Cruising & Sailing at Smith Mountain Lake

Known as the Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Smith Mountain Lake is Virginia’s most popular and largest inland lake. Located in the state’s Roanoke Region, the lake is as serene and beautiful as ever despite the sheer number of tourists that visit the reservoir each year. Apart from large open spaces such as the Smith Mountain Lake State Park, there’s a mélange of commercial establishments around the lake and there are various recreational opportunities both on and off the water.

One of the best ways to enjoy Smith Mountain Lake’s profound beauty is from onboard a motorboat or a sailboat. If you haven’t before, then you should definitely try cruising and sailing along Smith Mountain Lake’s pristine blue waters; and if you’re a boating enthusiast, then you probably already know that heading out to the water is a big part of life here at SML. Here are some options on how to spend the day (or night) at the lake by yourself, with your friends, your family, or your significant other.

Sailboat Racing

The Pelican Point Yacht Club houses the Blackwater Yacht Racing Association, a non-profit organization comprised of water sports enthusiasts. The club hosts various races and invitational regattas every spring, summer, and fall. To learn more about how to participate, log on to

Virginia Dare

The Virginia Dare is a 63-foot-long, 19th century replica of a side-wheeler that regularly tours around the lake. Take your family and friends for a cruise on a clear summer day and enjoy the scenery as you feast on a delectable lunch prepared by the riverboat’s culinary experts. For a romantic date, take your loved one on a dinner cruise, which is best enjoyed in the fall. Make your date swoon as you view the glorious autumn sunset, which casts a special kind of glow on the lake’s surrounding forests. As dusk turns to dark, lights from lakeside houses glimmer on the lake’s surface. For more information on Virginia Dare’s cruises, head over to

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