Shopping in BirminghamMitshu/iStockphoto.com
Downtown warehouses that once produced America's oldest soft drink, Dr Pepper, now comprise the upscale Pepper Place , which is one of the region's better-known interior design centers. Other retail centers include Brookwood Village , US 280E and Lakeshore Drive, with anchor stores Belk and Macy's; and The Summit , at US 280E and I-459, which has Belk and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as many upscale specialty shops. Window-shoppers and novelty hunters will want to visit the antique shops and trendy boutiques of Five Points South , off 20th Street S. and Highland Avenue.
Twelve miles south in Hoover, at I-459 and US 31S, is Riverchase Galleria ; it is the place to shop while you're in the Birmingham area. Topped by one of the largest glass skylights in the Western Hemisphere, the Galleria includes Belk, JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, more than 200 specialty stores, an office tower and a sizable hotel.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
State, county and city sales taxes total 10 percent in Birmingham. A lodging tax of 16.5 percent also is levied.
Princeton Baptist Medical Center, (205) 783-3000; St. Vincent's Birmingham, (205) 939-7000; St. Vincent's East, (205) 838-3000; Trinity Medical Center, (205) 592-1000; UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) Hospital, (205) 934-4011; UAB Hospital-Highlands, (205) 934-3411.
2200 Ninth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203. Phone:(205)458-8000 or (800)458-8085
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
One of the largest car rental agencies in the city, Hertz, (205) 591-6090 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Amtrak trains destined for New York and New Orleans depart from the station at 1819 Morris Ave.; phone (205) 324-3033.
Greyhound Lines Inc., at 618 19th St. N., provides commercial bus service to and from the city; phone (205) 252-7190 or (800) 231-2222.
Taxis are on the meter system. The typical charge is $4.50 initially and $2 for each additional mile. The two largest companies are American Cab Co., (205) 322-2222; and Yellow, (205) 252-1131.
Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority provides bus service around town and into the outlying suburbs. Basic bus fare is $1.25. The authority also manages DART, a system of vintage trolleys serving the downtown area; the fare is 25c. Exact change is required for both buses and DART. Phone (205) 521-0101 for schedule and route information.