Local Atmosphere

Birmingham, AL
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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is a lot to do in Birmingham. As a native, I have already experienced most of it, but to a new college student just moving here, there probably seems to be an overwhelming variety to choose from

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Birmingham is a very subpar oasis in the middle of the south

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Decent amount of things to do.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There is a lot of things to do in the city

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Birmingham is an inspiring cultural center here in the south, particularly Alabama, and is full of interesting places to visit and a deep history to explore.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kriti Mishra
Hoover, Ala.
View all previous student authors

Birmingham is the kind of place that has a little bit of everything. Since it is the largest city in the state, it's never far away from anywhere you would want to be. In town, there is something for every kind of person. Nature is never very far away for people who like to hike or mountain bike. There are several national and state parks in the area that are perfect for camping or just being with nature. Ruffner Mountain is less than a 10-minute drive from the school, and Oak Mountain State Park has awesome camping facilities. For those who like the big-city atmosphere, there are plenty of places for shopping, dining, or going out. The only thing that Birmingham lacks is the beach. Since Alabama is a coastal state however, the shores are only a half-day's trip away. Although BSC is located in a metropolitan area, the school itself is able to maintain a somewhat small-town atmosphere. Being in an enclosed campus makes it hard for students to interact directly with the local neighborhood, so the best way to go out and experience Birmingham is to take it one area at a time. The malls are usually a good place to start, then the local restaurants in the surrounding suburbs, and finally the downtown clubs and bars. It's almost a comfort to be able to go out on the town for a night or two, but be able to return to a place that feels more like home than a big city. Southern has the best of both worlds at its disposal.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Birmingham is the largest city in the state of Alabama, with a metro population of approximately 1 million.
  2. Birmingham is home to the nation's oldest baseball park, Rickwood Field, which opened in 1910 and hosted baseball greats such as Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.
  3. Birmingham is the only place in the world where all the ingredients for making iron are present: coal, iron ore and limestone-all within a 10-mile radius.
  4. Vulcan, the mythical god of metalworking, is the largest iron figure ever cast and is second in size only to the Statue of Liberty. The statue was Birmingham's entry in the 1904 World's Fair, where it won first place.
  5. Southern Living, the nation's most successful regional magazine, is published in Birmingham.
Notable Natives
  • Mel Allen
  • Bobby Allison
  • Charles Barkley
  • Bo Bice
  • Bobby Bowden
  • Rick Bragg
  • Paul "Bear" Bryant
  • Dennis Covington
  • Courtney Cox
  • Deidre Downs
  • Fannie Flagg
  • Louise Fletcher
  • Bo Jackson
  • Kate Jackson
  • Joe Naimath
  • Paula Poundstone
  • Ruben Studdard
  • Pat Sullivan
  • Heather Whitestone
Local Slang
  • Brookie: A person who is from Mountain Brook
  • Coke: Any kind of carbonated beverage
  • The 'Ham: Short for Birmingham
  • Over the Mountain (OTM): The communities of Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia, and North Shelby County, which are located "over the mountain"
  • Southside: The culturally-diverse south side of downtown
Points of Interest
  • 16th Street Baptist Church
  • Alabama Adventure Theme Park
  • Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
  • Alabama Theater
  • Aldridge Gardens
  • Alys Stephens Center
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • Birmingham Race Course
  • Birmingham Zoo
  • Comedy Club Stardome
  • DeSoto Caverns
  • Five Points
  • International Motor Sports Hall of Fame
  • McWane Science Center
  • Oak Mountain Amphitheater
  • Oak Mountain State Park
  • Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
  • Sloss Fright Furnaces
  • Talladega SuperSpeedway
  • Visionland Theme Park
  • Vulcan Park
  • Workplay
Shopping Centers
  • Brookwood Village
  • Century Plaza
  • Eastwood Mall
  • Patton Creek
  • Riverchase Galleria
  • The Summit
  • Watermark Place
Movie Theaters
Carmike Cinemas
321 Summit Blvd.
Mountain Brook
(205) 967-3774
Movie Theaters
Carmike Wynnsong 12
500 Commons Dr.
(205) 967-3774
Movie Theaters
Rave Motion Pictures
1911 Kentucky Ave.
Vestavia Hills
(205) 978-3655
Movie Theaters
Rave Motion Pictures Patton Creek 15
4450 Creekside Ave.
(205) 982-2839
Major Sports Teams
  • Birmingham Barons: minor league baseball
  • Birmingham Steeldogs: arena football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Atlanta: GA: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • New Orleans: LA: 5 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 9 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 10 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 40% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 10% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 50% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 10 responses

  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 50% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 50% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 10 responses

  • 20% No way.
  • 20% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 60% Totally.


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