Montgomery for First-Timers

Riverboat cruises, Civil Rights and The Alley (after dark)

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In Montgomery, the heart of the city is beating strong again. Montgomery, Alabama, the capital city of the American South, is steeped in history, has been tested by rebellion and is courageous and changing. What’s changing today — and changing for the better — is the face of the city’s downtown and riverfront areas.

City leaders and local developers have a grand vision for the city’s center, and it began to take shape with the Riverwalk project along the edges of the Alabama River. The first phase was completed in 2003 and included the beautiful Riverwalk Amphitheatre and the adjacent Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Montgomery Biscuits baseball team. The Biscuits, the AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, provide family entertainment and fun for sports enthusiasts.

In 2008, downtown welcomed the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center, along with the adjacent 1,800-seat Montgomery Performing Arts Centre and a 9,000-square-foot European-style spa.

Across from the convention center complex, the Alley Entertainment District, nicknamed “The Alley,” was unveiled in the spring of 2009. This highlight of the city’s continuing downtown revitalization is framed by Commerce, Bibb, Coosa and Tallapoosa Streets. It includes both casual and fine dining (Dreamland BBQSa Za’s Serious Italian Food and Central to name but a few), specialty boutiques and nightlife spots. In addition, thanks to some fabulous new loft apartments and office spaces, new tenants now call The Alley home.

Just one block from The Alley, the Harriott II Riverboat cruises guests along the Alabama River. This newest addition to the downtown and riverfront rebirth began ferrying folks in 2009 and has definitely exceeded expectations. The majestic riverboat is a unique special events venue that can accommodate up to 400 passengers and is capable of hosting multiple parties each evening.

In the middle of all the action is the Montgomery Area Visitor Center inside historic Union Station. Guests can watch videos on the city or pick up “made in Alabama” souvenirs from the Stop at Union Station. Visitors can also pick up a Civil Heritage Trail tour brochure and explore all the historical sites on foot or by car.

This itinerary is compliments of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce‘s Convention & Visitor Bureau.

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