With over 500 miles of shoreline, Smith Mountain Lake is a summer paradise for residents and visitors alike. The lake became part of the region in 1963 with the creation of the Smith Mountain Dam on the Roanoke River. The views of the dam and gorge from the overlooks are stunning as the dam spans 816 feet and rises 235 feet above the floor of the gorge. Following your visit to the dam, spend more time on the lake at Bridgewater Marina, which features various restaurants, shops, and opportunities to get on the water. This route also includes the Booker T. Washington National Monument, located at the birthplace of the iconic figure. On your way back to Roanoke, stop at the Homestead Creamery for a few scoops of their award-winning hand-dipped ice cream.