Woodlawn – Birmingham, AL

The Birmingham, Alabama community of Woodlawn gets its name from the Wood family who were the first to settle in the area. A group called Woodlawn United has came together to implement a multitude of great community programs and make changes within the community living space. Woodlawn's historic district has been completely revamped as its buildings now house recording studios, hair salons, record labels and dentists offices among other things. This revival included implementing early education programs, art programs and after-school activities. Woodlawn lies about 4 miles east of the city center of Birmingham.

Schools in Woodlawn

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q is a great place to go if you are craving the smoky flavor of ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork and burnt ends. This popular restaurant serves up all sorts of slow-cooked BBQ varieties to Woodlawn residents. If you have a craving for an award-winning hamburger, stop into Sammy's Sandwich Shop for lunch. This little family-owned restaurant has been in operation for over 50 years. Its doors open at 5:00 a.m. in the morning, so stop in and order the breakfast sandwich made with sausage, ham, bacon, egg, cheese and tomato, all on Texas toast. For a unique dining experience, visit Hotbox. Located within the courtyard of Parkside Bar in Avondale, this little food trailer has a rotating, inexpensive menu. Parkside Bar often hosts bands in the courtyard, so you can catch a night of local music with a drink and a meal from Hotbox. In the afternoon, Hotbox also features a lunch menu. Woodlawn remains fairly quiet when it comes to nightlife, but a short drive away, you can find a little something for everyone. For a low-key romantic evening, go to The Wine Loft. Hanging from the tall vaulted ceiling, a veil of gossamer separates each table to create an intimate atmosphere. Order something from the specialty dessert menu and sample a few wines. The aptly named Sound and Page hosts primarily indie rock bands. Its stage sits in front of a background of fully stocked bookshelves. Placed with the bindings against the back of the shelves, the book pages soak up some of the sound, resulting in stunning acoustics. Get there early for good seats.

History & Culture

Woodlawn was settled in 1815 by farming families, and the community's name comes from the Wood family, who chose the area because of its fertile farmland. A railroad was built through the community in 1870. By 1880, the community's first school was established. Originally its own city, Woodlawn became a part of Birmingham in 1910. In 1922, the Woodlawn High School opened its doors. Reaching its peak in the 1950s as a rapidly growing strong community, the area unfortunately experienced a decline beginning in the 1960s. In the 1980s, the community began taking steps toward building itself back up. Held annually along 18th street and less than a 10 min drive from Woodlawn, the Side Walk Fest attracts people from all over the world. This festival celebrates independent film making, featuring panel discussions, parties, showings and presentations.

Transportation

Most of Woodlawn's residents utilize a car as their primary form of transportation. Both State Route 4 and U.S. Highway 78 lie within less than half a mile of Woodlawn. However, the pedestrian-friendly neighborhood has very few bike lanes. The Birmingham bus system has stops within Woodlawn — hop on the 20 to get to the city center in about 39 min. Neither Lyft nor Uber currently operate in Birmingham, but the city changed its regulations as of July 2014 to allow them to start servicing the area. While you can't hail a cab in this neighborhood, you can call to get one. On-street parking sits available on some streets. If you need to fly anywhere, the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport lies within the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Cost

The cost of living in Woodlawn sits at about 11 percent lower than the cost of living in the city center of Birmingham. On average, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Woodlawn costs about $595 per month. You can grab a pint of domestic beer at a local pub in Woodlawn for about $2.50. A gallon of gas tends to cost about 10 percent lower than the national average, and you can ride the bus from Woodlawn to the city center for $1.25.

Shopping

For all your grocery needs, shop at Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie has pretty much every type of cheese you can think of and a wide selection of beer and wine. It also tends to have a more open parking lot and shorter check out lines than other local chain stores. For household items, and a wider selection of groceries, a Wal-Mart lies less than 5 miles outside of Woodlawn. In the warmer months, Pepper Place Farmer's Market hosts booths for local farmers, artists, craft makers and musicians. Stop down on a Saturday morning to buy some organic produce, fresh-baked goods and handmade jewelry. Pepper Place Farmer's Market lies along 2nd Avenue, just 4 miles from Woodlawn. For a clean and well-organized thrifting experience, visit Zoe's. This consignment and vintage shop has clothes organized by size, gender and color, so you can easily find exactly what you need. Zoe's also carries wigs and other oddities, making it a great place to shop for a costume party. For weddings or proms in your future, check out Imperial Formal Wear. Open by appointment only, this boutique wants its customers to have a very personal experience. In addition to having a wide selection of formal wear to choose from, it also makes custom bridal gowns.

Parks

Just 3 miles north of Woodlawn lies East Lake Park. The park stretches to cover over 100 acres, and the 45-acre man-made lake at the center of the park attracts fishermen due to its catfish, bass and sunfish. East Lake Park also makes a great place to bird-watch. The park has volleyball courts, public baseball and soccer fields, walking trails, a playground and a swimming pool. About 5 miles northeast of Woodlawn, you'll find the expansive 1,038-acre Ruffner Mountain Preserve. Along the 12 miles of trails within the preserve, you'll see skeletons of the old iron mines. The Ruffner Mountain Preserve holds monthly events such as Stories Under the Stars and Tapas on the Trail. The preserve also features programs to teach local children about the importance of nature preservation and the history of the mountain. This park accepts $2 donations for admission and welcomes leashed dogs.
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