Visiting Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake, nestled in a broad valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, covers 20,600 acres and has over 500 miles of shoreline. In such an extensive body of water, recreation abounds. Swimming, boating, jet skiing, wake boarding, and sailing are just the beginning. Spend the day getting soaked then catch some catfish or striped bass for an excellent campfire supper.

If you are lucky enough to visit between April and December, be sure to take a cruise on the Virginia Dare. The 19th century side wheeler replica offers basic sightseeing, lunch, dinner, and hors d'oeuvres cruises of the Smith Mountain Lake and its tributaries. For special events, you can even charter your own private excursion of the lake and Smith Mountain Dam.

And when you get tired of the water, enjoy golfing at one of four nearby courses or sample spirits at a local winery. Or maybe you would prefer horseback riding, guided birdwatching hikes, and stargazing with a local celestial program. Smith Mountain Lake also offers plenty of indoor entertainment, including day spas, shopping centers, boutiques, art galleries, movie theaters, and libraries.

Add the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, National D-Day Memorial, Booker T. Washington National Monument and Park, and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and you can see why Smith Mountain Lake is known as the "Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains."