Say Cheese! Montgomery's Instagram Photo Ops Revealed
One of the best things about traveling to new and different places is sharing your great pics on social media. And if you can toss in a bit of history to go along with them, that’s even better.
The city of Montgomery is an ideal place to capture some amazing images, from delicious food options to exciting water adventures. But Montgomery is also an amazing place to learn about the critical role Alabama and its capital city have played in the history of the United States, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.
A great place to start your journey into Alabama’s history is Dexter Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare. If you find just the right spot, you can capture 200 years of Alabama history in one panoramic shot:
- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, named in honor of its most notable pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King played a critical role in the Montgomery bus boycott during the Civil Rights era. Previous pastors include William H. McAlpine, a cofounder of Selma University, and Vernon Johns, another early leader of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Alabama State Capitol building, the sixth location of the state’s capitol in its 200-year history.
- Alabama Department of Archives and History, the official repository of archival records for the U.S. It was funded by an act of the Alabama Legislature on February 27, 1901, and its archive offers a variety of services such as research consultation, tips for conducting research, links to reference sources, and fast facts about Alabama history and government. (For example, did you know Montgomery County and the city of Montgomery were named for two different men?)
- The Rosa Parks Statue marks the spot where its namesake was arrested for defying segregation laws by refusing to give up her bus seat in 1955. This American activist in the civil rights movement has been honored by the United States Congress as "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement.”
- Prevail Union, the locally brewed coffee shop is home to artist Hopare’s mural entitled “Valda By Hopare.” The subject of the mural, Valda Harris Montgomery, is the great-granddaughter of a Reconstruction Era Alabama State Senator, granddaughter of entrepreneurs who owned Dean Drug Store, and daughter of a Tuskegee Airman/pharmacist/business owner/community organizer. She was also a student and activist of the Civil Rights Movement under the tutelage of Dr. Martin Luther and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, John Lewis, and the Freedom Riders, Dr. Ralph D. Abernathy, Diane Nash, and James “Jim” Farmer, among others.
Lee Street at Montgomery Street
Where Lee Street meets Montgomery Street, you’ll find another hot spot of history and photo ops.
- Right at the corner, you’ll find the DNA mural created by international graffiti artist JonOne. The colorful abstract piece was created in hopes of bringing people together to create a brighter, more colorful world. And it makes for an amazing backdrop for your selfies or group shots.
- Adjacent to the DNA Mural, the Selma to Montgomery March Mural serves as a testament to Civil Rights activists’ tenacity and serves as a reminder of the long walk to freedom. This mural depicts the 54-mile march from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to the State Capitol in Montgomery in March 1965. This non-violent march brought national attention to African American voter suppression in the South and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- The Amphitheatre, a sprawling green space on the banks of the Alabama River, is perfect for picnics, concerts, movies, plays, productions, and Instagram photos.
- You can shift your fun from the banks to the water – and capture some amazing views of the riverfront – from the deck of the riverboat The Harriott II or on one of the Sip N Cycle Pedal Cruises.
- The location of the Red Bluff Bar at the Silos once served as the Silot Depot, a train station operated by AmTrak from 1989 to 1995. Today, the silos have been given new life as a venue for local entertainment and nightlife.
- The historic Union Station train shed, a National Historic Landmark, was once a major hub for passenger trains. Six sets of tracks that once ran through the shed have since been paved to serve as a parking area, but its picturesque roof remains.
The Legacy Museum
Not far from the riverfront sits a pair of museums – one inside, one outside – that offer an intense view of slavery and racial history in America. The sites themselves are thought-provoking and impactful, demanding both respect and deference.
- The museum itself —From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration – displays the history of slavery and racism in America, from the enslavement of African Americans to racial lynchings, segregation, and racial bias.
- Outside the museum, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice consists of a memorial square with 805 hanging steel rectangles the size and shape of coffins, each representing one of the U.S. counties where a documented lynching took place.
- The campus will soon open its Freedom Monument Sculpture Park, a 17-acre site along the very river where tens of thousands of enslaved people were trafficked, featuring breathtaking art and original artifacts.
No matter where your photographic or historic interests lie, you’ll find plenty of places to stop, snap a few pics and learn a bit of history along the way.
While you’re here, you’ll find plenty of nearby places to stay, including Staybridge Suites, Embassy Suites, and the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel. Each of these accommodations has pool access for after-dinner relaxation, and they’re close to restaurants and plenty of the activities you’ve scheduled for your stay in this historic Alabama city. For more information about what you can expect to experience in Montgomery, please click here today.