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Domestic,Family Travel,Travel

10 Travel Destinations to Celebrate Black History

travel destinations to celebrate black history

National Museum of African American History & Culture Photo Credit: Douglas Remley (Smithsonian)

 

It’s February so that means we are celebrating Black History Month. In honor of celebrating black history, black excellence, and black achievement here is a list of 10 black history montht travel destinations to celebrate black history year this month and year round.

1. Washington, D.C.

NMAAHC  (National Museum of African American History and Culture) – The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members.  Though admission is free, you’ll need to plan your visit in advance to get passes for a designated time to visit.

2. Atlanta, GA

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site – There are so many neat things to see at the MLK National Historic Site.  My son really enjoyed seeing the relics in the King Center.

Center for Civil and Human Rights  –  Educating visitors on the bridge between the American Civil Rights Movement and the contemporary struggle for Human Rights around the world. The museum features the King Jr. Collection and more exhibits on global and American civil rights.

3. Cincinnati, OH

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – The mission of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is to reveal stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring everyone to take courageous steps of freedom today. It serves to inspire modern abolition through connecting the lessons of the Underground Railroad with today’s freedom fighters.

4. San Diego, CA

African Museum Casa del Ray Moro – This is a very unique museum in the heart of San Diego’s historic old town. They showcase ancient, colonial, and contemporary periods of African History, on the African continent and throughout the African Diaspora. There is also a special focus on  African-Spanish, African-Mexican, and African-American heritage.

5. Savannah, GA

Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum– Set in the original site of one of the first black owned banks in Georgia, the museum chronicles the civil rights struggle of Georgia’s oldest African-American community from slavery to the present. Three floors of historic photographic and interactive exhibits provide a glimpse of what life was like during the civil rights struggle in Savannah and in Georgia. My son and I visited on a trip to Savannah/Tybee Island.

Pinpoint Heritage Museum in Savannah,GA – For nearly one hundred years, Pin Point was isolated and self-sustained, a Gullah/Geechee enclave founded by first-generation freedmen where life was deeply connected to the water. Today, the factory has been reopened as Pin Point Heritage Museum, celebrating the life, work and history of this Gullah/Geechee community that calls Pin Point home.

7. Hilton Head Island, SC

Gullah Heritage Trail Tour in Hilton Head Island, SC – Fourth generation Gullah family members bring history to life with this fascinating tour through traditional Gullah neighborhoods and ‘off the beaten path’ historic sites. During the month of February there is also a Gullah Celebration with various events throughout the month.

8. Philadelphia, PA

African American Museum – The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major United States city to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans. AAMP’s exhibitions promote their mission to interpret art, history and culture. They inspire, educate, promote dialogue, and bring together community.

9. Macon, GA

Tubman Museum – The Tubman Museum is one of the largest museum in the nation dedicated to educating people about the Art, History and Culture of African Americans.

10. St. Augustine, FL

Fort Mose State Park –  Interactive museum that tells the complete story of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what would become the United States. Although there are no remains of the earth and wooden structures, visitors can still view the land where the settlement once stood. In the summer months there is a reenactment of the Battle of Bloody Mose.

While Black History Month is a great time to reflect on the accomplishments from the past and present, it can and should be celebrated year round. I hope you’ll make it a point to learn a little bit more about black achievement and black contributions to the world.

celebrate black history

Have you visited any of these?  Are any of them on your list?  If you have a suggestion of a place to visit please tell us in the comments below!

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celebrate black history month

Lifestyle,Travel

Adventure and Travel Goals for 2017 and a Look Back at the Best Adventures of 2016

adventure and travel goals 2017

I know many people are so looking forward to saying goodbye to 2016. There were certainly some dark moments collectively as a nation and for many people close to me in their individual lives. However, I’m happy to share with you my adventure and travel goals for 2017 and take a look back at all that I’ve been blessed to see and do and experience and smile with gratitude.

Adventure and Travel Goals Recap of 2016

  1. Get scuba certified – Fail
  2. Visit Discovery Cove – Fail
  3. Stay in a houseboat – Fail
  4. Visit 3 national parks I’ve never visited before – Pass. This was ambitious and I knew that.  I did visit 2 new national parks and 1 that was sorta kinda new.  My son and I went to Cache National Forest in Utah/Idaho. We visited Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia, a first for my son but a repeat visit for me.  We also went to Cumberland Island National Seashore.
  5. Travel to Key West by boat – Fail
  6. Stay in a treehouse – Fail but not for lack of trying.
  7. Plan another solo international trip – Pass….I planned one. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take that trip and had to cancel it. I was all booked to fly to Paris and Germany to visit the Christmas Markets. Real tears over that one.
  8. Visit the UK – Pass. I went to London and Wales and added Ireland to that itinerary. It was an epic trip and I still have so much content to share with you from that trip.
  9. Stay in a castle – Pass. I stayed in the Chateau Rhianfa in northern Wales. Definitely a highlight of the year!
  10. Swim with manatees – Pass. My son and I were able to do this in January and I’m hoping we will be able to squeeze in another one in 2017.
  11. Visit Devil’s Den Prehistoric Underwater Spring – Pass. I checked off this one on New Years Day!
  12. Go Luxury Glamping – Pass. Not once but 3 times! I did luxury glamping at a dude ranch, in Utah at Conestoga Ranch, and in Texas hill country.
  13. Visit at least one other European country on the UK trip – Pass. I went to Ireland
  14. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Pass. It glorious and a must do for any true Harry Potter fan
  15. Zip Line at a new location – Pass. My son and I zip lined in Texas hill country over springbreak.
  16. Explore at least 6 new local parks – Fail.
  17. Visit more Florida beaches I haven’t visited before – Pass. I went to Anna Maria Island
  18. Tent Camping trip – Pass. We camped in Cumberland Island Georgia with Outdoor Afro
  19. Visit California again – Fail.
  20. Travel internationally with my son – Fail. But….it will definitely happen in 2017.

I also had quite a few adventures I didn’t plan.

  • paddle boarding for the first time
  • eating ostrich for the first time
  • playing with baby kangaroos and baby lemurs
  • doing an overnight backpacking trip
  • watching a sea turtle necropsy
  • clay shooting
  • watching a rodeo
  • riding a horse through a field of rodeo bulls
  • visiting a nudist resort
  • seeing the bog bodies of Ireland
  • seeing the Rosetta Stone
  • visiting a Texas vineyard and winery
  • Doing a rib ride in Wales
  • Rode a jet ski for the first time
  • Won best local blogger in Tampa
  • Went to Mall of America
  • Visited a 2  new waterfalls
  • Did my first Dapper Day at Disney

Not bad, not bad. 60% of the adventures I set out to have I was actually able to accomplish. I work 40+ hours a week and I’m a mom to a high school football player that keeps me pretty busy so being able to get that many adventure and travel goals completed is doing pretty darn good. I get emails and messages all the time from people who are baffled that I’m able to do this. Many say they want to but they just don’t have the time.

My advice is that you have to be intentional. I made a very intentional list of things I wanted to see and do for the year and I planned to do them. There are only 2 things on my list that I planned but wasn’t able to execute due to circumstances I couldn’t control.  As opportunities were presented, I also looked at how they fit in with my goals. Is it something I really want to do? Is it worth my time and energy because doing this may take time and money away from my ability to do something else that was on my list.

Choose your where you place your money and energy wisely. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of spending energy doing things that honestly don’t add any value to our lives. If you don’t plan you can guarantee that you won’t do any of the things you say you have the desire to do. So, if your goal is to have a family trip next year start planning now!  Whatever your goals for next year, your first step is a plan of action.

Adventure and Travel Goals for 2017

  1. Get scuba certified
  2. Visit Discovery Cove
  3. Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
  4. Visit 3 national parks I’ve never visited before
  5. Take a cruise
  6. Stay in a treehouse or a houseboat
  7. Plan another solo international trip
  8. Visit Maine
  9. Swim in a cenote
  10. Visit a new Florida spring
  11. Visit 3 new Florida State Parks
  12. Glamping Trip
  13. Take a cooking class in Paris
  14. Ride the London Eye with my son
  15. Zip Line at a new location
  16. Explore at least 3 new local parks
  17. At least one tent camping trip
  18. Go on college visits with my son
  19. Travel internationally with my son

Ain’t nothing to it but to do it!! I’m entering 2017 with an open heart and an open mind. I’m ready for the adventures and travels that lie ahead for me this year.  It’s going to be bitter-sweet because this year will also bring about the beginning of my son’s senior year of high school so in a way it’s the beginning of the end of his childhood. I’m not sure how prepared I am for that, but I’m determined to make the most of the time we have left together.

I wish you and your families a prosperous and adventure filled new year! Now go and be great.

Happy Adventure Year!

Beaches,Domestic,Family Travel,Food Trippin',Foodie Adventures,Travel,Water Adventures

An Underrated Paradise in the South – Exploring the Alabama Gulf Coast

orange beach

Orange Beach

Last month I traveled to an underrated paradise in the south with 32 miles of white soft sandy beaches, clear waters, a booming foodie scene, and no shortage of entertainment and fun things to do. Where was this stateside gem? It was the Alabama Gulf Coast. I spent 3 days and 3 nights exploring the Alabama Gulf Coast and I’m so excited to share with you how this region won me over. It has its own personality completely different from the rest of the state. I found the beach towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to be progressive, inclusive, welcoming and just down right charming. Read More »

Domestic,Travel

Fan Guided Adventure Visiting Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Alabama

gulf shores and orange beach

Last month I was invited to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Alabama to experience a fan guided adventure in the area. This was unlike any adventure I had ever had to date. What exactly do I mean by fan guided? Well, GSOB Tourism invited me and another blogger, Karen of Family Travels on a Budget, to come to the area for 3 days and allow our entire itinerary to be dictated by fan votes on social media! Sounds awesome and just a little bit nuts right?  Show up and let our readers and complete strangers decide what we do and what we eat? This was definitely an adventure I couldn’t refuse so I was happy to accept the challenge. Read More »

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