Located among the rolling landscapes of Southwestern Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake emerges as a haven of tranquility and recreation. From water sports on the lake’s sparkling surface to the hidden coves and hiking trails and unveil the region’s natural beauty, Smith Mountain Lake has something to offer every kind of explorer. No matter if you’re planning a vacation in summer or winter, here are the the best things to do in Smith Mountain Lake.
Attend Local Events and Festivals
Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, offers a variety of events and festivals that you can participate in throughout the year. They provide a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and customs. Some popular events include wine festivals, concerts, and local celebrations. Be sure to check the event calendar for the latest happenings before planning your visit.
Visit Cultural and Heritage Sites
During your visit to Smith Mountain Lake, take the time to explore some of the area’s cultural and heritage sites. One such notable site is the Booker T. Washington National Monument. Located nearby, it commemorates the life of the famous African-American educator and leader. This historic location is an excellent opportunity to learn more about American history while enjoying the tranquil scenery of rural Virginia.
Engage in Traditional Experiences
Besides attending events and visiting cultural sites, Smith Mountain Lake also offers various traditional experiences to enhance your visit. These may include:
With more than five trails available at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, lace up your hiking shoes and traverse the scenic landscapes.
The area boasts numerous scenic spots perfect for a relaxing picnic with family or friends.
By engaging in these activities, you’ll fully appreciate the authentic charm of Smith Mountain Lake and create lasting memories.
Things to do in Smith Mountain Lake: Outdoor and Nature Activities
Nature Trails and Hiking
When visiting Smith Mountain Lake, you’ll want to take advantage of the wide array of nature trails and hiking options. Within the Smith Mountain Lake State Park, you can explore miles of trails suitable for varied fitness levels. For more challenging hiking adventures, head over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and visit the Peaks of Otter, where you can find stunning views and a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Smith Mountain Lake Community Park also offers hiking trails with beautiful shoreline scenery, and there, you can find accessible picnic areas to enjoy a meal with your family or friends.
With over 20,000 acres of water, Smith Mountain Lake is the go-to place to cool off and enjoy numerous outdoor water activities. Whether you’re interested in swimming, boating, or fishing, the State Park offers facilities for each. Take a refreshing swim at the 500-foot-long beach, go boating on the lake to admire the picturesque surroundings, or cast your line in the water to catch some fish with a valid Virginia Fishing License.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous during your visit to Smith Mountain Lake, then you’re in luck! There are various adventure sports options, both on land and water, to choose from. For example, take a thrilling trail ride on horseback or learn some wilderness skills on organized programs like night hikes and canoe trips. Both of these activities can be found within the State Park, making them easily accessible and a great addition to your visit.
In summary, Smith Mountain Lake offers an abundance of outdoor and nature activities for all preferences and skill levels. With its scenic hiking trails, water activities, and adventure sports, your visit to this stunning lake in the Roanoke area is sure to be one for the memory books.
Relaxation and Wellness
Spas and Wellness Centers
Looking for the perfect way to unwind during your vacation? Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa day at one of the local wellness centers. Indulge in luxurious massages, facials, and body treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Whether you’re visiting solo or with your family, a spa day is a must-try experience at Smith Mountain Lake.
Beaches and Pools
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuits and sunscreen! Smith Mountain Lake has gorgeous beaches and pools waiting for you to dive in. Being a popular spot for swimming, you’ll enjoy the refreshing waters or simply catch some sun while lounging on the sandy shores. If your lodging includes pool access, take advantage and cool off with a refreshing dip. It’s an ideal way to spend quality time with your family while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Parks and Gardens
Smith Mountain Lake is surrounded by lush green parks, perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of nature. Take a peaceful stroll through scenic gardens or play a game of mini-golf with your loved ones. For a fun-filled day, pack a picnic basket and head to one of the many parks, where you can find playgrounds, campfire spots, and even mini-golf courses. Don’t miss the boutique shops, where you can pick up unique souvenirs and gifts to remember your incredible vacation.
To make the most of your relaxation and wellness experience at Smith Mountain Lake, take advantage of the numerous options for spas, beaches, pools, parks, and gardens. An unforgettable vacation awaits you!
Food and Culinary Activities
While visiting Smith Mountain Lake, you’ll be delighted to discover the rich and diverse culinary experiences that are available. This beautiful lake area, which spans across Moneta and Huddleston, has a wide range of exciting food and drink options. In this section, we’ll explore local cuisine tastings, cooking classes, and visiting local markets.
Local Cuisine Tasting
One cannot miss the chance to taste the delicious local cuisine offered in the numerous restaurants around Smith Mountain Lake. From American grill to Asian fusion and even Mexican and Italian eateries, your taste buds will be taken on a delightful journey. For a spectacular experience, consider heading over to Hickory Hill Vineyards for some wine tasting. A tasting flight in this vineyard is perfect for enjoying the evening while sampling fantastic wines and indulging in a scrumptious cheese board.
If you’re looking to try your hand at creating some delectable dishes with your newfound culinary inspiration, consider joining a cooking class. Not only will you learn new techniques, but it’s also a great opportunity to engage with locals and discover more about the region’s culinary customs. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite recipe to take back home and wow your friends and family with!
Visit Local Markets
Exploring Smith Mountain Lake’s local markets allows you to immerse yourself in the everyday life of Moneta and Huddleston residents. As you stroll along, you’ll notice a stunning variety of fresh produce and unique regional products that you can’t find in regular supermarkets. These markets often feature local food trucks, mom-and-pop ice cream shops, and the freshest produce from nearby farmers. So, make sure to visit a local market during your trip and sample the delicious offerings!
Entertainment and Nightlife
Live Shows and Performances
Are you a fan of live music and performances? Smith Mountain Lake offers a variety of options for you to enjoy. At Bridgewater Plaza, you can often catch local musicians and performers showcasing their talents during special events or jam sessions. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a live show or performance.
Bars and Nightclubs
Looking for a place to unwind and enjoy a drink with friends? You’ll find an array of bars and nightclubs in the Smith Mountain Lake area. In Bedford, you can visit popular spots known for their lively atmosphere, delicious drinks, and friendly crowds. Whether you opt for a laid-back establishment or an energetic nightclub, you’re sure to have a fantastic night in Smith Mountain Lake.
Evening Cruises or Tours
What better way to experience the breathtaking beauty of Smith Mountain Lake than by embarking on an evening cruise or tour? One such option is the Virginia Dare Cruise, which offers a unique perspective on the lake, complete with picturesque views and stunning sunsets. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration and create cherished memories with your loved ones.
From live shows to evening cruises, Smith Mountain Lake is a hub of entertainment and nightlife activities that cater to diverse tastes and interests. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and make your visit a memorable one.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Local Artisan Shops
Smith Mountain Lake is home to a variety of local artisan shops where you can find unique handmade souvenirs and gifts. Explore galleries, jewelry stores, and gift shops to discover one-of-a-kind pieces crafted by talented local artists. Don’t forget to stop by the charming Reclaimed store, an upscale boutique featuring Italian clothing and accessories, perfect for treating yourself or finding a special gift for a loved one.
Popular Shopping Districts
Bridgewater Plaza is a must-visit shopping destination in the area. Here, you’ll find an assortment of shops, including clothing boutiques and sporting goods stores. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon browsing and finding that perfect souvenir to take home. Mitchell’s Point Marina is another popular spot, with various rentals and businesses catering to the needs of lake-goers.
If you’re a fan of antiques and searching for hidden gems, Smith Mountain Lake has plenty to offer. Venture into the local antique shops and uncover fascinating treasures waiting to be found. Don’t forget to check out reviews on TripAdvisor for more insights on the best places to shop around the lake and nearby Bedford County.
Remember to take a break and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Smith Mountain Lake Community Park during your shopping adventures. Happy hunting, and have fun discovering all the unique finds that await you in this charming lakeside community!
Children’s Museums and Attractions
Smith Mountain Lake is an ideal destination for a family vacation, as it offers several children’s museums and attraction sites to explore. The Booker T. Washington National Monument is a must-visit site that commemorates African-American educator and leader Booker T. Washington’s life. At this site, you and your family can learn about his humble beginnings and engaging exhibits.
Parks and Play Areas
One of the many highlights of Smith Mountain Lake is its numerous parks that offer a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Smith Mountain Lake State Park has more than five hiking trails, including the kid-friendly 1.5-mile Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail.
If you’re looking for a smaller park perfect for younger kids, make sure to check out Smith Mountain Lake Community Park in Franklin County. With a beach for kids to swim and play areas that your little ones will love, it’s an excellent spot for a family outing.
At Smith Mountain Lake, there are enjoyable experiences available for families:
- Putt-Putt: Harbortown Mini Golf is a popular attraction where you can enjoy a friendly round of putt-putt and create fun memories with your family.
Overall, Smith Mountain Lake has plenty of family-friendly activities for your next lakeside vacation. So get ready to explore and enjoy quality time with your loved ones!