|Destination Airport IATA Code||BHM|
|Destination City Name||Birmingham|
Sitting in the center of Alabama, Birmingham is the biggest city in the state and is home to more than 200,000 people. Once an industrial powerhouse built on iron, it achieved notoriety during the Civil Rights movement. That history is integral to the city’s identity, but it does not live in the past.
Today it has reinvented itself as a buzzing metropolis with museums, galleries, glorious parks and a lively nightlife built around the twin Southern passions of soul food and music.
Birmingham is busiest during the summer months, but it can get hot and sticky with temperatures in the 90s. Watch out for the Sloss Music and Arts Festival, which attracts big name acts, in July and the Sidewalk Film Festival, showcasing independent filmmakers from around the country, in August.
Fall could be the best time to visit, with fewer tourists, balmy temperatures and less rain. There is always the chance of a shower in Alabama, but September and October are the driest months of the year. Events include September’s two-day Birmingham Artwalk which floods downtown with musicians, artists and performers. University of Alabama football games attract a huge following.
It gets cold at night during the winter and there can be snow, but daytime temperatures are often above 50°F. Spring is mild and wet but is a good time to explore the surrounding countryside as it comes back to life after winter.
If you are traveling during peak season it pays to plan ahead, but there are plenty of ways to bag a cheap flight to Birmingham using Orbitz.
There are direct flights to more than a dozen US cities from Birmingham-Shuttleworth International Airport, but using the ‘Nearby airports’ option, under your chosen departure and arrival airports, lets you search for flights to and from alternative locations. You can look for connecting flights using the ‘Show options’ menu and the filters on the left of the screen. You can also list flights by price, duration, airline or ticket type.
Flexibility with dates is also important. The ‘Show flexible dates’ option allows you to compare the price of flights to Birmingham on different days.
Optimal flight times from US cities to Birmingham, Alabama, include:
Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) lies five miles northeast of downtown Birmingham. It is a relatively small airport that handles 2.5 million passengers a year. There are restaurants but few shopping options. There is free Wi-Fi and there are ATMs on site.
Shuttles must be booked in advance but there are buses to downtown. You can hire a taxi or Uber outside the terminal. There are nine hire car companies located at the terminal building.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, one of the world’s busiest, is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Birmingham.
Among the airlines that fly to Birmingham–Shuttlesworth are:
There are 38 bus routes around Birmingham but they do not run late at night.
A bike-share scheme called Zyp allows you unlimited rides around the city as long as the bike is not away from a docking station for more than 45 minutes at a time. It is also possible to explore the different districts of Birmingham on foot.
The best way to get around is by hire car. The city is laid out on a grid system and is easy to navigate, and driving allows you to explore the surrounding area.
Birmingham earned notoriety during the 1960s for its role in the Civil Rights movement. Today the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute tells the troubled story of racial segregation in the US. There is also a Civil Rights Memorial Trail through Birmingham, which begins at the 16th St Baptist Church, which was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan in 1963.
Founded in the 1880s, Birmingham was once a mine and mill town and that heritage is celebrated at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. The furnaces were closed in 1971 but the buildings, pipes and chimneys were preserved and are now a major attraction that also hosts an annual music festival.
Get back to nature with a trip to Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens. The 68-acre site is home to thousands of species of plant and there are also works of art dotted along the paths that crisscross the area. Birmingham Zoo is located next door.
The city gets more than 50 inches of rain a year, so bring an umbrella with you. There are plenty of museums and galleries including the McWane Science Center, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and the Birmingham Museum of Art to visit if the rain sets in.
Birmingham’s up and coming music scene is worth checking out, so catch a band in one of the city’s many music venues.
Regardless of when you travel to Birmingham, it’s likely to be warm (OK, make that hot) and a bit muggy. It’s a very walkable town, with streets arranged in a grid, allowing you to hit highlights (like the monuments of the Civil Rights District or the historic art deco architecture of the Five Points South neighborhood) by foot. In late August, the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival features independent films from all over the country, screening the flicks in historic theaters like the recently renovated Alabama Theatre, a 2,200-seat venue built by Paramount Pictures in 1927.
Winters are mild but sleepy, with little tourist traffic. Spring temperatures can rise into the 80s, but rarely reach the 90s. Use the milder temperatures as an excuse to hike nearby Oak Mountain State Park’s 50 miles of scenic, hilly trails.
Fall could be the best time to visit, thanks to balmier temperatures and an abundance of small, culture-driven festivals. In September, the Birmingham Art Walk floods downtown with thousands of pieces of original art, while the Taste of Fourth Avenue Jazz Festival celebrates the city’s place in the jazz canon. The Southern Women’s Show has been a tradition in Birmingham for almost 30 years, combining fashion shows, shopping, cooking classes, and celebrity guests with Southern accents in a three-day extravaganza in October. Also in October is Break’n Bread, a food and wine festival that gathers the city’s best chefs for tastings and workshops in gorgeous Railroad Park.
Fall is also college football season, so you’ll likely notice an unbridled enthusiasm for the University of Alabama. To get the full effect, visit the final resting place of the patron father of SEC football, Paul “Bear” Bryant, in Elmwood Cemetery. Crimson stripes lead to his grave.
*Savings based on all package bookings with Flight + Hotel made on Orbitz.com from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
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