Established in 1819, Montgomery, AL, is the capital and one of the largest cities in the state of Alabama. Situated on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has played an important role in some of the most pivotal moments in America’s history. Emerging from its agricultural roots in the 19th century, Montgomery transformed from the “Cradle of the Confederacy” to the “Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement” in less than a century and has been a place that faced intolerable issues head-on — initiating unprecedented change for the better. Today, this vibrant river town is experiencing a resurgence with a revitalized downtown and re-establishing itself as a landmark Deep South destination — inspiring visitors to believe that together we can be the change.
Take a Virtual Tour of Montgomery, AL
Alabama Shakespeare Festival
1 Festival Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117 • (334) 271-5353
Located on the grounds of the 293-acre Blount Cultural Park, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) is one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the world and one of the largest professional theaters in Alabama — showing around 10 productions a year. From its founding in a high school auditorium in Anniston in 1972 to its designation as the State Theatre of Alabama in 1977 to the stunning $21.5 million performing arts complex in Montgomery, ASF has been a leader in the performing arts throughout the state, region and country. As a beloved Alabama arts institution, ASF broadens the cultural identity of the South by producing Shakespeare classics, contemporary plays, musicals, theatre for young audiences and exciting new works everyone in the family can enjoy. Not to mention visitors can walk the breathtaking grounds of Blount Cultural Park for free before a show.
Equal Justice Initiative Memorial to Peace & Justice and Legacy Museum
Memorial: 417 Caroline Street, Montgomery, AL 36104 • (334) 386-9100
Museum: 115 Coosa Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
Displaying the history of slavery and racism in America, this memorial and museum opened to the public for the first time in April 2018. Since opening, these cultural experiences have been visited by more than 800,000 visitors. The memorial — located on a six-acre park — is a sacred space for reflection on racial terrorism in America, and the museum (just a short walk away) uses interactive media, sculpture, film and exhibits to immerse and educate visitors. In 2020, EJI added a location of the renowned Alabama restaurant Pannie George, more retail and exhibition space, bus parking, and a shuttle station just blocks away. While somber in nature, both institutions are thought-provoking and will stimulate interesting conversation between you and your family for the remainder of your stay.
Rosa Parks Library, Museum and Statue
252 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, AL 36104 • (334) 241-8615
The Rosa Parks Library and Museum tells the inspiring activist’s story in several multimedia displays, including a permanent exhibit, time machine, temporary exhibit, archives, classroom, conference room and an auditorium. An important icon in the Civil Rights Movement and influential in the Montgomery bus boycott, Rosa Parks is known for her courage, and she serves as a reminder for future generations of the struggles many faced as a result of segregation. Located outside of the museum, visitors can locate a new bronze monument of the civil rights pioneer — only feet from where Rosa Parks boarded the public bus on December 1, 1955.
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
454 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 • (334) 263-3970
Dr. Martin Luther King was only 24 when he came to Montgomery to accept his first appointment as a pastor in a little red brick church, and he later went on to play a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church contains the pulpit from which Martin Luther King Jr. first preached his message of hope and brotherhood. Visitors can take a tour of this National Historic Landmark to learn more about the national leader and his influence on American history.
Visitors can park and put away their keys once they arrive in Montgomery. The walkable downtown area has recently been revitalized, and there is no better way to discover its historic and cultural sites, beautiful riverfront and delicious eateries than on foot. Wander from the pulpit where Dr. King preached, to the sidewalk where Rosa Parks boarded a bus and ignited a revolution. Take in the city’s street art and building murals or cheer on the Montgomery Biscuits — an AA minor league baseball team — at their award-winning and historic Riverwalk Stadium. Try a famous hot dog from 103-year-old Chris’ Hot Dogs, or taste Central’s reinvented Southern cuisine featuring favorites like pimento cheese and shrimp and grits. Segway and bike rentals are available to rent downtown, and adventurers can even explore the neighboring Alabama River by kayak or paddleboard. Regardless of your mode of transportation, the possibilities are endless in Montgomery.
All photos courtesy of the Montgomery Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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