Albany to Atlanta: Three-Day Black Heritage Tour for Groups
Journey from Albany to Atlanta, your group following in the footsteps of African American legends and civil rights leaders.
Georgia's role in African American history is a pivotal one. From retracing the footsteps of civil rights heroes Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and Andrew Young to exploring the cultural contributions of music legends such as Otis Redding, Little Richard, and Ma Rainey, visitors will discover a wide range of black heritage sites, some of which are featured on the newly designated U.S. Civil Rights Trail and Georgia's Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Trail.
The Tubman Museum, Macon
The largest museum in the nation dedicated to African American art, history, and culture, the Tubman features exhibits showcasing works by black artists and inventors, a 60-foot mural depicting the African American story, and a tribute to its namesake, Harriet Tubman. Guided tours and discounts are available for 15 or more and may incorporate activities such as an art workshop or African drumming class. Two classrooms are available for group lunches at an additional cost.
One Day: Dublin's Civil Rights Experience, Dublin
Held the fifth Saturday of the month by reservation only at Dublin's First African Baptist Church, this audience-participation play transports you to the time of segregation as experienced by Hub Dudley, a local businessman who welcomed civil rights leaders to his Dudley Hotel, where the March on Selma may have been planned. Groups of 15 or more may request a special performance with advance notice. Inquire about group discounts, free bus parking, and reserving the outdoor green space for picnics.
Douglass Theatre and Macon Historic District, Macon
Embark on a self-guided walking tour of the Cotton Avenue District, once a center for African American commerce. Surviving landmarks include the historic Douglass Theatre, opened in 1921 and host to music greats such as James Brown, Ma Rainey, Little Richard, and Macon's own Otis Redding, who was discovered here. The venue still hosts live music, plays, and films; guided group tours require advance notice.
Overnight in Macon
Albany Civil Rights Institute, Albany
With interactive exhibits, oral histories, and artifacts, this institution immerses visitors in 1960s segregated Albany. Tour the museum as well as two nearby churches where Martin Luther King, Jr. preached (Old Mount Zion Baptist Church and Shiloh Baptist Church) before leading the historic march to Albany's Trailways bus station. Tours may include a performance by the Freedom Singers on the second Saturday of the month. Call ahead for large groups; and outdoor garden may be reserved for lunch.
Ma Rainey House, Columbus
This two-story, shotgun-style home memorializes the life of Ma Rainey, "Mother of the Blues." Rainey toured for decades and recorded nearly 100 songs before returning to her hometown and purchasing this home, where she lived the last few years of her life. Guided tours include viewing Rainey's piano and hearing audio recordings of her music and colorful stories of her life. Free admission; reservations requested for groups more than 25.
The Liberty Theatre Cultural Center, Columbus
Built in 1924, the Liberty was a popular entertainment venue from African Americans during segregation, when it featured movies, vaudeville acts, and performers such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway. After integration, it fell into disrepair and closed in 1974, but reopened in 1996 thanks to a $1 million grant. Now a vibrant landmark, the Liberty hosts community theater productions and special events. Free guided tours are available by appointment; bus parking is available.
Overnight in Columbus
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta
This museum at one of Atlanta's historically black colleges is internationally known for its emphasis on art by and about women of the African diaspora. Guided tours highlight current exhibitions and the museum's permanent collection, which dates to the 1940s and includes work by celebrated artists such as Beverly Buchanan, Faith Ringgold, and Nancy Elizabeth Prophet. Schedule group tours tailored to our group's interest in advance.
Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta
Built in 1870, this museum celebrates the legacy of Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, an avid supporter of the arts. Guided tours of the Victorian home and gardens cover its history and selections form Hammonds' collection of more than 250 works of art, including sculptures and masks from African and 19th-century antiques. Group tours require a minimum of eight and maximum of 30 people. Bus parking is available.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta
Explore the tragedies and triumphs of the civil rights movement and connect those experiences to current human rights at this cutting-edge museum. The lunch counter exhibit simulates for visitors what protesters experienced during sit-ins in the segregated South; the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection includes writings and personal artifacts from King. Rotating exhibits highlight modern issues such as refugees and incarceration. Guided tours and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more with advance notice. Bus parking is available, and catered lunches may be arranged.
Don't-Miss Dining: Paschal's Restaurant, Atlanta
Opened by brothers James and Robert Paschal in 1947, this Southern restaurant was not only a meeting place for hungry civil rights activists, but also posted bond for many of them after protests. Relocated and revitalized in 2002, the restaurant continues to serve up its famous "secret recipe" fried chicken and offers five private dining spaces for groups.
Must-Stop Shopping: Calhoun Outlet Marketplace, Calhoun
Stretch your legs and score great deals at this shopping destination located just an hour north of Atlanta. Allow time to shop more than 50 brand-name outlets, including Ann Taylor, Coach, Nike, and Polo Ralph Lauren, and enjoy cofee or ice cream before hitting the road again.