Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. seemed to realize he would not see his journey to the end. In a speech on April 3, 1968, he alluded to the possibility of his death in his “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech.
The next day he was assassinated. The world was shocked when James Earl Ray allegedly shot Dr. King on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. No Civil Rights traveler should miss the place where Dr. King’s life came to an end.
The assassination site is carefully preserved at the National Civil Rights Museum.Visitors can spend most of the day here, absorbing the detailed exhibits of African-Americans’ struggle for equality. Equally absorbing are the displays tied to the assassination. King’s motel room, number 306 is preserved, as is the adjacent guesthouse, where James Earl Ray allegedly shot Dr. King through a bathroom window.
One of the most famous hotels in the country, you’ll come to see the daily duck parade, but will be won over by the setting and gracious service. 149 Union Avenue, Memphis, (901) 529-4000. TripAdvisor average rate: $265
Save some money by staying outside downtown. This top-rated motel offers all the comforts, and is close to the airport. TripAdvisor average rate: $109
There’s a reason crowds line up in an alley nearly every night: incredible barbecue ribs. See what the fuss is all about. 52 South 2nd Street, Memphis, 901/523-2746
Sure, it’s a diner. But Elvis used to eat here. Order the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich and you’ll feel like a king too. Near the Civil Rights Museum. 540 South Main Street, Memphis, 901/526-5757