Where to eat

Dreamland Bar-B-Que: The local chain restaurant serves up classic hickory-smoked barbecue, from slabs of ribs to pulled pork or chicken sandwiches (1-205-933-2133; dreamlandbbq.com).

Highlands Bar and Grill: Birmingham claims several top-notch restaurants; Highlands — in the city's trendy Five Points neighborhood, run by legendary chef Frank Stitt — started it all and is still going strong (1-205-939-1400; highlandsbarandgrill.com).

Niki's West: Though the building is drab, and so is the interior, I'll happily fill my cafeteria tray here with a meat-and-three anytime. Country-fried steak, blackened tilapia, collard greens and fried green tomatoes are among the options. Go prepared: A sign at the door, which may date to its opening in 1957, notes that you must be properly dressed: "No tank tops. No bare feet. No rollers on head" (nikiswest.com; 1-205-252-5751).

Pizitz Food Hall: A collection of food vendors offering everything from Hawaiian poke to Indian street food and biscuits and hot dogs. Retail charmers include eyewear store Warby Parker and Yellowhammer Print Shop, which sells "It's nice to have you in Birmingham" T-shirts (thepizitz.com/food-hall).

Where to stay

Redmont Hotel: A $20 million renovation a few years ago restored the 1925 downtown landmark (1-205-957-6828; redmontbirmingham.com).

Elyton Hotel: This Marriott Autograph Collection hotel occupies a former bank building; it opened in 2017 (1-205-731-3600; elytonhotel.com).

More information

Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau: 1-205-458-8000 or in­birmingham.com.

Kerri Westenberg