Walk With Fido in the Footsteps of Dr. King This MLK Day

Posted by Lauren Barker

Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was born on January 15, 1929, and each year on the third Monday of January we pay tribute to his legacy. This year, Martin Luther King Jr Day falls on the 18th. To celebrate, we put together a few places along the Civil Rights Trail that you can visit with Fido to reflect on his life, teachings, and the impact he had on our nation.

Atlanta, GA

Discover the place where Dr. King’s legacy began. Photo by @thedannychau

Visit the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta, GA, and stop by the home on Auburn Avenue where Dr. King was born, and where he spent the first 12 years of his life. While dogs are not allowed in most buildings at the site, they are welcome on the grounds. Snap a photo on the front steps before making your way to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was baptized and later became a minister and then co-pastor alongside his father. Finally, stroll through the International World Peace Rose Gardens, an artistic interpretation of Dr. King’s life and ideals through peace and nonviolence. Here you can also visit the peace plaza and view the graves of Dr. and Mrs. King.

Stay at the Highland Inn, where two dogs up to 70 lbs are welcome for an additional fee of $10 per pet, per night. While you’re there, take your pup on a walk to explore nearby Freedom Park.

Montgomery, AL

Montgomery is full of history for Fido to sniff out. Photo by @kickingthebucketlistwithmeg

The city of Montgomery played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement. Take a self-guided Civil Rights Audio Tour throughout downtown to learn about its many historic attractions. Although dogs are not allowed inside any of the buildings, there is a lot to see, including King’s former home from 1954 to 1960, which is now the Dexter Parsonage Museum. You’ll also see what is currently Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where he served as pastor; the Alabama State Capitol, which served as the end point for the third march for voting rights from Selma, AL; and the Civil Rights Memorial, which features a monument of a circular black granite table with water flowing from it. The names of martyrs are engraved along with a timeline chronicling the movement. Just a short drive away, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice welcomes dogs in the outdoor memorial dedicated to the men, women and children who were victims of radical terror lynchings and violence in the 1950s.

Book a room with Fido at the Drury Inn & Suites Montgomery. Two pets up to 80 lbs are welcome for an additional fee of $35 per pet, per night.

Washington, DC

Out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope. Photo by @theobuttons

During the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As you walk the Tidal Basin Loop Trail with Fido, stop at the base of the monument and imagine what it was like to be in the crowd that day. Small dogs may be carried up the steps to view the “I Have a Dream” plaque, 18 rows from the top platform, in the spot where Dr. King stood overlooking the reflecting pool. Then, make your way around the loop to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, which features a 30-foot granite statue of the civil rights leader. As you tour the memorial, you’ll also find quotes from throughout King’s lifetime.

Relax with Fido at The Jefferson. Two dogs of any size are welcome for an additional fee of $50 per pet, per stay.

Memphis, TN

King gave his final speech in Memphis, TN. Photo by @kiki_the_heeler

As featured in the latest edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States, the National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the museum, but the grounds outside are worth a visit. The motel’s sign and façade have been preserved as they appeared in 1968, and two vintage replica cars are parked beneath the balcony where Dr. King was shot. Signage memorializing his life and the events of that fateful day are also located outside. Afterwards, take a walk to MLK Reflections Park and visit the “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” sculpture and other tributes dedicated to Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

Spend a night with your pup at The Peabody Memphis. Dogs up to 75 lbs are welcome for an additional fee of $100 per stay.

Want to See More History With Fido?

Life’s “ruff.” Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the best historical attractions and other dog-friendly things to do across the country. And we've assembled it all in our new book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Pre-order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code BLOG.

How are you and your dog celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @theobuttons.