Things to See and Do
Our #1 recommendation is to get out on the lake if at all possible! From the water, Smith Mountain Lake is truly breathtaking. See our Boating section for full details, which shows great places to rent a boat. Other water activities are paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, parasailing, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing.
Recommendations for other fun things to do; most either FREE, or very low cost:
- Bridgewater Plaza Located at Hales Ford Bridge, Bridgewater Plaza has something for everyone. Some favorites are: great restaurants, live music, stores and gift shops, ice cream, miniature golf, checking out the boats, watching ducks on the water, and feeding the fish (popcorn is sold just for that purpose!).
- Virginia Dare Cruises Enjoy a sightseeing cruise around the lake in a large Mississippi River Boat. Daytime sightseeing cruises and private charters are available. Lunch and dinner are also served on board, so it can make for a great date as well.
- Beaches There are two beautiful beaches at the lake. One at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, and the other at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park. Both are family friendly with full-time lifeguards.
- Smith Mountain Lake State Park There are numerous water activities, including sunbathing at the beautiful beach, swimming, boat rentals, a boat ramp and a fishing pier. There are also miles of hiking trails, picnicking, a visitor center, and an amphitheater. If you're a camper or an RVer, the park has gorgeous campsites available, plus cabins for rent.
- Smith Mountain Lake Farm Alpacas These animals are so cute! Tours are available where you can come pet, feed, and even hold the Alpacas. Call 540-719-0281 to make a reservation (required). Conveniently located near Westlake Shopping Center.
- Booker T. Washington National Monument This National Park includes preserved plantation buildings including slave quarters, a tobacco barn, a smokehouse, and a tool shop. Available are guided tours, a farm area with animals (particularly popular with children!), miles of walking trails, and a pleasant picnic area.
- Homestead Creamery A local dairy partnering with local farmers to produce award winning ice cream; possibly the best in America! In addition to ice cream, they produce delicious milk, cheese, and lemonade. Tours available where you can meet the well-cared for cows.
- Hickory Hill Wine Vineyards One of several wine vineyards we have at the lake, Hickory Hill is the highest rated. Stroll through the vineyards, tour the winery, and of course taste the wine in the tasting room, located in a 1923 farmhouse. You can also enjoy a meal with wine in the scenic picnic area.
- Blue Ridge Parkway "America's Favorite Drive" is just a short distance from the lake. Visitor centers, cabins, lodges, restaurants, campgrounds, picnic areas, trails, and overlooks. Enjoy guided walks and tours, hiking, waterfalls, beautiful nature life that includes wildflowers in the spring and richly colored trees in the fall, photography, bird-watching, and bicycling.
- Westlake Cinema Movie Theater A 4-plex movie theater with stadium seating, located right in the Westlake Shopping Center. First run movies, and discounts for seniors, military, and children.
- Westlake Carilion Wellness Center A new gym, pool, and fitness center located at Westlake. Indoor pool, strength and cardio equipment, golf simulator, group exercise classes, pickleball courts and more. Open 7 days a week.
- Smith Mountain Dam Visitors Center Here you can learn about the history of the dam, see exhibits that show how it was built, and how the dam produces electricity. There is also a wall mural showing Smith Mountain Gap (now underwater), and what it looked like before the lake was created.
If you are thinking about purchasing property at Smith Mountain Lake, or just have some questions, please visit our home page at smithmountainlake.homes to see available homes and lots for sale. You can also click Contact to reach Ted for a quick reply to any questions you may have.