Last week we spent just about 24 hours in Birmingham. Even though we were there for a short amount of time we sure found plenty to do! We traveled there to see Alton Brown’s live show and stayed overnight at The Redmont Hotel and toured around the next day.
I appreciate free things to do in the cities that we travel to. It gets very expensive taking a family to see local attractions, sporting events, etc. I am a firm believer in finding off beat things to do in cities that we travel to. Often times the off beat things are free. Birmingham was a nice surprise because there are a lot of free things to do in the city. I was excited to see that the Birmingham Botanical Gardens are free to visit! The parking is free also!
I live in Atlanta where the botanical gardens cost $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for kids. Needless to say I have only taken my family of four to the gardens one time! (That’s $75.80 plus parking!) Since my daughter doesn’t remember her expensive previous visit to the Atlanta gardens I took her to the Birmingham gardens.
The gardens are located in a beautiful part of town called Mountain Brook. The drive through the hills and the beautiful homes is fantastic. Also, you can stroll through the shops in Mountain Brook just about a mile down the road.
The gardens are peaceful and beautiful with lovely trails everywhere. There is a pedestrian entrance that is near the neighborhoods and the zoo. If I lived in one of those neighborhoods the gardens would be my daily walking spot!
We literally stopped to smell the roses! It was a beautiful day and a great way to spend the morning. We are early risers and hit the street early so it was lovely that the gardens open at 8:00 am! You can beat the hot & humid southern temperatures by going early!
I would certainly recommend adding the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to your list of things to see on your next trip!
Our next stop of the day was the Golden Flake Factory tour! I absolutely love factory tours so this was high on my list! The tours are offered three times a day. Their website is easy to use, just click the day and time that you would like a tour and a request is sent to the company. They responded back quickly and sent a list of rules / requirements for the tour.
Be sure to read the list of rules because closed toe / closed heel shoes are required. I would not have packed those kind of shoes if I had not read the rules. The tour was a lot of fun and very informative.
It is fascinating to see how all the machines work and the process of making potato chips!
Pictures are not allowed on the actual tour but we could take pictures in the room where the tour started. We watched a brief 5 minute film and then toured the factory with our guide. Our group was small and there was plenty of time for questions. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and they gave us three bags of chips for the road! The factory is just minutes from downtown, easy to find and there is parking available. I would give this tour two thumbs up!
If you are looking for a great place to eat check out my review of Rowe’s Service Station and Pastry Art Bake Shop. We ate at those two places on a previous visit. For a great place to stay check out the Redmont Hotel. It is stunning yet very affordable.