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Getting There

By Plane -- Birmingham International Airport (tel. 205/595-0533; www.flybirmingham.com) is about 5 miles east of downtown. Major car-rental companies are housed at ground level on Concourse B, near baggage claim. It's an easy 10-minute drive into the city; take I-20/59 west into downtown.

If you're not renting a car, you can take the E-Shuttle (tel. 205/702-4566), which offers town car service between the airport and area hotels and motels. Rates start at $45 per person one-way. The Birmingham Door-to-Door Shuttle Service (tel. 205/591-5550) provides van service between the airport and points throughout Alabama. Reservations are required.

Taxis are available outside baggage claim; it will cost about $25 to get downtown.

By Train -- Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; www.amtrak.com) runs trains from New York (trip time: 23 hr.) through Washington, D.C. (18 hr.), and Atlanta (4 hr.) to Birmingham's station at 1819 Morris Ave. (tel. 205/324-3033).

By Car -- The principal highway routes into Birmingham are I-65 from the north (Nashville), I-20 from the east (Atlanta), I-59 from the northeast (Chattanooga, Tenn.), I-20/59 from the southwest (Jackson, Miss.), and I-65 from the south (Montgomery, Ala.).

Visitor Information

To receive visitor information on the Birmingham area before your arrival, contact the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2200 Ninth Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203-1100 (tel. 800/458-8085 or 205/458-8000; www.birminghamal.org). Another useful resource is the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel (tel. 800/ALABAMA [252-2262]; www.alabama.travel). In addition to its downtown location, the Greater Birmingham CVB has a satellite location at Birmingham International Airport, lower level (tel. 205/458-8002).

Getting Around

For a taxi, call the Yellow Cab Company of Greater Birmingham (tel. 205/328-4444); the meter starts at $4.50 and runs $2 per mile.

Fast Facts

Emergency and urgent-care services are available at University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital, 619 19th St. S. (tel. 205/934-4011; www.health.uab.edu). A 24-hour CVS Pharmacy (tel. 205/942-7503) is located at 418 W. Valley Ave., in the suburb of Homewood. Sales tax is 10%; hotel tax is 14%.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.