Sustainable City Guide to Birmingham, Alabama

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BY SLOANE JONES

Sustainable City Guides are quick handbooks to help you have a perfect afternoon or day in cities around the world! A group of talented influencers have all chipped in with their favorite haunts.

The Birmingham Sustainable City Guide has been written by Sloane Jones, aka @sloanerangerstyle. Sloane is a sustainable personal stylist with impeccable taste and a special talent for finding this season’s trends in vintage shops. Her slick insta is full of inspiration that will get you excited to dive back into your closet & come up with some fresh looks.

-Lauren

WELCOME TO BIRMINGHAM!

It’s become a running joke in the community that trends take about two years to make their way down to the southern states. From home décor to the latest in fashion, the ‘hottest new styles’ are usually freezing cold by the time they trickle down to Alabama. However, there seems to be a sudden demand for cleaner restaurants and shops and many entrepreneurs are capitalizing on this growing enterprise.

I’ve comprised a list of some great new local attractions if you ever find yourself roaming around the Magic City, enjoy!

Start out by grabbing a Zyp bike to roam around the city. Birmingham is a relatively small, close-knit city, so this is the perfect way to explore on a sunny day sans the harmful transportation emissions. 

Trek on over to Farmbowl + Juice Co. for a morning acai bowl or fresh-pressed juice to get that energy flowing. I always start mine off with a wheatgrass shot adorned with a cute little orange slice. If you’re in the mood for more of a brunch setting, there are some fabulous green options at Harvest—it’s located in the Redmont Hotel that features a GORGEOUS rooftop bar, highlighting one of the best views of the city. A few other great options are Five, Octane Coffee, and Roots & Revelry.

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A great local entertainment hub is the Pepper Place Market center, full of emerging shops and restaurants. Visit early on a Saturday to take advantage of the Farmer’s Market, featuring a plethora of amazing vendors like Stone Hollow Farmstead, Sprout & Pour, and Bare Naked Noodles. (Be sure to check their weekly vendor list, as they tend to change frequently.)

Birmingham is rich in southern American history, so if you’re up for it, ride on over to the Civil Rights Museum (highly recommended), tour Sloss Furnaces, or pop over to the Naked Art Gallery. A trip to Birmingham wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Vulcan Park and Museum, featuring a amphitheater, enhanced garden and a beautiful walking trail at the top of the city.

If you’re going for a more natural approach, tour the Birmingham Botanical Gardens before an adventure at the Birmingham Zoo, located directly across the street. Birmingham also offers an array of lovely parks and trails, such as Railroad Park and Red Mountain Hiking Trail.

Vegan eats: Delta Blues Hot Tamales, Farm Burger, Chez Fon Fon, and Organic Harvest

Clean beauty shops: Botaniko Skin, Beaute Therapie, Simply Organic Beauty

Some of my favorite apparel shops include Lilla, a luxury designer consignment shop in the heart of Mountain Brook, and A Basic Shop, an ethical clothing and accessories hub cradled in the upcoming area of Woodlawn. I’m also LOVING Kanzi, which means “hidden treasure” in Swahili. It’s Homewood’s newest fair trade store that supports East African artisans and any purchase made will support orphaned children in Uganda.

Some of the best nightlife happens downtown. Shocking, I know! Built in 1927, The Alabama Theatre hosts an array of entertainers. If breweries are your thing, you’ve got a handful to choose from: Avondale, Cahaba and Good People are a few local favorites. Brat Brot Biergarten and Paper Doll are two trendy, new bars in close proximity to many other entertainment hubs.

Birmingham truly is the Magic City—full of unexpected life and culture, and I hope this guide encourages you to explore all that this stunning landscape has to offer. They don’t call it Alabama the Beautiful for nothing!

Birmingham Botanic Gardens

Birmingham Botanic Gardens