While you’re in town for the Camellia Bowl, be sure to take some time and check out some of Montgomery’s attractions. With the city’s rich and storied history, vibrant art scene, and beautiful riverfront, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are 10 things to help you get started on planning your trip.
The Capitol Building has been the center point for some historic moments in our nation’s history. It’s were the Confederacy was born, Jefferson Davis took the oath of office as President of the Confederate States of America and where the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Marched culminated.
Take a trip back in time to get a glimpse of Alabama life during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Old Alabama Town features six blocks of 50 restored and historically accurate structures that reflect the lives of those who settled Central Alabama more than a century ago.
Montgomery was the first capitol of the Confederate States of America. This downtown home served as the Confederacy’s first White House from February until May 1861 and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis lived here during that time. The museum is furnished with period pieces and many of the Davis’ personal items.
Just a block from the Capitol Building is Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr served as the church’s pastor from 1954 until 1960. Montgomery’s early civil rights activities, including the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, were planned in King’s church office.
Almost 45 years to the day after Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, the Rosa Parks Library and Museum was dedicated. The museum commemorates Parks’ stand against segregation which launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It also contains materials related to the boycott and the people associated with it.
The Civil Rights Memorial Center features exhibits on the martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the Wall of Tolerance. The Civil Rights Memorial outside the center commemorates 41 people who died in the struggle for civil rights between 1954 and 1968. The memorial was designed by Maya Lin, who also designed the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial.
In 1985, Winton and Carolyn Blount gifted several acres of land and $21.5 million to build the world-renowned Alabama Shakespeare Festival. It was the largest private donation to an American theatre at that time.
The 77-acre Blount Cultural Park is home to the Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The park features statuary, ponds, and miles of walking trails.
The MMFA houses a number of collections, including American paintings, folk art and African art.
The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is a fully professional regional theatre that produces roughly ten productions each season. ASF is one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the world.
The Montgomery Zoo covers more than 40 acres and is home to roughly 750 animals representing 140 species. The animals are grouped into geographical realms that are similar to their natural habitats. The zoo also features the Giraffe Encounter feeding stations, Horse Trail Rides, and the Zoofari Skylift Ride
The Mann Museum, adjacent to the zoo, houses a large collection of animals taken with bow and arrow by trophy hunter George Mann. Guests can touch the fur and antlers of some of the animal specimens.
Riverfront Park is an entertainment destination downtown on the banks of the Alabama River. Even when it’s not host to a big event, Riverfront Park is a lovely place to visit. You can take a stroll along the river bank and book a sunset cruise on the Harriott II Riverboat. After you visit the park, head over one of the nearby restaurants to get a taste of Montgomery.
Country music legend Hank Williams died in 1953, but his influence is as strong as ever. The Hank Williams Museum helps keep his memory alive with a variety of memorabilia, including his baby blue Cadillac, clothing, hats, boots, albums, and more. After you visit the museum you can visit to the Oakwood Cemetery Annex, about a mile from the museum, and pay your respects at Hank and Audrey Williams’ grave site.
Zelda Sayre was a Montgomery native and married F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920. The couple, along with their daughter Scottie, moved into a house on Felder Avenue in 1931 and lived there for about a year. Their former home is now the only museum in the world dedicated to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
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