Lake Anna is a must-see destination for locals and tourists alike.

Not far from I-95 in Spotsylvania County, Lake Anna is a wonderful place to swim, picnic, and just let your hair down. If you can't book a private house for a weekend getaway, a quick trip to the state park side of the lake is a great way to see it.

  • ADDRESS: 6800 Lawyers Road | Spotsylvania, VA
  • HOURS: 7 a.m. to dusk | Snack bar 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. open daily
  • PARKING: $10 per vehicle to enter on weekends (April-October), $7 per vehicle on weekdays | additional fees for boat launching
  • WEBSITE: Lake Anna State Park
  • PHONE: (540) 854-5503

For the 2021 season, the visitors' center remains closed, and mask rules still apply for unvaccinated guests. Face coverings are required indoors and in common areas wherever social distancing is not possible if you have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The cool thing about Lake Anna is that it's a huge body of water with a bit of boat traffic, so you get nice, gentle waves along the shoreline. The beach area has fine, soft sand and all the amenities of a waterfront park.

Lake Anna

In addition to the beach and picnic areas, the park has miles of hiking trails through wooded areas and a boat launch. Campers can reserve overnight campsites, cabins, or lodges through the online booking system. Park rangers host fun events like "Skunk for Supper" and Gold Panning lectures to teach kids about nature—just find one you want to attend and pre-register online.

walking, hiking

Know Before You Go

  • Big families get to the lake early to set up for picnics and claim prime shady spots. If you plan on grilling on a weekend, you definitely want to be there right when the park opens.
  • The beach area requires a swimming fee after 10 a.m. That means you'll have to pay and get a wristband if you want to set up your stuff on the sandy part of the lakefront.
  • Swimming before 10 a.m. is at your own risk. The water is shallow on the beachside, but you should definitely keep a close eye on the little ones. After 10 a.m., a lifeguard is on duty to monitor the swimming area.
  • The area by the beach features a soft, sandy bottom. You won't need to wear water shoes if you plan on taking a dip to cool off.
  • If you're taking I-95 to get to the lake, the only fast food options are right off of the highway. Bring your lunch or buy it on the way, but don't expect to find too much variety within 5-10 minutes of the park entrance. The park has a small snack bar open during the summer season.
  • Park rangers will close the front gate once the beach area reaches capacity. On busy summer days, this may be as early as 10 or 11 a.m. so plan on leaving early if you're coming from far away. There's nothing more disappointing than being turned away at the gate.

For more information about the park or the many amenities, visit the official website for Lake Anna State Park.

*All photos courtesy of Sarina Petrocelly.

Is Lake Anna one of your family's favorite destinations? What do you like to do when you go? Let us know in the comments.