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Birmingham, Alabama Rental Cars

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in Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Attractions and Things to See

Birmingham, Alabama is the biggest city in the state, getting its start just after the Civil War, when it merged three smaller towns into one city, eventually annexing more of their smaller villages and towns as it grew into a railroad transportation and industrial giant, more emphatically in the areas of iron and steel, railroading and mining. Until the end of the turbulent 1960s, it would be the industrial powerhouse of the southern United States, thanks to the cheap, non-union labor force of the African Americans that came from the rural areas of the south to work in the steel mills and blast furnaces, helping it achieve a very competitive advantage over the more expensive and unionized Midwest and Northeast. As the 20th century began to ebb, it would begin diversifying into medical care, banking, college education, transportation, insurance, telecommunications and electrical power transmission. It has grown into one of the most significant business hubs in the southeastern region of the nation.

During the 1950s and 1960s, it would become the center for civil rights, led by the local activist, Fred Shuttlesworth and the charismatic Martin Luther King, Jr. where they would begin the assault on the Jim Crow system and become the instigator in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It would be from the Birmingham jail that Martin would pen the famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, and then the horrific bombing that murdered four young African American girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Its transportation system is one of the finest in the south, with four interstate highways intersecting the city, outstanding public transportation services and the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport that serves over 3 million visitors a year.

The entertainment and cultural capital of the state, it houses many excellent art galleries and the home of the Birmingham Museum of Art that has grown into the biggest art museum in the southeastern United States. It is home to the Opera Birmingham, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Ballet, it also has the magnificent and historic Alabama theater, the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts, the Wright Center Concert Hall at Stamford University, the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center that contains a sports and concert area, theater, exhibition halls and concert hall, the historic Carver Theater, that houses the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame where many magnificent jazz classes, concerts and plays are offered with numerous other events in the historic 4th Avenue District where the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute sits. The Birmingham Public Library offers many outstanding programs for both children and adults, the Verizon Wireless Music Center, WorkPlay, Fair Park arena and the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

Besides the marvelous Birmingham Museum of Art, the city has the Bessemer Hall of History, Alabama Museum of Health Services, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, the Arlington Home and the Southern Museum of Flight. The McWane Science Center provides a hands-on science display experience, with fabulous temporary exhibitions and an IMAX theater. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has the biggest collection of motorcycles in the world, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Iron and Steel Museum of Alabama at Tannerhill Ironworks Historical State Park and the famous Talladega Superspeedway International Motorsports Hall of Fame museum.

The city holds and hosts many outstanding festivals that focus on films, regional heritage and music that include the Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival, the Birmingham Folk Festival, the Alabama Bound yearly book and author fair, the yearly Greek Festival, the Southern Heritage Festival and the Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil.

There are many other attractions that can hold and surprise your interest, like the Railroad Park that opened in 2010, the Kelly Ingram Park that is next to the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Zoo, the Summit, Vulcan Statue, Red Mountain that occupies the center of the city and have magnificent panoramic views, the Aldridge Botanical Gardens, the Splash Beach Water Park and Magic Adventure theme park in the Alabama Adventure Theme Park and so much more that is sure to pique your interest and intellect, with a wonderful climate that is great during the summer for those on vacation from the north and many exciting sports venues.