13 USA Destinations Every Black Woman Should Visit in their Lifetime
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Traveling while Black in the United States is...complicated. Although we are no longer banned from places legally, there are still many places Black travelers do not feel safe because of either past history or current racial incidents. This is why The Negro Motorist Green Book was created in 1936 to help Black travelers find places they would feel comfortable. This is why the online Black travel movement has become more than a trend.
A common thing that I have heard among Black female travelers is that they feel safer traveling abroad than in the USA. As a result, many Black female travelers do not travel as frequently around the USA. It saddens me that many do not feel comfortable traveling in their own backyard.
Fortunately for me, I have mostly had positive experiences while traveling in the USA. As a person who has a strong desire to see all 50 states (and territories) and particularly patronize Black-owned businesses and uncover Black history in every US state and territory, I hope to inspire other Black females to explore their own backyard.
To help you decide where to go, I mobilized the help of 11 Black Travel Queens who are living their best travel life to share their perspective of MUST TRAVEL USA Destinations for Black women from their own travel experiences. These Black Travel Queens travel frequently and have been to USA spots. Therefore, their perspective is particularly valuable!
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate these Black Travel Queens. I also want you to know that there are places we can visit comfortably and spread our Black girl magic unapologetically. Moreover, this post was important for me in order to 1. Educate others on taking micro-cations; 2. Inspire people to support Black; 3. Amplify underrepresented voices in the travel industry. This blog post does all three!
As you read through this list and wanderlust on your next vacation, please keep in mind that each experience is personal and so your experience may be different. You ready sis!?!
Table of Contents:
1. Washington DC1. Washington DC
2. Memphis, Tennessee2. Memphis, Tennessee
3. Sedona, Arizona3. Sedona, Arizona
4. Cincinatti,Ohio4. Cincinatti,Ohio
5. New Orleans5. New Orleans
6. Alaska6. Alaska
7. Miami, Florida7. Miami, Florida
8. Atlanta, Georgia8. Atlanta, Georgia
9. St. Louis, Missouri9. St. Louis, Missouri
10. Charleston, South Carolina10. Charleston, South Carolina
11. New York City11. New York City
12. Detroit, Michigan12. Detroit, Michigan
13. St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands13. St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Destination #1: Washington, DC
Recommended by Naa Adei
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Why: DC is a hub for young Black professionals, so there are also other Black women walking around to give you some outfit and hair inspo 😅
Hit a brunch/day party combo
Bar hop at the Wharf in SW DC
Stroll the African American History Museum
Get a glizzy
Hit any of the black-owned soul food spots in town:
Oohs and Aahs is really popular
District Soul Food is a vibe
Destination #2: Memphis, Tennessee
Recommended by Kim
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Why: I enjoyed Memphis. There is so much history and a lot of great things to do here!
If you’re looking for something outside of Graceland check out these must-sees:
National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel
You can not visit Memphis and not have BBQ. If you visit the Lorraine Motel/National Civil Rights Museum, there is Central B.B.Q, which is within steps from the museum.
For a Black-owned BBQ spot in Memphis, check out Cozy Corner.
Need more info? Check out Kim’s Resources:
Destination #3: Sedona, Arizona
Recommended by Jessie
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Why: One destination I would recommend for black women is Sedona, Arizona. I’m all about self-care and good energy and Sedona was both of those things! It’s peaceful and so scenic. I felt welcome as a black woman and I could really sit back and relax and truly enjoy the views.
Slide Rock State Park
The Chapel of the Holy Cross
Visit one of the many spas in the area: I went to Sedona Rouge Spa
There are also some good restaurants in the area like Elote Cafe.
While you are in Sedona don’t forget to try a Prickly Pear cocktail.
Need more info? Check out Jessie’s Resources:
Destination #4: Cincinatti, Ohio
Recommended by Elise
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Why: Cincinnati was a location where I felt comfortable but was unsure about prior to going lol. I felt comfortable in Cincinnati because it was way more diverse than I thought/realized 👍🏾. I didn’t research this place much prior to going because it was a random day trip while I was in Louisville, KY.
I would recommend going on a food tour. I found it on Airbnb experiences.
I also recommend walking one of the bridges from downtown from Ohio to Kentucky. I think there are 2 options. It’s just cool to walk from one state to another lol.
Finally, I would recommend visiting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center!
There are murals all over the city too!
While there you must try a Coney Dog, Goetta, and Cincinnati style chili. Not necessarily because I loved them all (haha), but because you have to try it while there!
I also went to Joella’s Hot Chicken! I enjoyed it.
Destination #5: New Orleans
*NOTE: This was recommended by two Black travelers.
Therefore, you know it’s got to be worth it!
Recommended by Niqua
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Why: I visited NOLA for the first time as a Black solo traveler and it was one of my favorite trips to date because of the amazing cultural experience I had. There were also lots of things to do and the food was amazing!
Top Recommendations: Three Must See/Dos in New Orleans, Louisiana based on my research or personal experience:
Whitney Plantation Tour
Visit Cafe Beignet
My top food recommendation is The Ruby Slipper Cafe. The food was scrumptious, tasty and affordable. It was located in a perfect location as well.
Recommended by Francesca
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Why: I felt comfortable, and really enjoyed learning about the Black culture there because it's so unique. They have an interesting Creole history, and the cuisine is amazing. There are so many Black owned restaurants to visit!
For a great night out, enjoy live music in the French Quarter, beignets at Beignets Cafe, and a walk down Bourbon Street at night for the experience
Dooky Chase is an iconic restaurant that everyone should dine at.
Beignets from Beignets Cafe
Sunday Brunch at Commander’s Palace – a New Orleans landmark since 1893. Make sure to order the Biscuit & Gravy. They have a jazz band on Sundays
Superior Seafood for Oysters: Every day from 4 pm-6:30 pm you can get as many oysters as you can eat for just .50¢ a pop during happy hour!
Need more info? Check out Francesca’s Resources:
Destination #6: Alaska
Recommended by Ashley
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Why: My favorite trip in the USA was Alaska! I feel like it is a forgotten 'state" and often overlooked. It is extremely beautiful. The locals were extremely polite and helpful.
a helicopter ride around Mt. Denali
The Northern Lights! Yes, the Northern Lights are noticeable in Alaska during certain times of the year. I stayed in a city called Talkeetna which is about 2 hours north of Anchorage.
A famous signature dish in Talkeetna is any seafood dish because it borders a river.
Destination #7: Miami, Florida
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Why: If you like sun, sand, and surf then this is the place to be. Personally, I would stay in Miami Beach vs the downtown area since you’re right at the ocean.
Can’t miss out on South Beach and the Art Deco Historic District architecture. You have to see it during the day in all white and then at night with all the neon lights. Such a cool vibe.
Definitely walk Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue for food and shopping. If you’re into the club scene, then these two streets will meet all of your needs. Some of the hot spots were popping at 8 PM on a Saturday night. I lucked out and got into LIV Nightclub at the Fontainebleau Hotel in North Beach. This is THE spot to get your party on! I danced for at least 3 hours non stop since the music was banging!
Downtown Miami also has a lot going for it. A few things to check into:
Hop-on, hop-off bus sightseeing tour - takes you around both downtown and Miami Beach areas ($35)
Wynwood Walls - outdoor museum of graffiti art downtown (FREE)
Little Havana - The center of Cuban culture in Miami. There are a number of walking tours available
As far as a great meal, I highly recommend Cuban diner Puerto Sagua in Miami Beach. The food is off the chart! Be sure to go early since it gets very busy around the lunch hour.
Destination #8: Atlanta, Georgia
Recommended by Raqhelle
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Why: It’s cliche, but I love Atlanta! It’s full of Black art, entrepreneurs, black-owned businesses, and great food.
Definitely take time to visit the museums Including the Trap Museum, National Center for Civil & Human Rights Museum, and Brooks art museum.
The Compound is perfect post-pandemic to get your party on and celebrate the world *hopefully* going back to normal with this vaccine out!
My favorite place to eat in Atlanta is Tom. Dick & Hank where they smoke everything including CRAB LEGS! The ribs fall off the bone, the sides are super scrumptious, and they have such a great vibe!