I lived in Birmingham, AL for fifteen years. During that time, I saw the tail-end of its transformation from a bustling industrial town to a commercial center. While Birmingham is not truly a tourist destination, those who happen to be there for family or business reasons can find ways to entertain themselves should they be willing to spend some time in their rental car. Birmingham itself has little to offer, there are only a handful of things to do and attractions to see in Birmingham. The McWayne Science Center and the Art Museum are a few of the better attractions. There are many opportunities for shopping in Birmingham and some pretty good restaurants in the outlying areas.
The suburb of Hoover is home to the Galleria Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the southern United States. It is surrounded by additional malls and shopping facilities, as well as the home of the Birmingham Barons baseball team. An hour to the north is the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center, and within thirty minutes from the airport is the beginning of the Cahaba River. This region is home to the Cahaba Lily, one of the rarest lilies in the world.