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Five Travel Spots Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Travel Tips | Jim Werner | January 15, 2024

If you’re not one of the lucky ones with a day off today, just a reminder that it’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Today, we celebrate his legacy and his dream of a world with equality and justice for all. However, every day you can find reminders of Dr. King and his work scattered all over the country in the form of renamed public spaces.

Think for a moment. Does your city have anything named for MLK, Jr.? If not a park or a bridge, then there’s likely a roadway dedicated to his work, because there are over 650 streets, boulevards, and highways across the United States that bear his name.

Here are five places named for MLK that you might want to add to your travel bucket list:

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
Atlanta, Georgia

This historical park encompasses several sites in Atlanta that were important to Dr. King’s life, including his birth home and the church where he preached. You can take a guided tour to learn more about Dr. King’s upbringing and his role in the civil rights movement.

King Memorial
Washington, D.C.

Located on DC’s National Mall, the King Memorial is dedicated exclusively to Dr. King and features a 30-foot tall statue of him. The memorial also includes inscriptions of some of his most famous quotes, as well as a wall adorned with the names of important civil rights leaders.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Miami, Florida

Soak up the sunshine and sense of community on one of Miami‘s most famous streets. Running through Liberty City, the historically Black neighborhood, you’ll past several spots honoring Dr. King’s life and legacy. This neighborhood is also the childhood home of director Barry Jenkins, whose LGBTQ-themed film “Moonlight,” which was set here, won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017.

Martin Luther King Jr. Park
Rochester, New York

The Martin Luther King Jr. Park is most known for its ice rink, an absolute blast in the winter. You can bundle up, tie on some skates, and glide your way around in honor of Dr. King. And when the ice thaws, the park is perfect for picnics, walks, and outdoor concerts.

Dr. M.L. King Jr. Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is where the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took place. Since his murder, the city has become a living homage to MLK. You can drive down Dr. M.L. King Jr. Avenue, a bustling hub of hotels, restaurants, and shops.

No visit to Memphis would be complete without a visit to The Lorraine Motel. This is where Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Visitors can see the hotel room where he stayed and the balcony where he stood when he was shot. And the National Civil Rights Museum is an important destination for anyone interested in learning more about Dr. King. It is located on this site, adding to its significance.

Traveling is an opportunity to explore new places, cultures, and perspectives. And visiting any of the locations named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a chance to learn more about the man who helped change the course of history. From historic sites and renamed civic squares, we can use such travels to pay homage to his legacy, reflect on his teachings, and refocus on social issues that still require our attention.

So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the incredible places that honor this iconic civil rights leader.

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