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Follow in the footsteps of heroes

Edmund Pettus Bridge Selma
Credit: Art Meripol / U.S. Civil Rights Trail

It’s one thing to read about history, but it’s something entirely different to visit the places it happened. Across the United States, thousands of ordinary citizens put their lives on the line to fight for racial freedom and justice. Visit the places where it happened on a civil rights tour of the South, and you’ll learn the history—and honor their memory.

This site is your one-stop spot to planning a trip through the South — and beyond. It provides tools for a self-guided tour, including suggested itineraries, resources, and info on both famous sites and lesser-known spots where a movement changed history. And if you’d rather someone else do the planning, we’ll steer you to civil rights bus tours and walking tours led by experienced guides, some of whom participated in the protests they’re describing.

We’ll take you to heart-breaking sites, like the “lynching memorial” in Montgomery, Alabama; little-known places like Glen Echo amusement park, home to carousel sit-in; and we’ll even talk you on a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where protesters where beaten and brutalized on what is now known as “Bloody Sunday.”

While struggles for racial equality certainly continue, there are scores of places to celebrate their success. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have joined together to build a national Civil Rights Trail. The global organization, UNESCO, is currently considering an application to recognize the trail as a World Heritage Site, a place of global importance.

As you’ll see when you visit, all these places inspire. It’s in these towns, at their lunch counters and in their parks, where people fought against overwhelming odds, and they prevailed, changing the world.

Voting rights protest
Credit: Jordan J. Lloyd /