By Larry Bleiberg
April 14, 2013
THE BEST WAY TO BIRMINGHAM, ALA.
From LAX, connecting service (change of plane) to Birmingham is available on Southwest, American, Delta, United and US Airways. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $536, including taxes and fees.
WHERE TO STAY
The Tutwiler, Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham, downtown, 2021 Park Place; (205) 322-2100, http://www.thetutwilerhotel.com. Ignore the chain affiliation; this is a Birmingham institution, refurbished and updated for guests. Doubles from $169.
Aloft Birmingham Soho Square, 1903 29th Ave. South, Homewood, Ala.; (205) 874-8055, http://www.aloftbirminghamsohosquare.com. This trendy chain offers basic but stylish amenities. Doubles from $149.
Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, 4000 Grand Ave.; (205) 916-7677, http://www.RossBridgeResort.com. The area's finest hotel is on Alabama's famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Doubles from $209.
WHERE TO EAT
Chez Fonfon, 2007 11th Ave. South; (205) 939-3221, http://www.fonfonbham.com. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Entrees from $11.50.
Saw's Juke Joint, 1115 Dunston Ave.; (205) 745-3920, http://www.facebook.com/SawsJukeJoint. Entrees $6-$13. Closed Sundays.
Highlands Bar and Grill, 2011 11th Ave. South; (205) 939-1400; http://www.highlandsbarandgrill.com. The legendary restaurant helped create New South cuisine with offerings such as Alabama paddlefish caviar served with buckwheat pancake and crème fraîche. Entrees $29-$36. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Hot and Hot Fish Club, 2180 11th Court South; (205) 933-5474, http://www.hotandhotfishclub.com. Owner Chris Hastings made local headlines when he won "Iron Chef." Along with seafood, try local rabbit, lamb, pork chops or quail. Entrees $34-$38. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Niki's West, 233 Finley Ave. West; (205) 252-5751, http://www.nikiswest.com. Classic Southern meat-and-three (vegetables) cafeteria with dozens of choices. Entrees less than $10. Open 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays.
TO LEARN MORE
Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2200 9th Ave. North; (800) 458-8085, http://www.birminghamal.org
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