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Local Highlights Along the Civil Rights Trail

Check out these local stops as your group travels through the cities and towns along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.


Mahogany Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Opened in 2018, Mahogany Memphis is an upscale, Black-owned restaurant showcasing Creole influences throughout its menu to give diners a variety of mouthwatering choices. It serves lunch and dinner (and brunch on the weekends), and some of its most popular menu items include lamb chops, catfish and Cajun fried chicken. Sides such as mac and cheese, loaded smashed potatoes and greens are crowd-pleasers. Visitors can also enjoy a delicious craft cocktail with their meal.

8th and Roast

Nashville, Tennessee

When two best friends got the chance to go into business with their favorite coffee shop and hangout spot, they jumped at the opportunity. And 8th and Roast became what it is today, a Nashville coffee shop and roastery that emphasizes fair trade, high-quality and sustainably sourced coffee. Shop visitors can enjoy everything from drip coffee to a hand-poured cup of joe to specialty coffee drinks. Pastries and hot breakfasts, including quiche and breakfast sandwiches, are served.

Roots 101 Museum

Louisville, Kentucky

The Roots 101 Museum was founded in 2020 to educate visitors on the history, struggles and accomplishments of African Americans, as well as to highlight Black culture, art and music. The museum, located in downtown Louisville, features exhibits from African art and the origins of Black music in America to the crimes perpetrated by hate groups. It frequently hosts community events and is also the site of the city’s Breonna Taylor Memorial.

Modern Homestead

Reedsville, West Virginia

A couple hours outside of Harpers Ferry, Modern Homestead is a collection of restored guest houses where travelers can find luxurious lodging. These quaint, restored cottages are surrounded by beautiful gardens and a seasonal green house, and they’re not far from historic West Virginia sites and shopping. Guests can opt for spa services during their stay, or take advantage of the on-site café, which offers cozy specialty coffee drinks, hot teas and cider, as well as fresh-baked pastries.

Lillie Pearl

Richmond, Virginia

Founded by a husband-and-wife team, the Lindseys, Lillie Pearl serves traditional soul food with a modern twist in Richmond, Virginia. The menu features craft cocktails and elevated mains such as braised short ribs, lobster, shrimp and grits, and pork chops smothered in a smoked bacon shallot cream sauce. Sides, such as baked mac and cheese and collard greens, are popular with diners. And desserts, such as the peach cobbler bread pudding, offer a spectacular finish to each meal.


Fredericksburg, Virginia

Located in historic downtown Fredericksburg, Foode opened in 2011. Founding partner and executive chef Joy Crump was a competitor on Top Chef in 2014; that’s why it’s no surprise the menu is exciting, bold and delicious. With an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients, its menu often changes, but the restaurant offers brunch, lunch and dinner, alongside specialty cocktails and delicious desserts. Some of its most popular dishes are elevated classics, including chicken and waffles, burgers, and shrimp and grits.

Yo’ Mama’s Restaurant

Birmingham, Alabama

Serving brunch and lunch in downtown Birmingham, this Black-owned, woman-owned restaurant’s roots can be traced back to 2007. What began as a popular vendor serving chicken and fish at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Florida eventually became a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Alabama. Today, the restaurant delights visitors with made-from-scratch meals. Customer favorites include chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, fish tacos, barbecue burgers and chicken wings.

Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot

Selma, Alabama

Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot has been serving Selma residents barbecue since the 1940s. During the Civil Rights Movement, it doubled as a gathering place for the community, meaning it saw (and fed) many of the movement’s key leaders. It’s still famous for its soul food, including barbecue pork, fried catfish, fried okra, collard greens, potato salad, and of course, its beloved barbecue sauce, passed down from generation to generation and guarded as a family secret.

Madam C.J. Walker Museum


This Atlanta  museum honors the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker, an entrepreneur and philanthropist who became the first self-made American female millionaire. Walker invented and sold haircare products and cosmetics for Black women. She was also an activist. The building housing the museum was once one of Walker’s beauty shops and contains vintage hair tools and exhibits dedicated to Walker. The floor above the beauty shop once belonged to WERD, the first Black-owned radio station in the country, and is now an integral part of the museum.

Chayz Lounge

Columbia, South Carolina

Travelers can get dressed up and usher in an unforgettable evening with a trip to Chayz Lounge in the River District of West Columbia, South Carolina. This snazzy, upscale jazz bistro is both a live music venue, offering regular performances of contemporary jazz and rhythm and blues music, and a restaurant, serving upscale entrees, fine wines and craft cocktails. Its mouthwatering entrees include Cajun pasta, Creole shrimp and grits, and garlic braised short ribs.

Black Magnolia Southern Patisserie

Greensboro, North Carolina

Who doesn’t need a sweet treat when they’re traveling? From award-winning cinnamon rolls to massive, salted chocolate cookies and a bourbon banoffee toasted pecan sticky bun that won a national recipe contest, the rich, scratch-made goodies at Black Magnolia Southern Patisserie will make fans of any traveler. Visit the Black-owned, woman-owned bakery, located in the historic Revolution Mill in Greensboro, and try its many artisan pastries to fuel tours of the city.

311 Gallery

Raleigh, North Carolina

Trendy Raleigh is home to a robust art scene that includes 311 Gallery. Located in the Warehouse District downtown, this intimate gallery is Black-owned and focused on showcasing contemporary art in a range of mediums from local and national juried exhibitions. The gallery prioritizes nurturing creativity by offering studio space for artists; it also aims to curate a diverse array of art. Travelers can stop by to view the art or peruse the gift shop.

Backstreet Cultural Museum

New Orleans

What began in 1988 as a small collection of photographs and memorabilia soon grew into a museum celebrating African American culture in New Orleans. Its exhibits on Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, Skull and Bone Gangs and other topics include beautiful costumes, photographs and an expansive film collection that documents over 500 jazz funerals. The museum hosts community events and welcomes travelers to learn from this unique collection of cultural artifacts.

Geaux Ride

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Bringing a bit of color to nights in Baton Rouge, Geaux Ride is a Black-owned bike tour company that promotes wellness and positive mental health in the city. Offering bikes that glow in the dark as part of an interesting and colorful excursion, the company provides tours of the city, social rides, bike bar crawls and self-guided experiences for a distinct way to see Baton Rouge. Tours can be accompanied with a variety of tunes.

Black Café

Lafayette, Louisiana

Located in downtown Lafayette, Black Café is a Black-owned coffee shop and café serving both java and some light fare. The café is most famous for its Scotch eggs — boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and fried — but it also serves sandwiches, salads, desserts and pastries, including beignets. The shop prides itself on the bold flavors of its black coffee, but it also serves café au lait, chai lattes and other coffee house classics.

Soul Fire Food Co.

Topeka, Kansas

Don’t pass through Topeka without taking some smoky and savory goodness to go. Soul Fire Food Co. began as a food truck and opened a storefront in 2021, but it still does carry-out exclusively. Travelers won’t mind once they taste this Black-owned restaurant’s smoked ribs and pulled pork, Indian fry bread, and soul fries loaded with cheese sauce and barbecue sauce. Either find the food truck or visit their storefront on the east side of town.

Vine Street Brewing

Kansas City, Missouri

When visiting the 18th and Vine Museum District in Kansas City, make sure to stop at Missouri’s first Black-owned brewery, Vine Street Brewing. Opened in 2023, the brewery has enriched the Kansas City craft beer scene. It offers a varied selection of beer, with intriguing flavors such as guava, lavender and blueberries making appearances on the menu alongside more traditional brews. The brewery partners with Black-owned food vendors to provide visitors with delicious food to pair with their craft brews.