In case our Motor City friends haven’t heard the news:  Non-stop flights between Detroit and Birmingham are back, which means the perfect getaway is just a hop away. Think about it, in two hours you can be at the “Dinner Table of the South” enjoying fresh seafood at The Fish Market or getting your selfie made with the bronze sculptures of Eddie and the rest of The Temptations at Eddie Kendricks Park.

Got family down here? You can’t ask for a better reunion opportunity. Reacquaint yourself with what makes Birmingham special for families. Here in time for lunch? Enjoy some serious soul food at Eagle’s Restaurant, a Birmingham staple since 1951.  The kids who come along will love the Birmingham Zoo and Vulcan Park and Museum, where they can climb the world’s largest cast iron statue.  Then take time to visit the Birmingham Civil Rights District, now a national monument. See the A.G. Gaston Motel, where Dr. King and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement met.  Tour historic Kelly Ingram Park with its free audio tour via your cell phone, and make sure to stop by Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, site of the 1963 bombing. You’ll also want to see the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but plan to spend some time with the powerful exhibits there; we’d recommend two hours at a minimum.

Another destination well worth an hour or two is the Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum. With the largest selection of original Negro League baseball artifacts, this place does a fantastic job of conveying what it was like for Black men to play professional baseball back before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Here, future greats like the Say Hey Kid himself, Willie Mays, stood at the plate against legendary pitchers such as Satchel Paige and Bullet Joe Rogan. Find more sports history at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, highlighting the careers of Alabama sports figures such as Jesse Owens and Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Nights in Birmingham offer all kinds of entertainment. Need to laugh out loud? Check out Stardome Comedy Club.  If beer’s your thing, we’ve easily got a twelve-pack of craft breweries you’ll want to visit, starting with a handful of the originals, Good People, Avondale Brewery, Cahaba, Trim-Tab, and Ghost Train. Or, if you’ve got the music in your soul, spend the evening enjoying Southern fare and live jazz at Perfect Note. When it comes to food, well, let’s just say we’re known for it. If you’re in the market for high-end dining, make a reservation at the upscale Highlands Bar and Grill or Hot and Hot Fish Club. Or visit the Parkside district for dinner at Michael’s. We have it on good authority that this place can put you onto one of the best steaks you’ve ever had in your life. True.

We haven’t even mentioned the cocktail scene, but believe us when we say it’s here.  With places such as The Collins and Cayo Coco, or for that matter the bar at Michael’s, you’re going to find a rich selection of crafted cocktails. If you’re looking for a view, take a seat at one of our rooftop bars: Moon Shine at the Elyton Hotel, The Roof at the Redmont Hotel, and Carrigan’s Public House. Better yet, hit the dark coziness of  The Vault and shake it to live music or whatever’s spinning on DJ night.

All this food, drink, and fun will have you be wanting to get your steps in. You’ll definitely want to explore some of our walking trails ranging from Railroad Park, to Vulcan Walking Trail, to some of our beautiful wooded parks such as Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Red Mountain Park, and Oak Mountain State Park.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a getaway that won’t break the bank, or a place to reunite family and friends you haven’t seen in forever, Birmingham may be just the ticket – a non-stop ticket to be exact.