Leslie Becker

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Planning vacations can sometimes seem like a second job. Where should I go? When should I visit? What do I do once I get there? Enter in the stress that comes with finding a place to stay and suddenly the thought of a staycation seems incredibly appealing.

Before you hang up your swimsuit and bow your head in defeat, take a moment to read the Five Reasons You Should Vacation at Smith Mountain Lake. And if you’ve never heard of this hidden mountain retreat, then prepare to fall in love with Virginia’s best kept secret:

  1. The Views Are Breathtaking. Smith Mountain Lake is nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, creating a stunning backdrop for early morning sunrises and romantic summer sunsets. In fact, the Smith Mountain Lake setting is ideal for those seeking a truly relaxing retreat. Crisp, clear skies set the stage for stars to shine their brightest, while the lake’s calm waters serve as the ultimate reflecting pool.
  2. It’s Super Friendly. The Smith Mountain Lake community is hands down one of the friendliest places you’ll ever visit, and residents take every opportunity to show it off. And even though the lake encompasses 500 miles of shoreline, it feels like one giant family. Don’t hesitate to ask a local where to find the best steaks on the lake, the best fishing spot, or family-friendly activities for the little ones. Not only will you get the best recommendations, but you’ll also make a friend for life. It should also be noted that the community as a whole is extremely laid back. You won’t find bumper-to-bumper traffic, massive crowds, or three-piece suits. Instead you’ll find flip-flops, thank-you waves, and a lot of dogs enjoying the breeze from the passenger’s side.
  3. It’s Affordable. It’s hard to fully relax during your vacation when you’re constantly visualizing your upcoming credit card statement. However, Smith Mountain Lake vacationers soon realize that booking a stay at the lake is downright affordable. In fact, the low cost of living is one reason why many tourists purchase summer homes in the Smith Mountain Lake area after their first visit. Check out www.VacationRentalsSmithMountainLake.com for a list of available properties. You can choose from a host of amenities, including pet friendly rentals, on-site beaches, and luxury homes.
  4. Everything is Close By. Smith Mountain Lake is only moments away from local airports, highways, and train stations, making travel to and from the area very easy. There are also a number of cities within a short driving distance, including Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Greensboro, North Carolina. These locations make great day trips for shopping and sightseeing.
  5. There’s Always Something to Do. Even though the Smith Mountain Lake area is largely hailed as a summer vacation destination, there’s always something going on around the area regardless of season. There are a number of festivals planned each year including Smith Mountain Lake’s signature event, the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival. This two-day event boasts a number of local Virginia wineries, as well as food and craft vendors. Other notable festivals include the Beer and BBQ Festival, the SML Fall Chili and Craft Festival, and the Franklin County Moonshine Festival. You can check out a full list of events at www.VisitSmithMountainLake.com. Smith Mountain Lake is also home a number of marinas, restaurants, golf courses, wineries, historical sites, and parks including the Smith Mountain Lake State Park. This popular attraction houses a public beach, playground, fishing piers, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and public boat docks.

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about Smith Mountain Lake, why not book a vacation and experience it for yourself? You can learn more about activities in and around the lake by visiting www.VacationRentalsSmithMountainLake.com. And while you’re there, check out available rental properties by searching the site’s inventory of lakefront homes, condos, cabins, and luxury rentals.

As a resident real estate agent for Smith Mountain Lake, Leslie Becker knows the area as only a local can. If you’re ready to enjoy the luxuries of a Smith Mountain Lake lifestyle, then contact the area’s most trusted REALTOR. 

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The Virginia Museum of Natural History is hosting "Reptile Day," Saturday, September 21st from 9am-4pm.  Visitors will have the chance to see many species of reptiles native to Virginia and North Carolina as well as reptiles from all around the world.


Patrons will have the chance to handle some of the reptiles on display including various species of snakes, lizards and turtles.  Educational presentations from reptile experts will explain the importance of reptiles in the environment.


Admission to the festival is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and college students, $3 for children 3-18, and free for children under 3 and museum members.


For more information, visit www.VMNH.net.

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Housing everything from groceries to fishing and hunting supplies, the Union Hall General Store is now open for business.


Opened by Becky Miller in the former Smith Mountain Building Supply location, the Union Hall General Store spans 27,000 square feet of shopping space.  Miller states that the goal of the store is to have a "little bit of everything."  Future plans for expansion include a beer barn, wine shop and a Southern States seed and supplement warehouse.


The Union Hall General Store is also home to a seasonal farmers' market and promises to have competitive prices on all items.

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Smith Mountain Lake enthusiasts know that SML has something for everyone.  With 500 miles of shoreline, guests flock to the area to enjoy water sports, shopping and unbelievable views of the state's second largest freshwater lake.

Those new to the area will definitely want to plan a day trip to Smith Mountain Lake State Park.  Spanning over 1,200 acres, the Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers a little bit of everything from which visitors can choose to enjoy!

A sandy beach welcomes guests and offers the perfect place to set up a picnic or catch some rays.  Visitors may also access boat rentals, a public boat dock and a universally accessible fishing pier.

The park is family friendly and offers playground and picnic areas, biking and hiking trails and numerous swimming areas that are safe and clean.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park also houses a visitor's center with information on many area attractions, an amphitheater and special programs are available throughout the year.


For more information on visiting the Smith Mountain Lake State Park call 540-297-6066.

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Watch the sunset over Hickory Hill Vineyards while listening to live, acoustic music during Hickory Hill's "Lazy Days of Summer" edition of Sunset Saturday on Saturday, July 27 from 7p-10p.

Sunset Saturday is one of the most popular weekend events at Smith Mountain Lake.  The outdoor concert series highlights area musicians who perform on stage while patrons enjoy wine tastings.

Guests may bring their own picnic dinner, chairs and blankets.

The musical duo showcased on July 27th will be the popular duo Ken and Alli.


Entrance fees are $10 which includes a Hickory Hill wine glass.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

Another great weekend at SML. A big thank you to all who attended the Chamber sponsored Business Expo and the Rockin’ Brews and BBQ Festival!  More fun to come at SML!

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The Smith Mountain Lake Pistol Shooting Association is holding a Gun Raffle in support of 4-H Youth Programs for 2013. This year’s goal is to raise at least $2000 to cover the costs of 10 new .177 Caliber Air Pistols and associated accessories to provide for and support a new Pistol Shooting Program for 4-H kids in summer youth camp. The kids already shoot long gun air rifles and archery during the summer months and to also get them acclimated in handgun shooting and handgun safety.

The raffle tickets will go on sale next week at the following locations and are $5.00 per ticket: Blackwater TR Gun Store on Scruggs Road, Franklin Outdoors in Rocky Mount, The UPS Store in Westlake (Hardy) and the range officer booth at the 4-H shooting range.

Canik firearms are world-renowned for their accuracy, fit and finish and attention to detail and are made in the Salsimaz Armory in Turkey by hand and are very similar to the CZ75 line of handguns – but have a much higher rating. They have the best trigger system of all the designs and use very high quality components including MecGar magazines. The Shark “C” is one of the nicest pistols they produce in the lineup.

This year’s prize is really desirable with a very hard to find Canik 55 Shark “C” Chrome plated 9mm Concealed Carry Custom Pistol along with 500 rounds of PMC full metal jacket target ammo. The raffle drawing will take place on Sept. 3rd, 2013 at 6pm. (Winners need not be present).

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The Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon is the first open water swim triathlon in the western part of the state. This race has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular in the VTS. The water for the swim has historically been in the upper 60′s so wetsuits are recommended but are not mandatory. The event takes place on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 9am at Smith Mountain Lake State park in Huddleston, VA. This event benefits Virginia Amateur Sports and The ALS Foundation.

The event has a 820.21 yard swim, 12.43 mile bike leg and a 3.11 mile run. The swim starts and finishes at the State Parks well groomed swimming beach. The bike is 20K and rolling throughout. The run course is all inside the park and is a nice flat to rolling out and back affair.

Expected Water Temperature is between 62-66F (62F in 2009, 67F in 2010, 68F in 2011, 68F in 2012). Exact temperature to be posted Friday morning before the event. Registration is open until Wednesday, May 1st at 9am or until all spots are filled. For more information or to register, visit www.setupevents.com.

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The annual Expo will be held on Friday, April 26th, in Downtown Moneta. The businesses will be set up on the southwest side of Rt. 122 and Rt. 608 - across from Mayberry Hills. Event hours are Noon to 5 p.m.

This year, over local 120 businesses will be represented in four large tents as well as outside exhibits, with representatives demonstrating products, answering questions and handing out literature, samples and promotional items. However, businesses are not permitted to sell items at the Expo.

Those attending the Expo can also register for door prizes, which are donated by area businesses and awarded throughout the day. A food tent will be set up with hot dogs, chips and drinks available for purchase. Courtesy golf carts will also be available to shuttle people from parking areas at Mayberry Hills and Bethlehem United Methodist Church.

Visit lake businesses or network your own company during the 10th Annual SML Business Expo. This is a great way to see a cross section of lake businesses all in one place! For more information call Lauren Parcetich at 540-721-1203 or go online to www.visitsmithmountainlake.com.

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Start the spring season with SMLRCC's annual event - Rockin' Brews & BBQ's at Smith Mountain Lake, a fun, family event with live music, several BBQ vendors and food vendors from North Carolina to Downtown Moneta. Event activities will include an inflatable play area for children and much more!

This year’s event takes place on the southwest side of Rt. 122 and Rt. 608 - across from Mayberry Hills in Downtown Moneta, VA on Saturday, April 27th, Noon to 6pm.

Admission is $5 and kids 12 and under get in free. Front gate admission includes tickets for food, a beverage and kid’s activities. Please note that no coolers are allowed.

Come enjoy great music and great BBQ! For more information call Lauren Parcetich at 540-721-1203 or go to www.visitsmithmountainlake.com.

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The 17th Annual SML Invitational Tournament hosts a full field of golfers representing a wide variety of businesses from the Smith Mountain Lake region. The 18-hole-event-format is Captain’s Choice four-person best-ball with cash and prizes awarded. This year’s signature sponsor is The Willard Companies.

Registration & Range Open: 11:30 -12:45, Lunch: 11:30 -12:30, Shotgun Start: 1:00 PM, $240.00 Foursome – $60.00 per player, sponsored by the SMLRCC.

The third in the trio of courses owned and operated by Smith Mountain Lake golf pioneer Ron Willard, The Westlake Golf and Country Club was founded as Chestnut Creek by its original developers. Designed by golf architect Russell Breeden, known for his courses across Virginia and in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area, The Westlake is a striking 18-hole course centered around a restored farmhouse that has been converted into a clubhouse, restaurant, pro shop and banquet facility. The Westlake is semiprivate and members may reserve tee times up to seven days in advance; the public may reserve up to three days in advance: 800-296-7277 or 540-721-44214

To sign up to play in this year’s event, contact Lauren Parcetich at 540-721-1203 or go online to www.visitsmithmountainlake.com. The scheduled Rain Date is Friday, May 31, 2013.

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For some seasonal holiday lights head to Bedford for the annual Holiday Lights Display on

Dec. 14th -31st enjoy the extensive decorations and approximately 50,000 lights that adorn the

grounds at the Elks National Home in Bedford. The Elks home is located on 931 Ashland Ave.

in Bedford, Va. and is a retirement community dedicated entirely to the Elks membership. The

beautiful Elks National Home has been called the “Crown jewel of Elkdown”.


The home is open daily at 5:30 p.m. through Dec. 31. Admission to the Holiday Light event is

free. For more information, visit 540.586.8232 or go online to www.elkshome.org

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Be sure to catch Franklin County's 9th Annual Christmas Celebration features arts, crafts, music

and food in Downtown Rocky Mount, Va. on December 7th 2012 from 5:30-9 pm. Enjoy the

holiday celebration with your family & friends, admission is free. There will be plenty of fun

activities for the whole family.


Also, James Nagy will be signing his new book, "Images of America Franklin County" at The

Artisan Center along the Crooked Road. Visit the Indoor Craft Market from 10 am – 8 pm. Call

540-482-0005 for more information.

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Hickory Hill will hold their annual Christmas Open House, where you can sip hot mulled

wine, taste seasonal snacks and purchase gifts for the wine lovers on your holiday gift list, on

December 15, 2012 from 11 am to 5 pm. The vineyard is located at 1722 Hickory Cove Lane,

Moneta Va. 24121.


First planted as a hobby vineyard in 1984 by Roanoke natives with lake property, Hickory

Hill has slowly grown over 28 years into a successful 3 generation family wine business with

acclaimed wines and regional distribution in stores and restaurants.


For more information call 540-296-1393 or www.smlwine.com.

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This Christmas season, be sure to add the Downtown Moneta Light Display for 2012to your

holiday event calendar!


Starting Friday November 30th Celebration Square in Downtown Moneta will be lit up for the

holidays with a dancing musical light show every night from 5-10 pm. There are activities for

good boys and girls of all ages! The event will take place at 1100 Celebration Ave., Celebration

Square, in Moneta from November 30th to January 8th 2013.


For more information on the event please call 540-296-1329 or go to www.downtownmoneta.com.


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This Christmas season, be sure to add the Downtown Moneta Light Display for 2012to your

holiday event calendar!


Starting Friday November 30th Celebration Square in Downtown Moneta will be lit up for the

holidays with a dancing musical light show every night from 5-10 pm. There are activities for

good boys and girls of all ages! The event will take place at 1100 Celebration Ave., Celebration

Square, in Moneta from November 30th to January 8th 2013.


For more information on the event please call 540-296-1329 or go to www.downtownmoneta.com.


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The 2012 Flotilla for Toys Boat Parade of Lights will be held November 24th 7 pm-9 pm.

The Virginia Dare and Lake Christian Ministries has worked hand in hand to put together the

Flotilla for Toys Boat Parade of Lights. The Virginia Dare leads numerous Boats with lights

glistening on the waters of Smith Mountain Lake. This event raises Toys for the local Children

of need.


You can ride on The Virginia Dare as the lead boat in the flotilla and lead the way with Santa

and Rudolph. Admission is $35 for adults and $25 for kids 12 and under. The price includes: the

two hour cruise, hors d’ oeuvres, assorted cookies, holiday punch & tax. For more information or

to enter your boat in the flotilla, call 540-297-7100 or visit www.vadarecruises.com.

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The 6th Annual Johnny CASA 5-Miler/5K Walk will take place at Lake Watch Plantation in Moneta, VA on September 8th starting at 8:30 am

The event’s goal is to make this race a quality fundraiser that appeals to runners, walkers, and recreational athletes of all ability levels. This year’s proceeds will benefit the Southern VA CAC.

Protecting the best interests of children at risk from abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center was established in August 2001. The center provides a rapid response to children and non-offending family members who have been impacted with the immediate and long-term trauma associated with child abuse and neglect. Services at the CAC include on-site medical evaluations, clinical assessment and treatment services, forensic interviews, state victim compensation claims filing, education and prevention, victim advocacy, and victim case management.

The 5 mile run is designed for runners of all levels, passing through the rolling terrain of Lake Watch Plantation, a 479 acre rural village center development. Online registration will be open now until 3pm on September 7th. Once online registration closes, race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and will continue until 8:15 a.m. Not a runner? Walk the 3.1 mile course. Free performance t-shirts with every registration!

Through Aug. 31, fees are: $20 for individual runner/walkers, $75 team 1-5 people and $140 team 6-10 people. After Aug. 31, add $5 per individual and $10 per team. For more information, visit www.johnnycasa5miler-5kwalk.com.

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Up, up and away! The 2nd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Hot Air Balloon Classic takes place in Downtown Moneta (1123 Celebration Ave., Corner of Route 122 and 608 (White House Road) Moneta, VA 24121) on September 7, 2012 from 5- 7pm.  Bring the whole family to enjoy $5 tethered balloon rides featuring 6 to 8 hot air balloons.

The Annual Smith Mountain Lake Hot Air Balloon Classic has both morning and evening flights planned throughout the weekend. (Please note that the event is weather dependent and is subject to change without advance notice). Be sure to visit the shops at Celebration Square and have a bite to eat or grab some ice cream while you are there too!

All proceeds are to benefit the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 540-297-4900 or visit the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce Website at: www.visitsmithmountainlake.com.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

The Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council is presenting "Baroque, Bluegrass, Bluejeans" with David Wiley, Adelaide Muir Trombetta and Jeff Midkiff on Sep 9, 2012, 3pm at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta. Tickets are $20 at outlets (Visitors Center, General Store, Radio Shack) or by mail $5 for children 6 and under and 17 for SMAC members by mail (SMAC, PO Box 70, Moneta, VA 24121 ; enclose self-addressed stamped envelope.

This special (afternoon) concert presented by SMAC will explore the deep and exciting connection between Baroque, Classical and Bluegrass styles. From the classic mandolin concerto by Antonio Vivaldi to modern Bluegrass masterpieces, the music will bridge the gap between traditional and original compositions with innovative and fun musical combos.

Selections include: Ms. Trombetta singing Samuel Barber’s beloved “Knoxville, Summer of 1915” and Schubert’s lovely “The Shepherd on the Rock” accompanied by Maestro David Stewart Wiley at the piano and Jeff Midkiff on the mandolin and clarinet. The crossover musical event is the perfect combination for our lake region, as we celebrate the music of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Come dressed in your comfortable blue jeans for an afternoon of great music, and get your tickets early, this concert is likely to sell out! For more information, contact Marty Bowers at 540-297-0965 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Leslie Becker, AIA, AIPP, FIABCI, NAR
Licensed in the State of VA


P: 540.797.0477 | F: 866.507.5289
PO Box 50
Huddleston, VA 24104

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