Got a couple hours to spend in downtown Birmingham—how ’bout a self-guided walking tour of Morris Avenue? (PHOTOS)

Morris Avenue's cobblestones date back to . . . the late 1960s.
Morris Avenue’s cobblestone streets harken back to earlier days, even though they were apparently added in the late 1960s as this became the state’s first historic district. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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

The Elyton Land Company used to have its office at the intersection of Morris Avenue and 20th Street.
Who knew Birmingham’s founders were from Montgomery? Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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.

Morris Avenue was the state of Alabama's first historic district.
It makes sense that the early industrialists in Birmingham, Alabama, decided to name the city after the industrial city of Birmingham, England. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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.

Alabama Peanut Co. has peanuts and souvenirs.
Alabama Peanut Co. continues a long tradition of selling peanuts on Morris Avenue.

You’ve been able to buy peanuts on Morris Avenue for as long as I can remember.


Tasty peanuts at Alabama Peanut Co.
Alabama Peanut Co. roasts peanuts on site. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Alabama Peanut Co. has salty, regular and cajun peanuts for sale. We got a mix of salty and regular—yum.

Edible souvenirs at Alabama Peanut Co.
Alabama Peanut Co. has a nice selection of locally-produced tasty souvenirs. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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.

Walden FARMacy has their herbal tinctures and medicines at Alabama Peanut Co.
Walden FARMacy is everywhere! Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

My oldest spotted these herbal tinctures from our friends Joanna and Trevor Mann of Walden FARMacy.


Get all sorts of souvenirs—edible and non—at Alabama Peanut Co.
More souvenirs at Alabama Peanut Co. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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 . . .

Lots of fun Southern souvenirs at Alabama Peanut Co.
Even more swag. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Next up—the little red caboose

The little red caboose on Morris Ave. is now home to Kinetic Communications.
This little red caboose has been on Morris Avenue for a long, long time. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham now

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.


It would be hard to miss Kinetic Communication's office on Morris Ave.
Kinetic Communications has an office space that’s hard to miss. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

You have to stop by The Essential on a walking tour of Morris Avenue

Stop by The Essential on Morris Ave for a bite to eat and a drink.
I’m kind of in love with that blue underneath the bar. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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?

Check out this patio at The Essential at Founders Station.
The patio at The Essential is a lovely place to stop and rest awhile on Morris Avenue. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Bonus night stop: Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar

Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar is a speakeasy hidden between The Essential and Founders Station. If you weren't looking for it on a walking tour of Morris Ave, you'd totally miss it.
Entering Pilcrow. Photo by Bham Now

So I totally missed this one, but a fellow Bham Nower told me about it and now I want to check it out.


The entrance to Pilcrow looks so mysterious. Just off Morris Ave.
Entering Pilcrow. Photo by Bham Now

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.)

View of the moon over Morris Avenue.
The night sky over Morris Avenue. Photo by Bham Now

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

Founders Station has lofts for sale.
Loft living on Morris, anyone? Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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

Honeycreeper and basic are two transparently-sourced stores that "shop-share" on Morris Avenue.

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.

Check out Honeycreeper for some craft chocolate on Morris Avenue.
Courtney Pigford of Honeycreeper Chocolate. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

For us, chocolate called our name, so we paid a visit to Honeycreeper Chocolate and basic.


basic has transparent supply chains, which means you can feel good about what you're wearing.
All the pretty clothes at basic. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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.

Everywhere you look at Honeycreeper Chocolate is another beautiful—and tempting— display. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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

From this spot, you can see two murals: the robot mural and the Rainbow Wall.
From this spot we could see the robot mural and the new Rainbow Wall. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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.

You can write on the "Before I die" mural on Morris Avenue.
You can write on this one. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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

Carrigan's Public House has an awesome rooftop bar.
Carrigan’s Public House at the end of Morris Avenue. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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

The Onewheel Jesus mural is on the side of the Lindsey Furniture Building.
The Onewheel Jesus Mural memorializes the late Mark Lindsey, son of Lindsey’s Furniture owners Bob and Barbara Lindsey. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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.

Author: Sharron Mendel Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference