4. Birmingham: Self-Guided Smartphone Audio Tour
Find out how the Magic City got its name on this walking tour around Birmingham’s downtown core. You’ll start this walk at Rotary Trail Birmingham, which runs underneath the street grid. From there, you’ll learn about the explosive beginnings of this planned city, some quirky facts, and its rich and sometimes dark history, like the tragic children’s crusade that shifted the tide of the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout this circular tour, you’ll see skyscrapers including Thomas Jefferson Tower with its mooring mast for blimps to land on, Civil Rights memorials, haunted hotels, and the fan-favorite LED Rainbow tunnels. I’ll show you some unusual sites, including the heaviest corner on earth, Goodyear Shoe Hospital, and Jim Reed Books, the whimsical store that houses the Museum of Fond Memories. I’ll also point out the Redmont Hotel, which is famously haunted by the ghost of musician Hank Williams Sr. On this tour, you’ll hear about: • The best places to grab a bite to eat including the Pizitz Food Hall, and Paramount Bar which serves Alabama hummus • The Cochran Firm which has famously represented Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg and OJ Simpson in various legal cases • Birmingham’s Cathedral of Saint Paul which, despite it’s beautiful appearance, is linked to a couple of tragic stories • The Ku Klux Klan and some of their activity within the city • Several impressive places to enjoy the city’s cultural highlights like the Birmingham Museum of Art, Lyric Theatre, Alabama Theatre, Carver Theatre & Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Boutwell Auditorium, and the McWane Science Center • The backstory behind the monuments in Kelly Ingram Park Along the way, you’ll also hear the answers to questions like: • Where did the Veteran’s Day Parade begin? • Why did Birmingham make international news headlines during the Civil Rights Movement? • When did this city experience its largest economic boom? • How was the largest cast iron statue in the world constructed? • What are Steel City Pops and where can they be found? • Which is the most haunted hotel in Birmingham, Redmont Hotel or Tutwiler Hotel? By the time you reach Railway Park Playground at the end of our two-hour stroll, you’ll be more informed than the average Alabamian! Just kidding. While this tour covers most of downtown’s attractions, there are many other spots outside the urban core. I’ll make suggestions on where to go next, so your exploring, learning and walking doesn’t have to end with this tour. Join me on this tour to discover the true magic of B’ham city!