The city of Montgomery and the surrounding area comprise what’s commonly called Alabama’s “River Region” — a four-county metropolitan area with a combined population of around 375,000 people. Known for its combination of natural beauty, an abundance of activity, low cost of living and high quality of life, it’s little wonder that many people are deciding to make their home here. If you’re considering relocating to the River Region, here’s a quick starter guide to help you find your bearings.
Where to Live
The Montgomery area offers a diverse offering of neighborhoods, each with its own personality and advantages. Currently, the fastest growing parts of town are the outskirts, especially along the East Montgomery and Pike Road corridor, while northwest of downtown Montgomery lies the growing Prattville community. You’ll find home styles of many types throughout the city (from high-rise apartments to historic homes to new homes), but with low building costs and lower lot costs in the suburbs, many are choosing to build new construction homes in developing communities. Many of these subdivisions are working hard to preserve the natural surroundings, offering such amenities as fishing lakes and walking trails (StoneyBrooke Plantation is just one example). However, some neighborhoods like Hampstead are drawing from the “new urban” movement, developing self-contained sustainable live/work environments with residences, shopping/dining and community farming all within walking distance.
Shopping, Dining, and Nightlife
The Montgomery area offers plenty of shopping opportunities, ranging from boutique stores and antique shops throughout town to larger shopping destinations like Eastdale Mall and The Shoppes at Eastchase. Bargain hunters will likewise love browsing the three floors of the Eastbrook Flea Market and Antique Mall. For some of the best dining and nightlife opportunities in the area, be sure to plan an evening in the entertainment district of downtown Montgomery. Also, as the suburban areas continue to develop, more and more shopping, dining and entertainment options can be found closer to home.
As the name of this region suggests, much of the best outdoor recreation can be found along the scenic Alabama River which runs through the area, along with its tributaries. Fishing, canoeing, and whitewater rafting are all popular pastimes, while Montgomery offers plenty of park space and scenic trails for walking, jogging, and biking. If golf is your thing, you’ll find an abundance of courses both public and private, several of which are part of the famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. If you buy or build in some of Montgomery’s newer subdivisions, you’re also likely to have outdoor activities available right in your neighborhood — many of these communities offer community pools, fishing lakes and nature trails minutes from your door.
Art, Culture, and Education
The River Region is an area rich in history, providing ample opportunities to explore and learn about it. Montgomery was a key player in the Civil War, its State Capitol serving as the first Capitol of the Confederacy and the site of Jeff Davis’ inauguration as President of the Confederate States. Also a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery is home to the Civil Rights Memorial and the Rosa Parks Museum. Old Alabama Town is a beautifully preserved village of authentic 19th-century buildings enabling tourists to see what life was like here more than 100 years ago. For fans of the arts, be sure to check out the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, or attend a performance of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra or the Montgomery Ballet. These highlights just scratch the surface of the surprisingly rich tapestry of art and culture you’ll find here.
Getting Around Town
Alabama’s River Region is large enough for residents to enjoy most of the amenities, services, and attractions available in a larger metropolis, yet small enough that you’re rarely more than 30 minutes from anything. You can work downtown and live in the suburbs and still be a half hour or less on the roads going or coming. For those living in Montgomery proper, the Montgomery Municipal Transit Service (the “M”) provides bus and on-demand transit service along multiple routes.
As you can probably see, the River Region offers something for nearly everyone. If you’re thinking of relocating here, Lowder New Homes would love to help you find or build your dream home in the Montgomery, AL area. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at 334-270-6789.