If the only thing you know about Montgomery, Alabama is that it’s the state capitol, you’re not alone. Americans tend to grow up with limited information about specific states (there’s so many, how could you not?) that doesn’t even scratch the surface of all there is to see and do.
Montgomery, Alabama is one of those places.
Few people outside the state have any inkling of what it has to offer – such as the popular Shakespeare festival – not something most people equate with Alabama. If you’re moving here for work and want to be prepared, we’ve got an overview of everything you need to know.
The City of Montgomery
Montgomery Alabama played a pivotal role in history. It’s where Rosa Parks took her courageous stand, and where Martin Luther King Jr’s church is located.
With more sites on the Civil Rights Trail than any other city, Montgomery is focused on paving the road to a better future.
The city overlooks the Alabama River, and includes grassy parks and an eclectic architectural mix of old and new.
It has a buzzworthy art scene, performing arts center, and plenty for family and visitors to do, see, and learn.
No matter what you enjoy about a city (art, food, entertainment, history…) it’s here.
Temperatures range from 39-degrees Fahrenheit in the colder months to 92-degrees in the summer. The humidity makes the heat feel a little more sweltering, but it also keeps the grass and other greenery alive.
For those accustomed to the West coast where everything dries up in the summer, it’s somewhat refreshing to be in a place where greenery thrives.
Montgomery receives the most precipitation from February to August, and while it’s not in the direct path of Tornado Alley, Montgomery does experience them from time to time.
Cost of Living
The average cost of living is 12% lower than the national average – which – what’s not to love, especially if you’re relocating from a more expensive city or state.
And perhaps even better, housing cost is a whopping 26% lower than the national average.
So, if you’re here temporarily as part of a nomadic workforce or you’re relocating permanently and don’t want to rush into buying anything before getting a chance to scout it out, you’ll need somewhere to stay when you get here.
Travelers Haven is an excellent resource for those seeking short-term housing. They offer temporary solutions – kind of like corporate housing – but with way more options.
All you have to do is let them know what you want – including any amenities and must-haves – and they do the work for you. They know the area, and can find exactly what you need, right where you need it.
And best of all? This service is free.
The unemployment rate in Montgomery is currently 3.1% which is lower than the national average. The economy is bolstered by wholesale distribution industries, high-tech manufacturing industries, Maxwell Air Force Base, and more.
It also benefits from being a major processing center for various crops, such as soybeans and cotton.
In addition, it’s home to two state universities: Alabama State, and Auburn University-Montgomery.
The crime rate is 33.9%, which is higher than the national average of 22.7%, and property crimes are 61.7% again, higher than the national average of 35.4%.
While these higher-than-average statistics may seem alarming, much of the city is still considered safe, and after dark the same precautions that are used in any big city apply.
From BBQ and fried chicken to Plant Bae, which specializes in serving vegan versions of American classics – when it comes to food, you’ve got a lot to choose from.
Wherever you go, rest assured there will be plenty of dining options featuring all sorts of cuisines, fusions, and fare.
Be sure to check out Central; a delicious traditional southern dining experience with an upscale spin.
It won’t long before you have your own long list of favorites.
With the city population above 200,000 and the outskirts housing an additional 375,000, during rush hour the roads get pretty congested.
On average, Montgomery residents are estimated to lose 11 hours per year to time spent in traffic, which is nothing if you’ve spent time in LA.
If you used to being part of an after-work happy hour group and want to continue that tradition with your new coworkers, Montgomery has loads of places to go that fit the bill.
From craft breweries to little tucked away low-key gems, there’s a variety of spots with different ambiances and vibes.
Enjoy a frozen shot and some hot tunes in the Alley Bar, a cool downtown location in a beautifully renovated historic building. Or, grab dinner and a cocktail at B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Montgomery is a beautiful city overlooking the twists and turns of the Alabama River. Be it at work or after work, it won’t take long before you find yourself right at home.