The Roanoker - July/August 2015 - (Page 75)

Wakeboarding Equipment is available to buy or rent from lake marinas. WHEN PEOPLE FIND OUT I've lived at Smith Mountain Lake for more than 20 years, their response usually goes something like this: "You're so lucky!" And they're right. In addition to scenic beauty and friendly, engaging residents, the lake area offers a wide range of on-water and off-water activities that are fun for all ages. There's boating, fishing, water sports, parks and beaches, lakeside dining and, my personal favorite, quiet R&R (think lounging on the dock with a good book). But you don't have to live at SML to soak up its awesomeness. For most in the Roanoke Valley, drive time to the lake ranges from 30 minutes to an hour. That means you can plan a one-day adventure, weekend getaway or extended stay without breaking the bank. Summer and fall are great times to explore Smith Mountain Lake, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016. Following are a few of my top recommendations, but for a more comprehensive list of ideas, be sure to log on to VISIT BRIDGEWATER PLAZA SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE Guide to Fun Truly the central hub of SML, Bridgewater Plaza offers a variety of retail shops, a full-service marina, arcade, overthe-water mini-golf course and six restaurants, including several with outdoor lakeside seating. In addition, there's a midway with carnival-style games, bungee trampoline and rock-climbing tower to keep the kids entertained. For the grownups, Mango's Bar & Grill is the place to be weekend evenings during the summer season for outdoor music by top local acts such as Fuzzy Logic, Dragonfly and Seven Mile Ford. Bridgewater Plaza also is where you'll find the official SML Visitor Center, packed with brochures, maps and publications to help you find everything you need, from real estate to restaurant recommendations., GET OUT ON THE WATER Who better than a 20-year resident to provide the prescription for getting the most out of your visit to the lake this summer? (Nobody.) BY ANDIE GIBSON THEROANOKER.COM There truly is no better way to experience the lake than to get out on it. Local marinas have everything you need to get started, including rentals of boats, personal watercraft, canoes, kayaks, wakeboards, water skis, paddleboards, towables and inflatables. Houseboats are another popular option. Available through Parrot Cove Boat Rentals and Sales (, houseboats sleep 6-10 and come with standard amenities such as kitchen, bathroom with shower, heating and air. Many also are equipped with waterslides, grills and outdoor furniture. Of course, if you want an economic, hassleJULY/AUGUST 2015 | 75 http://www.THEROANOKER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - July/August 2015

Uber - New Way to Ride - ENHANCED FOR DIGITAL
Best Days Under the Sun: Outdoor Entertaining Guide
Outdoor Space: The Smith Home
Wait, Beer Terroir?
Who’s Getting the Weather Right?
Let’s Go to the Lake!
Let’s Go to NoVa!
From The Editor / Worth a Click
The Calendar
The Gist
The Flavor
The Dish: Dining Guide
Where Are They Now?
2015 Education Guide

The Roanoker - July/August 2015