Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham, was founded in 1871 as a steel manufacturing centre that found itself at the crossroads of two railways. Since then the city has taken its diverse history and transformed itself into a thriving, contemporary metropolis. The massive sheds and tall chimney stacks of the Sloss Furnaces epitomise the iron and steel manufacturing history of the city, whilst Birmingham's pivotal role in the USA's civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s is exemplified in the Civil Rights Institute and at the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Other notable attractions include the Museum of Art, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Carver Theatre for the Performing Arts. Jazz aficionados will feel very much at home here; the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame is a wonderful tribute to Jazz greats, and has a resident expert who played with the Tommy Dorsey band. Outside the city, a drive to Vulcan Park provides wonderful views of the city and the panorama of the Red Mountains.