Smith Mountain Lake is one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in Virginia, and it is also a great place to visit any time of the year. It is especially popular during the summer, thanks to the abundance of beautiful vacation rentals and fun activities for visitors and residents. Smith Mountain Lake is especially family-friendly, with lots of activities for children as well as rental houses that are perfect for all ages. From miniature golfing and day cruises to horseback riding and tours of the Smith Mountain Dam, check out these ten best family activities near Virginia.

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These Are The 10 Best Family Activities On Smith Mountain Lake

1. Wakeboarding

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Wakeboarding has become one of the most popular water sports in Smith Mountain Lake, and the area even hosts local competitions throughout the summer. Everyone gathers to watch amateurs and professionals compete on the water. This activity is ideal for older kids due to safety reasons, and Smith Mountain Wake Company (located at Bridgewater Plaza) offers wakeboarding lessons for both adults and children. Rent a house near Bridgewater Plaza for easy access to this fun sport.

Address: 16440 Booker T Washington Hwy., Moneta, VA 24121

2. Visit Smith Mountain Lake State Park

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Located in Bedford County, Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers a variety of activities for families with children of all ages, from hiking, boating, fishing and hunting to camping and swimming at its large sandy beach. They also offer special activities including live music, guided hikes and stargazing. A large playground is available for kids to play on, and the park’s hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can stay in a vacation rental near the park to make the most of this beautiful location.

Address: 1235 Rd. 888, Huddleston, VA 24014

3. See the Smith Mountain Dam

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Built in the 1960s, Smith Mountain Dam is located on the Roanoke River and includes a visitor’s center that is open to the public, offering premium views overlooking the dam. They offer tours and explain how electricity is generated, offer hands-on exhibits, have a picnic area, and show a movie in their mini-theatre. This activity is best suited for older children, teens and adults. Admission is free to the visitor’s center, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Play Miniature Golf

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If you want to take a break from the outdoor activities but still have some family fun, there are three great places around Smith Mountain Lake for miniature golf. Westlake Safari Miniature Golf, Harbortown Mini-Golf at Bridgewater Plaza, and Hot Shots Family Fun Center are great places to go and include great extras. Hot Shots, for example, offers a bounce castle for kids and yummy food options like pizza, hot dogs and fries. This activity is ideal for children five years of age or older.

5. Go on a Scenic Flight

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See the lake from another perspective by going on one of the scenic intro flights offered by Smith Mountain Lake Aviation. Flights depart from a small airport in Bedford County and are approximately 40 minutes long, showcasing stunning views of the mount and dam, along with the lake’s gorgeous topography. This is best suited for older children and adults. Play a fun game with your kids and try to spot your vacation home from the air!

6. Check out Bridgewater Plaza

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The main center of Smith Mountain Lake, Bridgewater Plaza is located at Hales Ford Bridge and is a fun, busy area with lots going on. They have a visitor center, multiple restaurants and bars, shops, a marina, movie theatre, and miniature golf options. They also have an arcade and a midway with games, as well as a rock-climbing wall. This is a great place for children of all ages.

Address: 16430 Booker T Washington Hwy, Moneta, VA 24121

7. Visit the Smith Mountain Lake Community Park

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Suitable for children of all ages, this local park is located on the Franklin County side of Smith Mountain Lake and has a beach for swimming and water activities, hiking trails, a fishing pier, and an extensive playground. They also offer a variety of extra activities including youth athletics, arts and crafts, birthday parties, and more. If you're looking for a more private setting, rent a vacation house on the water for your own access to the water.

Address: 1482 Parkway Avenue, Moneta, VA 24121

8. Go Horseback Riding

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For equestrian lovers, there are many different horseback-riding opportunities available around Smith Mountain Lake that all offer scenic trail rides. A few of the most popular include Blackwater Equine Farms, Fox Creek Saddlery, Smith Mountain Farm & Stables, and Shadow Ridge Stables. This is best suitable for older children due to safety reasons.

9. See Booker T. Washington National Monument

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Visit the birthplace of Booker T. Washington, a famous slave in history who ultimately became one of the most influential African Americans of his time. The national monument includes special events like Harvest Time Festival, and educational programs for younger children including their Junior Ranger Program. They are open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Address: 12130 Booker T Washington Hwy, Hardy, VA 24101

10. Go Fishing

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There is some amazing fishing available at Smith Mountain Lake, from the original Smith Mountain Lake Striper and catfish to black bass. Your vacation rental can be your home base, and you can store all your fishing gear at home before heading out on your excursion. Smith Mountain Lake is known for its fishing, and hosts the ESPN Bassmaster Elite series tournament every year. A fun activity for families with children of all ages, fishing can be done all around the lake. To get more information and to make reservations, contact Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center directly.

Phone: (540) 721-1203

This article was written by Kamala Kirk.