s Black travelers, finding destinations where you feel welcomed and can truly let your guard down to relax can be a challenge. Fortunately, the United States offers several hidden gems that are famous for their open and welcoming nature toward travelers of color. These Black travel hideaways and enclaves are rich in culture and history, and they are perfect for anyone seeking to explore destinations beyond more mainstream vacation spots.
The Inkwell has long been a beloved destination for the Black community for more than a century, there is even a movie about it. Its historic Oak Bluffs beach in Martha’s Vineyard, is a place where African Americans were—and are—able to gather and enjoy life, even during the height of Jim Crow segregation. To this day, the Inkwell still attracts a diverse crowd and hosts annual events such as the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MBVAAFF), among others.
But, if you’re looking for similar historically rich destinations, we’ve curated this list of 3 summer spots you should add to your travel bucket list, ASAP.
Sag Harbor, New York
This Long Island escape has been a refuge for Black men and women since the late 1800s. Sag Harbor, similar to Oak Buffs, served as a safe haven for Black families to find a piece of tranquility among the East Coast’s shorelines. The town’s SANS districts (Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest and Ninevah Beach) became the main, bustling epicenter for free Black men and women, looking for work as well as a place to relax in the summer. Today, the area is a thriving Hamptons’ hotspot for Black travelers—and residents—not only in search of that historical connection but also for a quieter warm weather spot to kick back for a little r&r.
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New Bedford, MA, is a historic whaling town located on the south coast of Massachusetts, and it has one of the largest Black history trails in America. The walking tour includes landmarks such as the Nathan and Polly Johnson House, once part of the Underground Railroad, and the Abiel Smith School, the first school for African American children in America. Visitors can also explore the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which has exhibits that showcase the town’s maritime history and the lives of Black Americans who were part of the whaling industry.
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, RI, is a vibrant city that is rich in culture and history, and it’s an ideal destination for Black travelers. Visitors can explore the RISD Museum of Art, which has an extensive collection of African art and artifacts. The Roger Williams National Memorial is a must-do, as it celebrates the life and legacy of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island as a haven for religious freedom. The city also embraces a healthy food scene with a range of restaurants that celebrate diverse cultures and food traditions.