Skip to main content
Header image

African American History

388.1 miles: 8 hours, 21 minutes

From the flashpoint of the Civil War (Charleston) to a pivotal site of the Civil Rights Movement (St. Augustine), a road trip through the America's Southeast is rich in Black history. The narrative isn't always pretty. But wheeling past moss-draped oaks, grassy marshes, lazy rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, you'll find the beauty and peace to which every American is entitled.


Charleston, SC to Saint Helena Island, SC

88.9 miles: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Wikimedia Commons/Galen Parks Smith

Leaving the cobblestone streets of Charleston behind, you're soon in the scenic heart of the Lowcountry. Stately oaks frame the road. The songs of tree frogs fill the air. Due to wonderfully preserved architecture, Beaufort has been a favorite location of Hollywood filmmakers. On rural Saint Helena Island, the roots of African American Gullah culture run deep.


Saint Helena Island, SC to Savannah, GA

69.0 miles: 1 hours, 51 minutes

Courtesy of Savannah CVB

After departing the island you'll head for the Georgia border. Savannah, once a major port in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, offers a poignant look at the 19th-century Black experience. The city's historic district — with its stately homes, shady squares, cobblestone waterfront and moss-hung oaks — is thick with Southern Gothic atmosphere.


Savannah, GA to Jacksonville, FL

188.6 miles: 3 hours, 28 minutes

Wikimedia Commons/AndrewAvitus

Welcome to the trip's longest segment. Fortunately, you'll spend most of it on speedy I-95 as it parallels the Georgia coast. Along the way, a few quick detours will deliver you to Black history-related attractions. Jacksonville, the Sunshine State's largest city, has no shortage of touristy fun.


Jacksonville, FL to St. Augustine, FL

41.6 miles: 0 hours, 54 minutes

AAA/Inspector 564

From Jacksonville it's a quick jaunt to seaside St. Augustine. Though better known for its Spanish colonial past, the town played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. staged high-profile demonstrations here in the summer of ’64. Sample St. Augustine's shopping, dining and attractions, or catch some rays at the beach.


Travel Like an Expert with AAA and Trip Canvas

Get Ideas from the Pros

As one of the largest travel agencies in North America, we have a wealth of recommendations to share! Browse our articles and videos for inspiration, or dive right in with preplanned AAA Road Trips, cruises and vacation tours.

Build and Research Your Options

Save and organize every aspect of your trip including cruises, hotels, activities, transportation and more. Book hotels confidently using our AAA Diamond Designations and verified reviews.

Book Everything in One Place

From cruises to day tours, buy all parts of your vacation in one transaction, or work with our nationwide network of AAA Travel Agents to secure the trip of your dreams!