Montgomery, Alabama is not only the state’s capitol city, but it’s also loaded with American history! Thanks to well placed markers and signs all through out the area, it’s pretty easy to find the spot or sight you want to experience.
Here are my top five favorite “must-see” Montgomery sights:
Martin Luther King’s House
Martin Luther King lived in this house from 1954-1960 with his young family while he served as pastor for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. The home is technically referred to as the Dexter Parsonage Museum as it served as a home for other pastors who served at the church. The inside has been restored to the way it appeared when Dr. King lived there and many of the items were actually used by the King family.
I went by on a Sunday so it wasn’t open and it was early enough that nobody was even around. I must admit it was pretty cool to have a seat on the front porch, all by myself, and reflect a bit.
The museum does offer tours throughout the year. The house is located at: 309 S Jackson St, Montgomery, AL 36104. There is a free parking lot near the backside of the house.
Alabama State Capitol
If these steps could talk! This is a look at the front of the Alabama State Capitol building in Montgomery. (The building was also a temporary capitol of the Confederacy at one point in time. ) During the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King delivered remarks on the front steps while joined by thousands of protesters, after being denied access to the state’s Governor.
The grounds are not as a big as some of the other state capitols but it’s a beautiful building and worth walking around or taking a tour inside.
This was my 16th state capitol! (How have I not visited more than 16 capitol buildings?!)
Rosa Parks Historical Markers
While the bus that made Rosa Parks famous is now in Dearborn, Michigan at the Henry Ford Museum – it was here in Montgomery where this important turning point took place.
Nothing flashy, but there are two historical markers that show the exact spot for the bus stop where Rosa Parks got on the bus and the other that shows where she was arrested. You can walk between both of them. It clearly didn’t take very long for her to cause a ruckus that day.
The second marker (where she was arrested) sits in front of a Rosa Parks Museum.
The bus stop sign is located in the circle drive directly down the street from the front of the state capitol, near the fountain. The arrest site is about 1/4 of a mile up the road.
Hank Williams Statue & Grave Site
As you might imagine, I see a lot of statues during my travels and almost none of them look remotely close to the person they’re honoring. However! This is an exception! This is a beautifully constructed statue honoring Montgomery native and music legend, Hank Williams.
The life size statue is located about a block away from a Hank Williams museum. (They don’t allow photographs inside – so I don’t go in those museums. Hello! It’s 2019.)
A short drive from the statue is the final resting place for Hank and wife Audrey. The grave stones are surrounded by AstroTurf along with a couple of benches. On the plaque behind his grave are some of his most popular songs.
My favorite Hank song was represented: Your Cheatin’ Heart.
Nat King Cole Mural
I was driving down the street and out of the blue spotted this gorgeous mural paying tribute to legendary singer, Nat King Cole. I didn’t realize until that moment (after a quick Google search) that Cole was also from Montgomery. (His childhood home has been moved to the campus of Alabama State University.)
The mural was painted by two local artists in 2017. One cool feature of the mural is a QR code on the wall that will play the song Unforgettable if you scan it with your phone!
The mural is located at 435 Maxwell Blvd.