Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum#8 in Best Things To Do in Birmingham
If you're a gearhead, you won't want to miss George Barber's collection of motorcycles – the largest in the world, according to Guinness – featuring more than 1,400 bikes from 200 different manufacturers. The museum also houses an extensive selection of Lotus Cars, if you prefer four wheels to two.
Recent visitors called this museum a "world-class facility" and said that even if you're not into motorcycles, this collection is worth seeing. Other reviewers praised the assortment of Lotus Cars and the outdoor track, which hosts the Porsche Sport Driving School. The only gripe among recent visitors concerned the museum's facilities, or lack thereof: museumgoers said they would love to see a cafe or eatery added to the grounds.
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is located about 20 miles east of downtown Birmingham and is best reached by car. From October to March, the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. From April to September, it welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. General admission for adults costs $15 ($10 for children ages 4 to 12). Premium docent-led tours that include a viewing of the Restoration Level (where technicians repair motorcycles and cars) can be purchased for an additional $15. Visit the museum's website for more information.
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#1 Civil Rights District
To learn more about Birmingham's role in the civil rights movement, plan a visit to the Civil Rights District. This six-block area in downtown Birmingham encompasses several historic sites, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, the A.G. Gaston Gardens and the Fourth Avenue Business District, among other points of interest.
Perhaps the most significant site is Kelly Ingram Park, which played host to civil rights rallies, demonstrations and confrontations in the 1960s, including the Children's Crusade. You can take a self-led walking tour through the park to learn about the notable protesters and the significant incidents of this turbulent time in the city's history, detailed by markers along the Freedom Walk route. The park is also home to the Four Spirits statues, which honor the four African American girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. To fully experience the walk, you can access a free audio tour from your cell phone by calling 205-307-5455.
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