5 Best Parks and Gardens in Birmingham, Alabama, for Sightseeing

Birmingham, with its amazing parks and gardens, is a great holiday spot for children and families. This modern Southern city also attracts a number of cultural tourists. It’s the largest city in Alabama, and you can find many Birmingham hotels on Hotel Planner to study to find just the right place. However, make sure you plan your trip early in order to get the best deal and avoid last-minute disappointment.

Birmingham Zoo

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The Birmingham Zoo is home to over 200 species of animals, including some endangered ones, from across six continents. Some of the major attractions and exhibits of this zoological garden include Bird Aviaries, Flamingo Lagoon, Cassowary Exhibits, Alligator Swamps, and Alabama Wilds. Camel rides are available in spring and summer. On Memorial Day and Labor Day, a special exhibit is organized in Granny’s Butterfly House. The zoo has several facilities designed for tourists, such as the Safari Cafe, Safari Peak Pavilion, and the Tiki Hut Gift Shop.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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The Birmingham Botanical Gardens, located in Red Mountain near Lane Park, spreads over an area of 67.5 acres. It has 25 beautiful gardens, more than 12,000 species of plants, and several miles of walking trails. Specifically popular among tourists are Hill Garden, Kayser Lily Pool, Cochran Waterfalls, Sonat Lake, Forman Garden, and Twin Urn Fountains.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

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Located in the South East Lake neighborhood of Birmingham, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve features scenic hiking trails, well-maintained parks, and abandoned mining sites. The park trails are meant exclusively for hiking; other activities like bicycling and driving are not allowed. There are plenty of benches if you’d like to take a quick break. The nature preserve also has an interesting nature center and a rustic pavilion. With an area of 1,038 acres, it’s the third-largest urban nature preserve in the United States.

Railroad Park

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Railroad Park, a 19-acre green space in the heart of Birmingham, is a great place for walking, jogging, skating, and other fun activities. About 30 percent of Railroad Park is water. You’ll find a beautiful lake and several ponds and streams. The park hosts a number of concerts and cultural events. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission to Railroad Park is free, but the facility welcomes donations to support its operations.

Vulcan Park & Museum

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A center for history and heritage, Vulcan Park & Museum is a good place for a fun and learning-filled family outing. The park provides a beautiful view of the city, and the museum highlights the steel production history of Birmingham. The museum is small and is centered around the massive statue of the Roman god Vulcan. The elevator, starting from the foot of the cast-iron statue, takes visitors up to a circular viewing area. The Vulcan Park and Museum is an affordable tourist spot with inexpensive tickets and good parking.

If you wish to explore more green spaces in Birmingham, visit the 1,500-acre Red Mountain Park, which has several miles of trails. The 4-acre Kelly Ingram Park, with civil rights monuments, will take you back to the Civil Rights era. Those interested in water adventure should visit Alabama Splash Adventure.