Must-visit destinations for Black travelers in 2023

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  • Published on January 24, 2023
  • Last Updated March 17, 2023
  • In Passport

DETOUR compiled a list of places within the U.S. Black travelers seeking new and exciting cultural experiences and historical immersions should visit in 2023.

The start of the new year is not only the perfect time to flesh out resolutions, but also to plan trips to exciting new destinations. DETOUR compiled a list of places in the U.S. Black travel aficionados can add to their 2023 bucket lists.

The streets of New Orleans. Photo courtesy of KEN COOPER, Pexels.
The streets of New Orleans. Photo courtesy of KEN COOPER, Pexels. KEN COOPER, Pexels

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a top destination for travelers seeking immersion in a distinct part of Black culture. The enslaved Africans who survived the middle passage and built the city’s infrastructure also congregated in the city’s Treme neighborhood in the 1800s to sing, dance and play instruments. Today, the location is recognized as the birthplace of jazz music.

The French Quarter attracts tourists interested in dining, entertainment and the city’s unique architecture and ‘round-the-clock nightlife. The city also offers rich educational attractions for families, including the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the National World War II Museum and the McKenna Museum of African American Art.

New Orleans’ world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations typically run for two weeks each year through the day before Ash Wednesday and include balls, parties, grand parades and picnics. The festivities in 2023 will begin on Tuesday, February 21.

Temperatures reach the mid-60s during the winter months in New Orleans and jump into the low and mid-90s during long summer days.

Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital offers unique cultural and historical attractions for families and solo travelers alike and the region’s surplus of free activities makes it a more affordable destination.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is located on the National Mall and addresses many aspects of the Black experience through renowned collections focused on art, history, the Civil Rights Movement, athletics and more. Many museums in the area draw large, international crowds each year.

Just 38 miles away from D.C. is Sandy Point State Park, located at the western end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The park is the perfect place for swimming, hiking, boating and fishing.

In the winter months, daily highs in Washington D.C. typically fall in the mid-40s and reach the mid to high-80s in the summer months.

Napa Valley vineyards. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Sezini, Pexels.
Napa Valley vineyards. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Sezini, Pexels. Vanessa Sezini, Pexels

Napa Valley, California

The hillside vineyards of Napa Valley lie north of San Francisco and make the perfect destination for wine-lovers seeking scenic views. For travelers with children in tow, wineries like Castello Di Amorosa and Hoopes Vineyard are kid-friendly. Napa is also home to Brown Estate, the first and only Black-owned estate winery in the region. The Brown family purchased an abandoned ranch in Napa Valley in 1980, and the next generation began harvesting their own wine in 1996.

Napa is a pricey place to visit, especially during the harvest season and peak tourist months between August and October. Beyond wine-tasting, Napa Valley also offers farmer’s markets selling local produce and fresh bread and Michelin-rated restaurants. Westlands Edge Park is an ideal location for hiking along the Napa River or watching the sunrise.

In the summer months, temperatures reach the high-80s and low-90s, then fall to highs in the mid-fifties during the winter.

Atlanta, Georgia

Few cities outshine Atlanta as a hub for Black arts, culture, history and higher education. Home to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta offers enriching opportunities for Black travel.

King spent his first 12 years in the home, recognized today as the highlight of the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. The National Park Service offers free, guided tours of the home. Other attractions at the site include theInternational World Peace Rose Garden and Fire Station No. 6, one of the first desegregated firehouses in the south.

The Museum of Design Atlanta and the High Museum of Art are leading museums in the southeastern part of the country and often dedicate space to exhibit Black art. Outdoor spaces like Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden offer access to nature and an escape from the concrete jungle without leaving the city.

The Trap Music Museum opened its doors in 2019 and showcases the rich history of trap and hip-hop music.

In the winter months, temperatures reach highs in the mid-50s and jump to the high-80s in the summer.

Niara Savage is a former reporting fellow with National Public Radio’s Midwest Newsroom and author of the novel “The Killing of Gregory Noble.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently based in St. Louis studying Psychology.

This story was originally published January 24, 2023 10:38 AM.

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