Fodor's Expert Review Booker T. Washington National Monument
It would have been hard for Booker T. Washington to imagine the farm on which he was born into slavery hosting a national monument. But this restored tobacco farm 25 mi southeast of Roanoke and 21 mi south of Bedford is a fitting tribute to the humble origins of Washington (1856–1915), who broke through the yoke of oppression to become a remarkable educator and author, advising presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft and taking tea with Queen Victoria. More important, he started Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and inspired generations of African-Americans. Covering 224 acres, the farm's restored buildings; tools; crops; animals; and, in summer, interpreters in period costume all help show what life during slavery was like.