Incorporated in 1819, Montgomery is the second-largest city in Alabama after Birmingham, with a population of 206,000. Montgomery is located 92 miles south of Birmingham, and 155 miles north of Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico. Montgomery's central location makes it a strategically located processing hub for crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans. Due to its location along the Alabama River and extensive rail connections, Montgomery continues to be a regional distribution center for a wide range of industries. Montgomery is also the location of Maxwell Air Force Base and a Hyundai Motors manufacturing plant, where 1,000 automobiles per day are assembled.
Spanish explorers visited the area that was to become Montgomery as early as 1540, but the first European settler did not arrive until 1716. A trading post was established in 1785, but battles with the indigenous Native American population prevented further settlement until the conclusion of the Creek War, which led to expansion of the US territories. Montgomery became the state capital in 1846, and was selected as the first capital of the Confederate States of America, until the seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia. During the mid-20th century, Montgomery was a major site of events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches. In recent years, Montgomery has diversified its economy along with restoring the downtown and the riverfront.
Montgomery experiences hot and humid summers and mild winters. Snowfall is a rare occurrence. The average summer high temperature is around 90° F, with occasional temperatures in excess of 100° F. In winter, it is not uncommon to experience temperatures above 60° F during the day and evening lows that dip below the freezing point.
The Montgomery Area Transit System provides bus service within city limits, with 34 buses serving 15 fixed routes Monday through Saturday. Montgomery Regional Airport is served by American Eagle, Delta Connection, and US Airways Express with flights to several destinations, including Atlanta, a major hub airport just 2 hours by car. Greyhound bus service is available to major cities, and Megabus offers express routes to Mobile, New Orleans, and Atlanta.
Cost of Living in Montgomery
While the cost of living in Montgomery is high for Alabama, it’s still more than 3% below the national average. This is due to very affordable healthcare and lower than average housing costs.
The city of Montgomery and Montgomery County are served by the Montgomery Public Schools system, serving more than 32,000 students and employing 2,380 teachers among 32 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, 16 high schools, magnet schools, alternative schools, and special education centers. Montgomery is also home to 28 private schools.
Jackson Hospital, Baptist Medical Center, and Baptist Medical Center South are Montgomery’s three hospitals providing general medical and surgical services. The Children’s Hospital of Alabama is also located in Montgomery. If you’re relocating to Montgomery, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you.
Montgomery Real Estate
House prices in Montgomery are solidly below the national average. The median home value is just over $106,000 with 78% of the homes in Montgomery costing less than $185,000. Single-family detached homes with two or three bedrooms are plentiful in Montgomery. Look for the perfect home using the following links.
Make your stay a part of the adventure when you visit Montgomery! The Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa features a ballroom, a performing arts theatre, an upscale restaurant, outdoor terrace dining space, and a stunning European-style spa. The Lattice Inn is a comfortable B&B located in Montgomery’s historic Garden District. Choose to stay at the Red Bluff Cottage Bed & Breakfast and you will enjoy great views of the Capitol building and the Alabama River from the inn’s gazebo. There are places to suit every need and budget. Find your perfect place to stay with these links.
If you are looking for the best pizza in Montgomery, look no further than Tomatinos Pizza and Bake Shop where they know their dough. Known for its fried chicken, Martin’s Restaurant has been pleasing the locals by cooking home-style favorites since the 1930s.You might not expect much from buffet-style dining, but Filet & Vine turns the tables with exceedingly good southern style comfort food paired with an exceptional wine and craft beer selection. At the top of the fine dining list stands True, a chef-owned boutique restaurant that prepares elegant and adventurous meals from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Explore more dining experiences with the following links.
Things to Do in Montgomery
Montgomery is a city of southern charm and allure, offering something of interest for everyone. Civil rights historians can start at the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, visit Dr. Martin Luther King’s home, and then follow up with the Civil Rights Memorial Center. Literary buffs will be wowed by the Fitzgerald Museum, while kids will want to spend hours at the Montgomery Zoo. Entire families can explore life in the 19th-century South at Old Alabama Town, and art lovers will enjoy the collection at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Music fans won’t want to miss the Hank Williams Museum, dedicated to country music’s first superstar. Explore more things to do in Montgomery with these links.