Got a couple hours to spend in downtown Birmingham? How ’bout a self-guided walking tour on Morris Avenue. If you haven’t been there lately, you might be surprised by the changes.
The other day when our home internet was out, my kids and I hopped in the car and headed down to see what we could see. Here are 10 things we found.
First stop—Jefferson County Historical Commission signs
We fed a meter on Morris Avenue some quarters, then made our way back to the intersection of Morris Ave. and 20th Streets.
Apparently, this is where the Elyton Land Company, which founded Birmingham in 1871, had its headquarters.
Folks in Birmingham, Alabama have a long history of looking to England—the city’s name comes from an industrial city of the same name across the pond.
Next on a walking tour of Morris Avenue—Alabama Peanut Co.
You’ve been able to buy peanuts on Morris Avenue for as long as I can remember.
Alabama Peanut Co. has salty, regular and cajun peanuts for sale. We got a mix of salty and regular—yum.
For anyone who’s looking for some good locally-produced tasty souvenirs, they’ve got a nice selection. They’ve even got some honey from Eastaboga Bee Company.
My oldest spotted these herbal tinctures from our friends Joanna and Trevor Mann of Walden FARMacy.
They’ve also got peanut-themed t-shirts and dish towels, including a particularly hilarious dish towel that says “Sorry about your divorce. We hated him.” I don’t know about you, but I know exactly who I’d get that one for . . .
Next up—the little red caboose
My little brother and I actually remember eating at the old Victoria Station restaurant that used to be housed in this little red caboose.
Now it’s home to Kinetic Communications, and next-door neighbors with this cool graffiti art mural.
You have to stop by The Essential on a walking tour of Morris Avenue
Any good walking tour needs some time to rest for a while and get something to eat or drink.
The Essential at Founders Station has food, drinks, baked goods and a patio. What more could you ask for?
Bonus night stop: Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar
So I totally missed this one, but a fellow Bham Nower told me about it and now I want to check it out.
Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar is hidden in an alleyway between The Essential and Founders Station. Look for the door with the neon ¶ symbol. (Apparently that paragraph symbol is actually called a pilcrow.)
Inside you’ll find a speakeasy that’s open Tuesday-Thursday 4PM-midnight, and Friday-Saturday 4PM-2AM.
Back to the walking tour—Founders Station
In case you really love the flavor of life on Morris Avenue, you should check out the lofts at Founders Station.
Need a snack? Check out Honeycreeper Chocolate + basic
We passed by Heidi Elnora Atelier, a couture bridal shop, because I was with two little boys—not their thing.
If you or someone you love is in the market for a wedding dress, though, you’ll definitely want to pop in.
For us, chocolate called our name, so we paid a visit to Honeycreeper Chocolate and basic.
basic is a clothing store, and these two small-businesses “shop-share.” In addition to a storefront, they both have fully transparent supply chains, which means you can feel good about what you get at each.
The vanilla caramels at Honeycreeper Chocolate were the best I’ve ever eaten. Pure melt-in-your mouth deliciousness.
Next on a walking tour of Morris Avenue—three murals
If you haven’t figured this out by now, we’re huge mural fans here at Bham Now.
My kids and I thought it was cool that we could see two murals from this one spot: the robot mural and the new Rainbow Wall.
It was just a short walk down the street before we came across this “Before I die” mural under one of the viaducts, too.
Next-to-last stop on the tour
If you’re on an adults-only walking tour of Morris Avenue, you’re going to want to stop by Carrigan’s Public House at the end for some adult beverages and food on the rooftop bar or on the patio.
Final stop—the Onewheel Jesus Mural
While I’d read about this mural before, this was my first time seeing it in real life. You can read all about this lovely tribute to the late Mark Lindsey here.
And with that, our self made tour of Morris Avenue was complete.
Over time, the landscape will continue to change with new mixed-use developments coming.
And, we know local visitors and tourists will continue to enjoy Alabama’s first historic district for a long time to come.