100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die, which is the ultimate bucket list of things to do in Birmingham and the surrounding area.

Featured Photo from Bham Now

The author, Verna Gates, has a presentation at Moody City Park on Thursday, April 22 from 10 to 11 a.m.

What: Author presentation for 100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die

When: Thursday, April 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Moody City Park, 640 Park Avenue, Moody, AL 35004

Admission: Free and open to the public

Local author Verna Gates will talk about her book 100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die at Moody City Park, 640 Park Avenue, Moody, AL 35004 on Thursday, April 25 from 10 to 11 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

It was called the Magic City – a bright, shiny new boomtown following the misery of the Civil War. Birmingham was teething on steel as a brash Wild West town with gambling, shootouts, and famous madams. When the steel died down, banking and medical industries settled it into a sophisticated city with a famed culinary scene, a broad entertainment district, and striking natural beauty. The colorful past remains in a juke joint, quirky museums and a mining trail turning into a greenway. The city changed the country with its notorious struggle, preserved in churches, parks, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The city is experiencing a new boom in the restoration of its historic downtown, craft beer scene, up and coming new chefs, and an explosion of music venues. The Magic is back. 100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die is your guide to discovering that magic!

Whether you’re a local to Birmingham and are looking for new things to do and places to go or you are tourist planning a trip, this book will serve as the perfect guide.

About the Book

100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die

ISBN 9781681060934

Softcover 5.5 x 8.5 inches

160 pages


About the Author

For the past five years, Verna Gates has worked with Alabama Tourism to bring international, national and regional journalists to her beloved home state of Alabama as a contract press trip coordinator. She delights in showing people the famous, quirky and fascinating places from fine dining to hidden gems. Verna also works as a commentator for Troy Public Radio and produces and voices features and travel stories. In 2009, she was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the National Federation of Presswomen, the Communicator of Achievement Award. She has won numerous national awards for her articles. Her career began as one of the original 50 employees of CNN who worked to launch the network and has also reported for TIME Magazine and Reuters International News Service.

Staycation Tips This Summer Without Being Boring

If you’re staying at home this summer, you’re probably tired of hearing your friends going on about their vacation plans. While they are regaling you with what they plan to do, or where they have been (if your Facebook wall is inundated with pics), you may be feeling a little blue. Your summer prospects may appear boring in comparison. But wait! Your summer at home doesn’t have to be dull. You can still have a great time, and unlike your mates, you don’t have to endure steep flight costs, long waiting times, tourists, or tummy bugs from dodgy foods.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your summer at home.

  1. Look for fun activities near you

Unless you live in the middle of a desert, there are bound to be things you can do in your hometown. There may be amenities such as an Escape Room, bowling alley, cinema, or leisure center. You could get on your bike and head off somewhere scenic, or rock your summer staples if you have a beach near you. We often miss the things right under our noses because we are so intent on exploring new places, so go online, Google your town, and make a list of all the interesting things to do near you.

  1. Get a summer job

If you have time off from your regular job, the last thing you want to do is work all summer. However, you can pick up some valuable experience with your time off, and make some extra money to boot. If you don’t want to work indoors (such as at a grocery store), there may be opportunities to work in the great outdoors, such as at a camping ground, picking fruit, or lending a hand at a local farm. The summer is also a great time to take up a short-term internship program, and this will give you a massive boost to whatever career you are interested in.

  1. Focus on your hobbies

If you’re anything like us, you may not have time to focus on your regular hobbies because of the general busyness of life. However, if you have free time on your hands over the summer, get back into what you love doing. On the other hand, the summer may also be a time to explore new hobbies, especially if local community groups or sports centers are organizing courses and events over the sunny season, so head online and see what’s available.

  1. Get involved with the community

Bring out your charitable side and look for volunteer opportunities over the summer. If you enjoy working with children, you may be able to help out at a holiday club or volunteer as a sports coach. If animals are more your thing, you could volunteers at a local animal shelter or farm. Alternatively, visit the elderly, help the homeless, lend a hand at a food bank, get involved with conservation groups… the opportunities for volunteering are endless, and while they can be hard work, you will have a far more meaningful summer than your friends who are wasting their days lying on the beach.


Summer at home doesn’t have to be boring, so if you are stuck for something to do, consider our ideas. Who knows, you might even make your friends jealous, especially when they come back from vacation sun-bronzed but with no money!

Collaborative Post


Birthday Staycation – Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort

I celebrated my birthday at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort. This beautiful hillside hotel is located (here) in Birmingham, Alabama.


Inside of Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort is intricate artwork along with Mediterranean inspired decor. 

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The Spa at Ross Bridge

I booked an appointment at the spa and received a manicure and pedicure.  When I have free time, I prefer spa nail services because they use all natural products. In addition, it’s an intimate environment and provide delicious refreshments.

Sitting in a bathrobe and inhaling essentials oils was very relaxing.  The Spa at Ross Bridge has several additional services including a quiet and steam room, boutique, and chlorine-free pools.

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Additional Resort Photos:


My visit to Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort was the perfect staycation.  I can’t wait to stop by again for an afternoon of golf or deep tissue massage!

Suave Professionals Body Care – Hosting an At – Home Spa Staycation

Suave Professionals Body Care launched their new product line of silkening body washes, lotions and dry oil body spray in Morrocan Argan Infusion and Natural Infusion Awapuhi Ginger. All of the products are non greasy and smell delicious which made me eager to try them out.



I was also challenged to host an at-home spa staycation for girlfriends; sharing the products with everyday women and encouraging the ladies to pamper themselves.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a luxurious spa experience at home? The first step (for me) was to research the necessities of having a fun and successful spa party.  I decided to start with my first reliable resource…

From there, I found tons of inspiration and started planning my at home spa event. I discovered this is a great party idea for anyone’s birthday, brunch, or girls – night in. All you need to host an at home spa staycation are candles, nail polish, lotions, towels, manicure kits, and cotton balls. And we can’t forget the delicious vegetable or fruit platters, cupcakes, and wine. Suave also shared some really cool DIY Body Scrubs for guests to create and take home.



Because I am a lifestyle blogger, I reached out to a few of my favorite brands to share products as gifts for my guests. The at-home spa staycation was a success and guests enjoyed making their very own DIY scrub and shared conversation (over wine) discussing individual at home spa secrets and beauty tips.

I strongly encourage anyone to host their own staycation with friends and try the new Suave Professionals Body Care!

Suave Professionals Body Scrub recipes are below:

More about the products:

  • NEW Suave® Professionals Moroccan Infusion Body Wash – infused with Moroccan argan oil

  • NEW Suave® Professionals Natural Infusion Awapuhi Ginger Body Wash – infused with Awapuhi Ginger and Honeysuckle

  • Suave® Professionals Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion

  • Suave® Professionals Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil Spray has a non-greasy formula that absorbs instantly