Alabama bound on your next holiday? One look at a list of all the best things to do in Montgomery, AL, and you’ll be sold on adding this charming Southern city to your itinerary!
Located in Central Alabama, Montgomery is steeped in American history, often referred to as the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement. Socially-conscious tourism thrives in Montgomery, with top tourist attractions like the Rosa Parks Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice around every corner.
Ready to learn the ins and outs of what to do in Alabama’s capital city? This guide to the best places to visit in Montgomery, AL, will have you booking your flight in no time!
Best places to visit in Montgomery, AL
Montgomery Zoo & Mann Wildlife Learning Museum
One of the city’s best family-friendly attractions is the Montgomery Zoo & Mann Wildlife Learning Museum. With quirky and exotic species from every corner of the world, you’ll be sure to find your new favorite animal as you browse the exhibits and animal habitats.+
Unlike most other zoos, the Montgomery Zoo & Mann Wildlife Learning Museum offers animal encounters for a mere handful of pocket change, some even at no charge. Feed koi fish by hand, reach up and pet a giant giraffe, or get to know the aquatic residents that live in the reefs—whatever your heart desires!
Looking for an urban park to spend a more laissez-faire day in the city? Riverfront Park is entertainment central in downtown Montgomery.
Though Riverfront Park itself offers a pretty and relaxing setting for your daily walk or picnic, there’s a ton to do here, too. When it’s time to cool down, take your kiddos to the splash pad or cruise around the Alabama River on a riverboat ride for some water-bound sightseeing.
When it’s time to turn up the dial, Riverfront Park also hosts Riverwalk Stadium, home to the Montgomery Biscuits minor league baseball team. Check the stadium’s events schedule to see if you can score some tickets to a waterfront baseball game or concert.
Rosa Parks Museum
Travel back to the 1950s and honor one of America’s most powerful women throughout history at the Rosa Parks Museum. The museum is named after Rosa Parks, the woman who sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up her seat, and details the event’s important contribution to the American Civil Rights movement.
Visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum to discover the inspiring story of this famed Civil Rights activist, the horrors of segregation and racism in the South, the power of peaceful protest, and the legacy left behind by those who fought for freedom.
The Hank Williams Museum
Calling all country music fans! Pay tribute to one of the 1940s and 1950s most iconic country stars at The Hank Williams Museum. This Hollywood-esque gallery is dedicated to the life of Hank Williams, who dominated the country charts and tragically passed away at the age of 29, breaking the hearts of many.
The Hank Williams Museum is home to an extensive collection of his personal belongings and memorabilia, including his infamous baby blue Cadillac. You’ll also get a close look at his favorite guitars, his very first pair of cowboy boots, and even his high school yearbook.
Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park
In the mood for some fresh air? Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park is Montgomery’s unofficial hub for outdoor activities. This beautiful park is also known for being über-romantic and is a fantastic spot to take your travel partner on a date with some wine and charcuterie. Hold hands as you walk over the old stone bridge, feed the ducks together, and watch the sunset sink over the horizon.
The Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park is also home to “Bark Park,” widely accepted as Montogmery’s top dog park. If you’ve brought your pet along on your Alabama holiday, bring them along for a meet-and-greet with the locals and to burn off some pent-up energy.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
If you consider yourself a creative soul, head down to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. For art lovers touring Alabama, a stop at this art museum and sculpture garden is a must.
The permanent collection at Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is unparalleled in the American South. Browse the galleries to marvel at famous works of American art from the likes of Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent.
If you’re visiting with kids, be sure to plan a stop at the Artworks Gallery. This interactive exhibit allows you to get hands-on with artwork of different mediums and even create some for yourself!
The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum
All bookworms should leave space in their Montgomery itinerary for a visit to The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum. Names sound familiar? This power couple of famous novelists comprises the masterminds behind classic American titles like The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night.
Step inside this historic home-turned-museum to learn about the grand literary legacies F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald left behind.
Fun fact: You can rent the private bedroom of either half of this dynamic literary duo, located on the upper level of The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, on Airbnb. A few of their greatest novels were even written there—don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!
The Legacy Museum
One of the best places to go in Montgomery for an impromptu history lesson is The Legacy Museum. Since opening its doors in 2018, this museum aims to teach about the horrors of modern slavery, racial violence, and wrongful incarceration in America.
As you navigate the interactive exhibits and watch award-winning short films at The Legacy Museum, you’ll honor the extraordinary civil rights activists of the Jim Crow era and witness the importance of continuing to fight for racial equality today.
National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Erected in 2018, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice is one of the top points of interest in Montgomery, AL, for visiting social activists.
During your visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, you’ll honor the lives of Black Americans and the historical and modern contexts of racial injustice. The memorial represents everything from the atrocities of the Jim Crow era to the current struggle against police brutality.
As you navigate the six acres of towering monuments, sculptures, and art installations telling these important stories, you’ll also enjoy a peaceful walk and a quiet moment of reflection.
The First White House of the Confederacy
To paint a complete picture of Montgomery’s Civil War history, plan a visit to The First White House of the Confederacy. Located in downtown Montgomery, the estate was once the residence of Jefferson Davis, the leader of the Confederate movement in the United States. The home was briefly deemed “the White House” after Davis was briefly named President.
The First White House of the Confederacy is also one of Montgomery’s most impressive historic homes, frozen in time for you to explore. Even if historical tourism isn’t your thing, visit to check out the beautiful architecture and 1850s furnishings. The best part? Admission is free!
Alabama State Capitol
For some true Montgomery sightseeing, pencil in a visit to the Alabama State Capitol. Lace up your shoes for a walking tour of this National Historic Landmark where the current Alabama House of Representatives sits.
The Alabama State Capitol isn’t just a top Montgomery attraction for history buffs; it’s also a great choice for art lovers. The Capitol building itself is a marvel of 19th-century architecture and home to magnificent murals by Roderick MacKenzie, showcasing the trials and tribulations of Alabama’s past.
Old Alabama Town
For some lower-key historic tourism, talk a walk through Old Alabama Town. This community of 19th-century homes, community landmarks, workshops, and schoolhouses—located in Montgomery’s historic downtown—will give you a peek at what the town would have looked like in the late 1800s.
At Old Alabama Town, you can participate in a series of tours, including the Living Block Tour and the Ordeman-Shaw House, or just walk through the streets at your own pace with a hot coffee in hand.
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
Come experience Montgomery’s most historic place of worship: the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. This church is most famously known as the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sparked the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. King stood as pastor at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, previously known as “The Second Colored Baptist Church,” from 1954 to 1960 and led his congregation in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church holds public services at 10 am every Sunday if you’d like to make time for prayer during your holiday and experience a sermon first-hand. You can also just tour the building if that better suits your needs.
Civil Rights Memorial
One of the top attractions in Montgomery, the Civil Rights Memorial explores one of the darkest points in American history and honors those who rose up and fought against it. The memorial also aims to inspire the next generation of activists to keep fighting for racial equality in America.
The Civil Rights Memorial features interactive exhibits and video presentations; come with an open heart and mind, ready to learn!
There’s nothing better than chowing down on some true Southern grub, and Dreamland BBQ is the ideal Montgomery restaurant to do just that. One of the best things to do in Montgomery, AL, is to pull up a chair to the bar, catch a game on one of their flatscreen TVs, and eat until you’re stuffed to the brim!
Dreamland BBQ has been serving up good ol’ Southern comfort food since 1958, like pulled pork, ribs, mac n’ cheese, fried okra, and more. Fan of grillin’? Buy a jar of their famous barbeque sauce and bring home the taste of Alabama to share with your friends and family!
Prevail Union MGM
Who serves the finest cup of coffee in Montgomery, Alabama? Prevail Union MGM, of course! When it comes time to indulge in your daily dose of caffeine, head on down to this independent coffee shop on Dexter Avenue.
All the beans at Prevail Union MGM are freshly roasted in-house to create superb innovative seasonal drinks and classic americanos. Be sure to try their signature “Alabama Stinger,” made with a whole lot of espresso and honey from local beekeepers.
Located in the historic Kress building, Prevail Union MGM offers a super trendy atmosphere that’ll leave every urban hipster thoroughly impressed. With industrial lighting, modern leather couches, and exposed brick, this coffee shop deserves a place on every food blogger’s Instagram feed.
Wilderness Park & Bamboo Forest
Imagine yourself on vacation somewhere more exotic with a stroll through Montgomery’s Wilderness Park & Bamboo Forest. Located just a short drive away in Prattville, the walking trail is surrounded by several species of bamboo, towering over you as you explore the area.
The Wilderness Park & Bamboo Forest makes for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an essential addition to your Montgomery trip itinerary. The walk itself is a quick, 10-minute jaunt around a pond, clocking in at just ¾ of a mile. It makes for a great photo opportunity or a quick pitstop to stretch your legs.