Dedicated to preserving the birthplace and heritage of the renowned Dr. Booker T. Washington, this national monument is a must-see stop during your time in Smith Mountain Lake. Read on below to learn more about this wonderful monument and the legacy of the man behind it.
An Extraordinary Landmark in Smith Mountain Lake
Dr. Booker T. Washington was born in April of 1856 and lived as a slave for the first nine years of his life, until the end of the Civil War in 1865. He was an extraordinarily intelligent child with a thirst for knowledge that he wasn’t allowed to embrace until after attaining his freedom. He wrote an autobiography about his experiences, Up From Slavery, that detailed what his life was like as a slave, from growing up in the fourteen-foot by sixteen-foot cabin that remains standing today to sleeping on a dirt floor with only a bundle of rags for a bed. Dr. Washington overcame his beginning as a slave and rose to become one of the country’s most prominent authors, educators, orators, and presidential advisors.
At the Booker T. Washington National Monument, visitors can see the former plantation farm where Dr. Washington was born and freed, watch living history re-enactments of life on the plantation farm during the mid-19th century, take guided ranger tours of the park (with reservations and a minimum of ten people), see the exhibits on Dr. Washington at the visitor’s center, go hiking on the scenic plantation trail, go picnicking, and learn about the historic styles of gardens and types of farm animals that would have been observed on the farm during Dr. Washington’s youth.
The Booker T. Washington National Monument is located in Hardy, just west of Westlake Corner and northwest of North Shore. The park is open every day from 9:00am until 5:00pm, all year long, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission to the park is free.
Exploring the Surrounding Area
It’s easy to see why history buffs are drawn to Smith Mountain Lake year after year in droves. This destination is not only scenic but steeped in a rich history that’s worth exploring through stops at monuments and natural landmarks throughout. Once you’ve had a chance to observe and admire the Booker T. Washington National Monument, you’ll find you’re also in close proximity to many other destinations that are worth exploring as well! Make the most of your fun Virginia itinerary while you’re here by adding these nearby stops to the top of your must-see and try list.
The Booker T. Washington National Monument is located at 12130 Booker T. Washington Highway in Hardy and not far away, the visitor that’s excited to incorporate some digital entertainment into their adventure will find access to Westlakes Cinema. Situated at 84 Westlake Road #117, this cinematic destination offers up a variety of plush theaters to enjoy the latest film releases with a side of popcorn in hand when your appetite comes calling. Keep an eye on the event calendar for special showings of classic favorites when your movie tastes lean more towards the films of decades past.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of friendly competition with family and friends, stopping at Hot Shots is bound to please! Found at 13360 Booker T. Washington Highway in Moneta, Hot Shots is a family-fun amusement center where guests can enjoy everything a fun round of mini-golf followed up by something savory from the snack bar or even a full mean when you have a bigger appetite to care for.
Smith Mountain Lake Alpaca Farm
For the visitors that are excited to put some truly unique stops on their must-try list, an afternoon spent at the Smith Mountain Lake Alpaca Farm certainly won’t disappoint. Located at 830 Moorewood Road in hardy, this family-run farm is home to a collection of stunning alpacas that are available to pet and admire in equal measure! The farm utilizes the alpaca’s impossible soft wool to create one of a kind apparel and accessories that are available for sale on-site. Learn more about the wool to the product creation process and get to know these incredible creatures up close while you’re here! The farm is open between the hours of 10:30 am and 5:30 pm and tours are always available upon request.
See the Best of Smith Mountain Lake with Premier Vacation Rentals!
For further details on the Booker T. Washington National Monument and other one-of-a-kind attractions in Smith Mountain Lake, contact our office and reserve your stay with us today!
(Image By MarmadukePercy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons)
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