Best Place to Stop Along the Southern Part of Hwy 65

If you live in the Midwest and you plan to travel south in search of warmer weather this winter—or for spring break or an extended weekend for that matter—plan to stop in Montgomery, Alabama; a city with a rich history and thriving downtown. Here's what to do in Montgomery, while traveling south along Hwy 65.

First, go for a run
Go for a run along the Riverwalk path. A nicely manicured path along the Alabama River. Start near Tallapoosa and Water Streets—or begin right outside your hotel's doorsteps—and, depending on how far you want to go, work your way up Perry Street, through the Garden District and around the Alabama State University campus.

Then, visit these three historical spots
The Alabama State Capital building is unquestionably one of the most historical government buildings in the South. Located atop a small hill, the building has served as the backdrop for many infamous events including the end of the Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

The first capital of the Confederate States of America, Montgomery is home to the first White House of the Confederacy, an 1835 ornate, Italianate-style home located directly around the corner from the Capitol building. This onetime home to President Jefferson Davis is now a live museum and the men and women working here literally transport visitors back to the old South.

The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was once pastor, is just steps away from the Capital building. If you visit, be sure to tour the basement where after the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks', refusal to give up her bus seat, King and others organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Hitch a ride on a riverboat
The Harriott II Riverboat, which anchors itself along the banks of the Alabama in Riverfront Park, offers passengers a peek into history all while relaxing on a 19th century-riverboat. A great way to spend some time listening to Blues music on a sunny afternoon.

Finally, dinner
Downtown Montgomery has a thriving nightlife scene. The blocks surrounding Commerce Street have bars and restaurants and plenty of fun things going on to entertain the entire family. And if you love pizza, the pies at Sa Za Pizza are not to be missed.

Shauna Nosler lives in Indianapolis. She's a contributor to both the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Monthly Magazine as well as to the national news organization U.S. News & World Report. More of her writing can be found on the lifestyle blog, The Flavored Word.

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