Memorial Day is the official kickoff of the Smith Mountain Lake summer vacation season, and the area is prepping for warmer weather, barbecues, and long, lazy afternoons on the water. If you’re a longtime SML enthusiast, you probably have a list of must-see SML hot spots that you’re anxious to explore. And if this is your first time visiting the lake, you’ve probably spent some time researching all of the fun activities the area has to offer.

Regardless of how familiar you are with SML, take a moment to read through my list of Best Places to Visit at Smith Mountain Lake. You might just find a new favorite to add to your list.

Westlake Towne Center: If you need to stock up on supplies for your visit, make Westlake Towne Center your first stop. Here you’ll find plenty of options for groceries, eateries, shops, and entertainment. It’s centrally-located off of route 122, making it an easy stop on your way to the lake.

Bridgewater Plaza: No trip to the lake would be complete without hitting up Bridgewater Plaza. Home to mini-golf, an arcade, and plenty of gift shops, Bridgewater Plaza is easily accessible by car or boat. One of the most popular activities is feeding the carp down by the boardwalk, so make sure to add this SML rite of passage to your list.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park: A public beach, fishing piers, and miles of biking/hiking trails make this beautiful park a favorite for residents and guests alike. There are plenty of picnic areas and a playground for the kids.

Of course, the area’s main attraction is the lake itself, so head out on the water and soak up all of that Smith Mountain Lake sun and fun. Just make sure to sprinkle in a few area attractions so that you can enjoy all that SML has to offer.