I’m really excited to interview author Deborah Douglass about Birmingham, Alabama. Deborah’s tips for the best things to do in Birmingham are awesome because she researched the civil rights trail and uncovered the fascinating history of events from a generation ago and how they shape us today. Her book provides a guide for people to learn about these landmarks and visit them yourself.

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Best things to do in Birmingham Alabama - Deborah Douglas - Kelly Ingram Park overlooking 16th Street Baptist Church
Kelly Ingram Park overlooking 16th Street Baptist Church.

Birmingham, Alabama

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Birmingham Alabama - Deborah Douglas - Civil Rights Heritage Trail sign where Fred Shuttlesworth preached
Civil Rights Heritage Trail sign where Fred Shuttlesworth preached.

Getting around Birmingham

The local airport is Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), which is a ten-minute drive to downtown.

Deborah says that, if you’re staying downtown it’s a good idea to rent a car. There are plenty of options for parking. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around.

When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in Birmingham Alabama - Deborah Douglas - Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail
Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Deborah Douglass about Birmingham, Alabama. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Green dots = best things to do in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Birmingham, Alabama

Who is Deborah Douglass?

Deborah D. Douglass is the Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project. While teaching at her alma mater, Northwestern University’s Medill School, she created a graduate investigative journalism capstone on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and taught best practices in Karachi, Pakistan.

She is the founding managing editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism. Deborah is the author of “U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places, and Events That Made the Movement” (Amazon referral link) by Moon Travel Guides. She is among 90 contributors to “Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019.” (Amazon referral link)

Best things to do in Birmingham Alabama - Deborah Douglas - photo credit Ven Sherrod
Photo credit Ven Sherrod

Here are a few articles that she’s written:

You can connect with Deborah on her website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Best things to do in Birmingham Alabama - Deborah Douglas - Foot soldiers in the 1963 Children's Crusade
Surviving foot soldiers in the 1963 Children’s Crusade.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet

This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.

Having everything in one easy-to-use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to WeTravelThere.com/awardwallet to start your free account.

Best things to do in Birmingham Alabama - Deborah Douglas - Rickwood Field
Built in 1910, Rickwood Field is the oldest professional baseball park in the U.S.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Berat Albania - Luciana FaniListen to the next episode when Luciana Fani of Travel Massive Albania shares the best things to do in Berat, Albania. In this episode, Luciana and I talk about exploring the Berat Castle, rafting in Osum Canyon, and visiting the Onufri Museum. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Birmingham? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit WeTravelThere.com/map. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at WeTravelThere.com/guest.

Related episodes

To learn more about Southern cities near Birmingham, listen to these podcast episodes: