We recently had an opportunity to get away for a weekend in Birmingham, Alabama without our kids! Read to see where to stay, what to do, and what to eat while in Birmingham.
Where We Stayed in Birmingham
Our first choice for hotel accommodations in Birmingham is always Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort & Spa. We have stayed here a few times with our kids, but this time we explored the property and area from an adult's point of view!
In our area of residence (Jackson, Mississippi) we have a few fun options within driving distance for quick weekend getaways. Birmingham is one of those cities at only 3 1/2 hours of an easy drive on Interstate 20. It's also become one of our favorite cities recently.
Staying at the Ross Bridge Resort truly feels like you're staying at a castle! It's a beautiful piece of property nestled in the woodlands in the outskirts of Birmingham. I love the little town surrounding the area, too!
While we were in Birmingham, Ross Bridge Resort & Spa was still running it's annual Summer at the Castle program. We enjoyed free s'mores on the pool deck, cocktail and appetizer tastings at the lounge, and the sounds of the lovely bagpiper in the evenings.
The appetizers we tried from the hotel as part of the Summer at the Castle program were these flatbreads -- I can't remember the exact toppings! I believe one was barbecue chicken and the other a balsamic tomato glaze. They both were delicious and I probably could've eaten the entire pan!
This may be cheesy, but one of the things we consistently appreciate at Ross Bridge Resort is the water that is set out in the lobby area. It's infused with fruit so it offers such a refreshing flavorful drink option when you're running out the door (or running back in) to/from your next adventure and I don't have to shell out $3 every time I need to quench my thirst! 🙂
A great tip while staying at Ross Bridge Resort - they have FREE bicycle rentals for using on the nearby trails! We took the bikes out for a little stroll and it was so fun. The scenery through the trails was just beautiful and nicely shaded to keep us from the hot sun!
Where We Ate in Birmingham
As far as dining out on the town, we wanted barbecue and Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint was a place that caught our eye during a previous drive through town. From what I know, Martin's originated in Nashville but this Birmingham location recently opened. We were thrilled at the opportunity to try it out!
Martin's was a fun, very relaxed dining option with good barbecue! The service was super friendly and the atmosphere was hopping. We will definitely be back here with our kiddos since it was so family friendly!
Next door to Martin's is an ice cream sandwich cookie shop called Bendy's Cookies & Cream. The name is a combination of the owners' names (married couple Ben and Wendy) -- so cute! Sadly, this delicious ice cream shop temporarily closed due to a heartbreaking loss in their family. We were there about a week before closing and very much enjoyed our ice cream cookies! I had the oatmeal cookies with blueberry ice cream and Ben chose the chocolate chip toffee cookies with vanilla ice cream. Both were wonderful huge helpings! My heart goes out to this young family and their time of healing.
About 30 minutes from the Ross Bridge Resort is the cutest little bakery, K and J's Elegant Pastries. I came across their account on Instagram and saw they made these incredible milkshakes! They were going to be at the Ross Bridge Farmer's Market that night, but we wanted to see their actual store and experience the milkshakes.
Y'all, look at these colossal milkshakes! The bakery also makes cupcakes and cakes and other delicious bakery items. I can tell you, my favorite part of the milkshakes was the slice of birthday cake. I wanted to eat the whole slice, but unfortunately I had to share with Ben. 😉
Owner Chef Kristal came into the store while we were there. She was as sweet as can be!
Red Mountain Park in Birmingham
The morning we checked out of our hotel, we drove about 8 minutes from the resort to an outdoor adventure park called Red Mountain Park. It was very surprising to have a place like this so close to our hotel that offers hiking, ziplines, rock climbing and other outdoor activities!
We booked the Mega Zip -- a 1,000 foot zipline from 80 feet in the air. It was super fun and we got to ride it twice! I chose to brave it backwards my second time! I feel like the price was decent for this adventure and would totally explore the other activities in the future!
Other articles from us about Birmingham, Alabama:
Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa “Summer at the Castle”
Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Resort: Our Family Vacation Tradition
A Day Out with Thomas the Train
Thank you to the team at Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort & Spa for providing accommodations for this trip. All opinions are our own.