Smith Mountain Lake is, undoubtedly, a relaxing getaway from the congestion and chaos tethered to big cities. The laid-back atmosphere is one of the biggest reasons why many vacationers choose to make Smith Mountain Lake their home. However, there may be times when you want a change of scenery. Below are some day trip suggestions that offer a variety of activities all within a short drive of Smith Mountain Lake.

Downtown Roanoke
Downtown Roanoke is home to local restaurants, bars, clubs, art galleries, museums, and more. Catch a concert at Elmwood Park or Dr. Pepper Park, both featuring regional and national touring artists. Seasonal attractions, like Wing Fest and Dickens of a Christmas, draw crowds from all over the region while weekend events like Elmwood on Ice and the Farmers Market keep the area bustling with smiling faces. www.DowntownRoanoke.org.

Floyd County
Don’t let its size fool you. If you’re visiting Southwest Virginia, then Floyd County should be on your list. Home to renowned annual festivals such as Floydfest and Floyd Yoga Jam, Floyd County is hot spot for live music, local artisans, and friendly faces. A popular attraction is the Floyd Country Store, where you can catch authentic Bluegrass musicians and dancers performing in a quaint country store.  www.VisitFloydVA.com

Chateau Morrisette
While you’re in Floyd, make plans to visit the award-winning Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant. This dog-friendly winery has a gorgeous tasting room and gift shop, delicious onsite restaurant, and incredible mountain views. www.thedogs.com

Downtown Lynchburg
Downtown Lynchburg, nestled against the James River, is a charming collection of locally owned shops, restaurants, bars, and venues. Popular attractions include Amazement Square, Maylynn’s Creamery, Waterstone Pizza, and Jimmy’s on the James. www.DowntownLynchburg.com

Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the southern and central Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina and offers breathtaking views, hiking and biking trails, historical sites, and more. Popular attractions include Mabry Mill, Explore Park, and Crabtree Falls. www.BlueRidgeParkway.org.