Rediscovering the path forward in the heart of Dixie

On Alabama's Civil Rights Trail

  • Tuskegee
  • Selma
  • Montgomery
  • Birmingham


October 16 - 21, 2023


  • Atlanta’s historic Sweet Auburn neighborhood, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
  • Discover powerful history in Tuskegee, including Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, the Tuskegee Institute, and the story of the Tuskegee Airmen
  • Montgomery’s new Civil Rights museums and memorials (The Legacy Museum; The Freedom Riders Museum; The National Memorial for Peace and Justice)
  • Follow the Civil Rights Trail to Selma for the day, and walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a pivotal part of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. 
  • The Freedom Rides Museum, where we’ll learn the moving story of the young people, black and white, who bravely stepped off the bus at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station in 1961
  • 16th Street Baptist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 
  • The intimacy of the small group: great conversation and warmth, complemented by outstanding lodging and great local dining

Trip Description

Let’s explore Alabama, and the many poignant stories found along its Civil Rights Trail.  These stories and experiences will resonate more deeply than ever for us today.  We’ll spend time in Montgomery, Tuskegee, Selma, and Birmingham, delving into the places and personalities that wrung the bold civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s out of the politics of status quo. From Martin Luther King, Jr’s first (and only) pastorate to impressive new museums, join us as we explore the moving stories that line the roads and rivers of the Deep South. 


Day 1

Depart Western North Carolina / the South Carolina Upstate, and begin our drive south to explore the poignant stories along Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail.

En route to Auburn, we will stop in Atlanta to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. Enjoy a guided visit of the  Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King served as co-pastor with his father; as well as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birth Home, before we continue into Alabama. Overnight, Auburn.

Day 2

During the first part of the day, we’ll explore the fascinating history of Tuskegee, including Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, the Tuskegee Institute, and the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. We’ll arrive in Montgomery in the afternoon.

We’ll get an orientation to downtown Montgomery, including the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr served as a young pastor. Overnight, Montgomery.

Day 3

Today, we will visit the Equal Justice Initiative’s groundbreaking Legacy Museum. Prepare to be deeply moved by the stories that unfold, as the museum confronts the brutal realities and legacies of the African-American experience, including enslavement, lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration. We’ll also visit the powerful National Memorial for Peace and Justice, dedicated to the enslaved people and African-Americans who experienced systemic violence throughout our nation’s history. Overnight, Montgomery.

Day 4

Follow the Civil Rights Trail to Selma for the day. In Selma, we’ll visit the Voting Rights Museum, which chronicles the struggle to achieve a democratic society for all in America. The Museum is located at the end of the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, which played a pivotal role during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. We’ll return to Montgomery later in the day, where we’ll spend one last night. Overnight, Montgomery.

Day 5

Visit the Freedom Rides Museum, where we’ll learn the moving story of the young people, black and white, who bravely stepped off the bus at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station in 1961. We’ll then depart for our final destination – Birmingham, Alabama.

In Birmingham, we’ll check into our downtown lodging and relax for the evening with dinner.

Overnight, Birmingham.

Day 6

It will be a moving morning as we pay our respects at the 16th Street Baptist Church, and then visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The Civil Rights Institute’s immersive exhibits will encapsulate the stories that we’ve heard and places we’ve seen.

After lunch in downtown Birmingham, we’ll begin our drive back to the Carolinas; returning home in the late afternoon.

What's Included

  • Comfortable transportation
  • Accommodation for 5 nights
  • Breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Activities and admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge services
  • Our signature small group travel experience

Trip Price

$2,680 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $595)

What's Not Included

Alcohol, other meals, trip insurance (optional, but recommended)

..well-planned, from interesting and fun excursions planned each day, to comfortable lodging and transportation. Our trip leaders, Chumley and Khal, were impressive with their knowledge of each area we explored and gracious in their planning of every aspect of our trips.
My husband and I love the attention to detail. We always have a wonderful experience: visiting new and interesting places, eating lots of good food, making new friends, and exploring new places!
Couldn't have asked for more in terms of weather, accommodations and scenery. Can't wait to go on another adventure with Explore Up Close!
Chumley really puts a personal touch (on) it. I don’t know anyone who takes better care of travelers.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance or airline tickets. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from the Greenville / Spartanburg, SC and Asheville, NC areas. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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