What to Do and Where to Go: Alabama's Civil Rights Trail
GETTING THERE: Southwest is the only major carrier with nonstop service from the Washington area to Birmingham. Planes leave from BWI, and flights can be as low as $99 each way (plus taxes and fees) with advance purchase. US Airways, Delta, Continental and other airlines offer connecting service to Birmingham. Round-trip fares start at about $244.
GETTING AROUND: To really explore the myriad offerings of the Alabama civil rights trails, you'll need a car. From Birmingham, take Interstate 65 south for 90 miles to Montgomery. Selma is 54 miles west of Montgomery, via U.S. Highway 80.
WHERE TO STAY: In Birmingham, the Sheraton is the biggest game in town, with 770 rooms and 17 floors (2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N., 800-325-3535, http:/
In Montgomery, hotels near the city's historical landmarks include the Renaissance Montgomery, a large property connected to yet another convention center (201 Tallapoosa St., 877-545-0311, http:/
WHERE TO EAT: Mrs. B's on Fourth in Birmingham has been serving delicious soul food in a no-frills atmosphere for decades (328 16th St. N., 205-801-5165). Don't miss the fried chicken with a side of greens and okra, which goes for a nifty $6.35. Other great options in Birmingham are Highlands Bar & Grill (2011 11th Ave. S., 205-939-1400), which serves an eclectic melange of French and Deep South cooking, and the Italian-inspired Bottega (2240 Highland Ave. S., 205-939-1000), where locals rave about the Parmesan souffle ($9).
Two restaurants to try in Montgomery are Martin's (1796 Carter Hill Rd., 334-265-1767), which has been offering Southern cuisine at an exceptional value since the 1930s, and La Jolla (6854 E. Chase Pkwy., 334-356-2600). The latter's fried green tomato sandwich is one of the "100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die," according to the Alabama Tourism Department.
WHAT TO DO: In Birmingham, history can be found on most street corners, especially those around the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (520 16th St. N., 866-328-9696, http:/
In Selma, the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the edge of town is best traversed on foot, and the nearby National Voting Rights Museum (1012 Water Ave., 334-418-0800, http:/
Montgomery has the Rosa Parks Library and Museum (252 Montgomery St., 334-241-8661, http:/
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Alabama Tourism Department (800-252-2262, http:/