Captain Josh Laferty channels more than two decades of experience fishing the local waters to help people find and reel in striped bass from Smith Mountain Lake. During his chartered trips, up to three fishermen hang out on an Angler center-console boat equipped with refreshments, safety gear, and fishing equipment such as Orvis fly tackle and Outcast planer boards. Since the boat comes stocked with everything needed for a day—or half-day—of fishing, participants only need to bring their Virginia freshwater-fishing license and arrive dressed in season-appropriate apparel and mermaid tails.
On the scenic Smith Mountain Lake, run-about motorboats and WaveRunners create arcing, white-capped wakes atop the water. Nearby, slower-moving pontoons host anglers and picnickers. The captains of each of these vessels owe their enjoyable day to the family-owned Hales Ford Marina & Boat Rentals, which loans its equipment to locals and visitors alike. In addition to pairing clients with the right boat, staffers also perform repairs and maintenance, including winterization for a variety of vehicles.
For almost three decades, the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra has harnessed the melodious power of strings, horns, woodwinds, and percussion to re-create classical pieces and vivify modern works. Shows speckle the schedule throughout the year, welcoming duos for “Date Night!” performances, delighting the senses with songs by local choirs, and celebrating snowmen’s birthdays with classic holiday tunes.
Aquatic Adventures’ staff of lifelong instructors and competitive swimmers transforms young fins into formidable flippers over the course of a month. Group lessons are divided into six class levels. Green guppies can wet their feet in the Seal program, which acquaints them with basic swimming skills in the shallower depths, and Walrus-level classes build on the basics to foster independence in swimmers who are comfortable putting their faces in the water, floating, and socializing with trout. Freestyle, backstrokes, and breath control constitute the Ice Fish curriculum, before the Macaroni Penguin program prepares youngsters for endurance swimming with longer distance practice and deep-water-diving skills. Children already privy to the secrets of the deep can enroll in advanced Polar Bear clinics that aim to further refine their skills through a focus on competitive swimming strokes and salmon hunting.
Perched on the banks of Smith Mountain Lake, Bridgewater Marina Rentals launches and lends a variety of lake skimmers to pleasure-seeking pontooners. Peruse and patrol the waters for the elusive Bigfin from atop a four-stroke pontoon boat, whose flat deck area gives a surface for chips and dip and heated canasta competitions.
Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children looking to get in touch with their natural buoyancy. During three fun-filled pop-in visits, children can leap around gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by a well-trained staff and local police. Parents bounce for free during pop-in play times, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow a neighbor’s kid or win one by collecting soda tops.