Going down to Birmingham and hoping to get off the beaten track to discover some of the quirkier sights in Alabama’s biggest town? You’re in luck! In addition to an impressive range of popular museums, parks, restaurants, and attractions, there’s something for everybody in Birmingham – no matter how obscure or off-kilter your sightseeing proclivities might be.

In some ways, the whole “Magic City” itself is something of a hidden gem with loads of unsung local favorites, plenty of not-quite-famous yet places to visit, and more than its fair share of outright oddities. If you’re keen to have your good times coupled with an ample dose of weird or to be tinged with surprise, you’ll find Birmingham to be an especially dynamic Southern destination.

Have a look at this list of Birmingham’s quirkiest attractions for some offbeat inspiration!

Alex Emanuel Koch / Shutterstock

Alex Emanuel Koch / Shutterstock

Airwalk Trampoline Arena
7010 Champion Boulevard

This much-loved attraction offers visitors the chance to jump around in an open field of over 30 connected trampolines, play a variety of games like dodge ball, basketball, and more, and basically jump really, really high. This place is basically the ultimate when it comes to trampolines, and is a hot spot for rambunctious kids and adults alike. By the way, they make all “jumpers” and observers sign a waiver before entering. Jump at your own risk!

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
1631 4th Avenue North

A rather rinky-dink labor of love by most accounts, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame is a museum housed inside the Art Deco era Carver Theatre. It’s dedicated to honoring great jazz musicians with ties to Alabama. Perhaps most noteworthy (and certainly the quirkiest!) among the exhibitions is one dedicated to Birmingham-born musician Sun Ra, known not only for his prolific career performing and recording with Intergalactic Space Arkestra, but also for his claims of actually being from outer space.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds, Alabama

Situated just to the northeast of Birmingham in the town of Leeds, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is home to a collection of almost 750 vintage and modern motorcycles and as well as a solid collection of Lotus and other race cars. For motorcyclists and admirers of all things vintage, this museum cannot be beat. Every bike and vehicle on display has been masterfully restored and is in impeccable condition. Barber also has its own 830 acre motorsport park featuring a 16 turn, 2.38 mile track.

Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Joe Minter’s African Village in America
931 Nassau Avenue Southwest

Retired construction worker and visionary artist, Joe Minter, has transformed his Birmingham home and its neighboring vacant lot into a wonderland of homespun and found object artworks. Dedicated to African American history, his African Village in America is something that has to be seen to be believed.

"Electra" by Max Wolfe is licensed under CC 2.0.

Electra” by Max Wolfe is licensed under CC 2.0.

Miss Electra

Top of the Alabama Power Headquarters Building, 600 18th Street North

More demure and diminutive than the city’s more famous Vulcan statue (keep reading for details on him), the golden Miss Electra statue with lightning bolt hair atop the Alabama Power building is a sight to behold nonetheless!

Storyteller Fountain
Next to the Highlands United Methodist Church, 1045 20th Street South

This bronze sculptural fountain created by Alabama artist Frank Fleming is located in the heart of Birmingham’s Five Points South neighborhood. With its centerpiece ram-headed storyteller (local folk call him “Bob”) appearing to speak to a small assembly of animals, it’s an iconic and controversial icon for the city.

Vulcan Park and Museum
1701 Valley View Dr.

Guess where the world’s largest cast iron statue is? Yep, it’s in Birmingham, Alabama. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, reigns supreme over the city as a 56 foot tall symbol of its prominence in the iron and steel industry. By the way, good ole Vulcan is the world’s biggest iron-ore statue too – and one of America’s tallest statues. Beyond the opportunity to admire this giant, a range of events are hosted throughout the year at Vulcan Park and Museum.

Who knew Birmingham was so wacky? Which of these crazy attractions are you most interested in seeing? Blow it up in the comments!

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About The Author

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.