The heat is on and the water’s cool. Join us for a weekend at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!

Smith Mountain Lake is a man-made body of water with 500 miles of shoreline crossing into three counties. The maximum depth is 250 feet, but there are plenty of shallow areas in some of the coves and near Smith Mountain Lake State Park & Smith Mountain Lake Community Park (who loves a beach?!).

SML (as we affectionately call it) is a great place to see both on-the-water sunrises and sunsets. The days are easy. You should be here.

Plan your SML escape with some of our fun ideas below. See you soon at the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge.”

NOTE - This post was last updated in June 2021.

Water Activities

Smith Mountain Lake Virginia

Chill out with some H2O time. Believe it or not, there’s more than one way to get wet and love the water at SML. Here are a few of our favorites.

>> 7 Ways to get on the Water at Smith Mountain Lake 

Land Activities

Bridgewater Plaza - Smith Mountain Lake

Not everyone soaks up the sun on the water. Some of us prefer to keep our feet on the ground. For us, there are also plenty of options in the immediate SML area.

  • Tee off on the par 72 golf course at Copper Cove Golf Club (formerly Westlake Golf & Country Club) in Hardy. 
  • Visit the furry residents of Smith Mountain Lake Alpaca Farm in Hardy. Be prepared that children will probably ask to take one home.
  • Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a great launching pad for a boat and a place to warm up on the sandy beach, but it’s also excellent for those who love to hike, bike, and fish. 
  • Absorb some of our nation’s important history regarding slavery and education at nearby Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy.
  • Waterside entertainment and shopping is available at Bridgewater Plaza (pictured above). Get involved with decorating your own pottery at Glazed Bisque-It, check out the art galleries, drop a few quarters at the arcade, secure your next favorite water toy at the Smith Mountain Wake Company, or challenge your kiddos to a round of mini golf.
  • Grab some popcorn and settle in for a Blue Ridge Day at the movies at the Westlake Cinema.
  • Make the short drive up to Bedford to visit to National D-Day Memorial, which stands to honor to the soldiers who lost their lives during the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II.

Booker T. Washington National Monument

>> Rainy Day Fun at Smith Mountain Lake

Food & Drink

Homestead Creamery - Franklin County, Virginia

Everyone needs a great meal, a sweet treat, or even a fine adult beverage. Indulge your getaway whims for all of those at these fine establishments.

  • Breakfast at Old Oak Cafe is a filling way to start the day. We like the Old Oak Breakfast. It’s two eggs, your choice of meat, toast, and a side. Carbing up for a long day on the lake might be ideal, so consider the hashbrown casserole.
  • You could also begin your day with a delicious cup of coffee and sweet treat at the Smith Mountain Lake Coffee House at Bridgewater Plaza.
  • More waterfront dining is available at Mexico Viejo. Located at Bridgewater Plaza, we recommend the margaritas and a seat on the deck to watch the boats go by.
  • If you've worked up an appetite from spending a day on the water, chow down on the giant slices of delicious pizza at Benny Adelina's. For large groups, you can also order a 28" whole pie.
  • The Copper Kettle Co. features a beautiful space and great views of the surrounding mountains to go along with delicious food. They also regularly host live music.
  • Treat yourself to fantastic steaks, seafood, and an impressive wine list at The Blackwater Cafe.
  • Everyone will scream when they find out Virginia’s favorite homemade ice cream is nearby at Homestead Creamery (pictured above) in Wirtz.
  • Toast the #lakelife with a mini winery tour. Brooks Mill Winery and Hickory Hill Vineyards are both nearby. Brooks Mill specializes in fruit wine, while Hickory Hill pours their six 2018 Virginia Governor’s Cup award winners.
  • Dinner, drinks and live music at Mango’s Bar & Grill is a great way to wrap up the day after an evening on the lake. Better yet, Mango’s is right on the lake at Bridgewater Plaza.
  • Napoli Cowboy brings together the flavors of Texas and Italy for a unique local dining experience.
  • Mitchell's Point Marina offers wonderful views of the water and a great family-friendly menu that features pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Lodging Options

Smith Mountain Lake Rental House

The fun is more than a day can withstand, so you’ll want to secure accommodations for a night, two, or maybe even three or more. With the variety of lodging around SML, you can plan multiple getaways to take advantage of all the opportunities.

  • There are a range of beautiful homes on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake. Many of them are available as vacation rentals, putting the lake right outside your door. Lake & Land Property Rentals, RSI Rentals, and CB Sales & Rentals all specialize in vacation rentals.
  • Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers both camping and cabins, making it an affordable one-stop destination for accommodation and adventure.
  • Bernard's Landing is a waterfront resort that offers vacation rentals and a variety of amenities.
  • Lake Inn is an excellent choice for those traveling with pets, plus they’re fisherman friendly with charging areas for trolling motors.

Photo courtesy of Instagram User @jennnowalk

>> Accommodations at Smith Mountain Lake

So what’s holding you back from a Smith Mountain Lake getaway? It can’t be the lack of ways to spend your time because we’ve given you more than a dozen. Come on down. You’ll never want to leave.

Don't forget to use the #Trailsetter hashtag on social media in all your adventures!