Situated just east of Montgomery, Alabama sits the quaint town of Tuskegee. But within this one town are two National Parks, ready for families to visit and explore.
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site – Founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee Institute began as a school for middle and high school aged African American children. Washington’s goal was to teach them life skills, so the students themselves invested in the school by spending time between classes making the very bricks that built this historic institution.
Now a well-respected college, the entire campus of Tuskegee University has been designated as a Historic District. There was a neat combination of students and tourists present on the grounds of this historic school.
A highlight of our time there was our tour of “The Oaks.” Booker T. Washington’s home was designed by Robert Taylor, a pioneer of African American architects, and constructed by the students themselves. Our tour guide, April, was informative and passionate about the home and her enthusiasm was contagious.
We were also able to spend time in the George Washington Carver Museum. The kids learned about the innovations he made in agriculture and the various uses he discovered for the peanut. After being sworn in as Junior Park Rangers, we strolled across the beautiful campus and drove over to the…
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site – Adjacent to a small municipal airport, this historic site takes visitors back in time.
Through displays, compelling videos, and well-preserved aircraft, we were able to explore a period of history when African American pilots were a new addition to the armed forces. These brave men broke barriers for the generations who came after them. Not only did they face the enemy in battle while they served in World War II, they had to face opposition at home as well.
It was fascinating to walk around the grounds and see the barracks where these men lived while they trained. We walked through hangars turned museums and were able to take in what it might have been like to live and work here during the early 1940s.
If you ever find yourself visiting Montgomery or driving through eastern Alabama, we cannot recommend these two National Parks highly enough. Tuskegee is a town riddled with history, yet a perfect setting for teaching future generations about the triumphs of the past.