Feeding the Fish at Bridgewater Plaza

I say so often that someplace is “about an hour away” from Henry County that someone is bound to eventually get suspicious.  It’s true though.  Within an hour from here in pretty much any direction, there is something really cool to see or do.  Smith Mountain Lake, and specifically Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, is one of these cool destinations.

Incidentally, this is also the lake where Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss filmed the 1991 comedy, “What About Bob?”.

Bridgewater Plaza is very touristy, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is a multi-level boardwalk mall on the banks of Smith Mountain lake.  It has several restaurants, arcades, gift shops, a miniature golf course designed like an old west village over the water, and a marina.

Moosie’s is one of our favorite restaurants here.  It is an upbeat, fun, family restaurant with seating in the rear that looks out over the plaza at the lake.

sm_Smith Mountain Lake 019
Visitors love taking there picture with Moosie

There is also Mango’s Bar and Grill, an open air restaurant and concert venue just on the other side of Moosie’s.

sm_SML 008
Outdoor seating at Mango’s Bar and Grill

They have a great “U” shaped bar where you can pull up a stool and just enjoy the day with a local brew.  Dam Lager is one of the flagship offerings from Sunken City Brewery, located just under four miles away from Bridgewater Plaza.

sm_SML 007
Having a Dam Lager at Mango’s Bar

There are a lot of activities for kids.  There is a midway-style arcade outdoors on the lowest level and Harbor Town Miniature Golf is a unique course built to look like an Old West village set atop the canopy of the marina’s boat slips.

sm_SML 005
Harbortown Miniature Golf Above, Midway-style Arcade below
sm_SML 006
Harbortown Miniature Golf Above, Midway-style Arcade below

I don’t know why but I have never seen the miniature golf course especially busy.

sm_Smith Mountain Lake 015
Harbortown Miniature Golf

Maybe it’s because of the fish.

sm_Smith Mountain Lake 012
Carp making their way to the marina

Bridgewater Marina is a fully functioning marina but is also cram-packed full of souvenir shirts, hats, candy, and trinkets of all sorts.  They also sell popcorn to feed to the fish who gather by the boardwalk just outside.

sm_SML 014
Fish gather at the marina for the popcorn

When I say that the fish gather, I mean it.  They pack the water here, waiting for popcorn.

sm_SML 022
Fish pack in at the marina waiting for popcorn
sm_SML 019
Fish gathering expectantly

Add a little popcorn and the fish go into a frenzy.

sm_SML 017
Feeding the fish

This may not be the most ecologically sound fun but, honestly, the fish really seem to like it.

sm_Smith Mountain Lake 010
A feeding frenzy

Was the moose smiling this much when we started?

sm_SML 024
Mom posing with Moosie

If you have some time left over either before or after your trip to Bridgewater Plaza (and are a craft beer fan), it is a short trip to Sunken City Brewery.  Their name is an homage to the city of Monroe which was founded in 1819 by Abnor Anthony along the Staunton River and submerged when when Smith Mountain Lake was created in 1963. While they are best known for their Dam Lager and Red Clay IPA, they do make some darker seasonal beers.  Be sure to check their hours.  They are only open Thursday through Sunday and they open late(ish) in the afternoon on the weekdays.   There is a large glass panel behind the bar that lets you peek into the actual brewery.

If you have trouble getting directions to the address that Sunken City uses on their website, 40 Brewery Drive, Hardy, VA, use the address for Kroger’s right across the street, 80 Westlake Road, Hardy, VA.  Sunken City should be about a six minute trip from Bridgewater Plaza, south down VA-122.

sm_Smith Mountain Lake 063
Sunken City Brewery in Hardy, Virginia

For more information about any of this, try these links:

Sunken City Brewery

Bridgewater Plaza

Bridgewater Marina

Moosie’s (on TripAdvisor)

Mango’s Bar & Grill

Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce

Only In Your State: The Ghost Town of Monroe Could Hiding Under Water

And here’s a video where Adam Woo tracks down the different locations of the film “What About Bob?”:

Advertisements

Author: Beth Barton

I like to joke that I am a Texan living abroad. My husband is a Mainer and we chose to live in Henry County, Virgina because of its abundant natural beauty, temperate climate, and slow pace of life. We love small town America, the outdoors, cats, and chickens. I keep hoping to someday discover my inner artist but have so far only excelled at purchasing supplies. I am an accountant at heart. Sad, but true.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s