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While many come to the peaceful shores of Smith Mountain Lake to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and relax in the peace and quiet, there is a select group who wait with tingling anticipation every year for something else entirely. For these adventurers, athletes, and weekend warriors, the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon is the highlight of the spring, and a thrilling gateway to summer. Whether you are an avid triathlete or a novice looking to break into this exciting past time, Smith Mountain offers an ideal course and an incredible experience.

3 For 1

The SML triathlon is held the first week of May, as the water in the lake finally breaks the 60-degree mark (wetsuits are not required, but are recommended). This year the festivities begin Saturday, May 5, 2018 with check-in at 7am. Hundreds of athletes from Virginia, North Carolina, and beyond will line the sandy beach waiting for the starter’s pistol… and at 9am the fun begins! After a brisk 750-meter swim in the crisp, clear waters of the lake, the course takes triathletes on a 20km bike ride through the rolling hills of the State Park. Moderate elevation changes (the course fluctuates between 800 and 950 feet above sea level) make for a fun ride, and the incredible views of the lake, forests, and mountains beyond will invigorate even the weariest rider. The race finishes with a flat 5km run back through the park to a finish lined with exuberant bystanders.

A Good Cause

The SML Triathlon is one of more than 20 events in the Virginia Triathlon Series, but it is the first open-water swim for the season and one of the most popular thanks to its beautiful and intermediate course (making it great for beginners). In addition to promoting physical fitness, the race also raises money for two charities: Virginia Amateur Sports and the ALS Foundation.

How to Enjoy

While you might differ in opinion about the best way to enjoy the race – either as a participant or a very “active” bystander – there is no denying that the incredible accommodations at Premier Vacation Rentals at Smith Mountain Lake are the most comfortable and most convenient place to stay. Featuring luxurious furnishings, modern kitchens, and an incredible array of amenities and creature comforts, our selection of cabins and luxury homes along the shores of Smith Mountain Lake are perfect for prepping for the big race and then relaxing after your successful finish. One of our favorites, Lakeside Cabin, offers large outdoor seating areas and breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and convenient access to a nearby marina (sadly for us “boating” is not an official triathlon event). Whichever condo, cabin, or cozy home you select, each rental includes everything you need to enjoy your stay. Our friendly staff is always standing by to help or answer any questions.

Plus, with pet friendly rentals, your favorite four-legged trail running buddy can join you in the scenic woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains (even if they can only watch you compete).

We at Premier Vacation Rentals wish all the triathlete participants the best of luck and a strong race. Visit us online to find the perfect vacation home for you during your visit to this idyllic destination in the Virginia mountains, and book direct through our website for extra savings!

While there is plenty of beauty and relaxation to be had when you stay on the shores of the beautiful Smith Mountain Lake, you may want to take a trip to nearby Roanoke for a day of fun. There are so many great things to do in Roanoke, VA, from taking a food tour to visiting some of the great educational facilities. Discover three of our favorite activities in the area!

If you’re looking for more things to do in Roanoke, VA, download our free Vacation Guide! We’ve listed great area restaurants, hiking spots, museums, and historic sites, both in downtown Roanoke and near Smith Mountain Lake. You’ll also find our recommendations for fantastic wineries near Smith Mountain Lake, like Hickory Hill Winery and Ramulose Ridge Vineyards.

Don’t Miss These Fun Things to Do in Roanoke, VA

Explore the City on a Food and Wine Tour

Tour Roanoke has two fantastic food tours available. The first and most popular is the Downtown Roanoke Food & Cultural Tour. This tour lasts approximately three hours and will take you to seven tasting locations in the downtown area. During and between the samples, you’ll learn the history of Roanoke and how this has shaped its modern food scene. The other tour is the Sunday Brunch Tour. Like the Food and Cultural Tour, it lasts three hours. You’ll visit six restaurants, each with a delicious brunch sample. These tours tend to fill up quickly so book ahead of time!

Visit the Taubman Museum of Art

The Taubman Museum of Art is a must for any art lovers visiting the area. This is a great day trip for couples or families visiting together. Aside from the exhibits, there are plenty of fun programs and events that take place at the museum. Check out the calendar before your visit.

Visit the Mill Mountain Park and Zoo

Located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, VA, Mill Mountain Park is considered an icon in town. It houses the famous Roanoke Star and the Mill Mountain Zoo. This 568-acre park offers plenty of recreation opportunities, from hiking to explore the Mill Mountain Wildflower Garden to enjoying a picnic. The Mill Mountain Zoo is always worth a visit.

Stay on Smith Mountain Lake

After you’ve explored these great things to do in Roanoke, VA, return to the peace, privacy, and quiet of Smith Mountain Lake. The “Jewel of the Blue Ridge” is the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation. We have a wide selection of properties available, from luxurious to budget-friendly cabins. There is even a selection of homes that are dog-friendly, so the whole family can come on vacation!

Consider renting Villa de Loch, a stunning five-bedroom, four-bathroom estate. It features a fire-pit, European stained-glass windows, and a pub room. That’s right, a pub room! On the upper level of the home, you’ll also find a theater room which boasts a 106-inch viewing screen. The kitchen is gorgeous: it features two propane ovens, quartz and granite countertops, and a bar counter with stools. The dining room is also incredible. It’s nearly surrounded by a large set of windows which overlook the lake, giving you the best view of the lake.

Check the rest of our rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.

Get to know the Blue Ridge’s food scene a little better with the Food and Cultural Tour in Roanoke! Take a walk in the historic district to sample the food from locally owned eateries. From one of the most acclaimed taverns in town to an iconic Roanoke restaurant, you’ll get to know the town a lot better in just three hours. Check out one of our favorite ways to tour Roanoke, VA!

The Food and Cultural Tour in Roanoke has been known to inspire visitors to find out even more about the Blue Ridge area! Download our Vacation Guide to find out our favorite museums and historic sites in the area. From the Booker T. Washington National Monument to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA, there are so many great places for history buffs to visit during their stay near Smith Mountain Lake.

Go on the Food and Cultural Tour in Roanoke

The Downtown Roanoke Food & Cultural Tour is held every Friday and Saturday, rain or shine. Tickets cost $52 for adults and $34 for adolescents ages 8 to 12. The tour lasts around three hours and you’ll meet in the front desk lobby of Hotel Roanoke. Aside from the walking and sampling, you’ll also be learning plenty of fun architectural and historical facts, as well as an insight into the local culture and food scene. Aside from the Food & Cultural Tour, Tour Roanoke also offers the Roanoke Sunday Brunch Tour.

Get a sneak peek of the restaurants you’ll be visiting on the Downtown Roanoke Food & Cultural Tour.

Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

The starting location for the Food & Cultural Tour of Roanoke, this famous restaurant has been featured in national publications. It’s a good ramp-up to the other incredible spots on the tour!

Cedars Lebanese Restaurant

The newest addition to the tour, Cedars Lebanese Restaurant features authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. At this stop, you’ll learn about the impact Lebanese cuisine has had on Roanoke.


Billy’s is an iconic spot that features great seafood, delicious steaks, and a selection of decadent desserts.

Firefly Fare

Firefly Fare is a fantastic restaurant that specializes in Southern farm-to-table cuisine. You’ll find the best comfort food around right here!

Texas Tavern

Texas Tavern opened around 1930 in Roanoke and has been considered a staple ever since!

On the Rise Bakery

Located in Roanoke Market, On the Rise Bakery features way more than just baked goods. You’ll love the chance to tour one of the oldest markets in the U.S.


What meal is complete without chocolate? Enjoy the goodies from chocolatepaper, which features cocoa confections from around the world.

Stay with Premier Vacation Rentals

After you’ve sampled around town with Food & Cultural Tour in Roanoke, return to a gorgeous rental property from Premier Vacation Rentals. We have a large selection of rental homes that range from luxurious mansions to cozy cabins. No matter the occasion, we have the perfect home waiting for you!

Take a look at our selection and book today. We look forward to having you.

Wine lovers should not miss the opportunity to explore the famous Bedford Wine Trail during their stay on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake! This is a great opportunity to get to know the area, explore the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains and getting a taste of some great wineries near Bedford, VA. Plus, when you visit all six wineries on the trail, you can get a free gift from the Bedford Welcome Center. Where else can you be rewarded for sampling incredible wines? This is definitely one of the best wine tours near Smith Mountain Lake and should not be missed.

Are you looking for more incredible wineries like the ones found on the Bedford Wine Trail? Download our free Vacation Guide! We’ve listed all the best wineries near Smith Mountain Lake, as well as local breweries. You’ll also find out about great annual events, like the WIne Festival in Smith Mountain Lake! It’s never been easier to plan your stay in Smith Mountain Lake!

Explore the Bedford Wine Trails

The first step to exploring the Bedford Wine Trail is printing out the map.This will serve as a helpful visual tool as well as proof that you’ve visited the vineyards. Simply ask an employee of the vineyard to stamp the map once you’re there. When you’ve gathered all six stamps, return to the Bedford Area Welcome Center to receive your free gift!

Hickory Hill Vineyards, Moneta, VA

The owners of Hickory Hill Vineyards turned their hobby into their profession when they planted a 250-vine vineyard on the banks of Smith Mountain Lake. Visit their tasting room and ask if you can get a tour of the facility! Be sure to visit the gift shop to bring a bottle home with you.

Leo Grande Vineyards & Winery, Goode, VA

Leo Grande Vineyards & Winery is the furthest from Smith Mountain Lake but is definitely worth the trip. This facility specializes in Italian varietals, though they say there is something for everyone here!

Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford, VA

Peaks of Otter is the oldest Bedford, PA winery. They create quirky fruit wines, like the Cherry Cheese Cake or the Blueberry Muffin.

Ramulose Ridge Vineyards, Moneta, VA

Ramulose Ridge Vineyards started as a passion project for the owners and has since morphed into a successful and respected winery! They specialize in pairing their wines with cigars, which are available to purchase in the tasting room.

Seven Doors Winery, Huddleston, VA

Seven Doors Winery strives to provide organic and biodynamic wines to the public. Their selection has been curated to reflect the owner’s personal ethics. This is a must for anyone looking to expand their tastes!

White Rock Vineyards & Winery, Goodview, VA

White Rock Vineyards & Winery has a little bit of everything. From beers to wines to fun events, you’ll have plenty to do, see, and taste when you visit.

Stay with Premier Vacation Rentals

After you’ve visited the sites on the Bedford Wine trail and have collected your free gift, return to the luxury of a gorgeous home from Premier Vacation Rentals. We have a wide selection of homes, from luxury collection to cozy cabins. No matter your preference, we will have the perfect place for you to stay during your Smith Mountain Lake Vacation.

Take a look at our properties and book today! We look forward to having you.