Birmingham is the biggest city in Alabama, which means that sometimes its neighbors can be a little under-appreciated. Bessemer might technically be part of the metro area, but it has that old Southern feeling unto its own. Soul food, textiles and a town museum: all here in Bessemer.


Gumbo.The Bright Star
304 19th Street North
Bessemer, AL 35020

The first thing you should know about The Bright Star is that it’s been open for over 100 years.The Bright Star in Bessemer is one of those Southern landmarks that attracts both those passing through and brings the residents back again and again. That’s because little has changed. A few expansions here and there, but the interior reflects the style and is mostly the same as it was 100 years ago. Likewise, keeping it in the family has meant that the menu reflects tradition. Gumbo, catfish and veggies all make their appearance.


United Textiles
1917 Second Avenue North
Bessemer, AL 35020

United Textiles specializes in just about every fabric, rug or any other home decor item you could need. The perfect option if in need of a quick rug to replace the one with the wine spill on it. Or a fabric for a last-minute art installation. Come feast your eyes on the never-ending rows of patterns, textures and softness.


Typewriter.Bessemer Hall of History
1905 Alabama Avenue
Bessemer, AL 35020

The Bessemer Hall of History might be known to all residents of Bessemer as the city’s official museum, but outsiders might have missed it. The museum houses numerous objects of memorandum pertaining to the city’s history and railroad. But what really makes the museum worth a look is the unexpected (and polar opposite) items: the typewriter belonging to Hitler and the door of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birmingham jail cell. History lovers might freak out for these two significant items found right in downtown Bessemer.