Welcome to our Montgomery meeting planning guide – a city guide for meeting planning in Montgomery, Alabama. Located in central southeast Alabama, the city of Montgomery is rich in history, attractions and accessibility. Montgomery sits along the southern bank of the Alabama River, just 175 miles from Atlanta, 95 miles from Birmingham and 85 miles from Columbus. Thanks in part to its position as state capital, meeting and dining venues in Montgomery are busy and plentiful.
Modern Montgomery is also home to Hyundai's first American manufacturing plant – a $1.1-billion facility – as well as home to a strong military presence and a number of colleges and universities, including Alabama State University, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law; and branch campuses for Troy University and Auburn University.
Getting to Montgomery is a breeze, as the city is located just six miles northeast of the Montgomery Regional Airport. Serving 13 central Alabama counties, the Montgomery Regional Airport serves more than 400,000 annual travelers, offering nonstop service to such destinations as Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth and Memphis. The airport offers direct access to the city's public bus system, Montgomery Area Transit System (MATS), which runs along 16 fixed routes within city limits. MATS also offers a downtown trolley service, which runs at 20-minute intervals and operates from the city's downtown historic Union Station.
Montgomery has seen a recent surge in meeting amenities and group-friendly attractions. Downtown revitalization projects include the Phase I completion of the new Riverwalk, which features a sprawling amphitheater and the arena home of the AA Montgomery Biscuits.
Located in downtown historic center, the new Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center features more than 103,000 square feet of meeting space. The upscale hotel and convention center together feature 29 meeting rooms and a maximum of 16 breakout meeting rooms, as well as a 75,520-square-foot exhibit hall, 13,920-square-foot ballroom and 1,800-seat Performing Arts Theatre. The 342-room hotel features such amenities as a 9,000-square-foot European spa, signature pool and on-site dining and entertainment. This state-of-the-art property, which debuted in 2008, is located directly across the street from the new Alley entertainment district, home to a number of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Beyond the new Renaissance, Montgomery is home to a number of attractions, restaurants and cultural sites that can also accommodate group events. One of the city's most popular attractions, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, houses a beautiful collection of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures, Old Master prints, regional art and decorative arts. The museum is set on beautiful lakeside property and welcomes private events in its expansive rotunda and auditorium. For a step back in time – just three blocks east of the Renaissance Montgomery – the six-block Old Alabama Town outdoor history museum is home to more than 40 restored structures that transport visitors to 19th- and 20th-century Alabama life. Visitors may visit the town's tavern, doctor's office, schoolhouse, antebellum mansion and log cabin, while groups may gather in such spaces as an 1885 chapel, 1874 Grange Hall, courtyard, grape arbor and three-acre park.
A wonderful vacation and meeting destination, Alabama's state capital of Montgomery is known for its rich history, unique shopping, home-style Southern and international cuisine and culture.
Montgomery's past is marked with struggle and success. The city served as the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his family from 1954 to 1960, while King served as pastor of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. During this time, King became a community leader during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, which started on December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public city bus. Parks' actions spurred a city protest, condemning Montgomery's segregation laws and catapulting the city into the center of the Civil Rights Movement.
Today, the city celebrates its past and role in the Civil Rights Movement in its many historical sites and attractions. Visitors may tour the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and learn more about the Civil Rights Movement at Troy University's Rosa Parks Library and Museum. The Rosa Parks Library and Museum features a recreated street scene and replica of the Rosa Parks bus, as well as video footage and exhibits on the days of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The city's Civil Rights Memorial and Center together honor those who lost their lives during the Civil Rights Movement, as well as examining contemporary social justice.
Many of the city's attractions and favorite sites celebrate Montgomery's rich culture and beautiful setting. One of Montgomery's most heralded cultural institutions, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, located on the grounds of Montgomery's Blount Cultural Park, is one of the 10 largest Shakespeare theatres in the world. Montgomery's Hank Williams Museum pays tribute to one of the country's most celebrated performers, who got his start when he won a talent show – at age 14 – held at the city's Empire Theatre. For a relaxing, scenic take on Montgomery, visitors may board the 19th-century Harriott II riverboat for dinner, sunset and daytime educational cruises.
Montgomery's dining scene ranges from tucked-away, home-style Southern eateries to fine upscale restaurants specializing in international cuisine. Located within the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center, The House Restaurant serves New South cuisine using local products, serving such selections as crawfish cake with Tabasco butter and Alabama bruschetta with tomato, okra and caramelized shallot. Montgomery's East Side is home to the contemporary American restaurant Garrett's, while the historic Old Cloverdale eatery The Chophouse Vintage Year serves delicious steaks and seafood. The festive Big Easy Creole Cafe specializes in traditional po-boys, while the neighborhood Ham and High uses locally-grown ingredients in its seasonal Southern cuisine.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Montgomery experiences a mild climate marked by short winters, warm spring and fall seasons and humid summers. The city's annual average temperature is a comfortable 66°F; Montgomery's coldest month is January, with an average high of 58°F and average low of 35°F, while the city's warmest month is July, with an average high of 92°F and average low of 71°F. Montgomery experiences an average of 55 inches of rain per year, with October as the driest month with three inches of rain and March the driest month with six inches of rain. Montgomery experiences an average annual snowfall of only 0.3 inches. The best time to visit Montgomery is in the spring and fall months, which bring low precipitation and comfortable temperatures averaging in the 70s.
Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center
A state-of-the-art facility, the stunning Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center features more than 103,000 square feet of meeting space throughout the hotel and adjacent convention center. Located in historic downtown Montgomery, the chic, AAA 4 Diamond Renaissance Montgomery is situated across the street from The Alley, the city's new riverfront entertainment district. The Renaissance Montgomery features 29 meeting rooms and a maximum of 16 breakout meeting rooms, as well as a 75,520-square-foot exhibit hall, 13,920-square-foot ballroom and 1,800-seat Performing Arts Theatre, complete with 4,000 square feet of theater pre-function space.
Meeting amenities include Wi-Fi, audio-visual and technical support, tele- and videoconferencing capabilities and catering. Hotel amenities at the 342-room Renaissance Montgomery include a luxurious 9,000-square-foot European spa, signature pool, on-site dining at The House and on-site live entertainment at The Exchange.
The Montgomery Area Transit System (MATS) provides fixed route bus service and paratransit service within city limits. The MATS fixed route bus service runs along 16 fixed routes and averages 4,500 trips daily over approximately 4,000 daily route miles, while the paratransit service takes 140 daily trips. MATS also features a downtown trolley service called the Lightning Route, which operates out of the historic downtown Union Station. The two Lightning Route routes circulate at 20-minute intervals, Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM. The MATS trolley fare costs $0.25 per route, with an all-day fare of $1 per passenger. MATS fixed route bus and paratransit service runs Monday through Saturday. Single ride fare runs $1 one-way and $2 one-way for paratransit service; weekly fares cost $10 per passenger and monthly fares cost $35 per passenger. Children under age five ride free.
Montgomery's Greyhound station is located at 950 West South Boulevard. The station is 24 hours, seven days a week.
Several rental car agencies, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty, are represented at the Montgomery Regional Airport.
Visitors to Montgomery can access several taxi companies outside of the Montgomery Regional Airport. Visitors should expect to pay about $20 in taxi fare from the airport to downtown Montgomery, which is located just six miles away from the airport.
Photo Credit - Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce CVB
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