TRAVEL TIPS FOR VIS­IT­ING MONT­GOMERY, USA

Timeless Travels Magazine - - USA -

GET­TING THERE

There are no direct flights to Mont­gomery from the UK. There are daily con­nec­tions from Dal­las-Fort Worth, Char­lotte, and Wash­ing­ton, DC on Amer­i­can Air­lines, while Delta of­fers a con­nec­tion from At­lanta. It is also within driv­ing dis­tance of larger South­ern ci­ties, such as Nashville (4 hours) and At­lanta (2.5 hours).

VISAS

UK cit­i­zens, as well as those from Aus­tralia and New Zealand do not need a visa for vis­its of less than 90 days, but they do need an Elec­tron Sys­tem for Travel Au­tho­riza­tion (ETSA), which must be ob­tained be­fore fly­ing. See www.cbp.gov/ travel/in­ter­na­tional-vis­i­tors/esta

MONEY

Cur­rency: The cur­rency in Amer­ica is the dol­lar (USD, sym­bol $) = 100 cents. Notes are in de­nom­i­na­tions of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in de­nom­i­na­tions of 1 cent, 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime) and 25 cents (a quar­ter).

ATMs: Can be widely found and debit cards are widely ac­cepted for trans­ac­tions.

Credit cards: All ma­jor cards are ac­cepted. The US does not have the level of chip-and-pin or con­tact­less cards that most EU na­tions do, so be pre­pared to sign for re­ceipts.

GET­TING AROUND

While there is a bus ser­vice in the city, as well as taxis and Uber, hir­ing a car is highly rec­om­mended, and there are branches of all the in­ter­na­tional agen­cies, such as Alamo and Bud­get, in the city.

Al­though some of the main civil rights sites are down­town, a car will pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity and ease in ex­plor­ing other parts of the city and the sur­round­ing coun­try­side, and mak­ing a day-trip to Selma or other parts of the state much eas­ier.

THE ES­SEN­TIALS

Time dif­fer­ence: GMT - 6

Wa­ter: Tap wa­ter is safe to drink in Amer­ica, al­though bot­tled wa­ter is read­ily avail­able.

Tip­ping: Wait­ing staff in restau­rants ex­pect tips of up to 20%, in bars some­what less. Ho­tel porters and house­keep­ing staff ap­pre­ci­ate at least a cou­ple of dol­lars a night.

Elec­tri­cal Current/Plugs: Elec­tri­cal current is 110 volts AC and plugs are stan­dard Amer­i­can two or three round pins.

In­sur­ance: In view of the high cost of med­i­cal care in the United States, any­one vis­it­ing from over­seas should take out rea­son­ably com­pre­hen­sive travel in­sur­ance. No vac­ci­na­tions are re­quired.

DON’T MISS

Mont­gomery, like much of the South­ern United

States, is known for its hos­pi­tal­ity, friend­li­ness, and food, so make sure to sam­ple all three at lo­cal restau­rants.

The first stop is to try a bis­cuit, a South­ern break­fast sta­ple that is like a savoury scone, and tra­di­tion­ally cov­ered with sausage and gravy, though to­day bis­cuits come with all man­ner of fill­ings. Ca­hawba House (31 S Court Street) has an ex­ten­sive break­fast menu: try a bis­cuit with fried chicken and pi­mento cheese. You won’t be sorry.

Other places spe­cial­is­ing in lo­cal food in­clude the ex­cel­lent Cen­tral (219 Coosa Street), which is lo­cated down­town. One of its sig­na­ture dishes is the Fett Sow Fries – ba­si­cally, pork fried like french fries. Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds. Fur­ther afield, about a 10-minute drive from down­town, Vin­tage Year (405 Cloverdale Road) of­fers sea­sonal South­ern food, while its sis­ter Vin­tage Cafe (416 Cloverdale), housed in an el­e­gant mid-cen­tury for­mer bank build­ing, of­fers coffee and lighter fare.

i USE­FUL IN­FOR­MA­TION

There are plenty of stops for people in­ter­ested in the civil rights history of the city, and open­ing hours and in­for­ma­tion about tours can be found on the fol­low­ing web­sites: Dex­ter Av­enue King Bap­tist Church and the Dex­ter Par­son­age Mu­seum: www.dex­terk­ing­memo­rial.org/ tours/ Rosa Parks Mu­seum: www.troy. edu/stu­dent-life-re­sources/arts­cul­ture/rosa-parks-mu­seum/in­dex. html Free­dom Rides Mu­seum: www. ahc.alabama.gov/prop­er­ties/ free­dom­rides/free­dom­rides.aspx Alabama State Capi­tol: www. ahc.alabama.gov/al­aba­mas­tate-capi­tol.aspx

The Mon­u­ment at the Peace and Jus­tice Me­mo­rial Cen­ter: www.eji.org

In ad­di­tion, Mont­gomery has an im­pres­sive art mu­seum, the Mont­gomery Mu­seum of Fine Arts ( www.

mmfa.org), with both re­gional and na­tional works, in­clud­ing paint­ings by Ed­ward Hop­per and John Singer Sar­gent. It is lo­cated in a large park at One Mu­seum Drive, about a 20-minute drive from down­town. Nearby is the Alabama Shake­speare Fes­ti­val theatre (One Fes­ti­val Drive), which is one of the largest Shake­speare fes­ti­vals in the world, stag­ing a num­ber of works by the English play­wright, as well as other pro­duc­tions, through­out the year. More in­for­ma­tion can be found at: www.asf.net

There is an­other small mu­seum in a house in the el­e­gant Cloverdale area of the city ded­i­cated to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzger­ald, who lived there from 1931-32. The ground floor has a small ex­hi­bi­tion about the cou­ple – Zelda grew up in Mont­gomery – and rooms in the house are avail­able to rent through AirB&B ( www.airbnb.co.uk/s/ The-Scott-and-Zelda-Fitzger­aldMu­seum--Mont­gomery--AL)

“Each­per­son mustliveth­eir lifeasamod­elfor oth­ers” Rosa Parks

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