Travel + Leisure names Birmingham “Best Places to Travel in 2021”

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theatre district
Birmingham’s future is looking bright. Photo via Jon Eastwood

Travel + Leisure is one of the largest travel magazines in the world, with almost 5 million readers. They just released their list of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2021,” and our favorite city made the list. Check it out!

The List

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A Magic City, indeed. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Of course, travel has looked quite different this year. There’s been a whole lot less of it, and people are opting more for scenic road trips and staycations than elaborate international adventures.

With the first round of vaccines being distributed, we’re all seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s what Travel + Leisure had to say about their annual list this year:

In honor of our revived appreciation for the discoveries to be made in our own backyards, this year’s list features 50 dynamic, of-the-moment destinations—all right here in the United States.”

Travel + Leisure

Of course, we’re not out of the woods quite yet. Keep masking up and doing all you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Birmingham Makes the Top 50

Railroad Park
Railroad Park is one of our favorite spots in the city. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

We love to see it! Birmingham is no stranger to turning heads all over the nation, but it never gets old to see people celebrating our Magic City right alongside us.

“The modern scene in The Magic City is a great example of what can happen with when Alabama kids head off to the big city to hone their skills, then return home to do their thing — in a really high-quality way.”

Travel + Leisure

Anyone who’s been around the Birmingham block knows the energy here is gaining momentum every day, even in COVID times. Whether you’re coming as a visitor or coming to stay awhile, that Magic City hospitality is like no other.

Here’s why Travel + Leisure thinks Birmingham is one of the top destinations in the country:

“The destination is catching up to demand for luxury lifestyle hotels with the Valley Hotel, opening in the historic, cool-again suburb Homewood in January with a new outpost of Edgar’s Bakery and more restaurants to come. 

Railroad Park, a 19-acre green space, has transformed downtown over the last decade, with walking trails, food truck festivals, and an outdoor symphony. And look for Protective Stadium, a 47,000-seat facility and entertainment district, to open in 2021.”

Travel + Leisure

Can’t Forget the Food

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You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Can you even mention Birmingham without talking about our award-winning food scene? It’s certainly one of our favorite aspects of the city here at Bham Now.

Travel + Leisure cited several of our local favorites in their write-up:

“Take Chef Adam Evans: the Muscle Shoals native worked in New Orleans and New York and opened The Optimist with Ford Fry in Atlanta before heading back to B-Ham to launch Automatic Seafood & Oysters.

Moves like this—along with quirky java shops (Red Cat Coffee House), upscale cocktail bars (Paper Doll), a women-owned vegan food truck, and the Pizitz global food hall—have brought a vibrancy to the city, where contemporary charm and old Southern hospitality mingle on a big scale.”

Travel + Leisure

Who can argue with that?

Want to see who else made the list? Check it out right here!

Keep the Celebration Going

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The Storyteller. Frank Fleming’s beautiful fountain in the heart of 5 Points. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

While this one is a biggie, it certainly isn’t the first major national publication to highlight Birmingham. Here at Bham Now, we love celebrating Birmingham. Here are a few of our favorite mentions:

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.