Birmingham is not only known as “the Magic City,” but it is also known to have a few hidden gems in unexpected places. Whether you want to capture the perfect Instagram picture or explore a corner of Birmingham that you haven’t seen before — these stunning murals and picture-perfect places will make you want to visit them immediately.
MURALS & SIGNS
“It’s Nice to Have You in Birmingham”
“It’s Nice to Have You in Birmingham” is one of the most iconic murals in the Birmingham area. Travelers from near and far want to snap a pic in front of this mural to let their Instagram followers know that they are in the Magic City. This welcoming work of art is located on the wall next to John’s City Diner, which is at 112 Richard Arrington Blvd. N. “It’s Nice to Have You in Birmingham” has been used as the official slogan since 1950 to promote Birmingham.
Do Something Great
The neon “Do Something Great” sign is a sharp and eye-catching nighttime feature of one of the coolest offices in the city — Lewis Communications at 2030 First Ave. N. This sign is not only inspirational, but it will send good vibes to all of your followers!
Mural of Hope
This is called the Mural of Hope, in honor of the Hope for Autumn foundation that raises money for families battling childhood cancer, funding childhood cancer research and raising awareness. The talented mural artist Marcus Fetch created this beautiful mural on the side of Good People Brewing Co. The leaves on the trees are children’s handprints, and the saying “With every fall, comes spring” shows the hope and light towards a new season.
Wings of Avondale
The wings outside of MELT in Birmingham make a perfect Instagram photo. Feel like a real life angel standing amongst the colorful wings! Recently vandalized, the community rallies to raise money so that muralist Marcus Fetch and Blank Space Birmingham could recreate this interactive mural. It is located outside of MELT at 4105 Fourth Ave. S.
This Vulcan-inspired silhouette mural is located at 1818 Third Ave. N. Kyle Kruse and Stephanie Guckenberger created the Vulcan Mural Project, which brightens the city and showcases one of the staples of Birmingham — check it out today!
Woodlawn’s newest mural
This mural is a community-painted masterpiece located at 6 55th Place near First Avenue South. The people of Woodlawn were called to paint this as a way to express their voice about their community. The piece showcases a diverse patchwork of vibrant colors and elements of jazz music.
Ted’s Restaurant murals
These two murals are located on the north and south walls of Ted’s Restaurant at 328 12th St. S. Artist Bonard Hughins and his father painted both murals showcasing the highlights of Birmingham such as the Alabama Theatre, Railroad Park, Vulcan, UAB and more through a cool vintage look.
Eyes on Birmingham
Located on First Avenue North and 39th Street, this mural is definitely one to catch your eye! Check out another one of Marcus Fetch’s artistic masterpieces, wherein the haunting eyes of a weathered man stare back at you.
Beloved Community Church mural
This mural is located outside of the Beloved Community Church’s ground-level coffee shop, The Abbey, at 131 41st St. S. in Birmingham. This image shows that everyone is welcome at their church. Come one, come all!
The pastel, geometric design outside of Farm Bowl + Juice Company is definitely worth Instagramming! Farm Bowl + Juice Company is located at 1920 29th Ave. S. in Homewood. It is one of the hippest new walls in town.
Another amazing mural has been added to Birmingham’s artistic streets. This one is done by local artist, John Lytle Wilson. Find this friendly robot along Morris Avenue!
Stay cool, Birmingham
This new mural by Marcus Fetch reminds the Magic City to stay cool. Next time you’re driving down I-65 South and pass University Boulevard, look right and you’ll see it!
Cyclist with sunflowers
One of Birmingham’s newest murals features a cyclist pedaling through the Magic City and leaving a happy trail of sunflowers in their path. Located at the Alabama Ballet at 2726 First Ave. S. and created by artist Trés Taylor, it exudes an art-forward romantic vibe.
The Vulcan statue was first created to advertise Birmingham; city leaders felt that Vulcan perfectly captured Birmingham’s growing industrial abilities. If you aren’t scared of heights, you need to go see the Vulcan statue for the BEST view of downtown Birmingham. Make sure to stop by the park and museum while you are there. Located at 1701 Valley View Dr., Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world and has been around for 113 years. Birmingham’s iconic “iron man” is a quintessential Magic City landmark.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is 67.5 acres filled with three classifications of gardens: Garden of Collections, Gardens of Nature and Gardens of Culture. Wander through the picturesque gardens or hop over to the ever-popular Japanese gardens and brighten your day with all of the flora and fauna.
Having produced pig iron from 1882 to 1971, Sloss Furnaces is the longest-running blast furnace in Birmingham’s history. These days the national historic landmark plays host to weddings, photo shoots, a haunted house at Halloween, metal arts workshops and festivals like the Sloss Music & Arts Festival. You can wander through this sprawling complex or visit their museum to learn more about its remarkable history. Sloss Furnaces is located at 20 32nd St. N.
Sweet Jon’s Café is the perfect place to go if you want to slip away into an idyllic little garden-meets-cafe. Located at 2821 Central Ave. in Homewood, this charming new eatery is the perfect place to get a great meal and take an on-trend picture.
The Atomic Bar & Lounge is located at 2113 First Ave. N. in the heart of downtown Birmingham. The Bar & Lounge has Andy Warhol-style paintings of Birmingham locals, as well as a host of other creative and playful decorations. Feizal Valli and Rachael Roberts are the husband-and-wife team behind this retro-cool bar, which was recently a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program.
Railroad Park is the perfect place to take pictures of the beautiful Birmingham skyline. You can choose to walk, bike or even check out the playgrounds at this award-winning urban park located at 1700 First Ave. S.
Rotary Trail is located along First Avenue South and is the perfect Instagram shot to grab while you are visiting or exploring downtown Birmingham. The trail stretches out four blocks and you can’t miss it — the sign is a 46-foot frame. The Rotary Club of Birmingham gifted the trail to the city upon the club’s 100th anniversary, and B.L. Harbert International contributed the iconic sign — both in an incredibly generous gesture honoring the community of Birmingham.
The art installation called “Light Rails” is a must-see. This railroad underpass is fun and visually stimulating to drive or walk through. The colorful Art Deco tunnel was built in 1931, and the illuminated LED light installation was created by artist Bill FitzGibbons. It contains 16 different colors changing at varying speeds. Find it at the 18th Street South viaduct near Railroad Park.
The Alabama Theatre has shows and concerts going year round, so you can enjoy a show and post a pic of that iconic glowing marquee at night. The Alabama Theatre is located at 1817 Third Ave. N. in the Theatre District. It was built in 1927 as the flagship theater for the southeastern region of the United States.
The Lyric Theatre is a performing arts theater located in the heart of Birmingham at 1800 Third Ave. N. – this 102-year-old building is the oldest theater in Birmingham. Built in 1913 and opened in 1914 as a vaudeville theater, the space hosted such greats as the Marx Brothers, the Keaton Family Acrobats featuring Buster Keaton, Sophie Tucker, Jack Benny, Mae West and Roy Rogers and his horse, Trigger, among others. This is the perfect place to see a concert, ballet or play while also seeing the striking lights at nighttime!
It is almost strange to drive down this picturesque cobblestoned street and not see a photo shoot underway. Morris Avenue exudes that old Birmingham feel with a rustic yet urban-cool aesthetic, perfect for pics. Morris Avenue is an east-west avenue between First Avenue North and the railroad tracks, and it runs from 14th Street North to 25th Street North.
The Storyteller fountain
The Storyteller fountain is in the nexus of the five-point crossroads that gives historic Five Points South its name. Created by nationally renowned, late-great Birmingham artist Frank Fleming, the Storyteller fountain, referred to by some as the Satanic fountain, features a ram reading to other animals and is a tribute to the Southern tradition of connection through storytelling.
In 1908, the formation of the Birmingham Art Club was the spark that lit the fire for an eventual museum for the city of Birmingham. The Birmingham Museum of Art opened its doors in 1951 and houses more than 26,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and decorative arts dating from ancient to modern times, including one of the largest collections of Wedgwood pottery in the world. The museum hosts many cultural events for all ages as part of its mission to provide Birmingham with a cultural and educational experience.
The Elyton Hotel breathed new life into the Magic City’s iconic Empire Building. Built in 1909, the 16-story Empire was celebrated as a symbol of Birmingham’s golden era, when it was one of the country’s rising industrial cities. On the corner of First Avenue North and 20th Street, it is one of four buildings that were considered so large at the time that the intersection came to be known as the “Heaviest Corner on Earth.” The rooftop bar of this historic building offers stunning vistas of the Steel City.
Old Mill was built the Jemison Company to promote the newly developed area of Mountain Brook. It opened to the public in July of 1927 to allow people in the area to visit a picturesque area while enjoying tea. The Old Mill is located at 2780 Mountain Brook Pkwy., where the popular Jemison Trail hosts a constant parade of walkers and joggers.
Sibyl Temple is perched at the crest of the mountain as you enter Vestavia Hills from the north. Commonly referred to as The Temple of Vesta, the temple was built by wealthy landowner George Ward in 1929 in red-hued sandstone and modeled after a mountaintop temple in Tivoli, Italy. Over time, the temple changed hands and was painted white. It is now owned by the Vestavia Hills Garden Club and is open to the public for picnics and gatherings.
Now, get out there, explore new corners of our fabulous city and snap and post some swoon-worthy Instagram pics!
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