Living History: Experience These 7 Great African American Focused Destinations on Your Vacation
If you are in search of a trip for your family and friends that will be educational and allow you to step back in history in an inspirational way, select these cities. They are committed to doing just that with its museums, attractions, and landmarks. Compelling and intriguing, some make you tear up with sadness while others cause you to beam with pride. As you research them, you can contact these Black owned hotels, inns, and vacation homes that we have featured exclusively.
Learn about Black history, art, and culture at The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM). Empowering programs and exhibitions include Algorithm: Archetype, Iconic Black Women, NAAM’s Ace Choir, James Baldwin Circle, and NAAM’s Descendant Series. Also, visit the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District. Plan your visit around the Festival Sundiata (June), Umoja Fest (August), and Earshot Festival (Oct-Nov). Reserve The Legacy House @Seward Park vacation home through JourneyBlackHome.co. www.VisitSeattle.org
Learn about Macon’s legacy of Black music, sports, and art when you visit these attractions. They include the Douglass Theatre, The Otis Redding Foundation and Museum, The Little Richard House, The Tubman Museum, and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. www.VisitMacon.org
You can go to UnitedStreetTours.com, a Black, woman-owned company that brings Nashville African American history to life, and book informative public and group private tours. If you prefer to explore on your own, great places are the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), Fisk University, and Tennessee State Museum. Retreat to distinctive suites at the Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast. www.VisitMusicCity.com
Some of the most intriguing and interactive Black History exhibits can be found at the Rosa Parks Museum, Civil Rights Museum, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Dexter Parsonage Museum and Freedom Rides Museum. Reserve your stay at Johnnie Mae’s Butterfly Inn. https://experiencemontgomeryal.org/
Head to Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood and stay at the Dunns Josephine Hotel. Owned by Kristen Kitchen, the boutique property features the Nat King Cole Suite, Ella Fitzgerald Suite, and Nicholas Brothers Suite among others. During segregation, Black performers were not allowed to stay in the ritzy hotels in which they sang. They would go “over town”, hence the name. See the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, Dana A. Dorsey House, Ward Rooming House, and the Black Archives-Historic Lyric Theater. www.MiamiandBeaches.com
Explore renowned landmarks along and around Auburn Avenue such as The King Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park, King Birth Home, and Madame C. J. Walker Museum. Head to Downtown Atlanta to visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Plan to stay at the famed Hamilton Howell House Bed & Breakfast sited in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. www.DiscoverAtlanta.com
The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument area is important to tour as it encompasses history changing landmarks such as Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Institute, Fourth Avenue Business District, Alabama Penny Savings Bank, Tuxedo Junction, Miles College, and the Smithfield Neighborhood. Reserve your stay at one of several vacation homes owned by Marci Garner on HannahBelleHomes.com. www.BirminghamAL.org
Leslie E. Royal is a global travel writer, author, editor, editor and multi-media journalist. Follow her on social media @Leslie’s Lane.
This article originally appeared in the February-March 2023 issue of Upscale magazine.