When a city’s nickname is “The Tiny Kingdom” you may expect glitz, glam and all the pomp and circumstance that comes with royalty. But Mountain Brook, Alabama is proof that all that glitters isn’t gold. Sometimes it’s a quaint small town straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Nestled among Alabama’s mountains and lined with picturesque front porches, it’s hard to imagine that Mountain Brook could get any cozier—until you drop into Gilchrist and sip an authentic Southern limeade. This locally owned lunch location will win you over with its old-fashioned lunch counter appeal and vast menu of pleasing bites, just like mom used to make. If you’re looking for something a bit more elevated, drop by Chez Lulu to enjoy crepes, tarts and other French favorites in a brasserie-inspired hideaway. On your way out, don’t miss a visit to Continental Bakery (right next door) where you can sample some macarons, freshly baked bread and fromage. From there, indulge in some window shopping in Crestline Village and a visit to Church Street Coffee Shop for a java fix and a stunning view of Crestline’s famous clock tower. When the mood for an evening adventure strikes, head to the Grand Bohemian Hotel for a one-of-a-kind wine blending experience. Their expert sommeliers will guide you through a wine sampling and then help you blend a custom bottle of wine that’s all your own.
For a small town, Mountain Brook takes shopping very seriously, boasting a number of unique boutiques and high-end shops. Here, shopping is an art—a pastime meant to be savored. And the friendly boutique owners and staff are more than willing to guide you through an enjoyable experience start to finish. If you’re looking for stylish and unique pieces at all price points, head into the English Village and peruse Monkee’s, a women’s boutique that’s a local favorite. And if you have a taste for the latest trends, don’t miss a stop into The Pink Tulip. Their in-store associates will help you mix and accessorize the perfect look. For that perfect finishing touch, make a visit to Etc., known for their luxury shopping experience and high-end designer jewelry and accessories.
Sunny days are plentiful in Mountain Brook, so when you feel like stretching your legs, take a stroll over to Jemison Park to enjoy some shade and the blooming wildflowers. Staying in town might be tempting, but if you venture a bit outside Mountain Brook your curiosity will be rewarded. There you’ll find the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and more than 12,000 different plants that make up Alabama’s largest living museum. Plan an afternoon to soak it all in. With more than 67 acres, 25 unique gardens and 30 outdoor sculptures adorning miles and miles of outdoor pathways, you’re bound to be there awhile. Don’t forget to take your time and do as the Southerners do—when a location is so perfect, there’s no need to rush.