A New Look at Birmingham, AL

You don’t have to plan a getaway that will break the bank – uncover hidden gems just down the road from Huntsville!

If you want to feel like you’re miles away from Huntsville without the dreaded serenade of “are we there yet?”, Birmingham, Alabama needs to be in your rolodex of awesome impromptu getaways!

With vacation season just around the corner, you may be looking for mini-escapes for a multitude of reasons; perhaps you are looking for a girl’s weekend or mom’s escape, or you and your special someone need a weekend away from the kids.

Although Birmingham is just a short drive from Huntsville, a stay at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort will have you feeling like you are in another world…I have experienced the resort as a couple’s escape, a weary mom’s respite and now recently a kid’s weekend.  Each time the experience was exactly what I needed.  Few resorts have offered me such versatility.

Birmingham, you say? What do they have that Huntsville does not?  Well for the Summer of 2014 I challenge you to check out the following hidden gems:

Red Mountain Park

Located less than 10 miles from Ross Bridge, Red Mountain Park offers outdoor fun for the entire family. The park itself is free and offers 11 miles of hiking/biking trails. Tucked away just inside the park are the Red Ore Zip Tours and Bean Stalk Forest which offer adventure in the forest for a reasonable fee. If you can peel the kids away from the pool at the resort, pack a picnic and hide away in the forest for the day!

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Prepping for our zip line adventure!
Prepping for our zip line adventure!

Experience Some Urban Art

Once you have watched the sun set at Ross Bridge while listening to the sounds of the bag pipes, take the kids to the 18th Street Underpass.  Part of the city’s plan to make use of existing architecture, once abandoned due to location or condition, Bill Fitzgibbons’ Light Rails offers a unique photo opportunity and art appreciation activity.

Jump It Out

Is the rain ruining your perfect day in the great outdoors? Worried about having kids with excess energy? Plan a visit to Birmingham’s Trampoline Arena Adventure. Airwalk is sure to result in an extra entry into the Parent Of The Year award.

The Airwalk Trampoline Arena can burn off "1000 calories per session"!
The Airwalk Trampoline Arena can burn off “1000 calories per session”!

Soar to New Heights

Even a great idea for a day trip or birthday adventure if you are thirsty for more adventure and heights. Check out Grant’s Mill Station, the newest aerial adventure park in Alabama. Watch for discounts on both LivingSocial and Groupon for this adventure. (Feature photo)

Tips & Tricks

Of course Birmingham has more than just a weekend’s worth of activities. Check out this list for multiple opportunities:  100 Things To Do With Kids In Birmingham

Pro-Tip: Don’t forget your opportunity for reciprocity with the Birmingham Zoo, Botanical Garden and McWane Science Center if you hold annual memberships to zoos or museums elsewhere in the country!

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Our Birmingham Zoo visit included a Camel Encounter!
Our Birmingham Zoo visit included a Camel Encounter!

The Frugal Traveler: Are you a teacher? Or does your employment classify you as a part of the Retirement Systems of Alabama? Look HERE for some great discounts!

Adults Only:  Did you escape sans kids?  Create your own brew tour with this guide: Guide to Birmingham’s Craft Beers

Teach the kids to eat the world:  In keeping with my theme of show them the world without a Passport,  this escape allows you to dine alfresco Italian-style.  If you are like me, sometimes you need an escape with very little on the agenda.  If you enjoyed your day relaxing at Ross Bridge Resort and Spa and don’t want to go far for dinner, take a short walk to Villagio.  Whether you are enjoying a romantic date or a family dinner you won’t be disappointed. A perk is the adjacent playground where you can see your kiddos play if you sit outside to dine!

I wish you much joy should you choose to explore Birmingham, AL this summer!  Watch Rocket City Mom for even more adventures less than two hours from home.

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Happy Travels! Melika

Feature photo via Adventure Park at Grants Mill Facebook Page

Nashville – The Music City has so much to offer and music is only half of it.

Birmingham Basics – We let the moms over at Birminghammommy.com give us the 411 on BTown because we are S.M.A.R.T. and we know moms have all the good info.

Chattanooga – our very own Sarah Lena took a trip back to one of her favorite destinations and shares with us all the fun to be had in this “model” town. Hint: the aquarium is a MUST.

Atlanta – Hotlanta native Kelly gave us the scoop on what to do with kids when visiting ATL. She should know, she’s got three under the age of 5!