A Lake Retreat at the Base of the Blue Ridge

Smith Mountain Lake is a hidden gem less than two hours away, next to the gorgeous Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Its clear green water and lush landscape will make the hustle of the Triad a distant memory. It’s where a former Winston-Salem designer turned a planned vacation retreat into a realty business with a waterfront Airbnb.

Meet Amy Smitherman—a woman with an innovative spirit, a love for houses, and the vision to bring it all together. She and her husband, David, own a beautiful home on Smith Mountain Lake in Penhook, VA. Though Winston-Salem is home in many ways, they built the house as a retreat for now, and for relocation later. But they didn’t design their home only for themselves. They designed it to include a separate entrance and separate parking, perfect guest accommodations for a lake getaway!

Her love of design and historic neighborhoods are evident in the Smitherman’s West
End home and through Amy’s service with Creative Corridors and the Forsyth Historic Resources Commission. Her creative air is also present in their lake home, designed to maximize nearly 360-degree water views and provide luxurious guest quarters. The apartment features a full kitchen and dining area, as well as private patio space, a fire pit, barbeque and hot tub.

While the bungalow is available to rent just for the fun of it, it also serves a purpose. “I have a lifelong love of houses,” said Amy. “After we built this home I decided to get my Virginia real estate license and affiliate with MKB. I also started Porch Lady Properties to offer a unique real estate experience for those looking for a vacation home, retirement home, or investment property at Smith Mountain Lake.” Prospective buyers can stay in our bungalow, and I can take them to view properties all around Smith Mountain Lake. They get to view the property from the shore, but they also get to experience the community and see the property from the lake perspective. For those who want to explore on their own, a pontoon boat, kayak, canoe and two stand-up paddleboards are available for rent,” said Amy. “With 500 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty to see and enjoy!”

Smith Mountain Lake, or SML for those in the know, is the largest lake entirely in
Virginia and is known for its bountiful Striper fishing, wide-open watersport spots and breathtaking mountain views. It is minutes away from the hip foodie city of Roanoke and home to more than 25 marinas and waterfront restaurants. Vacationers enjoy the short drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the endless vistas from the Peaks of Otter. It is the perfect driving location for a short vacation or a family’s second home.

Amy is a realtor with MKB REALTORS At The Lake and serves on the Smith Mountain Lake Home Tour Board. Contact her directly at 919.708.8423 or e-mail amy@porchladyproperties.com. You can visit the Airbnb listing on AirBNB.com, and look up “Scenic Lake Getaway” in Penhook, VA.


“This was hands down one of the BEST AirBNBs we have ever stayed at, and we have stayed at quite a few. Amy and David were outstanding hosts who went above and beyond for us. Their space is so stylish (kudos to Amy for the decor), and it had beautiful views of the lake. They even let us rent their pontoon boat, which was a huge plus, since it was 4th of July weekend, and most marinas did not have any rentals. The whole experience was perfect, and exactly what we were looking for during our getaway weekend!” ~Megan and Jeffrey

“We had a wonderful stay at Amy’s place! The bungalow is beautifully decorated with so many unique touches. The outdoor space was nice to relax in with a beautiful view of the lake and mountain.” ~Adrienne

“We booked on short notice for a quick weekend getaway and were not disappointed! We arrived late in the evening to find [the bungalow] lit with candles and ambient music playing. What a welcome! You can tell that Amy has put a lot of thought into this space; it’s clean and modern with a classic touch of style.” ~Ted


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