Birmingham, Alabama, is an exciting city that offers a wide range of living options. Whether you’re looking for a lively downtown area, relaxed suburban streets, or peaceful country living, Birmingham has it all. However, finding the best neighborhood to live in can be overwhelming – especially with so many great neighborhoods to choose from. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down the best neighborhoods to live in Birmingham, AL and what makes them so desirable for potential residents.
Here are quick links to 15 of the best neighborhoods to live in Birmingham, AL:
Central City is one of the best neighborhoods to live in Birmingham AL. Located in the downtown area, this former industrial zone draws a predominantly young and hip crowd looking to live, work, and play in the city center. Most residents are young professionals or students at nearby universities like the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
The dining and nightlife scene is booming. Residents can hit up cool venues like Queen’s Park, a swanky cocktail bar popular with the LGBTQ+ crowd, and The Mailbox, which houses the British luxury department store, Harvey Nichols, and a row of more than 20 multi-cuisine restaurants.
The community is also home to several Birmingham landmarks like McWane Science Center, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, Lyric Theatre and Carver Center, and the Birmingham Museum of Art.
If you’re looking to live within walking distance of everything from dining to sports venues, consider moving to Downtown Birmingham. Though pricier than other neighborhoods, its proximity to the business district and an array of attractions makes Downtown Birmingham one of the best neighborhoods to live in Birmingham AL.
The heart of downtown Birmingham is Kelly Ingram Park, which houses monuments detailing the civil rights movement in America, as well as statues dedicated to local heroes. The park also provides entertainment with live music events throughout the year. Sports enthusiasts can catch a basketball game at nearby Legacy Arena or watch baseball at Regions Fields.
For those looking for shopping options, there are plenty of boutiques and galleries to choose from – even an outdoor market on select days! Visitors can explore art galleries and museums offering unique exhibitions showcasing artists from across Alabama.
EAST PINSON VALLEY
East Pinson Valley is a collection of suburban neighborhoods in northeastern Birmingham. The area consists of five of Birmingham’s neighborhoods, including the Apple Valley, Bridlewood, Echo Highlands, Pine Knoll Vista, and Sun Valley districts.
East Pinson Valley is one of Alabama’s oldest and most culturally diverse communities. Before it was settled by Europeans in the early 19th century, the area was once home to early Native Americans. Ancient burial sites and cave dwellings around the neighborhood attest to its Native American history. It is also the home of Andrew Jackson Beard, a former slave whose revolutionary inventions related to the automatic railroad car couplers made him the first millionaire of color.
The neighborhood’s connectivity to Highway 79 provides access to nearby Downtown, making it an ideal choice for families and young professionals. Plus, outdoorsy types will enjoy the numerous parks and walking trails located throughout the neighborhood. The nearby Turkey Creek Nature Reserve boasts five miles of trails, swimming spots, and breathtaking scenery to enjoy.
Eastwood, Birmingham, is a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities and shopping experiences. Just northeast of the city’s downtown area, Eastwood offers residents a unique blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. It is home to a variety of parks and trails, as well as plenty of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
One popular spot in Eastwood is the historic Avondale Park. This park has long been a favorite destination among locals looking to enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, walking trails, or picnicking.
Also located in Avondale Park is the popular Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens, which offer visitors an up-close look at life during the Civil War era. Visitors can also take part in guided tours throughout the grounds, which showcase beautiful landscaping and lush green lawns that are sure to please any nature enthusiast.
FIVE POINTS SOUTH
Home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Five Points South ranks as one of the best neighborhoods to live in Birmingham AL. The area got its name from its five main streets, which intersect near the Five Points South Historic District.
With its proximity to Downtown and the University of Alabama campus, Five Points South residents consist mostly of students and young professionals. The neighborhood is also home to an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels.
The Five Points South Historic District is known as Birmingham’s premier culinary district. Here you can find everything from classic Southern cuisine to Italian favorites and specialty dishes from around the world. For those seeking entertainment, the pubs and clubs clustered on 20th Street feature stand-up comedy performances and live music with genres ranging from blues to country western.
Forest Park is a beautiful and affluent neighborhood located east of Downtown along Highway 78. Popularly called “The Country Club District” among locals, the district is one of the best areas to live in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s known for its tree-lined streets, stunning landscapes, and upscale residences, making it a favorite among those who appreciate luxury living.
Forest Park is home to four different parks. Altamont Park, Avondale Park, Clairmont Park, and Highland Park offer manicured fields and playgrounds that provide a perfect place for family fun. Each park has its own unique features and amenities, such as basketball courts, picnic areas, trails for biking and walking, tennis courts, and baseball diamonds.
Besides residential homes, there are numerous commercial properties within Forest Park, including stores, restaurants, schools, churches, and a local library. Residents have access to some of the best amenities available in Birmingham, such as a premier golf course, top-notch healthcare centers, quality shopping areas, and more. Its close proximity to Downtown makes it easy to get around while enjoying all that this esteemed neighborhood has to offer.
Glen Iris is a vibrant community bordering on the southwestern edge of Five Point Star. This neighborhood offers a suburban lifestyle close to the city center. The mix of suburban and urban living offers home buyers lots of options, such as swanky apartment complexes, cozy bungalows, historic brownstones, and Victorian-style homes.
Glen Iris is perhaps the best neighborhood in Birmingham, AL for shoppers and bargain hunters. This charming suburban area is home to a variety of retail stores, thrift shops, and flea markets. Both the Red Mountain Shopping Center and the Riverchase Galleria Mall, Alabama’s biggest enclosed shopping mall, can be found here.
Named as one of America’s Great Places in 2011 by the American Planning Association, Highland Park is one of Birmingham, Alabama’s best neighborhoods and most diverse communities.
The hilly, wooded area is rich in history and culture that dates back to the late 1800s. It was developed as a residential community, but over time it has seen many changes due to its proximity to downtown Birmingham and its growing population. Today, Highland Park is home to over 6,000 people living in apartments, condos, and turn-of-the-century homes.
The neighborhood has several restaurants, shops, and churches, as well as numerous outdoor activities such as bike paths and dog-friendly parks. The historic district of the neighborhood also offers visitors a glimpse into the past, with homes from the early 20th century still standing proud today.
In addition to being a great place for sightseeing and exploring its unique architecture, Highland Park also boasts plenty of amenities for residents, including access to public transportation, top-rated schools, and excellent healthcare at Ascension St. Vincent’s hospital.
Northside is a vibrant and diverse community that encroaches on the Downtown territory and some districts in Central City. The other four neighborhoods are Evergreen, Druid Hills, Fountain Heights, and Norwood.
Residents enjoy living in Northside due to its close proximity to shopping centers, restaurants, and other amenities that make life convenient while still maintaining a sense of small-town charm. The area’s historic buildings stand as a testament to the city’s past, while newer developments provide contemporary options for those looking for modern comfort.
For those looking to take in some local history, there are a number of historical sites, including the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Kelly Ingram Park, which served as a civil rights rally site during anti-segregation protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s an important landmark to visit while exploring this culturally rich part of Birmingham, Alabama.
Rents and property prices are higher closer to Downtown. However, as you travel further out, you will find more affordable options. Attractions in the neighborhood include football games at Protective Stadium and the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center, which houses Legacy Arena, a children’s theater, and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
OAK RIDGE PARK
Oak Ridge Park is located in the eastern part of Birmingham and nestled between Interstate 20 and Highway 78, offering a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The neighborhood itself is relatively small, but it offers plenty of peace and solitude to those who seek it. Here you can find stylish apartments and homes, lush green spaces, and even a playground for children to enjoy. It consists primarily of single-family homes that are surrounded by mature trees. It’s a very laidback area with friendly neighbors who look out for one another.
While the primarily residential area doesn’t have many commercial developments apart from an Aldi grocery store, it’s right next door to Eastwood, where there’s a myriad of shopping and dining options. To the west is the up-and-coming Crestwood North neighborhood, with its parks, cafés, and restaurants.
Located in the southeastern part of Birmingham, the Red Mountain neighborhood gets its name from the ridge that flanks central Birmingham. The mountain has been a prominent fixture in the city since its formation over two centuries ago and is now home to some of Birmingham’s most notable attractions.
From the world-famous Vulcan statue to Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark, Red Mountain offers plenty of things to do – not to mention breathtaking views! The entire ridge spans more than 10 miles and reaches heights of up to 1,500 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest points in Jefferson County.
Red Mountain is a great choice for homebuyers who want to live close to Downtown and nature at the same time. People flock to this area for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, or simply taking in the scenery from any number of lookout spots along its winding roads. It is also home to Birmingham Zoo and Botanical Gardens and the famous 18-hole golf course of The Country Club of Birmingham.
Southside is a small neighborhood nestled between Forest Park, Downtown, and Five Points South. Also known as the Lakeview District or North Lakeview Industrial District, it’s an area full of culture, history, and entertainment that draws visitors from all around.
The Lakeside District has been home to many different generations of Birmingham natives. It began as a working-class neighborhood in the late 1800s before becoming a popular entertainment district in the 1920s. Today, its streets are lined with historic homes, newly developed condominiums, bustling businesses, and some of the city’s best restaurants.
While most residents are students and young professionals, Southside is also a popular destination for families. There are plenty of places to explore in this part of town, including McWane Science Center, Vulcan Park & Museum, the Alabama Ballet, and The Market at Pepper Place shopping mall, which provides the community with locally grown farm-fresh produce and healthy food.
Spring Lake is a quaint, suburban neighborhood situated in northeastern Birmingham. Ranked as one of the best neighborhoods to live in Birmingham, AL, this district is known for its scenic views, tree-lined streets, and verdant parks.
Nested in the woods, Spring Lake gets its name from the small lake located at the heart of the community. Residents take advantage of this natural setting by fishing and kayaking along its serene shores or hiking at the nearby 1,040-acre Ruffner Mountain Nature Center.
The neighborhood also receives high marks for its low crime, good schools, and childcare services. While it has very few commercial businesses apart from hair salons, boutiques, and daycare centers, residents are just a stone’s throw away from nearby Center Point Parkway and all its shopping and dining options.
Titusville is a small residential area located west of Glen Iris and just off I-65. With its picturesque downtown district and many parks and trails, Titusville promises to be a tranquil home for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
As you venture through the streets lined with elegant old homes, it’s not hard to imagine why this area is so popular with families looking for a relaxed way of living. Schools are plentiful in Titusville; there are several well-ranked elementary and high schools, as well as some private options available.
Titusville’s primary landmark is Elmwood Cemetery, a tranquil cemetery filled with historic graves and elaborate headstones honoring the lives of Birmingham’s former residents. The town also boasts an array of outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, hiking, and biking trails that meander through the hills surrounding the town center.
Titusville may not have a lot of stores and businesses within its borders, but its prime location near the Five Points South and Downtown more than makes up for it. Residents can quickly drive to nearby towns with even more shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Living in the West End neighborhood of Birmingham is like taking a step back in time. The town’s history dates all the way back to 1871, when it was originally known as Elyton, the first neighborhood of Birmingham. With its stunning architecture and beautiful homes, this historic district offers a glimpse into early city life in Birmingham. Here you’ll find Victorian-style homes, grand churches, and a plethora of other period-era buildings that take you back to the beginnings of this vibrant city.
Located in the heart of the town, the West End Community Garden is a popular spot for residents to meet and share ideas about how to better their community. The garden not only provides fresh produce to those who live in the area, but it also serves as a place of refuge for people to come together and enjoy nature’s beauty.
West End is also home to many significant landmarks, including the Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, Birmingham’s last plantation home, and Vulcan Park, which is situated on Red Mountain and overlooks downtown Birmingham.
The top-notch medical care in West End ensures that whatever your health needs may be, there is an excellent hospital nearby. The Princeton Baptist Medical Center and Cahaba Medical Center offer a range of services, from general family practice and pediatrics to specialized treatments like cancer care, orthopedic surgery, and more.
Make the move to Birmingham with Sold by The Bell
If you’re thinking of moving to Birmingham, we at Sold By The Bell would love to show you around so you can see for yourself what the local real estate market has to offer. Call us at 205.440.0860 or contact us here and tell us all about your real estate goals in Birmingham, Alabama.