Historic Spots Around Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake is best known for its beauty and recreational opportunities, but the area offers so much more! For history buffs or those who simply want to know more about the region’s origins, there are several must-see historic sites that welcome visitors seasonally and year-round.


Smith Mountain Dam & Visitors Center

Smith Mountain Lake is, itself, a historic site! Exhibits at the visitors center tell the history of the dam and how electricity is generated. The view overlooking the dam is one of the prettiest views on the lake.

2072 Ford Road

Sandy Level, VA 24161



Booker T. Washington National Monument

Explore the birthplace of this African-American leader who was born a slave on a tobacco plantation near Hale’s Ford, emancipated at age 9, and grew to become an educator, author and presidential adviser.

12130 Booker T. Washington Highway

Hardy, VA 24101



National D-Day Memorial

The National D-Day Memorial was constructed in memory of those who died June 6, 1944, in one of the most pivotal battles in World War II, when U.S. soldiers landed on the beach at Normandy to force German soldiers out of Western Europe.

816 Burks Hill Road

Bedford, VA 24523



Poplar Forest

Visit the summer home of our third present, Thomas Jefferson. Exhibits offer insight into Jefferson’s life and the lives of those who worked on the plantation, both enslaved and free.

1542 Bateman Bridge Road

Forest, VA 24551



Jubal A. Early Homeplace

Explore the childhood homeplace of this Confederate General, who was born and raised in Franklin County, practiced law and served in the Army of Northern Virginia.

455 Old Hollow Lane

Hardy, VA 24101


The Crooked Road

The Crooked Road is a 330-mile driving trail beginning in Rocky Mount and winding through the Mountains of Southwest Virginia. It connects more than 60 music venues and explores the musical heritage of the region.

See the interactive map: https://www.myswva.org/tcr/venues


Blue RIdge Institute & Museum

The Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College documents, interprets and presents the folk heritage of the Blue Ridge region. Exhibits include the Blue Ridge Farm Museum and the annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival.

20 Museum Drive

Ferrum, VA 24088



Virginia Museum of Natural History

The museum offers award-winning exhibits and groundbreaking scientific research and collections, numbering more than 10 million cataloged items. The museum’s mission is to interpret Virginia’s natural history in a global context.

21 Starling Avenue

Martinsville, VA 24112


All photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Penny Hodges
Penny Hodges
16451 Booker T Washington Hwy Moneta VA 24121