When you’re travelling and exploring new cities and countries, there’s nothing like chatting to a local to find out where all the hidden gems are.
To help explore a place like Alabama, which has such a rich history, there’s no one better suited than Michelle Browder.
The owner of a tour company in Montgomery, Alabama, called ‘More Than Tours’, Michelle knows this US state inside and out and has a deep cultural knowledge given her town is widely known as the Cradle of the Confederacy and Birth Place of the Civil Rights Movement.
Given her background, who better to let us in on all the hotspots of Alabama? Here are her favourite spots to stay, where to grab a bite to eat and what to do.
Where to stay
For a great location, Michelle says that the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton is a great option being just a 4-minute walk to most attractions and historic Commerce Street - as a bonus, you will get to enjoy the hotel's famous fresh hot cookie, too.
Another great optioin is Goat Haus AirBnB, which is locally owned and operated by a tech guru. The rooms overlook the city skyline and are all housed in a restored 19th century home. The floor under the quaint rooms plays host to a German-themed beer garden where locals gather.
What to do
Discover historical gems with a ‘More than Tours’ guide to learn about this cultural place where much of the Civil Rights Movement took place, then continue your journey back in time with a ride to Selma.
Treat your ears to some jazz at the Blue Room or grab a drink and play some games at Common Bond. And don’t miss watching a game of baseball with the local team, The Biscuits.
Where to eat
Michelle recommends heading to Brenda’s BBQ for some tender smoked ribs with hefty portions. A little hole in the wall means no frills, but lots of flavour.
For a hearty southern meal of meat and veggies, followed by a hand-made dessert, Michelle says that Filet and Vine is the place to go.
You can’t come all the way to Alabama and miss the fried green tomatoes. Michelle reveals that Mrs. B’s is the best, serving up fried green tomatoes fresh from the garden and hot on the plate.
And if fine dining is on your radar, don’t miss Vintage Year. Michelle describes it as classy and delicious and is situated in the historic neighbourhood of Old Cloverdale.