7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Montgomery
Montgomery, capital of Alabama, lies in the centre of the state on the east bank of the Alabama River. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. In the Baptist church in Dexter Avenue the first activities of the movement gathered around Martin Luther King, Jr. Nearby is the Civil Rights Memorial in memory of those who gave their life for the movement. Old Alabama Town with its 19th C houses preserves something of the atmosphere of old Montgomery, once an important cotton market. Other places of interest are the Capitol and the White House, the oldest in the Confederate states. On the eastern outskirts of the town are the Museum of Fine Arts and the renowned Alabama Shakespeare Festival Theater. To the east of Montgomery, approximately 43 miles, is Tuskegee University, which originated as a college for the education of blacks founded by the former negro slave Booker T. Washington in 1881.
1 Civil Rights Memorial
The Civil Rights Memorial commemorates those who died during the Civil Rights Movement. A curving black granite wall with the words "until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream" scrolled across. Below the wall is a black granite disc, with water flowing over the surface, carries the names of those who were killed. The Memorial is located in an open area next to the Civil Rights Memorial Center.
2 Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church had the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr as its pastor from 1954-1960. The church can trace its roots back to 1877 where it was founded in a slave trader's pen. A mural inside the church features Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's journey from Montgomery to Memphis.
3 Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has a primary focus of American art including paintings, prints, and a graphics collection. Other highlights include 19th C American decorative arts, furnishings, porcelain and glass as well as European Masters. The museum also features traveling exhibitions and educational programs.
4 First White House of the Confederacy
The First White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery was the home of Jefferson Davis and his family after he was inaugurated in 1861. The First White House was moved 10 blocks to its present location in 1921 and then restored. The house features double parlors and a library. Mrs. Jefferson Davis donated many items for display including period furnishings, war relics, and some of Davis' personal property.
5 Alabama State Capitol
The current State Capitol building in Montgomery was reconstructed in 1850 after the original was burned down. Built in Greek Revival style, it served as both the state Capitol and the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Tours are available.
6 Alabama State Archives and History Museum
The State Archives and History Museum explore the development of Alabama through American Indian and pioneer artifacts. Other displays include Civil War regimental flags and portrait galleries. The State Archives in Montgomery was founded in 1901 as the first state archival agency in the nation. This turn of the century building features marble walls and staircases of Tennessee gray marble and Alabama white marble.
The second floor of the archives is a room dedicated to former Vice President William Rufus King. The room displays King's personal furniture, silver, china, and some of this clothing. Documents on display allow visitors a glimpse of this fascinating man and the period in which he lived.
7 Hank Williams Museum
Exhibits at the Hank Williams Museum in downtown Montgomery include the 1952 powder blue Cadillac, a Steinway piano, autographed record jackets, and costumes.