Civil Rights Circle Tour
DAY 1 Fly into Atlanta, pick up your car and drive to Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery (2:20 hours, 150 mi. / 241 km.). On your way you should stop to see the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and learn about the brave African Americans that broke the race barrier during WWII.
The U.S. National Park Service operates the museum in Tuskegee. Later, continue to Montgomery and enjoy The Alley entertainment district of downtown Montgomery, which includes a baseball park, basement jazz club, two performance facilities, an outdoor riverfront amphitheater, several restaurants, bars, a New Orleans-style alley and a riverboat cruise. The Alley connects Commerce and Tallapoosa Streets in downtown Montgomery and is adjacent to, or just one block away from, four hotels. Visit The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a meaningful site where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality. You can also visit The Legacy Museum, located a few blocks away in the center of downtown in a building where enslaved people were once warehoused.
DAY 2 Montgomery is a true southern city. It is not only the capital city of Alabama, but also a place where the southern flavor runs as deep as the nearby Alabama River. Both Civil War and Civil Rights histories were made here. It was in Montgomery that Martin Luther King came to preach and ended up starting the Civil Rights Movement in America. Tour the Rosa Parks Museum, named after the woman who refused to move to the back of a city bus. With the help of Dr. King Jr., and other civil rights activists, a yearlong boycott started the modern Civil Rights movement in America. Stand in the pulpit of the only church where Dr. King preached as a full-time minister. See the home where he and his family lived. Tour the Civil Rights Memorial. Also downtown is the Alabama State Capitol where protesters marched to demand the right to vote. The Capitol has been restored to its Civil War-era beauty and sits across from the First White House of the Confederacy.
DAY 3 Travel to Selma (1 hour, 50 mi. / 80 km.) where American history was made during the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March. There are two U.S. Park Service museums on this route, one at the midpoint and another in Selma. Tour the museums dedicated to the march before traveling to Birmingham to overnight (2 hours, 100 mi. / 160 km.).
DAY 4 You are now in Birmingham, Alabama ’s largest city, with a population of nearly 1 million. In the historic 4th Avenue area of downtown, you will see the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four children died in a bombing, and look to the mountain ridge at the edge of downtown and see the world’s largest cast iron statue, Vulcan. There is plenty of dining and entertainment in downtown Birmingham. Five Points South is the dining center of the town at one end of 20th Street and UpTown entertainment district at the convention center sits near the other end of this main downtown street. Other sites include Barber Motorsports Museum with the world’s largest collection of motorcycles, the oldest baseball field in the America, Rickwood Field, the Speakeasy in Avondale and Alabama’s largest state park, Oak Mountain State Park.
DAY 5 Travel to Atlanta (2:20, 150 mi. / 241 km.), one of the top ten largest cities in America. While in Atlanta see as much of the World of Coke, the Georgia Aquarium and the King Center as possible before your flight leaves the following day.
6 DAY/ 5 Night Itinerary
Montgomery: 2 nights
Selma-Birmingham: 2 nights
Atlanta 1 night