Surrounded by scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Smith Mountain Lake is an ideal weekend vacation for families or a romantic getaway for couples.
As winter approaches, weekend getaways become more difficult to arrange. The cold weather can discourage travelers, but Smith Mountain Lake thrives when wrapped with fall’s foliage or covered with winter’s frost. Nicknamed The Jewel of the Blue Ridge, this lakeside town offers a variety of outdoor adventures, art galleries and dozens of restaurants that offer charming ambiance and resort-style luxury.
To map out your mountain excursion, the Blue Ridge Parkway Association’s app can help. The Blue Ridge Parkway-Travel Planner mobile app, which is compatible with Android and Apple, maps trails, wildlife and driving routes to help visitors see everything the Roanoke region has to offer. Additionally, the National Park Service contributed to the app to help visitors discover the natural splendor of Smith Mountain Lake.
Below are some can’t-miss spots you should add to your itinerary:
The Bridgewater Plaza is located near shops and restaurants, so visitors can spend the day hanging out while enjoying the surrounding mountain landscape. For those interested in feeding fish as opposed to catching them, visiting the carp at the plaza is a great way to connect to the lake. For young thrill-seekers, The Lucky Duck, an adventure and entertainment center, leads Smith Mountain Lake in extreme activities. Elsewhere, you can play mini golf at the Wild West-inspired Harbortown Miniature Golf Course. Art appreciators can head to The Little Gallery on Smith Mountain Lake, which highlights artists from across the globe. // 16430 Booker T. Washington Highway, Moneta; 540-721-4594
Hickory Hill Vineyards and Winery
It isn’t difficult to persuade visitors to tour Hickory Hill Vineyard and Winery. Tasting the different wine blends available while taking in a picturesque view of the mountains makes for a tranquil vacation. The farmhouse, built in 1923, is a historic landmark that the entire family can appreciate, as kids are welcome at the vineyard, too. // 1722 Hickory Cove Lane, Moneta; 540-296-1393
Spring Valley Farm and Cabins
Whether you are an experienced equestrian or have never ridden a horse before, this animal farm has unparalleled riding trails and scenic views. Or, you can let someone else take the reins during an old-fashioned carriage ride. Children are welcome to participate in instructor-led pony carousel rides around the lake and pond. // 1190 Horseshoe Bend Road, Moneta; 540-309-6884
Smith Mountain Lake Dam
The construction of the Smith Mountain Lake Dam helped brand the lake as an environmental wonder. Today, the visitor center provides an inside look into how the dam was created with historical accounts, interactive exhibits and scale models of the Roanoke region
Peaceful Moments of Wonderful
The first thing we have to discuss is the peace and quiet. As much as we love summer and the flocks of guests that arrive each year, the quiet of a winter day feeds our soul after they have all returned home. For those of us who live on or near the lake, evening walks after the sun has set allow us to calm our thoughts; how can you be stressed or worried as the sounds of the night mingling with the quiet splash of lake water acts as a soothing lullaby to your soul? When the temperatures drop to a point that’s not comfortable (which happens rarely!), most of the homes in the Smith Mountain Lake area come with fireplaces for added warmth; the heating systems work just fine, but the romance of a roaring fire enjoyed with that special person in your life makes every winter night a special one.
Ahoy, mateys! As many of you know Pirates day is a big thing around the lake, and some of you don't, so why don't I take a few minutes to explain what exactly it is and why people love this weekend.A fun-filled weekend for the whole family, Smith Mountain Lake Pirate Days continues to grow in popularity each and every year!
Pirate-themed events include a Pirate Ball with live music and a costume contest, Pirate Trivia Night, a Pirate Ship Parade and much more.
Business and restaurants around the lake offer up specials and sales throughout the weekend, so make plans to join us the third weekend in July.
It is so easy to get caught up in work and deadlines that we forget to take care of ourselves. Given the current situation, multiple stressors pester our minds and souls daily. Now more than ever, it is necessary to relax and unwind every once in a while. It is vital to pick a vacation spot that you would enjoy the most.
Are you looking forward to the perfect weekend getaway destination, but you do not know where to go yet? In this article, I shall tell you the wonders of one of the top luxury vacation destinations. I will be your guide — without further ado, here are reasons why you should spend your weekend getaway in Smith Mountain Lakes, Virginia.
Water Adventures around Smith Mountain Lake
Smith Mountain Lake is famous for water activities such as swimming, jet skiing and, boating. If you were not able to arrange your rentals before your trip, fret not. Smith Mountain Lake has various facilities that offer watercraft rentals.
Bridgewater Marina offers boat rental to five locations in Smith Mountain Lake. Bob’s Up the Creek Outfitters has kayak rental services for your kayak needs. On the other hand, Parrot Cove Boat Rentals and Sales has rental services for pontoons, wakeboards, fishing boats, and kayaks. Bernard’s Boat Rentals offers surf boat and deck boat rental services. Now that you are all set, you are now ready to go on water adventures. The first item on the list is the Blackwater Junction Wake Park. This complex offers wakeboarding and wake skating for riders of all skill levels. Here, you would not have to worry about being a beginner.
The picturesque Smith Mountain Lake State Park is the ultimate water enthusiast’s paradise. In this park, you may swim, rent a boat, and go fishing with your family and friends. Your company may also enjoy serene outdoor picnics near the waterfront, watch a local play at the amphitheater. You should try out camping and hiking in this park. The Smith Mountain Lake State Park is open from 8:15 am to dusk.
Smith Mountain Lake Community Park is another location you may want to visit. With 37 acres of majesty, this park is a family-oriented outdoor facility that offers engaging activities such as swimming and fishing. The park is complete with restrooms, a beautiful waterfront, hiking trails, a playground area, and a seasonal community beach. The Smith Mountain Lake Community Park is open year-round, from dusk to dawn.
Historic Places around Smith Mountain Lake
The state of Virginia has a very rich history, and this is showcased in the historic places around Smith Mountain Lake. One of which is the Booker T Washington National Monument, which commemorates the life of Booker T. Washington. Booker T. Washington is a famous writer, orator, educator, and presidential advisor. He was born into slavery and is one of the most equally influential and controversial African Americans of his time.
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest was Thomas Jefferson’s private retreat home. Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father. He was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, which he wrote in 1776. Moreover, he was the third President of the United States of America.
In this home, he rested and indulged in his favorite pastimes such as thinking, reading, and studying. You are most welcome to spend your vacation in Thomas Jefferson’s most personal architectural masterpieces.
The National D-Day Memorial was built to honor the soldiers who died on June 6, 1944. On that day occurred the most pivotal battles of World War 2. The soldiers who died during that historical event fought in one of the most significant battles of the nation’s history.
The National D-Day Memorial, bordering the Blue Ridge Mountains, is over 50 acres in land area. The memorial overlooks Bedford, and was officially opened on the 6th of June, 2001. During the opening ceremony, 15,000 people were present, including then-President George W. Bush. Every year, about 60,000 people have visited the National D-Day Memorial. Pay a visit to the memorial during your vacation in honor of our brave soldiers.
The last historical place around Smith Mountain Lake I could recommend is the Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park. This village is where Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park has a bookstore, a theater, a museum, and a dozen buildings.
Attractions around Smith Mountain Lake
The Virginia Dare Cruise is a 63 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 26.6 feet tall replica side-wheeler. It cruises almost every day, from April to December. Going aboard this ship is something you would not want to miss during your trip to Smith Mountain Lake.
If you love alpacas, or you are traveling with children who love these animals, visit Smith Mountain Lake Alpaca Farm. Smith Mountain Lake Farm is one of the only alpaca farms in the country that offers an educational tour. An interactive, 90-minute tour with a guide will tell you everything you need to know about the science and history of alpacas. The inner child in you will love this side trip, as you may feed, hold, and hug alpacas.
If you love movies and the whole cinema experience, Westlake Cinema is the place for you. Westlake Cinema is located in Westlake Town Center. It features concessions, stadium seating, a four-plex movie theater, and Real D 3D. Westlake Cinema has four theatre screens, two of which has 128 seats, and the other two with 174 seats. This cinema is an upscale movie theatre with a state-of-the-art sound system and world-class amenities.
Harbortown Mini Golf is the destination for mini-golf lovers. This course features an 18-hole miniature golf course. The course is challenging and unique, providing fun for adults and children alike. Harbortown is located right above the boat docks. Thus, the mini-golf experience here is one of a kind — with a breathtaking view of Smith Mountain Lake.
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