No city is so closely linked to Martin Luther King Jr. as his hometown, Atlanta. There are literally hundreds of King sites here.
But to understand the scope of the Rev. King’s legacy, one only need visit the National Park Service’s Martin Luther King Historic Site. Exhibits expertly capture Dr. King’s era and follow him from childhood to his historic role on the international stage. Introductory films offer a moving biography along with excerpts from his most famous speeches.
The visitors center anchors the entire Sweet Auburn district, once the center of Atlanta’s African-American life. Affiliated sites include King’s home pulpit, Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was baptized and his father and grandfather served as pastor.
The King Center includes exhibits on his wife Coretta Scott and Mahatma Gandhi, whose philosophy of non-violent protest inspired Dr. King. The Rev. King and his wife are buried here in a moving memorial, surrounded by water. At anytime, find visitors from around the world pausing to meditate on his legacy and courage.
Metro Atlanta has no shortage of hotels and motels, from chain motels to luxury locales.
Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center You don’t have to be a rambling wreck to stay here, although you’ll see a replica of the university’s namesake auto in the lobby. A comfortable full-service hotel convenient to downtown sites. 800 Spring Street Northwest, Atlanta, 404/347-9440. TripAdvisor average rate: $174
Wyndham Garden Hotel – Atlanta Downtown One of the closest hotels to the King sites, and $10 parking’s a relative bargain for the area. 175 Piedmont Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, 404/659-2727. TripAdvisor average rate: $180
Hampton Inn Alpharetta/Roswell, GA This basic motel keeps you out of downtown traffic, and is convenient to suburban locations. 10740 Westside Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 770/640-5511
You’ll find a world of dining choices in Atlanta.
This super 1950s-era hamburger stand has been loved by generations of visitors. Sit in school desks, order extra onion rings, and don’t forget the Frosted Orange shake. Open Sunday-Thursday to 11:30pm; Friday and Saturday to 12:30am. 61 North Avenue, Atlanta, 404/881-1706.
One of the few South African restaurants in the United States, diners enjoy an intriguing mix of European, Asian and Mediterranean flavors, enhanced by wonderful South African wine. 4183 Roswell Road Northeast, Atlanta, 404/705-8870.