Probably Polka Dots PPD Travels: Birmingham, Alabama | Probably Polka Dots

16 September 2016

PPD Travels: Birmingham, Alabama




I grew up visiting Birmingham. Just a short trip from Atlanta, it's one of those cities that I've always visited, but never really experienced. Allow me to explain: my dad's family is from Birmingham, so we usually stayed with them and spent time doing family-related things (dinners at home, hanging out, a little shopping here and there), but I never really had an opportunity to experience Birmingham as a city. A few weeks ago, that changed. 

My fabulous sister-in-law and awesome friend, Kaci, and I decided to jet off to Birmingham for a girls weekend. Birmingham is a two hour drive for each of us, so it served as a great central location for a little trip. Plus, this year's Southern Living Idea House is just outside of the city in Mt. Laurel, so it was a win win (have to do that renovation research!). 

I wanted to share a few photos of our trip and a few must-see places to eat and visit. Here's how to spend a weekend in Birmingham, Alabama:

Friday: Arrive & Get Settled in at the Redmont: Kaci recommended this historic hotel, and I am so glad she did. It was in the heart of downtown and featured an adorable bar and lots of quirky details. I loved being able to be a short Uber ride away from any restaurant or site we wanted to visit. It was a prime location for the weekend! 




Friday night: Dinner at Ovenbird. Ovenbird was by far one of my favorite experiences of the trip. Even though it's located within the city limits, it felt quaint and secluded (and don't even get me started on the garden & patio). Since we had a large group, we chose to experience the food doing the Chef's selection. Our server made sure no one had any allergies or aversions and then let the kitchen do the rest. Shishito peppers, focaccia flatbread, hydroponic lettuce, steak, and chicken were just a few items that we experienced. Between the amazing dishes, the fun ambiance, and the fantastic cocktails, I definitely want to go back! 

Saturday morning: Market at Pepper Place.  Located in and around the Dr. Pepper bottling facility, the Market at Pepper Place puts any Atlanta Farmer's Market to shame. There were tents everywhere complete with bands, a chef demo, goods, produce, and more, and this market definitely feels more like a festival. I picked up a mason jar full of tea (the locals told me it wasn't to be missed) and a one-of-a-kind pair of Susan Gordon earrings

Saturday mid-morning: Breakfast at Crestline Bagel Co.: On vacation, my single favorite breakfast to enjoy is a bagel. I never get them at home, so the splurge is definitely worth it. When Kaci said Crestline Bagels was her favorite breakfast spot in Birmingham, I couldn't wait to get there. An everything bagel with plain cream cheese, please!

Saturday afternoon: A visit to the Southern Living Idea House in Mt. Laurel. Read more about that here




Saturday mid-afternoon: Lunch at Ashley Mac's. Do yourself a favor: get a trio of chicken salad, pimento cheese, and broccoli slaw, and call it a day. This adorable local Birmingham chain was perfect for a light snack before heading to dinner later that evening. 

Saturday evening: Drinks at Collins Bar. This bar highlights the skills of their mixologists by having visitors describe a drink and flavor that they like and they take it from there. I ordered a French 75 (obviously), and it was incredible. The space was full at 7:30, so get there early or go later for a night cap. 

Saturday evening: Dinner at El Barrio. After eating our way through the city, El Barrio was a natural choice, plus it came highly recommended from a few characters we met at the bar the night before. I could eat Mexican every night...seriously, and this restaurant was awesome. I loved the communal tables at El Barrio and the food was incredible, too. Don't miss their queso which has goat cheese in it (!!!!). 

Sunday morning: Pack-up and head home, ready to come back next time. 

There is still so much to see in Birmingham. There are tons of restaurants, not to mention the shopping. I can't wait to get back! What are your favorite places in Birmingham? 





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