Welcome to Smith Mountain Lake
Waterfront rural paradise and vacation destination in the Roanoke region offering plentiful recreational activities
Known as the "Gem of the Blue Ridge," Smith Mountain Lake is a beautiful lakefront vacation destination within the Roanoke region of Virginia. It's the perfect getaway for all seasons and the largest lake contained entirely within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The reservoir was created in 1963 when the Smith Mountain Dam impounded the Roanoke River and has seen significant development over the past decade.
Today the lake is accessible through many private residential property lots. Those who own land also have access to about a dozen private marinas, providing public access opportunities. Not only is it a gorgeous, rural paradise perched on the water and framed by the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, but Smith Mountain Lake offers plentiful recreational activities such as sailing, fishing, wakeboarding, water skiing, and boating.
What to Love
- Year-round vacation destination
- Outdoor recreation
- Scenic waterfront locale
- Marina access
- Waterfront dining
- Fishing and golf tournaments
People & Lifestyle
Smith Mountain Lake is regarded as one of Virginia's most popular lakes and boasts 500 miles of beautiful shoreline. Coveted lakefront homes allow residents to wake up to clear waters every morning and settle down for the evening by watching the sunset on private viewing decks. The peak season from June to August sees an influx of people enjoying fishing and golf tournaments, outdoor events, regattas, concerts, and boat shows.
In the off-season, the mild weather lets residents continue enjoying outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and boating. Life here revolves around the water. Most residents either own or rent boats from several marinas, and Smith Mountain Lake has plenty of shopping destinations, waterfront restaurants, and community events to keep residents busy all year.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
No visit to the lake is complete without a meal at Mango's Bar and Grill
, a Smith Mountain Lake staple perched on the water's edge. Diners can enjoy food by boat or car. The menu at Mango's is stocked with an abundance of fresh seafood, including crab, tuna, shrimp, salmon, and more. Mango's also hosts local bands on the regular.
at Bridgewater Plaza
is a casual, family-style eatery that's great for a quick lunch or early dinner with friends and family. As the area's central activity hub since 1986, Bridgewater Plaza has a full-service marina, activities for kids, restaurants, boutiques, an arcade, putt-putt, bars, and much more. Plus, it's open year-round.
Westlake Towne Center
is a 200-acre complex with retail and office space. It's one of the area's most significant destinations for shopping, with anchor tenants including Kroger and Westlake Cinema. The Westlake golf course is also located nearby, and the center includes the area's top medical service providers and other professional services.
The Homestead Creamery
is one of the area's best-kept secrets, a quaint outpost where you can get minimally pasteurized milk in returnable bottles, ice cream, lemonade, and other gourmet goodies.
Things to Do
Stretching 1,148 acres is the Smith Mountain Lake State Park
, a recreational area offering water-related activities and camping, hiking, picnicking, and a public beach.
Dedicated to preserving the heritage and birthplace of Dr. Booker T. Washington, the Booker T. Washington National Monument
is a must-see spot while you're in Smith Mountain Lake. This landmark is located in Hardy, west of Westlake Corner and northwest of North Shore. From the monument, you can see the former plantation farm where Dr. Washington was born and free and learn more about him at the visitor's center.
Continue learning about the region's history with a visit to the D-Day Memorial
, which is housed in the town of Bedford. The monument was built in commemoration of the World War II battle known as D-Day.
Each year, the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon
is the first triathlon held in the western part of Virginia. Staged at the lake, this classic triathlon includes fun, challenging courses amid the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain area.
There are several great schools in the vicinity of Smith Mountain Lake, including Franklin County High, Bedford High, Liberty High, Jefferson Forest High, and Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy.