Q&A with Borrowed & Blue

To help map out what visiting guests should do during a wedding weekend in Birmingham, Borrowed & Blue, the online planning resource for couples, came to me for advice when it comes to navigating these streets.

“Borrowed & Blue loves local, and thinks your wedding should reflect the flavors of the city you’re getting hitched in (we’re talking to you, couples in the middle of planning your Birmingham weddings). Which is why we went straight to the local expert, Madison Miles of Keeping the Creativity, for the low down on all things Birmingham. She’s totally into her city and knows all the best places to eat, drink, and play, so take a few notes for your next trip to Bham.” - Stephanie, Birmingham Market Specialist

Here’s my Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:

What do you love most about Birmingham? 

Birmingham is a hub for creatives and doers. It provides people with the ability to dream big and not be limited by circumstances. Although it’s a growing at a rapid rate, there is still plenty of time to catch up and walk in stride with what the city is doing for the community.

What would a “Birmingham adventure” look like? 

Kicking off the day at a good breakfast place like Another Broken Egg or Over Easy is a good place to start. You could do the typical tourist spots like Birmingham Zoo or Botanical Gardens. Some view those spots are a little overdone, but can be a lot of fun on a pretty day. Stopping by a local brewery like Good People for a drink is a must do as well. If you can fit it in, go to a concert at Alabama Theatre or Iron City. There are always great bands and artists who stop through on their tours.

Where are your favorite local spots to hang in Bham? 

Railroad park is great when the weather in nice. Regions Field for a ballgame in the spring is also a good place to catch up with friends. I am a huge fan of the coffee shops in town as well. I post up there on the weekends to get blogging done. Octane in Homewood is one of my go-to spots. 

Favorite local places to shop? 

Homewood has spots like Alabama Goods or Soca Clothing, but I love when The Market at Pepper Place is set up downtown. There are tons of local businesses to support there. Check out their vendors starting April 9th!

I’ve been checking out your photography on Instagram lately. Where do you think are the most beautiful spots in Birmingham to photograph? 

I love skyline images. There are only a few spots in town that let you get a huge scope of city, like the Vulcan Park & Museum. There are also amazing faded advertisement murals around the city that I like as well. I enjoy the history behind them!

For someone visiting Birmingham for a weekend, what would you suggest they do? What are the must-see spots? 

The list of ideas could go on and on, but try to visit one spot per neighborhood. Like Church Street Coffee and Books in Crestline, Avondale Brewing Company in Avondale or Mountain Brook Creamery in Mountain Brook.

Must-eat spots? 

The term “bhamfoodie” is real thing in this city. You will see this phrase in hashtags on social media or as a self-proclaimed title by hundreds. I’m personally a huge fan of MELT Birmingham because I am a little too obsessed with grilled cheese, but a higher end spot like OvenBird is a good option. There are always new places opening up around Birmingham, like Real & Rosemary. They have a good selection and budget-friendly options.

Must-drink spots? 

Birmingham is full of local breweries and hot spot bars around town it’s hard to just pick a few! Cahaba Brewing recently opened up their new taproom and it has become a great place to hang out, especially with the spring weather coming in! I also love Carrigan’s Public House, they have great drinks and delicious bites. You’ve got to try their fries! Birmingham has a ton of coffee shops to for a different type of a “must-drink” spot. Woodlawn Cycle Cafe is good option! 

What advice would you give to someone navigating the streets of Birmingham for the first time? 

I am originally from Atlanta, so Birmingham is a cakewalk in comparison when it comes to mapping your way around town. However, I would say drive a little slower around town and take the long routes if you can. I love looking at the older buildings and architecture through the city. Even if you take a wrong turn and travel down a street you’ve never been through before, it’s a fun way to find new places to hang out in the city.

If you had to describe this city in four words…? 

Energizing - If you hang out long enough in a local spot, you can feed off of the energy of those around you!

Creative - I don’t know if it comes from the crowd I have been hanging around, but everyone seems to have the next big idea. It’s fun to witness.

Proud - I think those who live in Birmingham are proud of the environment and energy that is building up around town.

Beautiful - Combine the history of this city and the new things that keep happening and it’s a pretty beautiful thing!

And that’s all, folks. Consider yourself a pro when heading to all of those Birmingham weddings. Thanks for the interview Borrowed & Blue! This was fun!