Around the College Town: Birmingham
By BJ Bennett
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Birmingham rests in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with the foothills of Appalachian intertwining with the Black Warrior and Cahaba Rivers.
Around the College Town: Birmingham, home of the Samford Bulldogs
One of the south's most iconic cities, Birmingham has a storied history as a key hub in the region. The surrounding metro area makes up roughly one-fourth of Alabama's entire population. The rise of the iron and steel businesses in the mid 20th century helped the area grow at a significant rate. Birmingham has been called "The Pittsburgh of the South" due to the mirrored industrial roles the two cities share. Founded after the Civil War, Birmingham was one of the centers of the civil rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s.
The town rests in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with the foothills of Appalachian intertwining with the Black Warrior and Cahaba Rivers. That setting serves as the perfect backdrop for an easy-going cultural pace and a quintessential southern charm. The Southeastern Conference headquarters are in Birmingham. Famed Legion Field, known as the "Football Capital of the South", still holds many legendary Iron Bowl memories.
SouthernPigskin.com Restaurant Recommendation - When in Birmingham, eating BBQ is an absolute must. Try Saw's BBQ and their famous white sauce. Some say Saw's is the best in town -- and that's saying something.
SouthernPigskin.com Bar Recommendation - The Garage Cafe is a local favorite with a really unique setting and feel. The outdoor patio is very popular. From the outside, The Garage looks like an antiques store.
Point of Interest - The Ruffner Mountain Nature Center is the second-largest urban nature preserve in the country. Located just five miles from downtown, it's a must visit and offers a serene look at the local environment.
Fun Fact - American Idol winners Taylor Hicks (season five) and Ruben Studdard (season two) both hail from Birmingham. Season four runner-up Bo Bice lived in Birmingham as well.
Celebrity Confirmation - "Birmingham is great because it appeals to everyone. It has the big city feel with our downtown location but it is also a college town, being home to three different universities. It also has the small town feel with its' surrounding areas such as Homewood if you like the suburbia style living. And the one thing that stands out to me, and I've moved a lot, are the people. They are the nicest people you will ever meet, very polite." -- Samford co-Offensive Coordinator Travis Trickett