“Play hard, travel often,” the Aviate tagline goes. I think Aviate—Birmingham’s ever stylish, nationally loved apparel brand most known for their hats donning 3-letter airport identifiers—is onto something.
“For millions of travelers, the 3-letter airport codes assigned to major cities instantly evoke the memories of journeys past, the anticipation of adventure ahead or the satisfaction of heading home once business is done.”—Aviate’s website
In this post, I take a deeper dive into the “satisfaction of heading home once business is done” aspect of the Aviate philosophy. Though the brand covers 160 cities, 45 states and 3 countries, only one airport code represents Aviate’s home—that’s BHM.
Let’s “travel often,” yes. But put on your fave Aviate tee, Shibui tank or hat (your choice of solid, camo, corduroy or Jet Setter collection) because I’ve got eight ways you can “play hard” right here in home sweet Birmingham.
1. Start the day off right.
First things first. If you are going to play hard, as Aviate says, you’ve got to eat breakfast. Not too early, though. You had a busy night. Check out these hotspots for brunch in Birmingham. Or drop in one of our city’s must-try doughnut shops.
2. Walk your dog.
You know a city is dog friendly when it has an annual festival devoted to man’s best friend. Take Fido on one of Birmingham’s many dog-friendly walks, including Railroad Park, Rotary Trail and Red Mountain Park. This isn’t quite playing hard, but it’s a good warmup for…
3. Climb a boulder.
Build up uncanny finger strength by clinging to rocks at Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover. This 349-acre nature preserve boasts a field of natural boulders with options for every climber’s skill level. Here are directions.
4. Get on the water.
You can rent a pedal boat, kayak, canoe or standup paddleboard at Oak Mountain State Park. Get too hot while playing hard? Splash around.
5. Develop a fierce love of public art.
We Birminghamians love our murals, and our city is home to some incredible ones. (And if anyone messes with them, we just put them back.) Check out murals in downtown Birmingham, Woodlawn and Avondale by artist Marcus Fetch, and in Norwood and Ensley by artist Ukuu Tafari. Or, put your mark on the Birmingham Color Wall on June 23.
Snap a photo in front of your fave Birmingham mural or landmark (#aviatebrand #bhamnow).
Play Hard Bonus: Ask a friend to take that photo while showing off how high you can jump.
6. Rock out at a music festival.
Sloss Music & Arts Festival, Sloss Fest for short, is coming your way July 14 and 15, 2018. The two-day festival takes place at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham. It features 44 bands, four stages, craft beer and cocktails, arts, crafts and live iron pouring demonstrations. (Molten iron? Play hard—check.)
The Aviate crew members are huge music fans! What musical acts are they most looking forward to at Sloss Fest 2018? LANY, Chris Stapleton, Big Freedia and Jason Isbell.
Stop by the Aviate booth at Sloss Fest for stay-cool apparel including Sloss hats, Captain’s hats, beach towels, Shibui tanks, cooling towels and infinity wraps.
7. Take in a rooftop view.
Also, grab a drink. You’ve played hard all day, so relax and enjoy the view at one of Birmingham’s rooftop bars. There’s no better way to take in the Magic City. Check out this handy guide.
8. Dress the part.
The title of this article promises I’ll tell you how to look cool while playing hard this summer. That’s easy. Shop Aviate. You’ll also be supporting a local Birmingham-based company. It doesn’t get any cooler than that.
Aviate, a lifestyle brand founded in Birmingham, Alabama, cultivates a sense of travel and encourages everyone to check off bucket list experiences. Still based in Birmingham, and most known for their hats donning 3-letter airport identifiers (BHM, anyone?), Aviate now covers 160 cities, 45 states and 3 countries by staying true to their motto, “Play hard. Travel often.”