Road trips have been skyrocketing since 2021 due to the pandemic and the fun traveling trend shows no signs of stopping soon. According to a survey conducted by RV company Outdoorsy, 91 percent of survey respondents said they would be ditching airplane travel for the open road in 2022, and we don’t blame them. With a never-ending pandemic still raging and inflation driving up the cost of airfare travel, Black Americans looking to satisfy that travel bug on a budget may be a lot safer road tripping across the great US of A right now than jet setting internationally. Yeah, we know the price of gas is expensive too, but what are best friends for right? Get your best guy or gal pal to go half on the cost, and you’ll be whizzing across the country in no time.
Looking for your next road trip destination? We have a few recommendations that will surely get you pumped about planning a future road excursion and some of these must-see locations are rich with Black history and culture. Strap in because we’re going for a ride. Here are four places you have to check out with friends on your next road trip.
D.C. has a wealth of incredible restaurants, museums, and Black historical tourist attractions to visit if you are traveling down the east coast. Make sure to check out the National Museum of African American History and Culture while you are there. You can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience and how it helped to shape the nation.
The National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial have been historical landmarks of notable African American achievements like the March on Washington led by the legendary Martin Luther King In 1963, which called for equality and freedom, and the first Million Man March in 1995.
When you’re done, pop over to the historic Shaw neighborhood that was once home to inimitable jazz legend Duke Ellington. The area is filled with so many wonderful restaurants and bars too, so if you find yourself tired after a day of exploring, you’ll have a ton of options for food and a bit of leisure.
If you’re traveling down the west coast or willing to take a really long road trip across the country, Los Angeles has a little bit of everything. There are a ton of bustling Black-owned businesses and restaurants to tickle your fancy from Nimbus Coffee in Downtown LA to Earles on Crenshaw where you can grab a tasty smorgasbord of burgers, hot dogs, and even french fries. The Black Book LA is a great resource you can use to discover other Black-owned businesses and events happening across the city.
Are you and your friends and a few film buffs? Head on down to the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame to nerd out about your favorite actors and movies and make sure to check out Paramount Pictures studios the only television studio house still standing in Hollywood.
There’s nothing like venturing across the deep south and Tennesee’s National Civil Rights Museum is a must-see. The historic museum is located at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. You’ll learn about Dr. King’s great legacy through a variety of different exhibits and the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.
You can’t pay a visit to Memphis without chowing down on the city’s world-famous barbeque. Cozy Corner is a popular BBQ joint in the city that will have your tastebuds jumping for joy. It’s black-owned too!
Itching to see the midwest? Dive into the motor city’s rich musical culture when you and your buddies plan for your next road trip. You can visit the Motown Museum, home to the famous studio A, where legendary musicians like The Temptations and Marvin Gaye recorded a number of hits and if you come around May, you’ll make it just in time for Detroit’s world-famous Movement Festival, that celebrates electronic dance music. Did you know that Detroit is the birthplace of Techno? Well, now you know. There’s also the Detroit Jazz Festival too.