First-time visitors to Birmingham exclaim time and again that they never realized the beauty of the area. With the foothills of
the Appalachians as a dramatic backdrop, the
city is laid out on a series of lush rolling hills.
The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention
Complex (BJCC) has meeting facilities all on
one campus. The BJCC complex campus has
350,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition
space. The complex includes an 18,000-seat
arena and 4,000 seats in two theaters. Two
hotels and a dining and entertainment district
are also part of the campus.
Meeting attendees love nothing more than a
good meal. That Birmingham has a national
reputation among the dining elite is another
eye-opener to visitors. Should you have
pigeonholed the city as serving only barbeque
and fried pies, just remember that Birmingham
is home to “the Oscars of dining” with James
Beard Foundation winners and nominees.
Anyone visiting the city should take in the
beauty of down-home cooking as well.
Recreation & Attractions
Some of the best golf on Earth can be found
at public courses in the area, including
Birmingham’s two challenging courses along the
state’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Dozens of new art galleries surprise enthusiasts
and collectors with a wide variety of paintings,
sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, fine art and funk art.
Vulcan Park and Museum, home to the
world’s largest cast iron statue, offers a
spectacular view of the city from the statue’s
observation deck. The Birmingham Museum
of Art has one of the finest collections in the
Southeast, with more than 24,000 paintings,
sculptures, prints, drawings and decorative arts.
Barber Motorsports Park has been hailed
around the world as one of the “Augusta
of Racing.” The adjacent Barber Vintage
Motorsports Museum houses the world’s
largest collection of vintage and contemporary
motorcycles. The story of Birmingham’s role
in the long march to civil rights is told at the
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the focal
point of the city’s Civil Rights District, recently
named a national monument by President
The Birmingham Civil Rights District
includes locations that played a vital role
in the civil rights movement, including the
16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram
Park, among others.
About that Southern Hospitality
The hospitality visitors find in the South
is legendary. It’s also genuinely charming.
While Birmingham is Alabama’s largest city,
it is friends and family that are counted as
important, not population statistics. This
friendly city has long welcomed new residents
from a wide range of countries, their influences
melding beautifully into its own Southern
culture. Visitors are delightfully surprised
to discover the metropolitan nature of
Birmingham. It’s big-city panache tempered by
class and magnetic modesty.
So it is the delight of discovery that is the
city’s greatest strength and strongest appeal. It’s
the reason conventions return to Birmingham
time and again.
Steve Pierson; 800-458-8085
BEAUTY, CLASS, CHARM, JAMES BEARD AND THE BJCC