Alabama Paws & Claws
For a printable version of these directions including a map, click here.
From Northeast (Chattanooga, I-59) and due East (Atlanta, I-20) – As you approach Birmingham, you will intersect with Interstate 459. Take I-459 to the South/West (towards Tuscaloosa & Montgomery). Exit at US-280 and take the ramp for US 280 South (to Childersburg). Once the ramp circles around you will come out on US 280 going South. Proceed to your hotel/the show hall.
From the Southwest (Tuscaloosa, MS, LA, etc – I-20/59) – Just before you reach Bessemer, take exit #106 onto I-459 North/East (towards Atlanta, etc). Go past the I-65 interchange (unless you are staying at the intersection of I-65/Hwy 119) – exit onto US 280 South. Proceed to your hotel/the show hall.
From the North (Huntsville, I-65) – You will have 2 options depending on where you choose to stay. You may get on I-459 North/East and follow the directions above from the Southwest the remainder of the way. Or you may continue down to the junction with Hwy 119 (exit 246, also called Cahaba Valley Road) and take Hwy 119 to the North/East (left, back under the interstate) until it connects with US 280. Then go left or right as need be.
From the South (Montgomery, etc., I-65) – Again, you will have 2 options. If you are staying off of Hwy 119 or further down US 280, you may prefer to exit at Hwy 119 (exit 246, also called Cahaba Valley Road). To get to US 280, take Hwy 119 to the right (North/East). If you prefer, you can continue on I-65 to I-459 North/East and exit onto US 280 the same as those coming from the Southwest.
From the Airport – Once you leave the terminal, get onto I-59/20 to the South/West. It is to the right, before you go under the interstate. As you approach downtown, exit onto US HWY 31/280 South (do not confuse this with 31 st Street, which is the exit before). As the ramp splits, you will stay to the left to go South.
Once you go through downtown and crest a hill – US 280 and US 31 split. You will take the 2 lane swooping exit ramp to your right. As you come down the ramp do go ahead and get over so that you do not end up in an exit only. Proceed down US 280 until you cross I-459 and then look for your hotel/the show hall.
Hotels Along US 280
The Drury Inn can be seen from the interstate and if you are staying there, you will need to get over to the far left fairly quickly after getting onto US 280. The other hotels are further down.
On the left – La Quinta & Best Western (from the same light/access road, across the street from shopping center with Best Buy and Target), Oak Mountain Lodge is much further down, next to/behind a BP Station and Waffle House, across from a Jim N’Nicks BBQ.
On the right and on a hill behind Petrucelli’s and Joe’s Crab Shack – Candlewood Suites (after La Quinta, before Oak Mountain Lodge)
Show Hall – from I-459
SportsBlast – Shelby County is located 7 miles south of the I-459 & Hwy. 280 East intersection.
More particularly, it is 3.6 miles south of the Hwy 119 and Hwy. 280 east intersection. Make a left hand turn at the (4th) traffic light past Hwy 119 (which is County Road 41) We are across Hwy 280 E. from the Narrows Subdivision and part of the '96 Fields Soccer Complex just over the mountain.
You Can Miss This Turn/Light, so be alert – It is on the downside of big, big hill - known as Double Oak Mountain. We should have signs out marking the turn.
Once you make the left at the light, you will make an immediate right and follow that road to the facility.
Show Hall – from Hwy 119
If you have chosen to stay at a hotel in the area of the I-65/Hwy 119 intersection, simply take Hwy 119 to the North/East until it runs into US 280. Take a right onto US 280 and follow the above directions. There is also a LaQuinta off of I-65 at at exit 247, Valleydale Road. This is one mile north of Hwy 119.
Please Note: There are variety of ways to access this area of Birmingham Metro Area. For those that may be coming from South Georgia, Northeast FL, you may prefer to use Interstates 75 or 85 to get to US 280. If you take this route, you will be coming from the opposite direction of all of these directions. The route along US 280, especially in GA between I-75 and I-85 – is not well lit at night and if you need to stop often, not much is open either (at night anyway). I-59/20 also has an intersection with US 280/31 in downtown Birmingham, from which you would want to take the US 280 split when you reach that. (See Airport directions above.)
Contact the local show manager at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. Be sure to put “cat show directions” in the subject line so she will know the nature of your e-mail.