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Southern Roots Itinerary

  By  Visit Myrtle Beach

A Journey through African American Heritage in Georgia and South Carolina

Embark on a transformative journey spanning 13 days through Georgia and South Carolina, delving into the rich tapestry of African American heritage. From the vibrant streets of Atlanta, the epicenter of the civil rights movement, to the historic plantations of Charleston, and the Gullah culture of Hilton Head Island, explore iconic landmarks, museums, and local dining gems.

Download Southern Roots Itinerary

Stops included in this itinerary:

Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, Spartanburg, SC, Columbia, SC, Myrtle Beach, SC, Charleston, SC, Hilton Head Island, SC, Savannah, SC, Macon, GA

Southern Roots Itinerary - Atlanta, GA
1. Atlanta, GA

Day 1 & 2

Start your exploration of Southern African-American heritage in Atlanta the capitol of the state of Georgia and the heart of the American civil rights movement in the 1960s as well as the home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family legacy that continues today at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park. Learn more during the Atlanta Civil Rights Itinerary and the 2 Days in Black-Owned Atlanta tour.

Southern Roots Itinerary - Greenville and Spartanburg, SC
2. Greenville & Spartanburg, SC

Day 3

Spend a couple of days exploring the African-American culture and history of neighboring cities, Spartanburg, SC and Greenville, SC. In Greenville you can explore 13 African-American culture sites that were included in the 1936 Green Book, an African-American travel guide offering recommendations for safe harbors and welcoming locations throughout the US . Just down the road in Spartanburg you will find a themed itinerary that includes the African-American Spartanburg Regional History Museum and many other sites that chronical the lives of early black people in the area.

Southern Root Itinerary - Columbia, SC
3. Columbia, SC

Day 4

Next head south to the state capitol of South Carolina, Columbia, where you will want to visit the African-American History Monument on the grounds of the South Carolina State House and then head to Main Street to visit the Our Story Matters Gallery at the Columbia Museum of Art. Continue through Columbia with the self-guided Reconstructed: A Journey Through the Reconstruction Era that highlights notable sites and people of this era, and take Historic Columbia’s Journey to Freedom Tour that traces Columbia’s African-American community from enslavement through urban renewal.

Southern Roots Itinerary - Myrtle Beach, SC
4. Myrtle Beach, SC

Day 5

While the Myrtle Beach region is best known for more than 60 miles/100 kilometers of pristine Atlantic ocean beaches with warm water and more than 90 amazing golf courses, people don’t know much about the area’s African-American history. Charlie’s Place Historic Site was part of the Whispering Pines Supper Club. Many of the performers on the Chitlin’ Circuit performed at this moving historical site, as well as the Fitzgerald Motel that was listed in the Green Book. Some of the great African-American stars, including Ray Charles and Little Richard stayed in the Fitzgerald while performing in the area. Be sure to check out some of the other historic sites offering an insight to life for African-American’s living and visiting the Myrtle Beach area during segregation.

5. Myrtle Beach, SC

Day 6

A rich cultural history stretches the entire length of the Grand Strand. Head to the south end to visit Hopsewee Plantation in Georgetown, SC, which offers a unique perspective on the lives and experiences of African-Americans who lived and worked on the plantation. The thought-provoking tour explores the Gullah Geechee culture & highlights the contributions of enslaved African-Americans to the plantation’s success, including their work in rice cultivation, a key industry in the area.

Southern Roots Itinerary - Charleston, SC
6. Charleston, SC

Day 7 & 8

The legacy of African-American influence on Charleston, SC’s dynamic arts and cultural landscape runs deep. Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Gullah heritage with a guided tour, where you can experience the sights and sounds of this distinct culture firsthand. Step onto the grounds of historic plantations, retracing the footsteps of the enslaved African-Americans who shaped the region’s history. Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse cultures of the past by actively engaging with them in the present. A must see is the new International African-American Museum that chronicles the raw narratives of the African-American journey through time, capturing both the trials and victories that shaped a resilient community.

Southern Roots Itinerary - Hilton Head Island, SC
7. Hilton Head Island, SC

Day 9

On Hilton Head Island, the term “Gullah” encompasses more than just a language; it embodies a rich culture and a resilient community, fortified by the courage and heritage of its ancestors. Descended from enslaved individuals brought to America, the Gullah community stands as one of the most culturally unique African-American groups in the United States. Be sure to visit the site of Mitchelville, the United State’s first self-governed freedman’s town that today serves to enlighten, inspire and educate our visitors on the experiences of the Mitchelville freedman.

Southern Roots Itinerary - Savannah, GA
8. Savannah, GA

Day 10 & 11

Savannah, Georgia commemorates over 250 years of Black history, showcasing numerous historic sites and museums dedicated to this pivotal aspect of the region’s heritage. Explore the significant contributions made by African- Americans to the rich tapestry of Savannah through tailored daily tours. Explore First African Baptist Church, the oldest black congregation in North America. During its construction, predominantly enslaved members toiled on plantations during the day and dedicated their nights to building the church, culminating in its completion in 1859. Additionally, it is reputed to have served as a station on the renowned Underground Railroad.

Southern Roots Itinerary - Macon, GA
9. Macon, GA

Day 12

The African-American heritage of Macon isn’t merely a segment of its past it’s a dynamic, living influence that molds the city’s identity, promoting solidarity and motivating forthcoming generations to instigate constructive transformations. Explore the Historic Cotton Avenue, Macon’s former Black business district, the Tubman Museum, dedicated to sharing the story of Harriet Tubman and many more African-American leaders. You will also want to visit the Douglass Theatre constructed in 1921 by black entrepreneur Charles Douglass, this meticulously restored historic theater has welcomed legends such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, and Cab Calloway. It was at this very venue that Macon’s native son, Otis Redding, was first discovered.

Ready to start planning?

Need more info for your Myrtle Beach trip? Get in touch with one of our International Sales Specialists for assistance in planning your trip from hotels to itineraries to great places to eat while you are here.