everyone who comes through Simp McGhee’s doors has a different favorite dish, but the Stuffed Mushroom Caps are so legendary the Alabama Department of Tourism declared them one of the “100 Alabama Dishes to Try Before You Die.” Other favorites on the menu include the “Pontchartrain” which is fresh fish, topped with bay shrimp, crab, mushrooms and green onions and served on a bed of brown rice or the “Dean’s Delight” is a prime tenderloin served with gulf shrimp, cajun alfredo sauce and pasta.

From September to April, you can find Christy’s husband, John, shucking oysters at the bar on Friday nights. In fact, most of Decatur can be found there, according to Christy. “You can’t walk through the door without everybody having to stop and talk,” she said. Whether you are looking for cajun food, seafood, steak, pasta or one of Simp McGhee’s other specialty dishes, there is something for everyone and no trip to Decatur is complete without stopping in to experience the old-world charm of the restaurant.

  • 724 Bank Street NE, Decatur, AL 35601
  • 256.353.6284
  • simpmcghees.com
  • @simpmcghees on social media

The Filling Station Pizza Cafe and Bar

For more than forty years, the building which now houses The Filling Station Pizza Cafe & Bar in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham, was a full-service gas station- the kind where they actually pumped your gas for you and cleaned your windshield.

Starting in 2015, the chef and his staff at The Filling Station now pump out a broad range of appetizers, handmade pizzas and calzones, pasta dishes and sandwiches that are sure to satisfy any craving you have. The old service bays are now filled with tables and a bar. Behind the bar is an intricate system of taps that deliver cold locally- and internationally-brewed beers without any temperature loss from the keg.

The Filling Station is perfect to visit anytime of the year, but when the weather is mild, the garage doors are open and patrons enjoy the expansive covered patio.

Sports fans appreciate the multitude of HDTV screens to keep them in tune with their favorite teams. In case you are the nostalgic type, there is even a vintage gas station pump, but the only fuel you get here now is the fantastic food, fine drinks, service with a smile and fun folks.

  • 5524 Crestwood Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35212
  • 205.592.3455
  • @thefillingstationbham
  • Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m
  • Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • thefillingstationbham.com

Birmingham Night Life

Excerpted from EXCURSIONS by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

Looking for a night out on the town, a fun date night, or just drinks after work? Birmingham’s vibrant night life scene has a lot to choose from! Whether you like a cozy, quiet spot or rocking live music, you’ll have the time of your life in these amazing spots.

ABHI Eatery + Bar

Located in The Summit shopping complex just south of downtown Birmingham, ABHI Eatery + Bar is a locally-owned Asian Fusion restaurant created by Chef Abhi Sainju and his wife, Ainah. Chef Abhi gained experience in other locally-owned restaurants, honing his skills, spending years developing the menu for ABHI and opened in February 2017.

The food is inspired by Abhi’s upbringing in Nepal and his travels throughout the world exploring different techniques and flavors. Abhi first made his mark in Birmingham creating sushi with the freshest and most inventive ingredients available. His reputation as a perfectionist and his inventiveness created a near-cult following of locals and visitors, alike.

The menu at ABHI ranges from shareables like Momos (Abhi’s house-made dumplings—a house signature dish), beer battered eggplant, Kathmandu Fried Chicken (KFC) Lollipops, and sushi to noodle, ramen and curry bowls. The sheer number of bowls to choose from on the menu is mind-blowing and you will need to visit over and over again to try them all.

The bar isn’t anything to overlook either. An award-winning bartender is constantly preparing special concoctions to pair with various items on the menu. Craftily combining fresh fruit juices, nuts and spices to create the base for cocktails that are only available at ABHI.

Chef Abhi’s eye for perfection, color and balance transcend the kitchen to the modern yet warm décor of the dining room and bar. Black cloth covered tables are punctuated by bright orange napkins and warmly lit by candles. The marble-topped wooden bar is stocked with the highest quality spirits from all over the world. Visit ABHI today.

Avondale Brewing

It all began when a circus owner’s misfortune at a game of cards bestowed the city of Avondale with a great gift. His prize attraction, Miss Fancy the Elephant, would inadvertently become the city’s greatest spokesperson. Known as the Queen of Avondale, Miss Fancy performed a wonder of tricks at her home in Avondale Zoo. During prohibition, City Hall kept a special Miss Fancy reserve on hand at all time in order to treat her stomach aliment. When her stomach starting acting up, Mr. Todd would call the prohibition officers down to the zoo for a little hooch action.

Avondale Brewing’s Miss Fancy’s Tripel is a strong Belgian golden ale rich in flavor and alcohol. The use of malts, traditional hops, a proprietary yeast blend and Belgian candi sugar creates a very special beer named after a very special elephant. Miss Fancy’s Tripel is remarkably smooth and refreshing for such a high ABV beer. CAUTION! Miss Fancy’s Tripel is brewed for humans but strong enough for elephants.

Baja California Cantina & Grill

With outstanding reviews and consistently high praise from customers, Baja California Cantina and Grill in Hoover should be on the top of your list for the best Tex-Mex cuisine, delicious drinks with your favorite spirits and impeccable service.

Baja California Cantina and Grill is open seven days a week and conveniently located to all hotels in the Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Bessemer areas. Catch live music performances by following them on Facebook.

  • HOURS OF OPERATION:
  • Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Filling Station

For more than forty years, the building which now houses The Filling Station Pizza Cafe & Bar in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham, was a full-service gas station – the kind where they actually pumped your gas for you and cleaned your windshield.

Starting in 2015, the chef and his staff at The Filling Station now pump out a broad range of appetizers, handmade pizzas and calzones, pasta dishes and sandwiches that are sure to satisfy any craving you have. The old service bays are now filled with tables and a bar. Behind the bar is an intricate system of taps that deliver cold locally and internationally brewed beers without any temperature loss from the keg.

The Filling Station is perfect to visit anytime of the year, but when the weather is mild, the garage doors are open and patrons enjoy the expansive patio.

Sports fans appreciate the multitude of HDTV screens to keep them in tune with their favorite teams. In case you are the nostalgic type, there is even a vintage gas station pump—but the only fuel you get here now is the fantastic food, fine drinks and fun folks.

Birmingham District Brewing Company

Birmingham District is the name of the geologic formation containing plentiful supplies of iron ore, limestone, and coal, the ingredients needed to make steel. The discovery of these ingredients in 1865 led to the explosive growth of industry and population that made the city of Birmingham appear “as if by magic.” Birmingham has since been known as “The Magic City.”

There has been a bit of that magic over the last 10 years with the appearance of craft breweries in and around Birmingham. The area now has a reputation as a destination for quality craft breweries and none reflect the history, heart, and magic of the area better than Birmingham District Brewing Company.  

At BDBC you will find world-class beers crafted by artisans in a variety of styles from pilsners, IPAs, and stouts to fruited sours. Great indoor and outdoor spaces, they have places to watch your favorite sports team, play a round of corn hole, or reserve a quiet spot for an informal business meeting.  

If you can only visit one brewery while you are in town, do not miss Birmingham District Brewing Company.

Hours: Mon—Wed: 12p—10p; Thu—Fri: 12p-12a; Sat 11a—12a; Sun: 12p—8p.

Crestwood Tavern

Crestwood Tavern is your neighborhood bar in Birmingham bringing you traditional pub fare, delicious drinks, a backyard patio, and endless entertainment!

Photo courtesy of Crestwood Tavern.

Good People Brewing Company

In the South, when someone is genuine, honest, and caring, they’re called “good people.” That’s who Good People Brewing Company keeps in mind when they’re crafting beer—the kind of humble, caring, and respected folks they grew up with. That philosophy has carried over to how they designed their taproom and social spaces. The taproom and outdoor patios and terraces allow for beer-lovers, regardless of how many there in a group, to comfortably sit and enjoy great beer and engaging conversation. Great beer is meant to be set down on a tabletop and overshadowed by conversation, friends, family. And every glass is an invitation.

The vast indoor taproom features all of Good People’s mainstay brews and a rotation of seasonal and specialty brews only available on-site. Watch the magic happen in the brewery through the large windows while discovering your next favorite beers from the oldest and largest brewery in Alabama. Tours available.

Good People regularly hosts small and large events both private and public. A regular rotation of local food trucks keeps appetites satisfied. Book your next private or corporate event at Good People Brewing Company.

Hop City

With a commitment to carry every single bottle or canned choice available in Alabama, coupled with 60 constantly rotating taps for pints and growlers, Hop City is the go-to spot for all things beer. Sprinkle in an informed selection of over 1,000 wines and you have a grown-up version of Willy Wonka’s factory.

Magic City’s version of Hop City opened in September 2012. Hop City is one of the top ten beer retailers in the US, according to both Draft Magazine and Ratebeer.com. In addition, Beer Advocate  has awarded their highest ranking for Hop City’s amazing service, knowledge and selection.

Swing by and enjoy a beer at the bar, browse the aisles for a favorite or a rarity, then fill a jug with a draft for that party this weekend. Ask for a recommendation – the team loves to talk beer and wine! Check the website for an event schedule including free weekly tastings and new beer launches. 

  • hopcitybeer.com; 205-279-2337
  • 2924 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • Hours: Mon—Wed: 10a-9p; Thu—Sat: 10a-10p

Margaronas Cantina

Visit Margaronas Cantina in Homewood, Alabama. Serving traditional and authentic Mexican dishes, Margaronas Cantina has quickly become a stand-out among locals. The modern atmosphere pays tribute to Mexico with a heightened level of comfort and sophistication. Enjoy dining inside or out on the covered patio. The full bar offers the finest tequilas and all of your other favorite spirits. The owners and staff will greet you at the door and ensure your experience is the very best in Birmingham.

HOURS OF OPERATION: Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Mom’s Basement

Located between Avondale and Crestwood off Crestwood Blvd., Mom’s Basement is laid-back, come-as-you-are, judgment-free space to drink, listen to great music from the DJ or live band. There’s plenty of free parking and plenty of characters to meet and enjoy. Be sure to bring a photo of your mom for the Wall of Fame. With a full bar, Mom’s Basement offers all the comforts of home with a few surprises. Bring your friends to the photo booth or hang out near it and share in the laughs and good times. Visiting Mom’s is like getting a warm hug and a slap on the hand all at the same time…ahhh, just like home.

Opens daily at 4 p.m. with Happy Hour til 7 p.m. Live Music often, a Pool Table and a Patio.

Oasis

Oasis is well-known for the amazing talent of professional musicians on their stage; some of whom have become household names like Taylor Hicks. With live music every night, an Oasis guest may find anything from full rock-and-roll bands to intimate singer-songwriters to funky duos

They also provide professional dart boards that are free to play and drink specials 7 days a week.

Pies & Pints

Pies & Pints, is best known for their excellent selection of handcrafted beers from artisanal breweries around the world, which can be enjoyed by the bottle or on tap, as well as an intimate list of ciders and wines from California, Spain, and Italy.  Stop in for classic and specialty pizza pies, garden fresh salads, oven-toasted sandwiches and house-made desserts.
Monday–Thursday: 11am–10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am–12am
Sunday: 11am–9pm

Photo courtesy of Pies & Pints.

Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar

Near the end of the 19th century, Founder’s Station originally hosted a printing press company. In honor of the building’s history, Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar chose its name after the typographical character used to indicate a new paragraph or section of text. Established in late 2018, Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar specializes in premium craft cocktails and has rapidly become one of Birmingham’s most favored and most unique watering holes and casual gathering spots.

SideBar

SideBar is the hottest spot in the most thriving entertainment district of Birmingham. Whether you’re just starting the afternoon or burning the midnight oil, this is your haven. With their weatherproof patio, there is plenty of space to enjoy the open air or belly up to the bar in our inviting front room and bring your A-game to our dance room—complete with back patio and a bar of its own. Come play or watch a game of beach volleyball on the newly-built outdoor beach volleyball court—equipped with loads of outdoor seating and a fully stocked bar.

  • Happy Hour: 3-8 p.m. weekdays
  • Live Music Every Friday and Saturday
  • 18 Beers on Tap
  • HDTVs inside and out.

Slice Pizza

Slice Pizza & Brew has become a Birmingham staple since it’s original location opened in the Lakeview District. Started by brothers, Jeff, Chris and Jason Bajalieh, Slice is as local as you can get, from the owners to the ingredients that go into every pizza to the beer on tap. Slice originated as a place not just to eat, but to hang out and has held true to this sentiment with the opening of the second Slice Pizza & Brew in Vestavia Hills across from Lifetime Fitness.

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No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ll love the food and atmosphere at this local favorite amongst the movers and shakers of Birmingham. Come enjoy the best pizza in Birmingham! For more information on Slice or their two locations, please visit slicebirmingham.com.

  • Slice Lakeview 725 29th Street S Birmingham, AL 35233 205.715.9300
  • Slice Vestavia 304 Timberlake Drive Vestavia Hills, AL 35243 205.557.5423

SoHo Social

Soho Social is a community-based bar and grill centered around the needs and wants of Homewood, Alabama. They offer unique spins on American classics; familiar, yet fresh at the same time.

The menu ranges from salads, wings and latin-inspired dishes like empanadas and duck totchos to a wide variety of unique burgers, smoked hangar steak and fresh fish. Weekly specials include Monday Wine and Tacos and Tuesday Beers and Burgers with a special menu prepared specifically for those days.

Their focus on fantastic food, laid back, friendly and sincere service along with distinctive drinks with unique style has earned Soho Social  top-of-list status for places to go for both locals and visitors.

The Refinery

Named one of Birmingham’s Most Attractive Bars, The Refinery is a place in downtown Birmingham where you can find flavorful food and delicious drinks.

Twin Peaks

Welcome to your mountain lodge getaway. Here at Twin Peaks, we offer everything you crave and more: hearty made-from-scratch comfort food, draft beer served at a teeth-chattering 29 degrees and all the best sports on TV shown on high-definition flat screens. All of this is served by our friendly and attentive Twin Peaks Girls, offering their signature “Girl Next Door” charisma and playful personalities to ensure that your adventure happens at the Peaks. We’re your Ultimate Sports Lodge – Game on!

Village Tavern Scratch Kitchen-Craft Bar

Village Tavern Scratch Kitchen-Craft Bar stands out for its passion and perfection of classic American cuisine. Be it for business lunches, gatherings or date night, Village Tavern is the place for all occasions. They are committed to providing the highest quality food, wine and service at an affordable price, while creating unforgettable dining experiences with exceptional hospitality.

Every day has something special to offer with deals like HALF PRICE WINE Wednesday, offering more than 60 wines by the glass on an award-winning wine list at half price, so you can enjoy a glass of your favorite wine or try something new. In addition to daily drink specials, check out the best happy hour and bar bites available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, and brunch on the weekends, Village Tavern is the neighborhood gathering place for all. Outdoor dining available when weather permits.

Escape Day Spa

Excerpted from EXCURSIONS by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

Step into your own private retreat at Escape Day Spa. Relax and rejuvenate yourself in a peaceful setting. Unite your mind, body and spirit as you allow yourself a moment to get away from it all and immerse yourself in tranquility.

Escape Day Spa is a family-owned business that believes in the power of healing through touch and meditation. Their guests find rest and solace through their therapeutic and cosmetic services – all designed to offer the epitome of luxurious comfort.

Escape’s staff believes in offering luxurious treatment to those looking for their own private escapes, and seeks to create a deep sense of contentment and relaxation in each guest through their therapeutic treatments.

Call or go to their website to make your appointment today and get ready to feel amazing.

SPA SERVICES

Therapeutic Massage

Unwind as you drift away under the experienced hands of our massage therapist. We offer a variety of massages, all designed to offer therapeutic release for your body.

Body Treatments and Wraps

Experience the pinnacle of an elite day with a deeply soothing body treatment and wrap. We have a variety of therapeutic options available that promise to refresh your skin and surround you in bliss and comfort.

Facials and Skin Care Services

Rejuvenate your skin with our unique European facials that will sweep you away to Europe, customized just for you!

Dermasweep

The DermaSweep MD system is a state-of-the-art, non-invasive exfoliation and skin revitalizing system.

Manicure and Pedicure

Few treatments are as relaxing and soothing as a professional manicure and pedicure. We take great pride in pampering our quests, and that includes showing special care to their hands and feet.

Spray Tan

Obtain the look you want with our all-natural, 100% organic spray tanning solution. Our Natural Glow sunless spray tan is a perfect way to look your best while avoiding the sun or tanning beds.

Hair Removal and Waxing

Look and feel your best at all times. We offer a variety of hair removal and waxing treatments designed to give you the smooth, comfortable look you desire.

Xtreme Eyelash Extensions

For those who want lush, luxurious eyelashes, we proudly offer a revolutionary new treatment: Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions!

Photos from Escape Day Spa.

Village Tavern Scratch Kitchen-Craft Bar

Excerpted from EXCURSIONS by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

Village Tavern Scratch Kitchen-Craft Bar stands out for its passion and perfection of classicAmerican cuisine. Be it for business lunches, gatherings or date night, Village Tavern is the place for all occasions. They are committed to providing the highest quality food, wine and service at an affordable price, while creating unforgettable dining experiences with exceptional hospitality.

Every day has something special to offer with deals like HALF-PRICE WINE Wednesday, offering more than 60 wines by the glass on an award-winning wine list at half price, so you can enjoy a glass of your favorite wine or try something new.

In addition to daily drink specials, check out the best happy hour and bar bites available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m., until 7 p.m. Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, and brunch on the weekends.

Village Tavern is the neighborhood gathering place for all. Outdoor dining available when weather permits.

  • 101 Summit Blvd., Birmingham, AL
  • 205.970.1640
  • villagetavern.com
  • @VillagéTavernBirmingham
  • @VillageTavern
  • Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
  • Happy Hour available Monday – Friday 4 – 7 p.m.