If you are looking for the next location for your family vacation consider a trip to Smith Mountain Lake. The lake is a popular vacation spot for families because of its endless activities. You can spend your weekend in a boat on the lake fishing and wakeboarding or jump off docks and swim near the shore. If you are visiting during the fall, or want to spend a day off the water, the area surrounding the lake is full of hiking trails and farms where you can buy and pick your own fresh fruit. One such place can be found at Johnson’s Orchards.
About Johnson’s Apple Orchards
Johnson’s Orchards is a family-owned and operated farm located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the base of the Peaks of Otter. The 200-acre farm has more than 7,500 apple trees with over 200 different varieties of apple.
You can pick your own apples or buy apples from their farm store. There are several spots on the farm where you can have a picnic, so bring along some sandwiches to enjoy with your fresh apples after a day of picking.
Johnson’s Orchards also has a winery that makes wine out of the fruit grown on their farm. They produce more than 25 types of fruit wine including tart crabapple wine, pear wine, peach wine, raspberry wine, and smooth blackberry wine. You can try the wine at the winery and take some of your favorite bottles home. They also sell cold pressed cider, homemade jellies, jams, butter, and relishes at the winery.
Johnson’s Orchards is open on the weekends in January – March from noon to 5 p.m. and daily from noon to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. To get to the farm from Bedford, take 460 west for 1 mile, then turn right on 680 for 5.5 miles. The entrance sign for the farm is on your left.
Making the Most of the Surrounding Area
Whether you’ve come to Smith Mountain Lake on a solo adventure, in the company of the one you love most, or as a family to find amazing bonding time, a stop at Johnson’s Orchards has the potential to be a highlight of your stay. Fun, family-friendly, and always intriguing and tasty, this orchard is a true gem and comes with the added benefit of being close to surrounding activities and attractions that are worth checking out as well. If you’re a traveler that can’t wait to maximize every minute of your Smith Mountain Lake journey, don’t forget to add the following to the top of your must-do list when you’re in the area.
Peaks of Otter Visitor Center
Accessed at 85919 Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford, the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center is a must for the traveler that’s looking to spend time out and about on the hill and mountain trails. Here, visitors are invited to take time to talk to rangers that work on-site and gets tips and strategies for making the most of the terrain. From lakes and overlooks to hidden away landmarks, the staff at the visitor center are well-versed in what it takes to turn your Peaks of Otter adventure into an unforgettable one.
Moving down to central Bedford, those visitors to the area that have arrived with a heart for history will appreciate time set aside to tour the iconic Avenel House. With roots dating back to 1836, the Avenel House is located at 413 Avenel Avenue and is a two-story dwelling that was constructed in a combination of Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles. Visitors are invited to request a tour when they’re here during which they can view and admire era-specific furnishings and spend time on the beautiful wrap-around porch.
Liberty Lake Park
At 939 Burks Hill Road, Liberty Lake Park is your perfect follow up to fun at Johnson’s Orchards when you’re in the mood to savor the great outdoors, or the little ones need some open space to run wild and free. Liberty Lake Park is home to a great collection of green spaces as well as walking trails and picnic pavilions in combination with lakefront vistas that are sure to please. Anglers can cast a line at Liberty Lake Park while kids are free to take advantage of access to the playgrounds.
Planning Your Stay
If you are looking for accommodation near Smith Mountain Lake, consider booking one of our vacation homes. All of our homes are situated on the lake with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. We have large four bedroom homes that can comfortably sleep your whole family. Each house is furnished with high-quality furniture and a kitchen stocked with everything you need to cook your family’s favorite meal. Many of our homes also have private docks and access to the lake.