It’s no secret that Nashville has become the South’s premier destination for bachelorette celebrations (and we even have our own SB article on a bachelorette weekend in Nashville right here). Whether drinking their way down Broadway or peddling their way through The Gulch, blushing brides-to-be and their groups of gal pals can be spotted in droves on any given weekend in Nashville, and they bring plenty of tourism dollars with them.
One SB staffer who is new to Nashville recalls an accidental visit to the now-iconic “WhatLiftsYou” wings mural, explaining, “We stopped near the mural to grab a bite to eat and were astounded by the number of people — mainly bachelorettes in matching t-shirts — waiting in line. The size of the line had us assuming there was a new bar or country star around the corner but, lo and behold, the wings mural and its Instagram-worthy aesthetic had Nashville’s bachelorettes waiting for hours.”
With the continually increasing rise in celebratory tourists, we couldn’t help but wonder which Southern city may become the next chosen bachelorette destination once Nashville reaches maximum bachelorette saturation. One, with a similar welcoming vibe and instagrammable worthiness. And rooftop bars … and of course, peddle taverns. One city in particular, comes to mind. That’s right, we’re looking at you, Birmingham. “The Magic City” has been an up-and-coming tourist spot for years, and there are plenty of reasons why.
The constantly evolving and eclectically hip Downtown — that’s worth visiting on an empty stomach — features a slew of unique bars and shoppable boutiques within walking distance of each other. Add in some beautiful historic hotels and a few new-to-Birmingham accommodations, trendy activities that basically scream “bachelorette party” and a dose of Southern charm that never goes out of style, and you’ll find that Nashville’s hot spots and country music must-sees are officially rivaled. To help shed some light on our theory of the next Southern bachelorette city, we’ve pulled together a list of eateries, bars, accommodations and activities worth putting on your agenda in The Magic City.
If you find yourself Downtown, The Elyton is our top choice for where to stay. It’s as historic as they come, sitting on the “heaviest corner on Earth” in the heart of Downtown Birmingham. It is also walking distance from the Pizitz Food Hall; favorite bars like The Atomic, Queen’s Park, Paper Doll and Carrigan’s; and close to delicious eateries including El Barrio and Roots & Revelry (in the historic Thomas Jefferson Tower), just to name a few.
Travel down the street a bit to Pepper Place, Birmingham’s first and only Entertainment District. It’s filled with shops, eateries and bars worth visiting. We suggest OvenBird or Automatic Seafood for dinner, a trip to the Saturday morning farmers’ market, and — for the
not-hungover active bachelorettes — a class at Aero Joe Pilates or Ignite Cycle.
Another area ideal for Birmingham bachelorettes is Avondale, a historic neighborhood that has recently become a hot spot. Fancy’s on Fifth, an oyster bar, sits next to Hot Diggity Dogs, a gourmet hot dog shop that boasts a “police door” secret entrance into Birmingham’s speakeasy, The Marble Ring. (SB Tip: Grab the phone, tell them your party number and be escorted into a 1920s-inspired world — dark, romantic and totally Instagrammable. And don’t forget to check out their rooftop bar, Zelda’s Lounge!)
While in Avondale, be sure to taste Birmingham’s best BBQ at Saw’s. You can also try one of our favorite brews, Miss Fancy’s (be careful, it’s dangerous!) at Avondale Brewery, which hosts plenty of outdoor concerts and is neighbor to Post Office Pies, a delicious pizza joint where you can order at the front and bring your pie over to the brewery.
Speaking of breweries, one of Birmingham’s best and most unique bachelorette activities is a brewery tour. As home to many a local brewery, Birmingham offers craft brews for even those who claim to hate beer. Be sure to check out TrimTab Brewery (we love the Paradise Now brew!), Avondale Brewery and Avondale Sour Room, Good People, Ghost Train, Birmingham District Brewing Company and Back40 Beer Company (which sits just across from the National Landmark, Sloss Furnaces. If you’re heading to Birmingham for an October bachelorette adventure and looking for a good scare, Sloss is your place.)
And if that isn’t enough to fill your weekend, The Woolworth offers tasty bites, great cocktails, duckpin bowling and classic arcade games in a cool atmosphere. Civil Axe Throwing is new to the city and a lot of fun, a pedal tour is probably the most festive way to explore the city, Railroad Park offers gorgeous green space for a stroll or picnic, and a brunch food tour will cure that inevitable bachelorette hangover. Plus, Birmingham is home to eight rooftop bars that serve sweet sips with a side of views.
Have we convinced you yet? Although we adore Nashville and understand why bachelorettes are attracted to its Southern take on a Vegas weekend, Birmingham may just be the best bet for the one-of-a-kind bride looking for a Southern weekend that’s different from the rest, and perhaps a little easier to get a dinner and hotel reservation right now. And what better place to celebrate the magical start to the rest of your life than in The Magic City itself?
Look for upcoming articles on other southern cities that would make for an amazing bachelorette weekend!
Check out the SB Shop for a tongue-in-cheek t-shirt as a nod to Nashville’s influx of brides-to-be and their bridesmaids.
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