Birmingham, home to grits, gravy, great culture and gracious folks is a fabulous stop for the next two nights. Its Alabama's largest city, known for its diversity and overlooked by Red Mountain. As well as hosting the famous City Stages Festival every June, a 3- day event featuring 150 acts, Birmingham claims to be the Capital of American Idol due to its reputation for producing a string of talented vocalists. Two of the winners, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks plus runner up, Bo Bice, all hail from here.
Indeed, it's hard to escape the music in this playful city. Throughout the year, Jazz echoes from downtown nightclubs in places like Ona's Music Room and the Blue Monkey. The Five Points entertainment district has music of all types as well as great dining. Folks in Birmingham love to eat and those who visit here will get a taste of some fabulous cuisine whilst enjoying all the arts that the city offers.
Jazz enthusiasts would do well to visit the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame which pays tribute to great artists with ties to Alabama like Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.
Birmingham also has a fantastic range of museums ranging from Native American and Renaissance art to one that documents one of it's most important roles in the history of Civil Rights conflict and reconciliation, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Nearby Kelly Ingram Park which was the staging ground for Civil Rights rallies and demonstrations during the tumultuous 1960s is also a moving and educational place to visit.
The Barber Motorsports Park and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum are a must for motor enthusiasts and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Zoo are just some of the city's other great attractions.