Things to Do
Quick Reference- Our Blog about Things to do!
If you are planning your day and have questions about things to do, places to go, transportation or directions, just ask! Also see: Virginia Tourism, or Southwest Virginia and Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, or Bedford, Virginia.
D-Day Memorial: Bedford, Va: About 20 minutes by car and a really amazing memorial for a local attraction. Last I checked, it costs $8 for adults and $5 for kids. There is a gift shop. While in Bedford, check out the antique mall nearby and cute shops downtown. Take Rt. 122 to just past the 460 interchange.
Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Center: View the dam and learn how it was created for electrical power. Open Tuesday through Saturday each week, from 9-4:30 p.m. No admission charge. Follow signs from Route 40 to “Smith Mountain Dam.” There is a picnic area located below the Smith Mountain Dam on Leesville Lake.
SML State Park: about 10 minutes from here on Virginia 626. There is park hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping and swimming at a large, sandy beach.
SML Community Park: About 40 minutes from here across the bridge. There is a beach for swimming, a playground, hiking trails along the water with picnic tables, and a fishing pier that’s handicap accessible. The entry rate varies. last we checked it cost $5 to get in. See: franklincountyva.org/parks.
Vineyards and winery tours: Located Near Bedford Landings is Hickory Hill Vineyard and Ramulose Ridge Vineyard. They do wine tastings (afternoons in the summer and weekend afternoon in the winter). Seven Doors Winery (25 min away), and Peaks of Otter Winery (about 35 minutes away towards Bedford).
Horseback riding at Spring Valley Farm: Whether you want a riding lesson or go for a trail ride, this place is great for an excursion while at Smith Mountain Lake and they are very reasonably priced.
Bridgewater Plaza: Shops, boat rental, feed the carp, putt putt golf, rock climbing wall, arcade, eateries, weekend nights music. Located at Hales Ford Bridge on Virginia 122. About 20 minutes from here. The chamber of commerce is right next door and has brochures to other places.
Fishing Guides: SML has numerous qualified guides who can help get you started or provide a special treat for a full day on the lake.
Rent a boat: Several SML businesses rent boats and personal watercraft by the hour, the day or the week. You don’t need a license to rent boats for a short period. Try Bridgewater Marina, Parrot Cove or Mitchells.
Cruise SML on the Virginia Dare river cruise boat: The Virginia Dare, a 63-foot replica of a 19th Century side wheeler, offers lunch, dinner and themed cruises. A great way to see the lake and eat. Wine and beer available. And they are 3 miles from our house! 540-297-7100.
Shops: Cottage Gate, Affordable Home Outlet, Antique Mall, The General Store, Fabulous Finds, Discovery Store, Reclaimed, The Southern Goat, and US Alpaca Store are great places to pick up unusual items or browse.
Miniature golf: Harbortown Mini-Golf at Bridgwater Plaza, Westlake Safari Miniature Golf off Rt. 616 and Hot Shots Family Fun Center on Virginia 122.
Homestead Creamery (540-721-2045): Exceptional Ice Cream, Cream-on-the-Top Milk, Dairy and Cheese Products, Deli Sandwiches. 7254 BTW Hwy. (on Rt. 122 just north of Rts. 116 & 670), Wirtz, Virginia
Alpacas Skyway Farm - Alpacas and Anatolian Shepards [expensive guard dogs], 2378 Skyway off Tuck Road, Moneta VA 24121, Call first. 540 297-5301. This is a non-profit and will accept donations.
Movies: Four-plex Westlake Cinema at Westlake Towne Center (closed during COVID).
Booker T. Washington birthplace, farm and gardens: NIce history lesson with movie overview. Free. We love the snorting pigs and the gardens. It is across the bridge about 25 minutes away on Rt. 122.
Live music: mostly in season you can find upbeat and lively music at Mango’s Bar & Grill at Bridgewater Plaza, smooth and mellow music at the Landing Restaurant. Hickory Hill winery offers Sunset Saturday concerts. The State Park has live music in the summer on select Saturday nights.
Roanoke is 45 minutes away for mall shopping, more theaters and restaurants, a zoo on Mill Mountain, a farmers market, civic center shows. Sometimes there are festivals or shows in nearby Salem or Vinton.
Lynchburg is about 45 minutes east for more shopping, riverside parks and dining, a farmers market and many antique and curiosity shops.
Also see: Virginia Tourism
Food establishments come and go here. Most restaurants are open in the summer but only Thursday through Sunday in the winter. Ask and we can give you our opinion of dining places. If there is a description below it is simply our opinion.
Closest to Bedford Landings start at the top:
Dam Grill- 6724 White House Rd. Huddleston, VA. 540-570-0710. Close by neighborhood bar and grill. Opened Feb.2020. Continues to improve.
Beacon Pub – 3619 Airport Rd. Moneta, VA 540-297-7399. Wings, Cubans, BBQ, soup, pizza.
Port Side Bar and Grill: Summer Only. Outdoor deck on the water at the Virginia Dare. Fun. Limited menu with beer and wine. 3619 Airport Rd, Moneta, VA (540) 297-7100 ext. 3
The Landing- One of our favorites for fine dining. A bit pricier. Closed on Tuesday. 1217 Graves Harbor Trail in Huddleston in Mariner's Landing golf community, Moneta, VA (540) 721-3028.
Edo Grill and Sushi (540-297-6888) Sushi, Sashimi, Nigiri, Hipaci, and other Japanese Specialties, located downtown Moneta.
Lago Pizza (540-297-5353) New York and Chicago-Style Pizza, Steak Sandwiches, and more. Located next to Foodlion.
Drifters: Summer Only. A favorites of locals; full bar and late night entertainment. Informal. serves sandwiches, wings, wraps. Located on the water. 1617 Crystal Shores Dr, Moneta, VA
Vinny's Italian Grill Pizzeria - Good Italian dining. 540-297-0000) 16547 Moneta Rd. Moneta, VA.
Jakes Place: On the water. We like the location. The service and menu are improving. 1041 Harbour Inn Lane, Moneta, VA (540) 297-4732
SML Coffeehouse – located at Bridgewater. Coffees and sandwiches. 7 am-7 pm. 16430 Booker T Washington Highway, Moneta,
Mexico Viejo – At Bridgewater Plaza, Cantina and Tequila Bar, occasional live music. Good service.
Copper Kettle- 52 Firstwatch Dr, Moneta, VA (540) 912-0116. American faire, good food, nice atmosphere.
Cancun Mexican Restaurant (540-719-2884) Our favorite Mexican restaurant on the lake. 13383 Booker T Washington Highway, Hardy, Virginia
Moosies located at Bridgewater. on the water. great sandwiches. sports bar atmosphere. 16 Bridgewater Plz, Moneta, VA (540) 721-5255.
Mango's Bar & Grill at Bridgewater. (540-721-1632). Summertime live music. Fun for families with youngsters.
Hot Shots Family Fun Center (540-719-1547) Pizza, Sandwiches, Hot Dogs, Burgers, Bar. 67 Village View Lane, Moneta, Virginia.
Benny Adelina's Pizza- (540) 346-2120. At Westlake between Kroger and the library. Biggest slice of pizza you have ever seen! 84 Wetlake Rd. Hardy, VA
Joe's Pizza & Italian Restaurant (540-721-2422) Pizza, Italian Dinner Buffet (Tuesday-Sunday) Franklin County, 130 Scruggs Road (Rt. 616), Moneta, Virginia
Old Oak Cafe (540-719-3388, 7AM-2PM daily) Breakfast "All Day", and Lunch Sandwiches/Salad Bar
400 Scruggs Road (Rt. 616), Lakewood Professional Center, Moneta, Virginia.
Diamond Hill General Store (540-297-9309) Gourmet Deli, Sandwiches, ABC, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner. turn up the hill by Foodlion. 1017 Diamond Hill Rd., Moneta, Virginia
Blackwater Cafe (540-721-4333) Good atmosphere, excellent chef and fine dining. 45 min from Bedford Landings. Scruggs Road (Rt. 616) at Bluewater Dr. (Rt. 942), Moneta, Virginia
Napoli Cowboy (540-238-2142). About 45 minutes away, Fusion of Italian and Texas. Very Good. Nice atmosphere in an old schoolhouse. 6674 Burnt Chimney Rd. Wirtz, VA. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner.
Napoli by the Lake - 773 Ashmeade Dr. Moneta, VA. 540-346-2205. Fine dining or take-out.