Spend the day in Highland Park—delicious restaurants, beautiful parks + more

highland park
Highland Park is full of things to do. (Callie Puryear / Bham Now)

Highland Park is one of Birmingham’s most charming neighborhoods. It’s the perfect place to explore by foot or even take a leisurely drive. From historic parks to iconic restaurants, read on for a few of our favorite ways to spend a day in the area.

Walk through the historic parks

Highland Park boasts three incredible parks. From the unique concrete structures at Rhodes Park to the beloved garden at Rushton Park, you could make a day out of simply park-hopping.

Caldwell Park

Caldwell Park
Birmingham’s Caldwell Park. (Jon Eastwood / Bham Now)

Caldwell Park is a local go-to spot for a quick run or walk, as well as a popular spot where many events take place throughout the year, so you never know what you might get to check out. DYK? Until recently, Do Dah Day culminated at Caldwell Park. In the 2000’s, The Alabama Symphony held several concerts on the grounds. I say we bring that back!

Rhodes Park

Rhodes Park Spend the day in Highland Park—delicious restaurants, beautiful parks + more
Rhodes Park in the Highland Park Neighborhood. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

This is the neighborhood’s unofficial dog park. Dozens of resident hangout at Rhodes Park daily with their fur-babies.

It’s not too bad for humans either… Rhodes Park is surrounded by beautifully crafted textured walls, entrances and benches, which have inset Moravian tiles.

Rushton Park

This is where the fun happens! Rushton Park has a large fenced in play area for children, a basketball net at the south end of the park and a small volleyball court. Plus, this is where you’ll find the amazing Highland Park Community Garden.

Delicious dining

For all of your park exploration, you’re going to need some fuel. Lucky for you, Highland Park is home to many good eats. For a day full of dining, walk to these hot spots:

Coffee at O’Henry’s

My favorite latte in town. (Callie Puryear / Bham now)

O’Henry’s is a Birmingham hot spot and the Highland Park location might just be our favorite. Grab a coffee, a conecuh cheddar biscuit and enjoy the view of Rushton Park. I am counting down the days until I’m justified in ordering their delicious pumpkin spice latte.

Lunch at Rojo

Rojo chorizo pasta
The chorizo pasta is delish. (Pat Byinton / Bham Now)

Rojo has been a Southside classic since 2002, serving up delicious Latin American eats like beef empanadas, grilled fish tacos and their classic queso. For an extra kick, try Kip’s Queso—Rojo’s classic queso with chorizo and jalapeños added in.

A true neighborhood destination, Rojo recently launched a campaign to encourage the planting of native plants throughout the community.

Drinks at Freddy’s

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What after-work dreams are made of. (Jacob Blankenship/ Bham Now)

Freddy’s Wine Bar in Highland Park is my favorite spot for a glass of wine and a charcuterie board. I’m an absolute sucker for their tomato bruschetta with a glass of pinot grigio.

Dinner at Bottega

BottegaCafe 20220315 120826 Spend the day in Highland Park—delicious restaurants, beautiful parks + more
Bottega lives up to all the hype. (Bham Now)

One of Birmingham’s most well-known restaurants, Bottega, sits right in the heart of Highland Park. Chef Frank Stitt has many accolades, including winning James Beard Awards and being inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. It’s safe to say you can’t go wrong with anything here, but my go-to order is the beef carpaccio, focaccia and the chicken scallopini.

Things to do

We asked Elizabeth Sanfelippo, President of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, for a couple of her favorite ways to explore the area. She was quick to say you can’t go wrong with catching a play at Virginia Samford Theatre or a visit to the Birmingham Historical Society.

Highland Park Golf Course

Highland Park Golf Course
Highland Park Golf Course was named one of the 30 best municipal golf courses in America. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Highland Park Golf Course is one of our favorite public golf courses with spectacular views of the city to enjoy while you play.

Highland Park Tennis Courts

Pro tip—join the Highland Park Tennis courts for access to their twelve courts. We recommend going to the sports shop to learn more about how to play at Highland Park.

Birmingham Historical Society

This is such a cool place learn more about our history-rich city. Browse their calendar for upcoming events and exhibitions you can go check out.

Virginia Samford Theatre

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The 2023-2024 season is looking bright for Virginia Samford Theatre, so be sure to check their calendar and pick a show to enjoy. I know it’s early, but I can’t wait for Schoolhouse Rock next April.

“The great people, beautiful trees and parks, historic homes and buildings with a mix of home/condo owners and renters, businesses, theater, restaurants, churches, community garden, and proximity to golf/tennis all contribute to making Highland Park the special place that it is.”

Elizabeth Sanfelippo, Highland Park Neighborhood Association, President

Let us know what Highland Park spots we missed, or what neighborhoods we should cover next.

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Callie Puryear
Callie Puryear
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