12 Attractions in Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Nestled in the foothills of Red Mountain just southeast of Birmingham, Vestavia Hills is a charming suburban city known for its beautiful parks, top-rated schools, and family-friendly amenities. Although a quiet residential community, Vestavia Hills still offers visitors plenty of things to see and do during their stay.

AttractionDescription
Aldridge GardensA public garden in Hoover with themed sections and Asian-inspired structures.
Moss Rock PreserveA nature preserve with woodland trails, unique boulders, and wildlife.
Veterans ParkA park honoring military veterans with monuments and engraved bricks.
Broadway Street Performing Arts CenterA venue hosting local student performances in various arts.
Vestavia Hills Aquatic CenterA seasonal community pool with slides, diving boards, and classes.
Vestavia Hills MuseumA museum showcasing the city’s history through artifacts and exhibits.
Dogwood Farm & Chapel at Red Mountain ParkA park with a chapel and farmhouse, ideal for rustic weddings.
Sicard Hollow Athletic ComplexA sports complex hosting various athletic events and tournaments.
Cahaba Heights Shopping CenterA shopping area with various stores, restaurants, and services.
Vulcan TrailA hiking trail offering views and historical information about Birmingham.
Liberty ParkA large park with numerous recreational facilities and events.
Visionary ParkAn outdoor art gallery featuring sculptures and artworks.

From outdoor spaces that allow you to connect with nature to cultural sites that showcase the city’s history, Vestavia has something to keep everyone entertained.

This article will highlight 12 of the top attractions that you don’t want to miss when visiting Vestavia Hills, Alabama. We’ll cover everything from parks and nature preserves to museums, performing arts venues, and more. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended vacation, use this list to help build your Vestavia Hills itinerary.

Aldridge Gardens

Name and Location: Aldridge Gardens is a beautiful botanical garden located at 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover, Alabama. The gardens span across 30 acres and feature a variety of native and cultivated plants, walking trails, and a six-acre lake.

History and Significance: The gardens were created by Eddie and Kay Aldridge, who donated the property to the city of Hoover in 1997. The Aldridges were passionate about horticulture and wanted to create a space where people could enjoy the beauty of nature. Today, the gardens serve as a popular destination for visitors and locals alike, offering a peaceful respite from the busy city life.

What to Expect: At Aldridge Gardens, visitors can explore the numerous walking trails that wind through the property, showcasing a diverse array of plants and trees. The gardens feature a beautiful collection of hydrangeas, which are particularly stunning during the summer months. The six-acre lake is a centerpiece of the property, offering a serene spot for picnics or quiet contemplation. The gardens also host various events throughout the year, including plant sales, art exhibits, and educational workshops.

Visitor Information: Aldridge Gardens is open to the public daily from dawn until dusk. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated to help maintain the property. The gardens are wheelchair accessible, with paved paths throughout much of the property. Visitors are encouraged to bring picnics and enjoy the scenic surroundings. Guided tours are available for groups with advance reservation.

Spread across 30 acres in nearby Hoover, Aldridge Gardens is one of the top attractions in the Birmingham metro area. This stunning public garden contains a variety of themed sections, including hydrangea garden with over 40 varieties, a fragrance garden, herb garden, children’s garden, and more.

The gardens also contain several Asian-inspired structures like curved bridges, pergolas, pavilions, and a teahouse. Visitors will enjoy exploring winding paths, spotting local wildlife, or having a picnic on the sprawling green lawns. Seasonal events like fairy garden workshops, butterfly releases, and summer concerts make Aldridge Gardens a popular Vestavia Hills destination year-round.

Moss Rock Preserve

Name and Location: Moss Rock Preserve is a stunning nature preserve located at 617 Preserve Way, Hoover, Alabama. The preserve spans over 250 acres and features unique geological formations, waterfalls, and hiking trails.

History and Significance: Moss Rock Preserve was established in 2004 through a partnership between the City of Hoover and the non-profit organization, Friends of Moss Rock Preserve. The preserve is home to a variety of rare plant and animal species, as well as stunning geological features such as boulder fields and sandstone cliffs. The area has significant ecological and recreational value, serving as a popular destination for hikers, rock climbers, and nature enthusiasts.

What to Expect: Visitors to Moss Rock Preserve can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, bouldering, and rock climbing. The preserve features over 10 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, that wind through the stunning natural landscape. The boulder fields are a popular spot for bouldering and rock climbing, attracting climbers from all over the region. The preserve is also home to several picturesque waterfalls, which are particularly beautiful after a rainfall.

Visitor Information: Moss Rock Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated to help maintain the property. The preserve is a carry-in, carry-out facility, so visitors are encouraged to pack out all trash and leave no trace. Some trails may be closed during inclement weather or for maintenance, so it’s always a good idea to check the preserve’s website or social media pages for updates before visiting. Dogs are allowed on leash in designated areas of the preserve.

For an easy nature getaway, head to the Moss Rock Preserve – a 205-acre park straddling Vestavia Hills and Hoover. Miles of scenic woodland trails wind past unique boulders, small waterfalls, and thick forests in this peaceful preserve. Horseback riding is allowed on select trails for equestrians visiting with their own horses.

Mountain bikers also take advantage of the preserve’s trails for a woodsy ride near the city. See vestiges of the former bustling mining town New Merkel while exploring the ruins of rock walls, foundations, and chimneys scattered throughout the preserve. With plentiful wildlife, wildflowers, and native plants, Moss Rock Preserve lets you enjoy nature right in the heart of suburban Vestavia.

Veterans Park

Name and Location: Veterans Park is a beautiful community park located at 4800 Valleydale Road, Hoover, Alabama. The park spans over 80 acres and features a variety of recreational amenities and green spaces.

History and Significance: Veterans Park was established in the early 2000s as a tribute to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The park features a number of memorials and monuments honoring veterans, including a Veterans Memorial Arbor and a Patriots Walkway lined with engraved bricks dedicated to individual veterans. The park serves as a gathering place for the community and a venue for various events and activities throughout the year.

What to Expect: Veterans Park offers a wide range of recreational amenities for visitors to enjoy. The park features several sports fields, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and a football field, as well as tennis courts and a basketball court. There are also several playgrounds and picnic areas throughout the park, making it a great spot for families to spend the day. The park is home to a large lake with a fishing pier, offering opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing. The Veterans Memorial Arbor and Patriots Walkway provide a peaceful and contemplative space to honor and remember those who have served in the military.

Visitor Information: Veterans Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission to the park is free, although some of the sports fields and facilities may require a reservation or fee for use. The park is wheelchair accessible, with paved paths and accessible parking spaces. Restroom facilities and drinking fountains are available throughout the park. Visitors are encouraged to pack out all trash and leave the park clean for others to enjoy. The park hosts various events throughout the year, including a Veterans Day ceremony and a summer concert series.

Honoring military veterans both past and present, Veterans Park is a somber yet inspirational attraction in Vestavia Hills. This patriotic park contains several monuments dedicated to those who served from World War I to the Gulf Wars. The park’s highlight is the Paths of Honor – a walking path lined with over 1,700 engraved bricks recognizing individual veterans.

Other memorials inside the 10-acre park include a War Dog Memorial, Gold Star Mothers Memorial, tanks, a Patriot Missile model, and flags representing each branch of the military. Visitors can quietly reflect while paying tribute to our nation’s heroes at Veterans Park.

Broadway Street Performing Arts Center

Name and Location: The Broadway Street Performing Arts Center is located at 1001 Broadway Street, Homewood, Alabama. The center is a state-of-the-art performance venue that hosts a variety of theatrical productions, concerts, and other live events.

History and Significance: The Broadway Street Performing Arts Center was opened in 2015 as a collaborative effort between the City of Homewood and the Homewood Arts Council. The center was designed to provide a dedicated space for the performing arts in the community, offering a venue for local theater companies, music groups, and other performers to showcase their talents. The center has quickly become a cultural hub in the region, attracting audiences from throughout the Birmingham metropolitan area.

What to Expect: The Broadway Street Performing Arts Center features a 250-seat theater with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, as well as a spacious lobby and concessions area. The center hosts a diverse range of performances throughout the year, including plays, musicals, concerts, dance recitals, and comedy shows. The intimate setting of the theater provides an up-close-and-personal experience for audiences, allowing them to fully engage with the performers on stage. The center also offers educational programs and workshops for aspiring performers of all ages.

Visitor Information: The Broadway Street Performing Arts Center box office is typically open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and one hour prior to showtime on performance days. Ticket prices vary depending on the event, with discounts often available for students, seniors, and groups. The center is wheelchair accessible, with designated seating areas for those with mobility impairments. Concessions, including snacks and beverages, are available for purchase in the lobby. Parking is available in the adjacent parking deck, as well as on nearby streets. Visitors are encouraged to check the center’s website or social media pages for information on upcoming performances and events.

Vestavia Hills doesn’t just cater to sports – they also have a stellar performing arts program. Located next to Vestavia Hills High School, the Broadway Street Performing Arts Center hosts concerts, musicals, and other productions from talented local student performers. With a modern auditorium, professional lighting/sounds, orchestra pit, dressing rooms and more, the top-notch facility rivals much larger venues in major metro areas.

Visitors can buy tickets for seasonal events like madrigal feasts, full musicals like Mary Poppins or The Wizard of Oz, band and choir concerts, dance recitals, drama club performances, and other arts events year-round.

Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center

Name and Location: The Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center is located at 1112 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, Alabama. The center is a state-of-the-art aquatic facility that serves the Vestavia Hills community and surrounding areas.

History and Significance: The Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center was opened in 2016, replacing the city’s former municipal pool. The new facility was designed to provide a modern and accessible aquatic center for the community, offering a variety of swimming programs and recreational opportunities for all ages. The center has become a popular destination for families, fitness enthusiasts, and competitive swimmers, serving as a gathering place for the Vestavia Hills community.

What to Expect: The Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center features a 50-meter competition pool with diving well, as well as a separate leisure pool with play features and a water slide. The competition pool is used for lap swimming, swim team practices, and meets, while the leisure pool is perfect for families and those looking to cool off on hot summer days. The center also offers a variety of aquatic programs, including swim lessons, water aerobics, and lifeguard training courses. The facility includes locker rooms, showers, and a concession stand for snacks and beverages.

Visitor Information: The Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center is typically open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, with varying hours depending on the day of the week and time of season. Admission fees apply, with discounted rates available for Vestavia Hills residents and season pass holders. The center is wheelchair accessible, with a lift available for those with mobility impairments to enter and exit the pools. Pool rules and regulations are strictly enforced to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all patrons. Visitors are encouraged to check the center’s website or social media pages for information on hours of operation, admission fees, and special events.

Cool off from Alabama’s hot and humid summers with a visit to Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center. Open seasonally in the warmer months, this community pool facility offers swimming and recreation for all ages. Shoot down spiraling water slides, brave the diving boards, or relax lazily along the zero-depth entry – there’s something for every swim level.

Registered classes allow adults and kids alike to develop their aquatic skills or train for competitions. When you’re not in the water, hang out with friends on the spacious pool deck or grab a snack at the on-site concession stand. With affordable day passes and seasonal memberships, the Aquatic Center is a must-do during Vestavia Hills summers.

Vestavia Hills Museum

Name and Location: The Vestavia Hills Museum is located at 1105 Mayland Lane, Vestavia Hills, Alabama. The museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Vestavia Hills and the surrounding area.

History and Significance: The Vestavia Hills Museum was established in 2008 by the Vestavia Hills Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the city’s rich history. The museum is housed in the historic Vestavia Hills City Hall building, which was originally constructed in 1950. The museum’s collections include artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of Vestavia Hills from its earliest days as a rural community through its growth and development into a thriving suburban city.

What to Expect: Visitors to the Vestavia Hills Museum can explore a variety of exhibits and displays that highlight different aspects of the city’s history and culture. The museum’s collections include artifacts from the area’s Native American history, as well as items related to the early settlers and farmers who called Vestavia Hills home. Visitors can also learn about the city’s role in the Civil War, as well as its growth and development throughout the 20th century. The museum offers guided tours led by knowledgeable docents, as well as special programs and events throughout the year.

Visitor Information: The Vestavia Hills Museum is typically open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, or by appointment for groups and special tours. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated to help support the museum’s operations and programs. The museum is wheelchair accessible, with a ramp available at the entrance. Parking is available in the adjacent parking lot, as well as on nearby streets. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website or social media pages for information on upcoming events and exhibits.

Housed in a historic 1930s stone cabin, the quaint Vestavia Hills Museum shares the story of the city from its founding to today. Historic artifacts, photographs, clothing, quilts, tools, and other relics provide insight into daily pioneering life in Vestavia Hills’ early settlement.

Some key attractions include a model display of the city’s historic schools and churches, medicinal herbs demonstration garden, and rural homestead cabin furnishings. Special exhibits rotate biannually, focusing on more specific aspects of Vestavia Hills history. Don’t miss the Museum’s signature event – Cahaba Lily Festival – held each May. Tour the grounds and enjoy old-fashioned kids’ games, live music, arts vendors, food trucks and more.

Dogwood Farm & Chapel at Red Mountain Park

Name and Location: The Dogwood Farm & Chapel at Red Mountain Park is located at 2011 Frankfurt Drive, Birmingham, Alabama. The venue is situated within the beautiful and historic Red Mountain Park, offering a unique and picturesque setting for weddings, events, and gatherings.

History and Significance: The Dogwood Farm & Chapel is housed in a restored historic barn that dates back to the early 1900s. The barn was originally part of a working farm on the property, which was later transformed into a mining site during Birmingham’s industrial boom. In the early 2000s, the property was acquired by the Red Mountain Park Commission and underwent extensive restoration and renovation to create the stunning event venue that it is today. The Dogwood Farm & Chapel serves as a testament to the area’s rich history and natural beauty, offering a one-of-a-kind setting for special occasions.

What to Expect: The Dogwood Farm & Chapel offers a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces that can accommodate weddings, receptions, corporate events, and other gatherings. The restored barn features a spacious main hall with exposed beams, hardwood floors, and rustic chandeliers, creating a charming and elegant atmosphere. The venue also includes an outdoor ceremony site with a picturesque chapel, surrounded by lush gardens and natural scenery. The property offers ample space for outdoor receptions, as well as a bridal suite and groom’s quarters for wedding preparations.

Visitor Information: The Dogwood Farm & Chapel is available for rental throughout the year, with pricing and availability varying depending on the season and day of the week. The venue offers a variety of rental packages and services, including event planning, catering, and decorating assistance. The property is wheelchair accessible, with paved paths and accessible restrooms. Ample parking is available on-site, with shuttle services available for larger events. Visitors are encouraged to contact the venue directly for information on rental rates, availability, and policies.

At the base of Red Mountain lies a lesser-known 120-acre park perfect for rustic outdoor weddings. The historic Dogwood Farm and Chapel at Red Mountain Park contains a quaint chapel tucked amidst rolling pastures, wildflower meadows, and mature oak groves. Couples can exchange vows in either the airy chapel or scenic outdoor spaces before heading to the charming two-story farmhouse for their wedding reception.

Visitors who aren’t tying the knot can still tour the late 19th-century farmhouse filled with period decor and interpretive exhibits. And everyone can explore the farm grounds crisscrossed by rustic fences, nature trails, and babbling streams on this city-owned property with free admission.

Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex

Name and Location: The Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex is located at 4851 Sicard Hollow Road, Birmingham, Alabama. The complex is a state-of-the-art sports facility that serves the Birmingham community and surrounding areas.

History and Significance: The Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex was opened in 2017, as part of a larger effort by the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board to improve and expand the city’s recreational facilities. The complex was designed to provide a high-quality venue for youth and adult sports programs, as well as community events and gatherings. The facility has quickly become a hub of activity for the Birmingham community, hosting a variety of sports leagues, tournaments, and camps throughout the year.

What to Expect: The Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex features a variety of sports facilities, including multiple softball and baseball fields, soccer fields, and a football stadium. The complex also includes a large playground area, picnic pavilions, and walking trails, providing ample space for families and community members to gather and enjoy the outdoors. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, as well as concession stands and restroom facilities. The complex hosts a variety of sports programs and events throughout the year, including youth leagues, adult tournaments, and community festivals.

Visitor Information: The Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex is open year-round, with varying hours depending on the season and scheduled events. Admission fees may apply for certain programs and events, with discounted rates available for Birmingham residents. The complex is wheelchair accessible, with paved paths and accessible seating areas. Ample parking is available on-site, with additional overflow parking available nearby. Visitors are encouraged to check the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board website or social media pages for information on upcoming events and programs at the complex.

Home to several Vestavia Hills varsity athletic teams, the Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex hub for high school sports. Located adjacent to Vestavia Hills High School, this multi-field facility hosts popular sports like baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis and track events. Regional tournaments also frequently take place on these regulation fields.

With concession stands, electronic scoreboards, press boxes, bleachers and ample parking, the complex provides an exceptional gameday experience for both athletes and spectators. Visitors can enjoy exciting sporting events year-round in scenic Sicard Hollow park, from pre-season scrimmages to heated local rivalries and playoff runs. Stop by and support your favorite Vestavia Hills Rebels team!

Cahaba Heights Shopping Center

Name and Location: The Cahaba Heights Shopping Center is located at 3151 Cahaba Heights Road, Birmingham, Alabama. The shopping center is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a variety of retail shops, restaurants, and services.

History and Significance: The Cahaba Heights Shopping Center has been a fixture of the Cahaba Heights community for over 50 years, serving as a convenient and vibrant gathering place for locals. The shopping center has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, adapting to the changing needs and preferences of the community. Today, the shopping center is home to a diverse mix of locally-owned businesses and national retail chains, reflecting the unique character and spirit of the Cahaba Heights neighborhood.

What to Expect: Visitors to the Cahaba Heights Shopping Center can explore a variety of retail shops, including clothing boutiques, gift shops, and specialty stores. The shopping center is also home to several popular restaurants, offering a range of cuisines from casual cafes to upscale dining. In addition to shopping and dining, the center offers a variety of services, including salons, fitness studios, and medical offices. The shopping center hosts a number of community events throughout the year, including holiday celebrations and seasonal festivals.

Visitor Information: The Cahaba Heights Shopping Center is open year-round, with individual store hours varying by business. The shopping center offers ample parking, with dedicated spaces for each business and additional street parking available nearby. The center is wheelchair accessible, with wide sidewalks and automatic doors at most entrances. Visitors are encouraged to check the shopping center’s website or social media pages for information on upcoming events and promotions, as well as individual store hours and offerings.

Although primarily residential, Vestavia Hills still contains pockets of vibrant commercial zones – including the bustling Cahaba Heights neighborhood. Situated along busy U.S. Highway 280, Cahaba Heights Shopping Center is a favorite spot for shopping, dining and services among locals and visitors alike. National retailers like Stein Mart and Old Navy anchor the brick plaza, joined by restaurants, salons, medical offices and more.

The Regions Bank branch even displays an impressive mineral collection leftover from the mining heritage of nearby Red Mountain. And kids can play safely at the playground next to the Vestavia Hills Library in the Plaza. Whether you want to grab dinner, catch a movie, find a new outfit, or run daily errands, Cahaba Heights Shopping Center is a convenient one-stop shop close to downtown.

Vulcan Trail

Name and Location: The Vulcan Trail is located in Birmingham, Alabama, starting at the base of the iconic Vulcan statue on top of Red Mountain and winding its way through the beautiful and historic neighborhoods of Birmingham’s Southside.

While you’re sightseeing at Vulcan Park, extend your experience with an invigorating hike along the Vulcan Trail. Winds along the base of Red Mountain to the Vulcan Statue’s pedestal with information signs describing Birmingham’s mining origins. See remnants of quarry equipment and the former incline railroad used to haul limestone in the early 1900s.

Peer through a gap in the trees for views overlooking Homewood. And be sure to stop at the Trailhead Pavilion behind Vulcan Park & Museum for an open-air spot to rest. As a moderate 1.5-mile hike, the scenic Vulcan Trail lets you stretch your legs while exploring the landscape surrounding Birmingham’s most iconic landmark.

Liberty Park

Families flock to Liberty Park – Vestavia Hills’ largest community park sprawling over 132 acres. With 29 tennis courts, 7 baseball/softball fields, 2 indoor ice rinks, 3 playgrounds and more, the park keeps both kids and adults entertained year-round. Inside the Liberty Park Sports Complex are another 6 basketball courts, indoor turf field, rock climbing, gymnastics and trampoline equipment for cold-weather training.

Outside enjoy the CrossPlex Trail encircling Liberty Park’s perimeter or set up a picnic on the Great Lawn. The park also contains Vestavia Hills’ popular summer concert series as well as Fourth of July and Christmas holiday festivities. With endless recreation opportunities plus seasonal events, Liberty Park is a cherished fixture for the local Vestavia Hills community.

Visionary Park

Though small in size, Visionary Park packs a visual punch. This compact Vestavia Hills park is essentially an outdoor art gallery thanks to long-running competitions like Pools of Art and Sculpture Vestavia. Talented artists – from children to internationally renowned sculptors – display their masterpieces in and around the park’s signature fountain every year. Sculptures range from whimsical (giant ants, dancing pigs) to thought-provoking depending on that year’s visionary theme.

Benches tuck under shady trees for comfortable sculpture viewing, while informational plaques provide context. Time your visit each May and October to see sculptures being installed or removed when the exhibits rotate. Visionary Park brings accessible world-class art outside museum walls for all visitors’ enjoyment.

Conclusion

Although known as a quiet suburb, Vestavia Hills still contains hidden gems waiting to be explored, from gorgeous gardens to historic sites and exciting athletics. Families will fill endless days with recreation at places like the Liberty Park Sports Complex or Vestavia Hills Aquatic Center.

Nature lovers and hikers shouldn’t miss woodsy escapes like Moss Rock Preserve or scenic Vulcan Trail. And culture aficionados will appreciate performing arts shows at the high school theater or outdoor sculpture displays at Visionary Park.

So next time you find yourself visiting metro Birmingham, consider penciling in some of these top attractions in lovely Vestavia Hills. With such diverse amenities and activities, Vestavia Hills offers rewarding experiences for tourists of all interests. Use this guide to uncover this charming Southern suburb at its best on your next Alabama trip.

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