It is a surprise to many visitors, but locals know that Birmingham is chock full of gorgeous mountaintop vistas and curving, winding roads. The best way to enjoy them? From behind the wheel of your car. Here are five mountain drives around Birmingham that will add some adventure to your daily commute or lazy Sunday afternoon. Keep reading for the best drives around.
1. Tip Top Grill in Bluff Park, Hoover
Looking for great hills with a view? Then get in your car and head to the bluffs in Hoover. Along your way you’ll find Tip Top Grill—a former gas station turned hamburger/hotdog stand—and one of the most astounding views around Birmingham.
While the food is generally what you’d expect from your typical “hole in the wall” dive, it’s the view this drive-by food stand provides that will have you coming back time and time again.
Bonus: drive this way at sunset for Birmingham’s dreamiest drive. *Happy sigh*.
2. Altamont Road, Birmingham
Altamont Road may just be my favorite spot for a captivating drive in Birmingham. Here’s why:
- It’s full of exciting winding curves.
- It’s hilly, which heightens the allure of its fun twists and turns.
- The houses are old, huge and gorgeous. A home with history—intriguing, no?
- There are tons of trees that enchantingly hug your path making you feel both wild and free.
When you drive this road, be sure to stop your car at the overlook for an incredible view of Birmingham. There’s even an old cannon at one of them!
3. Highway 31/Montgomery Highway, Homewood
Depending upon which direction you are headed (West toward Homewood or East toward Vestavia and Hoover), you’ll be driving up or down quite an impressive hill. Be especially careful going down it in rain!
The view from this hilly spot provides the ultimate view of Birmingham, so sneak a few peeks during your drive of Vulcan standing proudly in the distance.
4. 20th Street South, Birmingham
Speaking of Vulcan, you can find him looming just overhead as you drive along 20th Street South between Birmingham’s Five Points South Homewood. But be prepared to lose some air when you roll along this street because the view of Homewood is breathtaking!
5. Mary Taylor Road, Trussville
If you’re like me, taking back roads in Trussville is part of daily life. Why sit in traffic on Highway 11 if you can zoom along the rollercoaster-like hills of streets like Smith Sims Road and Roper Road without delay?
Though back roads may be more worth your while at times, there are some streets right off Highway 11 that are totally worth a drive. My fave is Mary Taylor Road.
This street leads you over a railroad track and up a hill towards the Magnolia/Glenn Cross neighborhood. The incline is just the right steepness, too, so it’s easy on your car. No stomping on the gas pedal in hopes your car will pick up the pace on this street!
The best part of Mary Taylor Road, however, is the moment you reach the top. Without warning, a gorgeous view explodes before you with lots of rooftops from neighborhood homes, lush trees and vegetation.
Riding down the smooth curved bend of this hill as it flows from Mary Taylor Road to Hidden Way Lane is just as sweet. But don’t drive too fast! There’s an elementary school at the bottom.
Before Venturing Out
Swing by Driver’s Way in Pelham and off Highway 280 in front of Lee Branch shopping center. They’ll ensure you get a car that has just the right dose of pep to glide up and down the hills of Birmingham with ease.