2918 TICA Annual Logo

2018 TICA Annual

Sightseeing In The Birmingham Area

Royal Canin

Dr. Elsey's

Events: August 29 - September 2, 2018
Show: September 1-2, 2018
Awards Banquet: September 1, 2018






Things to do

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There is actually quite a bit to do in Birmingham and throughout the state.  We are going to try and tier these ideas based on proximity to the hotel.

Also feel free to visit the Visitors & Convention Bureau site and while you are there – download the IN app to your mobile device to help you make plans and navigate the area.  Or grab the Tourist Guide and get all the details.  You can print just the pages of interest to you or heck – use the Checklist pages (pages 104-105) and see how many you check off.

Walking Distance

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame – located on the same block as the hotel/show hall, this is a wonderful place to learn more about many of the people Alabamians hold most sacred.    You may well be surprised who you find enshrined here. 

Birmingham Museum of Art  – located just a couple of blocks from the hotel/show hall, admission free for the regular collection.   Special exhibitions may have a fee.  Feel free to check out their website and visit.  It is a short walk and it is air conditioned.  Lunch is also available at the café on weekdays.

Alabama Theatre  – The Alabama Theatre was originally built in 1927and refurbished in the last several years.  It is considered on the nation’s last operating movie palaces.  Tours are done on a limited basis, but keep an eye on their website for events.  Today the theatre is used not only for classic movie screenings (typically seasonal) but also for live concerts, comedy shows and other events.  If an event is happening while you are here, it is worth it to attend just to get inside and see how special attending a movie used to be.  There are also historical parts of the facility that were kept as reminders of how far we have come.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute  – This will be a bit of a longer walk or perhaps you use one of the Zyp bikes or grab a quick Uber, Lyft or taxi.  We have all heard the adage if we do not learn from our history we are doomed to repeat it.  That is true anywhere, anytime, anyplace.  The Civil Rights Museum allows us all the opportunity for reflection and education.  You can also walk across the street to the 16th Street Baptist Church that was bombed in 1963 and visit the statues of Kelly Ingram Park, site of many march mobilizations.  The entire area has recently been designated as the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

McWane Science Center  – Not far from the Civil Rights Institute, this place is part museum, part science experiment, this facility is a unique interactive opportunity for fun and learning!  It also includes an IMAX Dome theater.  Check the schedule to see what is showing while you are here.


Short Car Rides

These are close enough you can just leave your car in the deck and grab a taxi or Uber/Lyft.

Vulcan – The Vulcan statue sits ‘high atop Red Mountain, overlooking Birmingham.’  The statue itself was the city’s exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair and is the largest cast iron statue in the world.  Travel to the top of Vulcan to see some amazing views of the city and surrounding areas.  There is also a museum of the city and history of Birmingham you can tour.  We highly recommend that if you can you first stop in 5 Points South for breakfast at the Original House of Pancakes and then proceed to Vulcan and the museum.

Sloss Furnaces – Designated as a National Historic Landmark and once the site of the largest manufacturer of pig iron, the furnaces are an integral part of the history of Birmingham.  Today the location is a venue for music festivals and other concerts and for the month of October one of the most elaborate Halloween attractions around, Sloss Fright Furnace.

Southern Museum of Flight – Located near the airport (of course) this 75,000 square foot facility is home to over 100 aircraft chronicaling the history of flight and include the crop dusters that were the real beginning of Delta Air Lines in Monroe, LA.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens – These gardens are free to visit and offer a relaxing stroll through many styles of gardens from around the world.  The café is also open for lunch Tuesday through Friday.

Birmingham Zoo – The Birmingham Zoo is another great way to spend some time in Birmingham.  Not the largest zoo you will ever see but not the smallest.  Visit the site for full details.  The zoo is also in essence across the street from the Botanical Gardens so visiting both can make for a full day.  The Komodo Dragons are a big hit as well as the new panther exhibit.  The train ride is extra but makes for a nice breeze during the day.

Pedal Bike Tours – Hop on a bike at one of our local breweries and pedal your way to a good time around town.  Take a public tour and make new friends or organize a private tour for a group of your favorite cat show folks!  Yes, the riders are allowed to have a ‘go cup.’


A bit further out


Barber Motorsports Museum – Like things that go fast – then don’t miss this!  A museum mostly dedicated to motorcycles there are also quite a few other vintage automobiles on display.  At the same exit off of I-20 (exit 140) is an outlet mall with great shopping a Bass Pro Shop (great shopping and entertainment).

You can also get tours of the track by contacting the facility. This track is known as the ‘Augusta of Indy Car Racing.’  Also reach out to Barbara Ray as she has a contact there and can help organize groups to tour.

Wineries – In state wineries offer some great opportunities to sample and enjoy local vintages.  Most are located south of Birmingham.

American Village
 Step back in time to Colonial America and the visionaries that saw the potential of this continent and this a new country.  Through interactive exhibits experience colonial life and the birth of a nation.  The state's national cemetery is also located next door.  It is also in the vicinity of the wineries.

Day Trips and Beyond 


International Motorsports Hall of Fame – A place for all things fast, the Motorsports Hall of Fame is located close to the Talladega Super Speedway.

University of Alabama/Paul W. Bryant Museum – Stroll across the campus of the state’s flagship University and take in a bit of history too.  Read the History timeline on the school’s site and check out the remaining buildings that were not burned in the American Civil War.  The ashes of the library are still marked on the “the Quad.”  Besides all that, soak in the feel of a Southern Campus as the start of the school year and of course, football season.  And besides checking out the stadium with its statues and Walk of Champions, there is also the Sarah Patterson Champions Plaza that honors the other sports the university’s student athletes have been successful in.  And of course, you can really soak in that history and tradition of excellence at the Bryant Museum.  The museum is not just about football and its namesake.  Check it out.

And uh yeah, another National Championship.  Jermaine 'Funnymaine' Johnson is a local comedian and HUGE Bama fan.  He does videos after each game.  This video really does show how many of them felt throughout the game.  And yes at the end, we hugged everyone and cried.


If you get hungry while in Tuscaloosa, check out the original Dreamland BBQ  or Cypress Inn.  They can also be found on Facebook.  

Wandering the area next to the campus known as The Strip can also be fun.  Mingle with the students, relive your youth!  Also some great places to get some U of A gear.

US Space and Rocket Center  – Alabama’s #1 tourist attraction for several years now, it is a place to see history and yet touch the future.

Muscle Shoals Recording Studio  – This studio has been host to many well known artists for many decades.  If you are a fan of music and history it really is a can’t miss.  Visit their site for more info.  And while you are in the area you may also want to visit the Fame Studios.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival – A truly amazing site to visit, the ASF main theater is a replica of the The Globe theater originally found on the Avon River in England.  The theater presents Shakespearean classics as well as modern plays.  It also has the unique Octagon Theater which is theater in the round – performances are in the middle of seating that surrounds the room.  If your schedule permits and there is a show to your liking, we highly recommend paying them a visit.  You can also visit the grounds on any performance days without attending a play.

The Alabama Gulf Coast – And how can we not mention the amazing Alabama Gulf Coast!  Sugar soft and white sand that oozes between your toes and are so cool to the touch (once you dig in<g>).  The eating, golfing and other entertainment options abound.  Feel free to reach out to club members on what we like the most about this beach.  Come early or stay late and be sure to enjoy this treasure!  You can fly into Mobile (MOB) or Pensacola, FL (PNS) and fly out of Birmingham (BHM), or in and out of Birmingham and just grab a rental to hit the beach during the week where it will be MUCH less crowded, especially since school will be back in.

If you are planning to perhaps stay over after the Annual – some suggestions would be to visit the beach during the week and then return to the Birmingham area to attend the Alabama home opener.  If interested, we can help with that.  Honey’s family normally goes to this game.

OR stay over visit the beach or other places and then drive over to North Augusta, SC for the Cattyshack show there.