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Summer is coming to an end, and so is the chance to enjoy a dip this year in the warm waters of scenic Virginia lakes. For most people in the DMV region, it has been about five months of quarantine. My family has been strictly observing the standard operating procedures (including no unnecessary outings), till I stumbled upon a beautiful lakefront lodge nestled in the serene landscapes of Virginia. We decided to take the plunge (pun intended).

Let me add the caveat that there is no scientific proof or research behind it, but our family decided to take a calculated risk (calculated—because we decided to take our disinfectants, the lodge is isolated far from the city, and for the four days we were planning to stay there our family would be quarantined at the lake).  In my opinion, if you are planning a last-minute excursion, lakes are a relatively safer bet.

Although anyone can search for lakefront lodges, I thought I would make your life easier by shortlisting a few options. The lodges can sleep from 8 to 16 guests, have great facilities like game rooms, fire pits, fishing spots, and (of course) fully functional kitchens. I highly recommend taking along all the food so your interaction with the rest of the world is minimized. And be sure to stock up on beer and hot dogs!

Here are the top five lakefront rentals to kickstart your search.

1. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

  • You Pay: $316 per night

  • ​​​​​​​You Get: A vacation you don’t want to forget

Smith Mountain resort

Lakefront 3-Bedroom | (Sleeps 8), 3 Decks, 2 Jacuzzis, 4 Kayaks, Wifi

Smith Mountain Lake, also known as the "Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains," is the second-largest body of freshwater in Virginia. Surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, it expands for 40 miles and offers 500 miles of scenic shoreline. The lake is a short four-hour drive southwest of Washington, D.C., and is located in central Virginia equidistant from Roanoke and Lynchburg. 

Watch a magical sunset in this 3-story townhouse that comes with amazing views of the Smith Mountain Lake. Conveniently located in a golf course community with the clubhouse less than a mile away, the townhouse comes with a swimming platform at the docks and a large common deck to relax and forget about the bustling city (and of course the miserable 2020 we have seen so far). Four kayaks, lifejackets, floats with an air pump, and fishing poles are provided by the owner. The luxurious three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms make it a perfect destination for two families looking for a relaxing adventure.

2. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia (Option #2)

  • You Pay: $611 per night

  • You Get: A vacation that is bigger than your imagination

Smith Mountain Lake

Lakefront, 5-Bedroom | (Seeps 12), Offering a Golf Course, Pools, Beaches, Tennis & More!

This spacious resort has hosted many celebrities and is made for a big adventure. The extras in the house include a theatre room, tabletop shuffleboard, and a pool table. The nearby pool and a golf course are an added bonus. Enjoy a morning breakfast on the deck overlooking the lake and golf course. And if you want to break the monotony, the outdoor pool and cabana are just a short walk up the hill. A mile away from Smith Mountain Lake State Park and less than five miles away from Smith Mountain Lake makes this house an ideal escape for a large family or a large group of friends.

3. Lake Anna, Virginia

  • You Pay: $1,650 per night

  • You Get: An experience fit for a king (and 13 other members of his family)

Lake Anna Resort

Lakefront Mansion 5-bedroom | (Sleeps 14), 7 Bathrooms, Wifi, and DirectTV.

Formed by the North Anna Dam, Lake Anna is one of the largest freshwater inland reservoirs in Virginia. Set far from the bustling urban cities but not too far away, it is the perfect best-of-both-worlds combination you will find for a fun getaway. From fishing to water sports, bike rides to hiking trails, there's something for everyone in the family.

This dream vacation home is surrounded by paved walkways, a dock, a boathouse, a fire pit, a volleyball court, and its own beach. The property defines luxury in the most modern way, offering panoramic views of the lake from almost every room. If you are into relaxing in opulence and vacations that are too big to be true, you will be checking this out in the next five minutes.

4. Lake Anna, Virginia (Option #2)

  • You Pay: $383 per night

  • You Get: More time relaxing, less time traveling (45 minutes from Richmond and 90 minutes from D.C.)

Lake Anna resort

Waterfront Lake House 5-Bedroom | (Sleeps 12), Huge decks, boat ramp, and large boat dock

Location, location, location. This 5-bedroom, spacious home is perfectly distanced in the heart of Virginia, saving you travel time. This waterfront house is beauty with brains, offering over 3,000 square feet of beautiful living space, huge decks overlooking the lake, and a huge bar and entertainment area downstairs, including a foosball table, pool table, and TV area.

5. Kerr Lake, Virginia

  • You Pay: $395 per night

  • You Get: A room with a view (a huge house, to be exact) 

Kerr lake resort

Lakefront Home 4-Bedroom | (Sleeps 12) with 180° water view, two docks and 400' of frontage

Kerr Lake is a reservoir along the border of North Carolina and Virginia. Named after Congressman John H. Kerr, it is a catch of a lifetime for anyone who is into fishing. The lake has an abundance of large-mouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. It is also considered the largest reservoir in Virginia.

Now picture this: an outdoor gas grill, an outdoor fire pit, high-speed internet, a newly renovated open-plan kitchen, and sleeping for up to 12—combined with a section of Kerr Lake that has virtually no boat traffic and is great for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and swimming. A golf course is just a hike away, and state parks are less than 10 minutes away. There are two private docks that offer a mesmerizing view of the sunset, and if you are lucky you will spot baldheaded eagles and cranes keeping you company. This beautiful lake home is also available for off-season monthly rentals at $1,950 per month, late-October through April.

Have you been to any lakes recently? Share your pictures in the comments section and tell us about your experience.

**All photographs courtesy of VRBO