5 places to visit to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s life & legacy

One of the ways you can honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Is by traveling to the places he once walked and trailblazed activism. Below are five places Alaska and our airline partners can take you to behold his soaring vision to create a beloved community where everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger and hate. 

The Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial is located along Independence Ave SW near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument where MLK gave his infamous “I Have a Dream” Speech.

Washington D.C.  

Standing 30-foot tall in West Potomac Park, next to the National Mall, stands a granite statue of Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr., carved by sculptor Lei Yixin. 

Nearby is the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, which will remain open to the public on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. From Jan. 13 to Feb. 27, the museum will have a special showing of King’s original “I Have A Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery. 


Atlanta is the birthplace and final resting place of Dr. King. It has some of the largest Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Sites spread over 35 acres and has been listed as a national historic site since 1980. There, you can visit Martin Luther King Jr’s childhood home and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was baptized and preached for many years. 


The Motor City has many important ties to the civil rights movement, including being the home of Rosa Parks and the Walk to Freedom. The walk was a mass march that drew in crowds of 125,000 or more people and was known to be one of the largest civil rights demonstrations in the nation’s history up until that point. King gave an impassioned speech, a precursor to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech given weeks later in Washington, D.C.  

Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., went to Memphis to support better housing, wages and workplace safety for sanitation workers.


For a compelling and moving experience, visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was murdered. To honor his life, there will be an all-day celebration on Jan. 16, 2023, with free admission to the museum from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  

Did you know you can earn and redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles on flights with American Airlines? You can earn and use Alaska miles to fly American to Memphis. 

On March 7, 1965, police attacked hundreds of civil rights activists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge—who were beginning a march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery to change voting rights. The bridge has become a symbolic civil rights landmark. Two days after the brutal attack, Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators, including clergy, to kneel and pray on the bridge, avoiding confrontation.

Montgomery, Alabama 

In 1965, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, Martin Luther King famously led thousands of people to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, to campaign for equal voting rights. Montgomery also has a stunning museum where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality called the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. It’s free admission on MLK Day. 

American Airlines flies to Montgomery Regional Airport. 

How can you make MLK Day a “day on, not a day off”  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. Here are some ways you can give back to communities we serve: