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9 ways to get on sml

You don’t have to be an experienced boater or own your own vessel to enjoy Smith Mountain Lake. Here are nine fun and easy ways to enjoy our waters.

  1. Rent a boat. From zippy runabouts to luxury pontoons to high-performance wake boats, local marinas offer a number of options to accommodate groups of up to 12 people.
  2. Give personal watercraft a try. Many marinas also rent PWCs, commonly referred to as jet skis or Sea-Doos. These are an easy, affordable choice for 1-3 passengers eager to explore
  3. Rent a kayak or canoe for a more relaxed outing. Early morning when the water is calm is the best time to take a shoreline paddle, soaking up nature’s beauty and observing wildlife.
  4. Venture out on a standup paddleboard. SUPing is a unique and exhilarating way to experience the water. Rentals are available at area marinas and retail sporting goods stores.
  5. Float! All you need for a restful respite is a floatie, noodle or water saddle. If you have access to a dock, cast off from there. If not, visit the beaches of SML State Park or SML Community Park.
  6. Take a cruise on the Virginia Dare. A fun, relaxing experience in any season, the Virginia Dare is a 19th century replica sidewheeler that offers unforgettable sight-seeing excursions, often with lunch or dinner included.
  7. Charter a sailboat. SML Sailing School offers half-day charters for groups of up to four people. More adventurous sailors can take a sailing class, which runs five hours and covers basic sailing principles and maneuvers.
  8. Fish with a guide. Professional fishing guides offer full-day and half-day excursions, showing you not only top techniques but also hot spots where the fish are biting. Equipment is provided but you’ll need a Virginia fishing license, available locally for a small fee.
  9. Head to one of our public beaches. In season, Smith Mountain Lake Community Park and SML State Park both offer soft sand and guarded swimming for a small admission fee.

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Photo by Jeff Reid

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