5 things you wouldn’t expect to find on Birmingham rooftops, including a basketball court

The entire 3,000 square foot roof of Dog Days of Birmingham is a dog park. Honestly, I’m jealous. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Without a drone or very very very tall legs, the average pedestrian would likely miss many of the unique attractions on some of Birmingham’s rooftops. So, we decided to see what we could find.

1. A 3,000 sqft Dog Park

  • Address: 112 18th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

If you’ve ever parked in the Pizitz Food Hall parking deck, you’ve probably noticed the party going on across the street at Dog Days of Birmingham. With dozens of fluffy good boys (and girls) sprinting across the rooftop at full speed, it might just be the purest rooftop in the city.

The entire building is home to Dog Days, a dog care service run by Sue and Jimmy Johnson. The first floor features a state-of-the-art dog care facility, with things like:

  • Grooming and spa areas
  • Playground equipment
  • Cots for nap-time 

And the 3,000 sqft rooftop is the perfect play place for dogs, with umbrellas for shade and water misters during the hot summer months. I am actually jealous.

Learn more about Dog Days of Birmingham: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

2. An Enclosed Basketball Court

Children playing…four square? It’s been a while since my middle school recess days. Photo via Advent Episcopal School on Facebook

Did you know Birmingham’s historic Cathedral Church of the Advent has a rooftop basketball court right next door? It’s located at the Advent Episcopal School. Not only is it a full-sized court, but it’s surrounded by a wire mesh to keep the balls in bounds and off the street.

3. A Heated Saltwater Pool

Okay, a heated pool AND a view like that? Sign me up. Photo via Cortland Vesta on Facebook

The heavily-anticipated Cortland Vesta High Rise is nearing completion, and when it’s done, residents will have a rooftop experience like no other. I’ve been up on that roof, and let me tell you, the view is second-to-none.

In addition to the view, residents have access to a heated saltwater pool overlooking the city of Birmingham. Plus, there’s a cocktail bar + kitchen and indoor + outdoor yoga space with free classes.

Learn more about living at Cortland Vesta.

4. A (mini) Golf Course

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed this building and not known a golf course exists on top. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
  • Address: 2316 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

And now, the building that piqued my interest. The other day, I was scrolling around Google Maps and came across a green space on top of one of the buildings along 1st Avenue North. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a small golf course!

The golf course was put on the roof in 2007 by Southwest Greens of Birmingham, who worked out of the building at the time. Although they’ve moved to a new location, the new owner of the building decided to keep the course. Just make sure not to hit any balls off the roof!

5. A Larger-Than-Normal Chess Set

The hangout area at Kinetic Communications. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
  • Address: 2025 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203

Remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when the protagonists play a life-sized game of chess? Well, the back patio of Kinetic Communications has something similar—albeit on a smaller scale. Oh, and their chess pieces don’t come to life.

In addition to the larger-than-normal chess set, the back patio has a mini putting green as well. What a perfect area to relax and spot the trains coming by!

What unique rooftop experiences did we miss? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.