Wake up to banana, pineapple and coconut-filled Naked Hummingbird Muffins and Salmon Croquettes topped with homemade fig preserves at the Sweet Auburn Bread Company located in the Sweet Auburn District. The Sweet Auburn District houses the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site; the restored King Birth Home; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where three generations of the King family preached; and the burial site of MLK Jr. and his wife, Coretta. Guided walking tours of the Sweet Auburn District are offered Saturday from March-November. To schedule a tour, contact the Atlanta Preservation Center. Another option is to take the GPS Ranger tour of MLK National Historic Site. Located inside the historic firehouse, you can rent a hand held GPS, which will take you on a tour at your own walking pace.
Next, stand in the footsteps of civil rights leaders on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, where the shoe prints of heroes such as Rosa Parks, former President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and many others are embedded in a concrete memorial. Before lunch, head to the APEX Museum to hear stories of early African-American pioneers in Atlanta and of Auburn Avenue. You will also learn about the powerful black families that helped transform Atlanta.
For lunch, try the Busy Bee Cafe, which has served soul food for more than 50 years to a medley of diners including office folks, policemen and visitors. Or, visit Sweet Auburn Bistro for a modern dining menu spiced with soul food and Southern cooking.
Explore The Atlanta University Center, the world's largest consortium of historically black college and universities, that has educated many famous African-American leaders. It includes Spelman, Morehouse and Morris Brown colleges and Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center and Morehouse School of Medicine. Spelman College: The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art spotlights a range of African-American artists, exhibiting contemporary works, folk art and more.
Next, tour The Wren's Nest, home of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories. Perched on his magnolia-shaded front porch, Harris wrote the majority of his 190 narratives, which became the first serialized storyline of walking, talking animals. Preserved with the original 1880s furniture, tile, structure and fixtures since 1913, the house also presents storytelling on some Saturdays.
Enjoy dinner at Paschal's Restaurant at Castleberry Hill where Civil rights leaders and strategists would come together over the Paschal brothers' savory cooking at Paschal's Motor Hotel and Restaurant. The restaurant still hosts Atlanta's leaders for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
End the day with a performance at True Colors Theatre Company led by Kenny Leon, former Alliance Theatre Company artistic director and director of the Broadway revival of "Raisin in the Sun." The company is committed to staging groundbreaking African-American plays.
Tour the MLK National Historic Site by GPS and enjoy history at your own pace.
Vicki L. Crawford, director of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, discusses the annual observances of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and Black History Month