Alabama is a destination rich in culture and history. It’s seen some of the USA’s most tumultuous and historically significant events, which have no doubt contributed to the state’s allure today. This five day itinerary, taking you from Montgomery to Huntsville, serves as the perfect cultural add on to your iconic US road trip. An unmissable state with some truly incredible highlights, your cultural immersion starts now…
MOVEMENTS IN MONTGOMERY
You’ll kick off your Alabama adventure in the state’s capital – Montgomery. An important historic hub that still manages to feel like your classically sleepy southern city, this is where both Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King made waves. Your time here will be spent exploring key historic sites, starting with the Rosa Parks Museum. With a private guide to lead you, you’ll wander through this museum that’s set in front of the bus stop where Rosa made her famous stand. When you’re finished, you’ll move on to the Civil Rights Memorial Center, where you’ll learn about the 40 martyrs of the Civil Rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr.
As night falls, we’ll lighten the tone with a visit to 1048 Jazz and Blues, a classic Alabama jazz club whose sultry atmosphere will prove to be somewhat addictive. It’s a wonderfully authentic place in which you can settle down with a local brew and spend hours watching a stream of talented musicians take to the stage for the ultimate Montgomery experience.
ONWARDS TO BIRMINGHAM
Next stop, Birmingham. Another city that’s home to some important sites, you’ll spend the day here being guided around the Civil Rights Institute, before moving on for food at the new Ovenbird restaurant. Here you’ll enjoy small plates and intense flavours by award-winning chef Chris Hastings; it’ll serve as a perfect introduction to Alabama’s gourmet scene (don’t worry; you’ll have plenty of time to sample the famed BBQ menus).
Satisfied and ready for a few more hours of exploration, head over to the Alabama Theatre, where you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. A building that since 1927 has been hosting anything from live music to silent movies, you’ll be astounded by the original Might Wurlitzer Organ on this private and historic tour.
Birmingham is the sort of city that’ll make you want to extend your stay, and if it does, we have plenty of suggestions of things to do. A city that’ll give you the opportunity to cycle, fish, play golf, shop to name just a few, no time spent in here is wasted. Our particular favourites are the Lyric Theatre, an institution that welcomed the likes of the Marx Brothers way back when, and the Birmingham Museum of Art for that essential spot of cultural down time.
AN ENDING IN HUNTSVILLE
Your final stop is Huntsville, a 200 year old city that is home to the State’s most popular attraction- the US Space & Rocket Center. Home to a range of fascinating exhibits, including a collection of rockets and missiles that were imperative to the success of the US’s Space Program, you can also sign up to the center’s space camp if you’ve got time. You’ll train on astronaut simulators and gravity chairs for a wholly unique experience and no doubt come away with lots of memorable stories. If you only have a day, simply wander the exhibits and then head back out to explore this pretty and charming city. The array of antebellum homes, once occupied by Union troops during the civil war, are a particular highlight for anyone interested in local history. With a private guide to take you through, you’ll enjoy a unique look back at the turbulent past that shaped this wonderful state…
From Huntsville, you’ll be in a prime position to continue your Deep South adventure up into Tennessee…