This Black History Tour of Atlanta Was Just Named One of the Best Travel Experiences in the U.S.
Highlights of the four-hour tour include Tyler Perry’s original Madea house and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth home.
From the civil rights movement to pop culture, Atlanta has long been a rich source of Black culture in America. So it’s no surprise that visitors have been raving about Atlanta's Black History and Civil Rights Tour, earning it a spot on the 2023 Viator Experience Awards for best experiences in the U.S.
The four-hour tour in an air-conditioned van starts by passing important landmarks (like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Underground Atlanta, and the Georgia State Capitol) before making the first stop at the Atlanta Olympic Cauldron Tower. Here, the guide shares facts and history about the 1996 Olympic Games.
Next, the tour moves on to the Tyler Perry Studios, where there’s the opportunity to take photos in front of Madea’s actual house. (Mabel "Madea" Earlene Simmons is an iconic character created and portrayed by Perry.)
Back on the van, the route passes by the Shrine of the Black Madonna, Atlanta University Center, and historic districts like Castleberry Hill and Sweet Auburn. (The latter was one of the first and foremost thriving Black neighborhoods.) Along the way, famous filming locations, murals, and Black-owned businesses are highlighted.
There is also a 30-minute visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, which includes the civil rights leader’s birth home; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was baptized; and MLK Jr. World Peace Rose Garden, which is part of the International World Peace Rose Gardens program.
Visitors then travel through the Edgewood Avenue Southeast area, which is packed with street art and renowned bars, before ending at The Municipal Market for an optional lunch stop. The tour company calls this market “Atlanta’s historic gem" — it has independent and family owned stands that serve up soul food, West African and Asian food, barbecue, and more.
Run by Roundabout Atlanta Tours and Transportation, the small group tour — with departures at 9:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Thursdays through Mondays from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis — has a maximum of 12 participants to ensure a more intimate experience with opportunity for questions and further understanding.
One recent traveler said, “The tour guide was very good on historical knowledge and kept us informed and amused throughout the trip,” adding that it “was emotional to [visit the] Martin Luther King [sites], seeing his birthplace and tomb.” Another said, “The small group … made it a lot more personable to interact with the tour guide. Highlight was seeing the black neighborhoods on the southwest of ATL and the MLK highlights on Auburn Avenue.”
The Atlanta Black History tour rose to the top of Viator's hundreds of tours after the company studied average review ratings, the share of bookings with a review, and the number of bookings on Viator, over a year. Other tours that made the Top 20 in the U.S. include Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston, Arlington National Cemetery Tour with Changing of the Guards, and the Charleston Hidden Alleyways and Historic Sites Small-Group Walking Tour.
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