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The Alabama city of Montgomery was at the heart of the American civil rights movement. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus so that white passengers could sit down. It was the start of a nationwide call to action. A museum in her name now stands in Montgomery as part of a civil rights tour that extends beyond the city and into neighbouring towns and across the state. Get a hire car in Montgomery and take the chance to visit the areas that played such a pivotal role in history. Head to Selma, 50 miles east, or north to Birmingham and bring this piece of history to life.
Fly in to Autauga County Airport, which is 16 miles or a 25-minute drive from Downtown. Otherwise drive into town - Montgomery is situated at the intersection of the I-85 and I-65.
Dollar, Thrifty and Alamo are among the companies that can supply a rental car in Montgomery, all have collection points at the airport as well as in the city centre.
One and a half hours’ drive, or 90 miles from Montgomery, is Birmingham a city that is in the midst of a food renaissance. There are cafes, bars and restaurants of all kinds, from traditional slow food to high-end dishes. The Vulcan, the world’s largest cast iron statue, looks over the city from the top of Red Mountain and the Vulcan Park and Museum is a popular viewing point. The city’s civil rights trail leads you on an historic route through the city, from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, which was bombed in 1963. Finish up your trail at the Alabama Jazz hall of fame for a spot of live music.
From Birmingham, get back on the I-65 and head 100 miles north to Huntsville a journey of an hour and 30 minutes. Dubbed Rocket City, Huntsville is home to the US Space and Rocket Centre, the largest space museum in the world complete with real space rockets, satellites and supersonic jets. Otherwise you could head west to the city of Tuscaloosa, which is a two-hour drive from Montgomery, about 103 miles. The University of Alabama is based here and its football team, the Alabama Crimson Tides, provides top standard sport in their huge stadium.
Two hours south of Montgomery towards the Gulf of Mexico is the city of Dothan. Walls are adorned with huge murals that recount the area’s history and make beautiful photographs. You can also make the most of your hire car here by watching an outdoor movie at the old fashioned Continental Drive In.
Alabama has great road links and there are a number of possible driving tours and routes through the state. Traffic in and around the big cities is, as always, sticky. Alabama's maximum speed limit is 70 mph on interstate highways unless otherwise marked.
To start planning your trip to Montgomery and other parts of the US use the Expedia search tool to help you find bargain deals on flights, hotels and car hire. Expedia can also help you to research the best attractions and activities in the area.
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