© Photos by Sherri Tilley
Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Activist
Boldly stand your ground.
Montgomery, Alabama | Birthplace of Civil Rights
A longtime volunteer in the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the assigned section of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955. By doing so, this African-American civil rights activist ultimately became known as
the mother of the freedom movement and joined other black forerunners like the four female plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle United States Supreme Court case that was instrumental in ending bus segregation. Tired of repeatedly giving in to discrimination, Rosa Parks determinedly continued to work with civic leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. to help bring down the racist Jim Crow laws of the South.
The National Historic Trail marks the location of the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march led by Martin Luther King, Jr. which helped pave the way for passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Follow the actual route of this journey by beginning at the Brown Chapel AME Church where a monument of King is displayed in front. Then stop by the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute to view photographs and related memorabilia before continuing on across the historically-significant Edmund Pettus Bridge and finally ending 54 miles to the east at the Alabama State Capitol.
Once in Montgomery, our visit to the Rosa Parks Library and Museum on the campus of Troy University placed us directly at the site of the history-changing incident that began the famous bus boycott. Similarly, the Civil Rights Memorial and Center features a circular black granite table dedicated to those who died during the modern Civil Rights Movement and is located in close proximity to the Dexter Parsonage Museum where Dr. King lived while serving as pastor.
The Museum of Alabama at the Alabama Department of Archives and History also features over 800 related artifacts and is the only venue where you can explore the state's past from prehistory to the present. For an architecturally-oriented tour, drive by the Neo-Classical Revival styled Alabama Governor's Mansion; or visit the The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum which provides insights into the family life of one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
At the edge of the entrance to the Alley Entertainment District, a local hotspot downtown near Riverfront Park, you'll find one of eight locations of the acclaimed Dreamland BBQ founded by John
Big Daddy Bishop in 1958. This family owned and operated restaurant serves up a casual down-home atmosphere along with their legendary slow-cooked bar-b-que ribs as well as hickory smoked sausage, baked beans, cole slaw, banana pudding, and their own renowned bar-b-que dipping sauce which is available in quart-size jars. Dreamland invites you to
come in as customers, leave as family since there "ain’t nothing like ‘em, nowhere."
While Montgomery offers overnight lodging options at all regions of the budget spectrum along with three bed and breakfast cottages and even an RV campground, some of the top selections for full-service hotels include the luxurious 4-star Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center and the Doubletree by Hilton in the heart of downtown, the renovated all-suite Embassy Suites adjacent to the Entertainment District, and the Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel & Conference Center at Capitol Hill where guests can relax with well-appointed guest rooms, 54 holes of championship golf, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. Additional alternatives also include the Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, and Wind Creek Wetumpka Hotel and Casino.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The State Theater, is regarded as being among the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the world and operates year-round to produce ten world-class productions per season. This professional theater brings a repertory of works by Shakespeare as well as classics, new works, Broadway musicals, and world premieres commissioned through the Southern Writers' Project which expounds on the rich cultural voice and diverse heritage of the South.
Voted as one of the top historical cities in the nation, Montgomery, Alabama, has a storied past which spans
from the Civil War to Civil Rights to civil aviation as quoted by its mayor. As the town strives to preserve a variety of important records and significant artifacts for future generations, residents and visitors alike may continue to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s timeless themes of equality, forgiveness, hope, peace, understanding, and unity.
Our full review of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited, which was driven on this 3,000-mile trip through six southern states, examines ten unique aspects of the practical yet elegant upscale sedan.
One of the keys to any successful road trip is comfort and convenience, and the usefulness of Toyota Avalon's technological features simply cannot be overstated. Using the onboard navigation system to locate our destinations on the map, we followed along as a cordial-sounding voice-prompt guided us smoothly and accurately throughout each segment of our entire excursion. In updated real time, the HD predictive traffic feature also notified us of upcoming construction zones and pending traffic jams, one of which was a distant 20 miles ahead on our route. Through the use of driver-engaged voice controls as well as the 7-inch high-resolution touch-screen display, we were additionally able to search for nearby restaurants, stream music, listen to podcasts, and enjoy SiriusXM all access radio via the 11 GreenEdge speakers included in the impressive premium JBL audio system with both center-stack and steering-wheel controls.
For more information about Montgomery, Alabama, please visit:
Montgomery Area Convention & Visitor Bureau