Hornets. Bulldogs. A mass exit after halftime. Totally inappropriate attire for late October. That’s right children, it’s time for the 2011 Magic City Classic…show up and show out whether you actually attended either Alabama State or Alabama A&M Universities! Here’s our guide to some of Birmingham’s best bets (if you’re not stuck at the Galleria or the Summit trying to hook up your party outfit at the last minute).
EAT: Cafeteria-style meat and three: Niki’s West. Wings: Green Acres. Fine dining (reservations recommended!): Bottega Cafe, Bettola, and Ocean (best seafood north of the Gulf; try the lobster tails!). Casual dining: Michael’s (our choice for steaks). Modern TexMex: Cocina Superior (Have the queso! And a margarita! And the shrimp brochettes!) Cocktails: Avo and Dram (super chic!). Breakfast: The Original Pancake House (if you’re not down with the Awful Waffle).
SHOP: Check out The Summit on Highway 280 (where you will find the only Saks Fifth Avenue, BCBG, Juicy Couture and Sephora), or if you have time to kill, The Shops of Grand River in Leeds. There’s also great boutique shopping in Homewood’s SoHo district.
STAY: Take your pick: Aloft in SoHo, the super swank Ross Bridge Renaissance, the Embassy Suites in Hoover, or Southside’s favorite boutique hotel The Hotel Highland. And the Sheraton is conveniently located downtown as well.
PLAY: You’re here for the game and after parties, supposedly, so we’ll skip the scenic tour (although you can find highlights here). After the game, get your party on, hit up a concert or catch a comedy show…this is when Birmingham’s nightlife comes alive (and if you don’t believe us, check out Urbanham.com’s Classic Weekend Event Guide! And for a taste of local radio, tune your station to WBHJ 95.7, KISS 98.7, Hot 107.7, Power 102.1 or 104.1 The Beat.
Image courtesy of State Farm Magic City Classic