Boating in Virginia promises a day of fun and excitement as you anticipate the adventure that’s to come. The open water is a perfect place to reconnect with nature and your surroundings while making memories with family and friends. Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful boating spots around, with numerous public launch spots, marinas and scenic backdrops, this state should be at the top of your boating destination list.

Smith Mountain Lake

This lake lies in a broad valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southcentral Virginia less than 40 miles outside Roanoke. This is a manmade body of water created after a dam was built in 1963. There are plenty of public boat launches to choose from which provide you access. This lake is a draw for anglers as it has abundant bass in its waters which in turn bring large fishing tournaments to the region. The Bridgewater Marina is a perfect place to dock your boat, stretch your legs and take a look around. There is a full-service gas dock, marina store with basic groceries, ski and wakeboard Proshop, boating and skiing apparel as well as covered boat storage. Check out The Landing Restaurant for exceptional cuisine and beautiful lake views in Bernards Landing Resort, minutes from Westlake.

Lake Gaston

Ranging 35 miles in length, with 350 miles of shoreline, with large amounts of open waterways, this is an ideal lake for all water sports. Boaters can access the lake by way of Holly Grove Marina which also offers a convenience store, gas docks, a deli that serves breakfast and sandwiches, a fully-stocked tackle shop and boat launch. The easiest way to access the lake is from the main lake or HWY 903. This lake is on the boarder of Virginia and North Carolina counties of Halifax, Northhampton and Warren.

Kerr Lake/Buggs Island Lake

This is the largest reservoir in the state, with more than 50,000 acres of water and 800 miles of shoreline, found just west of Lake Gaston near Buffalo Springs. Known as Bugg Island Lake to the locals, it attracts many recreational boaters, and avid water sport enthusiasts as it has ample wide-open space. There are plenty of quiet coves to drop an anchor, relax and enjoy the scenery. This lake was ranked as number one for Crappie fishing in the United States by Fisherman Magazine and as such, hosts many state and national fishing tournaments. There are public access points to the lake from Occoneechee State Park and Staunton River State Park offering biking and hiking trails if you need to stretch your legs. Check out the Clarksville Bridge at night which becomes illuminated by glowing lights that reflect off the water’s surface.

Lake Anna

This is Virginia’s third largest lake which spans 13,000 acres with over 200 miles of shoreline. This is known as one of the best lakes for largemouth bass on the East Coast making it a popular spot for year-round fishing. Lake Anna is one of the most popular freshwater destinations for water sports and boat enthusiasts with plenty of boat launches and marinas as well as the pristine Lake Anna State Park beach. This is a fun day trip to spend out on the boat, but if you’re thinking more along the lines of extending your trip, there are plenty of on-land activities that the surrounding area offers.

Philpott Lake

This lake offers almost 3,000 acres of open water, nine boat launches, eight campgrounds and six beaches, which makes it an ideal spot for a boating get-away. This lake generates hydroelectric power to the area and was created by the damming of the Smith River. The lake is situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with an elevation of 300 metres. Philpott is known for its Large and Small Mouth Bass, Walleye, Bluegill and Crappie population. Making it an ideal fishing spot with a scenic backdrop of the mountains.