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Bringing your Dog to the Lake? Visit These Places.

If you spend a lot of your time at Smith Mountain Lake, chances are you’ll want to bring your puppy with you so he can enjoy all of the wonderful amenities of the area as well. Aside from the obvious draw of the lake, SML offers dog lovers a variety of pet-friendly places to explore. Here are our top three places to take your dog during your SML vacation:

Booker T. Washington National Monument: The Booker T. Washington National Monument is a must-see for visitors. This historic museum and living monument was once home to Booker T. Washington, a political leader, educator, and author who was born into slavery. This beautifully restored location is comprised of the museum, where you can learn about Booker T. Washington’s life as a young child through adulthood, and the grounds of the plantation.

The 207-acre tobacco farm offers walking trails and picnic areas that are pet-friendly. The trails are very easy to maneuver, making them ideal for senior dogs.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park: Located in Huddleston, the SML State Park spans over 1100 acres and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The State Park offers numerous 13 hiking that range from a half a mile to three miles long. If your dog would rather sleep in the sun than walk through nature, he can nap on one of the docks while you try your hand at fishing at Smith Mountain Lake.

Bridgewater Plaza: Everyone who comes to Smith Mountain Lake visits Bridgewater Plaza. Its central location and access to restaurants and shopping make this local landmark a popular destination for vacationers. With plenty of outdoor seating and a nearby boardwalk, you and your puppy can relax and people-watch all afternoon.

A note to pet owners: always make sure that you have your dog on a leash and keep plenty of fresh water on hand so he can drink up whenever he gets too hot. Also, if you’re planning on taking your dog on a boat ride, put him in a properly sized life jacket for pets. Keeping your pet safe while he explores his new surroundings will ensure that you both have a fun Smith Mountain Lake vacation.

July 4th Fireworks at Smith Mountain Lake

Independence Day is a holiday hallmark of a Smith Mountain Lake. Residents and guests alike blanket their schedules with barbecues, boat rides, and relaxed walks on the boardwalk in efforts of squeezing out the last drop of Fourth of July fun. And no Independence Day celebration would be complete without a healthy dose of fireworks. Luckily, Smith Mountain Lake hosts a variety of events allowing visitors to get the most colorful bang for their buck.

Downtown Moneta
Saturday, June 20, 2018
Admission: $10 per person, Kids 10 and under are free
Parking: Free

Live music by The WORX, adult beverages, and family-friendly activities help kick off Independence Day weekend. Music from 6pm-10pm with fireworks immediately following.


Franklin County High School
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

This event, in its 35th year of operation, boasts live music, food, inflatables, contests, and plenty of family-friendly fun. Lawn chairs permitted.


Parkway Marina
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Admission: $10 per person, Kids under 12 are free
Parking: Free

This popular event includes live music by The WORX, inflatables, and the Parkway Marina carousel. All proceeds from the event benefit Saunders Volunteer Fire Company.


Fun Day Trips from Smith Mountain Lake

While tearing yourself away from Smith Mountain Lake seems unimaginable, on occasion you and your family may want to explore the areas that surround SML. One of the draws of living at Smith Mountain Lake is its central location, making travel to and from the area a snap.

Smith Mountain Lake spans three counties: Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania. Each of these counties offer a welcoming, small-town atmosphere with distinct local charm. Enjoy a relaxing drive through the countryside, or

The “Star City” of Roanoke is less than an hour from SML and offers a multitude of restaurants, shops, museums, and entertainment venues including the Berglund Center, Elmwood Park, and Dr. Pepper Park. All three venues host local, regional, and nationally touring acts.

If smaller music venues are more your speed, check out The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, which is around 30 minutes from Westlake. The Harvester is located in Downtown Rocky Mount and is within walking distance to local restaurants and farmer’s markets.

Other popular destinations for day trips from Smith Mountain Lake include Lynchburg, Blacksburg, and the Greensboro/Triad area in North Carolina.