Nestled in the Roanoke Region of the state of Virginia is Smith Mountain Lake, an expansive man-made reservoir situated in a valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Established in 1963, the lake has since become a prominent area for visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation and water sports. Its peak season runs in the summer from June to August while the off-season is from the middle of October until April.

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In addition to being home to several gorgeous marinas including Bridgewater Marina and Smith Mountain Dock and Lodge, the lake features the Smith Mountain Lake State Park located in Bedford County. Accordingly, the picturesque lake has been used as the setting for a number of media productions such as the television series The Outer Limits and the Frank Oz comedy film What About Bob? (1991).

Smith Mountain Lake is a family-friendly destination that is also ideal for groups, couples, or singles of all ages who crave countless exciting things to do and see. The northern part of the lake is in proximity to vibrant nightlife and eateries while the southern region has a more laid-back ambiance. With that said, here are the top five spots to stay at for an unforgettable lake getaway.

Stay At These 5 Places On Smith Mountain Lake

1. Roanoke, Virginia

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Located in the Roanoke Valley is a city of the same name that boasts a robust history dating back to colonial times. Nicknamed the "Star City of the South," Roanoke serves as the state’s cultural and recreational center where a short drive southeast would lead to Smith Mountain Lake. One of the most popular attractions at Roanoke is Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic road that extends more than 400 miles and coils along the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains.

Vacation properties in Roanoke include spacious, modern lofts in the lively downtown area as well as charming cottages tucked away in the quiet suburbs. One such cottage has a recently renovated kitchen stocked with cookware and spices, and walls decorated with lovely framed artwork to provide a familiar “home away from home” feeling.

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2. Moneta, Virginia

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Close to the northern region of Smith Mountain Lake is the delightful Bedford County community of Moneta. With a pleasant and easygoing atmosphere, Moneta is the go-to place to take a break from everyday life’s hustle and bustle. Along with an abundance of dining options to choose from, a fun point of interest in Moneta is the cruise on Smith Mountain Lake that also provides a lunch or dinner service. Operated by Virginia Dare Cruises and Marina, the boat ride gives a unique perspective of the vast reservoir.

As for vacation rentals, check out the Spring Lake Farmhouse Retreat for a memorable trip. The property sits on more than six acres of private land and features three bedrooms; a family entertainment room with a pool table, huge TV, and games; and outdoor grill and bonfire in the spacious yard.


Address: Virginia Dare Cruises and Marina, 3619 Airport Rd., Moneta, VA 24121

Phone: (540) 297-7100

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3. North Shore, Virginia

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North Shore is a small community in Franklin County, VA on the northwestern part of the lake. In contrast to the livelier northern areas of Smith Mountain Lake, North Shore features a quieter ambiance than its neighboring towns and cities.

Nearby North Shore is Redwood, another Franklin County community that is a bit further west from the lake. Redwood is home to an impressive French Chateau castle that is encompassed by water on three sides on account of a pool, dock, and the lake. This property is replete with a gym and yoga room, game room, library, five bedrooms, and six bathrooms. It is truly a magnificent place to relax and enjoy the lake.

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4. Camp out at Smith Mountain Lake State Park

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What’s more memorable than being immersed in nature during the day, and then spending the night sleeping under the starlit night sky? With over 20 sites designated for tents and trailers, Smith Mountain Lake State Park is an ideal destination for camping.

Furthermore, the park boasts a large public beach with a lifeguard on duty during peak season, and plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing bass and catfish. The park’s 13 scenic hiking trails range from short paths that fall under one mile such as the Opossum Trot and Osprey Point to longer ones that span more than three miles long like Striper Cove. The campsites are available from early spring through to the initial weekend in December.


Smith Mountain Lake State Park, 1235 State Park Rd., Huddleston, VA 24104

Phone: (540) 297-6066

5. Huddleston, Virginia

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The quaint community of Huddleston in Virginia’s Bedford County is about a 10-minute drive northeast from the southern part of Smith Mountain Lake. Huddleston takes pride in its friendly local businesses. For example, the Savoy-Lee Winery is a favorite amongst tourists because of its beautiful demonstration vineyard and diverse selection of wines to sample. Visitors don’t need to travel far to experience fine wine and craft brews. Accordingly, staying in Huddleston almost guarantees a restful retreat from daily life, especially if renting a lakefront holiday home with a dock.


Savoy-Lee Winery, 800 Johnson Mountain Rd., Huddleston, VA 24104

Phone: (540) 297-9275

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This article was written by Justina Tran.