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.