iTrekHere Days 1 & 2: London > New Orleans > Birmingham

  • iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

Welcome to #iTrekHere 2017 - the highlights! ICYMI, we took eight awesome Trekkers from the YouTube and blogging world out on the road with us to experience the Deep South BLT and share it with you guys. Obviously, Team Trek were also there to give you the latest - and we'll be sharing some itinerary highlights in a series of blog posts, just for you. 

Landing from our British Airways flight at 8.30pm local time in New Orleans, we headed straight to the French Quarter Suites, our home for the evening, and shared a few glasses of welcome fizz before a quick, late dinner with our tour leader, Jack. As a NOLA local for the past four years when he's not leading tours, we were in good hands! We headed into the French Quarter and grabbed some classic NOLA grub at Coops, including fried chicken and seafood platters, while we all got to know each other a little better.

After teasing our Trekkers with a night in New Orleans, the next morning saw us get straight onto the road bright and early. Don't worry, we took them back again later in the trip! Our second destination on the itinerary was Birmingham, Alabama. Perhaps not one of the places you'd initially think of to visit in the Deep South, but it's a true underrated gem. With a strong history forged in the Civil Rights Movement, there was plenty to see, do and learn.

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

Our first port of call for the day? 16th Street Baptist Church. 

The church plays an important role in civil rights history, serving as a hub for those fighting racism in Birmingham, the state of Alabama and the South as a whole. It was also the site where, in 1963, four young girls tragically lost their lives in a bombing. Today, as well as still being an active church, it also serves as a National Historic Landmark with an exhibition section in the basement.

iTrekHere 2017

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

With tons of energy to use and a bright, sunny day, the best way to explore Birmingham's Civil Rights district? By bike, obviously.

Zyp bike share is a local bike hire initiative, giving residents and visitors the chance to . A few of us were quite nervous before hopping on, as not everyone was a regular biker - but these sturdy cycles and Birmingham's bike-friendly roads meant we all got into it pretty quickly, and ended the ride accident-free! 

Along the way, our brilliant guide Barry showed us some important and interesting sights along the way including City Hall and Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park, stopping to give a helpful commentary. 

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

After checking into our hotel, we had some free time to either relax after a busy cycling adventure, or explore a little of the local area and soak up the sun. The parts of Birmingham we saw showed a clean, green city with some impressive architecture and some interesting independent stores. Browsing old records and seeing this incredibly TV-show-material house were highlights!

iTrekHere 2017 Birmingham Alabama

For dinner, we went all-out fancy and indulged in a bit of a fine dining experience at Bottega, ranked #5 in TripAdvisor's list of Birmingham restaurants. Very swanky. Not cheap. But delicious.

While eating our dinner and chatting over cocktails, we befriended a nearby group of locals and sang happy birthday to one of them. It turned out, she owned a handful of local bars, and gave us a tip-off about her secret speakeasy, hidden behind a hotdog stand. Intrigued, we hopped in taxis across town to have some post-dinner drinks.

It was definitely like something out of a movie. Making our way through the smell of hot dogs, we found ourselves tucked into a phone booth. On 'calling through', we were welcomed into a decadent space and shown to our tables. The bar was quiet, and definitely had the early-century Speakeasy vibe down, from the decor to the staff outfits. Sometimes, you stumble on the best places in the most unexpected ways...

Next up - an outdoor adventure in Fort Payne...

Check out the Deep South BLT!

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