Join me as I share 15 free things to do in Montgomery, Alabama, that won't cost you a dime.
Revisit History at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
Every time I pass by the iconic Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, I'm filled with a sense of reverence.
This isn't just any church; it's a 19th-century architectural marvel with an incredible history.
Walking down the same aisles where DR. Martin Luther King, Jr preached, one can almost hear the echoes of his empowering words.
The walls here have witnessed many sermons that stirred people's hearts and minds, serving as a crucial catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
It's a humbling experience, to say the least, and it fills me with a deep sense of pride.
I vividly remember my first visit; the air seemed to hum with history.
Even when the church doors were locked, the power of the place was palpable.
I could stand outside, imagining the monumental events that unfolded within these sacred walls.
Every brick and every stained glass window tells a story of courage and resilience.
The location of the church also adds to its charm.
Nestled in our beautiful city, it's just around the corner from the renowned Rosa Parks Museum.
It's a testament to the tremendous struggle and triumph of our local heroes.
Visiting these landmarks, I often feel like I'm journeying through time, revisiting the chapters of history that have shaped our community and the world.
Pay Tribute at the Hank Williams Memorial & Gravesite
It's a peaceful day, the kind of day you'd want for a visit to the Hank Williams Memorial & Gravesite.
Hidden right here in the heart of our bustling city, this quiet corner is a soothing retreat for music lovers and history buffs alike.
You wouldn't believe that we're in the center of Montgomery with how serene it is here.
One day, while strolling through the Montgomery Cemetery with a friend, a sign caught our eyes.
'Hank Williams,' it read, and curiosity led us to wander off the beaten path to discover this gem.
I've been a resident here for about six years now but never had the chance to visit this historic site.
We followed the arrow and found ourselves standing in front of the perfectly maintained graves of Hank and his wife.
Their resting place is beautiful, well-groomed, and even equipped with benches where visitors can sit and pay their respects.
Looking around, I couldn't help but wish that the whole cemetery maintained the same level of care as this legendary country singer's gravesite.
It's awe-inspiring to think about how Hank was loved not just in our city, but across the whole nation.
His popularity was immense, even before the internet or social media, despite his brief career.
Stroll Down Memory Lane at Riverwalk
My footsteps echo down the historic streets as I set off on my regular stroll down the Riverwalk.
This charming place never fails to captivate me with its historic charm.
The air is thick with the tales of a bygone era, whispering the stories of the old rail station along the waterfront.
As I meander through, I clearly notice how the landscape has evolved over the years.
Once a sandy shore, it now flourishes with concrete, urbanity seeping into its every corner.
However, the city has made sure to keep its charm intact.
Nicely arranged observation areas dot the path, showcasing creative architectural elements and artistic pieces that seem to blend seamlessly with the surroundings.
Each step brings a new surprise.
The tunnel leading to the riverside seems a tad dark, but the cool temperature it offers is a welcome relief from the city's heat.
The large iron gateway marking the tunnel's entrance may obstruct the view of the fabulous building fronts, but that’s a minor trade-off for what lies ahead.
What truly fascinates me is the architectural richness of this area.
Many of the buildings that line the streets date back to the early 20th century, around 1905 to 1910, each one an ode to the glorious talent of the builders and architects of the past.
My eyes feast on the structural nuances, appreciating the skill and passion embedded in each brick and corner.
But it's not all history and architecture here.
There's a sense of life and movement, too.
The sight of paddle boats, their designs reminiscent of a bygone era, and the trains bustling by add a certain dynamism to the Riverwalk.
Feel the Tranquility of Blount Cultural Park
Just as the sun begins to rise, I lace up my trainers and head to my favorite sanctuary.
It is Blount Cultural Park, a sprawling city park that's more than just a place to unwind; it's a sanctuary where nature and culture intertwine.
The moment I step onto the park's walking trails, the city seems miles away.
The air is crisp, and the only sound that fills the silence is the rustling of leaves under my feet.
Often, I'm lucky enough to spot a family of ducks waddling by the pond, their wings glistening under the sunlight.
The park is also home to a well-maintained dog park where I usually let my golden retriever, Max, off the leash and watch him happily socialize with his canine pals.
It's not just the natural beauty of the park that's captivating.
Over the years, the park has grown into a remarkable cultural hub with the art museum and a cultural museum.
These museums house some of the most exquisite pieces of artwork I've ever seen.
And if you're a theater buff like me, the park's open-air theater will leave you spellbound with its diverse range of performances.
Often, on the weekends, I pack a picnic and head to the park with my family.
We find a spot under a shady tree and lay out our blanket.
There's something magical about sharing a meal in the lap of nature while watching the sun paint the sky in hues of orange and pink.
The park is accessible from two entrances, one from Woodmere Boulevard and the other from Vaughn Road.
Regardless of the entrance you choose, ample free parking spaces are available, making it convenient for visitors.
Pay a Visit to the First White House of the Confederacy
I've lived close to this historic gem for years and think nothing of walking past its grand white facade on my daily jaunts.
Yet, each time I visit the First White House of the Confederacy, it's like stepping into a different time.
Its charming 1835 architecture is a testament to the past and the house that Jefferson Davis called home during the Civil War.
Stepping inside, the beauty of the original furnishings always strikes me, each piece perfectly preserved and telling a story of its own.
There's a palpable sense of history here, a feeling that these walls hold a thousand unheard tales.
The house overflows with period pieces, artifacts, and personal items from the Davis family that give you an intimate look into their lives.
The staff are more than just caretakers; they're passionate historians, gracious in their hospitality and always ready to share their knowledge about the house and its one-time occupants.
They've often guided me through the rooms, revealing tidbits about the house that aren't found in history books.
Oh, and did I mention the best part? The house is free to visit.
However, they appreciate donations, which I'm always happy to give.
After all, it's not just about preserving a house; it's about safeguarding the stories and history it holds.
Have a Peaceful Retreat at A W Dale Lake
When the hustle and bustle of Montgomery city life becomes too much, I often find refuge in the serene embrace of A W Dale Lake.
Nestled in the heart of Wynlakes residential area, this tranquil spot serves as a private paradise to us, the lucky residents.
One of my favorite pastimes at A W Dale Lake is to stroll along the bridge that overlooks the lake.
It offers a breathtaking view of the pristine waters against the backdrop of the golf course, a sight that never fails to calm my racing thoughts.
However, fishing off the bridge is not allowed, a rule that I respect to preserve the tranquility of the place.
Having access to the lake, I often seize the opportunity to teach my kids how to fish.
Their squeals of delight as they reel in a catch make these moments priceless.
And it's not just fish that inhabit these waters; dozens of turtles can be spotted lazing around on the banks, adding to the charm of the place.
See the Hank Williams Statue
Just yesterday, I took the time to immerse myself in the rich cultural history of Montgomery, Alabama, right at the heart of our city - the Hank Williams Statue - a place that I frequently visit.
Every time I stand in front of that life-sized statue of the "Singing Kid," I can almost hear the soulful tunes of his music, carrying me back to a time when his songs were the heart of our city.
Not too far from the statue, there's the Hank Williams Museum, a hidden gem that holds his iconic Blue Cadillac, which I always enjoy seeing.
Walking through the alley to the waterfront park area is an experience akin to stepping into a peaceful retreat right in our bustling city.
The tranquility there often provides a momentary escape from all the chaos.
One of the more solemn moments, however, is visiting Hank Williams' grave site.
It's a poignant reminder of the great musician who, through his music, continues to live on in our hearts.
Unwind at the Alabama State Capitol
I've always admired the Alabama State Capitol, an impressive Greek Revival-style building that has stood tall since the 19th century.
Its grandeur is impossible to miss as you walk along the streets of Montgomery, Alabama.
What makes it truly special is its historical significance – it's the place where the Confederacy began.
During my countless strolls around the area, the meticulously kept grounds and grand statues never fail to catch my eye.
Even if you're just passing by and don't have the chance to go inside, the external view of the capitol is worth a moment of admiration.
However, I highly recommend stepping inside when you can.
On a lucky day, you may even cross paths with someone important.
I remember how excited I was when I bumped into a state official on one of my visits!
The building not only houses the governor's office but also functions as a museum, offering an immersive journey through history.
And don't worry about the dress code - the friendly entry guard won't mind!
What I absolutely love about the Alabama State Capitol is that it's so much more than just a sightseeing spot.
It’s a place where you can let your children explore and learn about our country's history.
And for all the photography enthusiasts out there, the capitol offers countless beautiful shots both inside and outside.
Spend a Tranquil Retreat at High Red Bluff
There's a place in my city that I hold close to my heart.
It's an escape, a sanctuary, a place of tranquillity and charm, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
It's the High Red Bluff, a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a moment of peace and beauty.
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, there's no place I'd rather be.
I often grab a light blanket, pack a picnic with some of my favourite snacks, and head on over to this little paradise.
The grassy terraced part of the Riverwalk is my favourite spot.
Here, I can lay back and enjoy a panoramic view of the river, watch the paddlewheel boat in the distance, and let the world fade away.
The High Red Bluff is not just a place to unwind, it's a community spot too.
Every now and then, I'll catch a group of folks sitting around, laughing and enjoying each other's company.
The atmosphere is always lively up at the bar, with people clinking glasses and sharing stories.
And the best part is, everyone is welcome here.
You can find more details about this place here.
If you're into gaming, this spot also offers excellent Ex Raid chances.
On numerous occasions, I've seen groups of enthusiastic gamers gathered here, eyes glued to their screens, lost in the virtual world.
Wander Around Riverfront Park
There's nothing quite like spending a day at Riverfront Park to remind you of the simple joys of life.
Picture this: the sun slowly setting on the horizon as it casts a warm glow on the river.
The serene ambiance is only amplified by the occasional riverboat that cruises past, adding a hint of excitement to the otherwise tranquil landscape.
Not to mention, the park is always bustling with activities.
You don't have to be a baseball enthusiast to enjoy a game at the ballpark nestled within the park.
Let me tell you, the atmosphere is electric regardless.
And if music is more your thing, then the concerts are not to be missed.
From Jazzfest to other musical events, each one is an experience in itself.
Not to forget the food vendors around - their mouthwatering delicacies only enhance the overall experience.
One of my personal favorite activities is boating.
Gliding on the river, with the cool breeze brushing past, is an experience you wouldn't want to miss.
And if you're someone who enjoys a good sunset, then the park is just the place for you.
The way the day ends here, with the sun going down and casting a warm, orange hue across the river, is simply magical.
Take Pictures of the Court Square Fountain
As I walk down the streets of downtown Montgomery, I can't help but be drawn towards the historic Court Square Fountain.
The beautifully crafted water feature has been a part of my daily life and has seen me grow up in this charming city.
On any given day, I find myself circling the fountain, taking in the intricate detailing and the soothing sounds of the cascading water.
More often than not, I take a short detour from my usual route, just so I can pass by the Court Square Fountain.
It's worth taking those extra steps, trust me.
The fountain is more than just a water feature; it's a testament to the city's history, nestled in the heart of Montgomery.
The 'we are the people' wall nearby adds to the charm of the place and gives you something to ponder upon.
One of the best things about this fountain is its location.
From here, you can see the capital building, the Rosa Parks bus bench, and other historical sites that make Montgomery special.
It doesn't take much time, and you don't even have to get out of your car.
But, if you're like me and enjoy soaking in the details, you should keep some spare change for the parking meter.
And who knows, you might even get the itch to explore the enchanting old buildings nearby.
Have Some Morning Jogs at Vaughn Road Park
I always start my day with a brisk jog at Vaughn Road Park.
It's a beautiful city park with a variety of amenities to offer - from tennis courts to jogging trails, a playground for the little ones, and even picnic areas.
It's a perfect place to spend some quality time with family and friends.
The park is spacious, clean, and well maintained.
There's a winding trail that's great for both walkers and bikers alike.
I love the scenic route and the tranquility it offers, despite the sporadic traffic that occasionally passes by.
Just remember to stay on the trail to avoid any potential hazards.
I've noticed this park tends to be high traffic, but don't let that deter you.
It's a testament to its popularity among locals, yet it never feels overcrowded.
There's always plenty of room for everyone to enjoy themselves.
Enjoy Peaceful Mornings at LeGrande Park
I'll never forget the first time I stumbled upon LeGrande Park.
The serenity of the place was intoxicating.
It was early Sunday morning, the park was quiet and the scent of dew on the grass was fresh and invigorating.
I remember feeling an immediate sense of tranquility as I meandered down the nature trail.
The park is always impeccably clean, and what's more, it feels safe.
I've seen families enjoying picnics, children playing joyfully, and couples walking hand in hand.
It's a park that you can embrace and call your own, a park where memories are made and shared.
One of the unique facets of LeGrande Park is its beautiful fountain, nestled amidst Spanish moss-covered trees.
And for the tech-savvy, the fountain also doubles as a Pokémon gym!
Just a stone's throw away, you'll find a pokestop at a nearby church.
This adds a delightfully modern twist to the otherwise traditional charm of the park.
Have a Fun Family Day at The MOOseum
If you were to ask me about my favorite memory from my time spent at The MOOseum, I wouldn't know where to start!
That place is a treasure trove of experiences. Nestled in the heart of Alabama, it tells the enthralling story of our state's cattle farming and cowboy heritage.
Whether you're a history enthusiast or a parent looking for a fun day out with your kids, The MOOseum is the place to be!
You could feel the excitement in the air as we stepped into the vibrant atmosphere of the museum.
You can almost hear the mooing of cows and the sounds of cowboy boots against the wooden floorboards.
My children were instantly drawn towards the play area, their laughter echoing through the premises.
They particularly loved the section where they could dress up as cowboys and cowgirls, vividly imagining themselves on a cattle farm, nurturing herds.
While the children were engrossed in their cowboy adventures, I had a chance to explore the museum further.
I was astounded by the wealth of information available.
The MOOseum serves as more than just a place for fun—it's a place for learning.
The best part? The MOOseum operates on donations.
Step Back into Time at Old Alabama Town
Ah, the charm of Old Alabama Town!
It's like walking through the pages of a history book.
This historical site is located just down the street from my house, and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting it multiple times.
The beauty of this place is that it never gets old; there’s always something new to learn and explore.
Whenever I have some free time, I often wander down to 310 N Hull St, where I start my adventure at the Lucas Tavern.
Here, I purchase my ticket and get ready for a magical trip back in time.
You wouldn’t believe the treasures that are tucked away in these two blocks of historical buildings.
It’s the perfect blend of education and adventure with a sprinkle of nostalgia.
Whether it’s the school, church, or old newspaper presses, each building tells its unique story.
One of the highlights for me, and a real gem in the South, is the preserved cotton gin.
I’ve traveled extensively in the South, and I can tell you, it's the only one of its kind that I've seen.
The intricate details of the machinery never cease to amaze me.
One of the other buildings that always fascinates me is the Ordeman House.
Every time I take the tour, I feel like a guest entering this grand mansion.
The tour guides, like the wonderful Ms. Margaret, are true experts in their field.
They provide a wealth of information, making the tour interesting and engaging even for the little ones.
However, the visit isn’t just about the buildings.
The artifacts are equally captivating.
They offer insight into the lives of the people who lived here centuries ago.
I often find myself imagining their stories and the history that unfolded among these walls.
After years of exploring the historical and natural beauty of Montgomery, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this city is indeed a hidden gem.
From the awe-inspiring Hank Williams Memorial & Gravesite to the majestic Alabama State Capitol and the tranquil A W Dale Lake, every corner of this city offers something unique to its visitors.
So, get out there and start exploring!