Here comes the sun. Jaw dropping places to watch sunrises in Birmingham.

Sunrise at Oak Hill Cemetery on November 18, 2020. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Are you an early riser? Morning person? Or did you stay out all night till dawn?

If you answered – Yes – we’ve found several jaw dropping places to watch sunrises in the Birmingham area. Let’s get started.

1. Oak Hill Cemetery

Birmingham, Alabama, Oak Hill Cemetery, haunted
Oak Hill Cemetery. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Birmingham’s first cemetery is nestled on a hill just west of the BJCC.  According to Oak Hill’s Stuart Oates, the sunrises are fantastic in the winter on high ground in the back of the cemetery. If you are a Birmingham history buff, stick around and check out the gravesites of city founders Charles Linn, and the Mudd & Sloss family plots.  Also, visit Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, leader of the Birmingham Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

2. 1st Ave. North by Sloss Furnaces

Sunrise at Sloss Furnaces in July 2020. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

One of the best places to take a sunrise photo is traveling east on 1st Avenue North from downtown. If you time it right,  before you get to Sloss Furnaces, pull off, put on your hazard lights and frame a sunrise photo of the sun rising behind Sloss.  

It is not the “sun rise” but photos capturing the sun hitting Sloss from the east are quite spectacular too.

WARNING. The traffic is usually light in the winter time around 5:30-6:30AM – so be careful!  

3. Birmingham Downtown Overpasses

Sunrise at the 35th Street overpass in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Trains are like rivers flowing through the heart of the city, and nothing looks more beautiful than the morning’s first light shining on the rails and boxcars,  My favorite overpass is the 35th Street overpass, but you can capture a sunrise on the Richard Arrington Blvd., 22nd Street and 24th Street overpasses downtown splitting the city grid between north and south. 

4. Railroad Park

Morning at Railroad Park by @zackski on Instagram. Photo via Railroad Park Facebook page

Some of the views may be obstructed, but is there any better place to be in downtown Birmingham than Railroad Park when the sun rises? The morning sunlight simply beams off the downtown skyscrapers.  

5. Kiwanis-Vulcan Trail/Ruffner Mountain/Oak Mountain State Park/Red Mountain Park

Grace’s Gap in the morning at Red Mountain Park. Photo via Red Mountain Park Facebook page

For adventuresome folks take any of the many trails on the Red Rock Trail System to watch sunrises. When we polled our Bham Now readers, they recommended  Vulcan Park, Vulcan Trail and Oak Mountain State Park’s King’s Chair. A little after sunrise take a morning stroll along a trail at Ruffner Mountain or Red Mountain Park at Overlook at Grace Gap (Red Mountain Park opens at 7:00AM and Ruffner Mountain at 8:00AM).

Let the Day Begin

Where are your favorite places to watch the sunrise?

Tell us.  Tag Bham Now on social media especially @bhamnow #bhamnow on social media.


  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.