Bluff Park is a Birmingham area neighborhood that occupies the northwest portion of the city of Hoover and sits at the summit of the Shades Mountain, overlooking Shades Valley. Some of the most gorgeous views in all of the Birmingham metro area can be found here. If you meet a Bluff Park native and ask where they live, almost all will proudly state that they’re from Bluff Park rather than Hoover (no offense, Hoover). There is a small but vibrant business district as well, where almost all establishments are locally owned and operated.
The Bluff Park area is popular with young families due to the reasonable home prices and outstanding local elementary school, but the area is home to individuals and families of all ages. This quiet neighborhood, while mostly residential, still has a small town feel with many local businesses operating in the midst of day-to-day life. Plus it’s a fun place for an outing, as there are a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and activities to enjoy. While it’s a great place to live, it’s a great place to visit for a day, too. Check out (some of) what BP has to offer!
A perfect day in Bluff Park begins early, because the sunrise ought not be missed. I recommend you enjoy a delicious breakfast at one of the local hot spots. Tip Top Grill has amazing views of the bluff and inexpensive but tasty breakfast sandwiches. Sit outside to enjoy the coffee and the view. This former filling station is a fun place to meet friends or just take the kids for a special outing. Bonus: if you visit for lunch or dinner on Mondays, all hot dogs are $1 off.
Next, check out some of Bluff Park’s amazing outdoor activities. Moss Rock Preserve is a nature preserve with awesome hiking trails, big boulders for rock climbing, a babbling brook, and more. It’s a great place for an adventure for anyone from families with young children to experienced rock climbers. We spent Thanksgiving day there one year and have many memories of the fun!
If hiking and climbing aren’t your thing, take the kids to one of several area playgrounds. Next to Shades Cliff Pool (2213 Hawksbury Lane, Hoover), you’ll find a public playground with a small picnic pavilion and restrooms. Another great choice is the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, owned and operated by Birmingham’s Independent Presbyterian Church. They graciously allow area children to play on the playground when camps are not in session.
If you have (or hope to have) a green thumb, Bluff Park has plenty of options for you too. Sweetspire Gardens is a local garden center selling plants, fresh flowers, and the like (they have great wreaths at Christmas time!), and Jason, the owner, is also an expert in horticulture and does consulting on most any landscaping project you can think of. For your perfect day in BP, consider taking a class at Sweetspire: these are offered regularly and you can call Sweetspire for a schedule.
For the budding artist, check out Jayne Morgan Art. Her studio is located in BP and she offers tons of classes for kids and adults, as well as one-time drop in painting sessions. Her fall class listing has just been posted, so check it out!
After a morning of hiking, painting, and planting, you’ll certainly be hungry. For lunch, I recommend checking out Bluff Park Diner, a local meat and three. The pies are top notch! Or stroll over to Mr. P’s Deli, a butcher shop and deli with a fabulous selection of meats. These meats make a mean sandwich, and locals all have their personal favorite. Don’t forget to take home some meat for the freezer!
Bluff Park is home to a couple of sweet, locally owned boutiques, and if antiques are more your thing, you’re covered there too. For clothing and jewelry, check out Burrow Goods. Burrow is located just a few doors down from Mr. P’s and was opened in 2018 as a brick-and-mortar site selling women’s clothing and jewelry, home decor, and gifts. The shop is located at 807 Shades Crest Rd., Hoover. They also operate a Facebook group where new clothing and jewelry items are introduced weekly and can be purchased with options for shipping or pick-up. Just down the road is Turquoise, another boutique with cute women’s clothing and jewelry. They have even added children’s clothing to their inventory!
For antiques, On a Shoestring has old antique everything. Need a cool old door or window for a Pinterest project? You’ll find it here, along with tons of depression glass and so many other things I couldn’t begin to name. Just down the road you’ll find Past & Presents, which houses a mix of old items (some of which the owner fixes up herself) and new boutique items. Fixing up a house and looking for something to rival Joanna Gaines’s style? You can find it in BP.
Moonlight on the Mountain is a hot spot for local music fans. A self-described listening room, the venue seats approximately 90 and several shows a month are available; check out their website for up-to-date information and ticket sales. Open mic night is at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month and is always a good time, plus admission is only $5. Oh, and it’s bring-your-own food and beverage, and kid-friendly (read: bring your own goldfish and juice boxes)!
Don’t forget dessert! Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe opened in 2016, and they bring their ice cream all the way from Wisconsin! The shakes are to-die-for. Or check out Joyful Food Co. baked goods — they are completely gluten-free and paleo-friendly, and they have cupcakes (good ones!) among other goodies.
Bluff Park is a great place to spend a day, and an even better neighborhood in which to raise a family. Come enjoy all that this neighborhood has to offer, and if we missed any of your favorite Bluff Park spots, let us know in the comments.