Why Lake Anna Makes for a Classic Southern Vacation Out on the Water

With over 200 miles of shoreline spanning three counties, Lake Anna has everything you could want in a vacation on the water—from boating to picnic spots, from water skiing to striper fishing, the lake destination is fun for the whole family. Surrounded by stunning natural landmarks and a rich history, this spot is perfect for lovers of nature and history alike.

One of the most popular activities for Lake Anna visitors is pontoon boating. These boats are popular with tourists for their ease of operation and their ability to cram in bigger parties—up to 15 people per vessel. Try out LKA Watersports, located right on the water, with pontoon prices starting at $480 per day or $325 per half-day.

Want to explore the lake on a slightly smaller scale? Take advantage of Lake Anna’s many canoe and kayak rental services. Lake Anna Outfitters , located at High Point Marina, offers rentals of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and more. You can access Lake Anna via a kayak slide 20 inches above the water. Lake Anna State Park, where many visitors like to picnic and hike, is just a half-mile paddle away from the marina. Canoe and kayak rentals start at $55 and $40 per day, respectively.

boat on lake anna
Photo courtesy The Lake Anna Visitor Center

Looking for even more excitement? LKA Watersports also offers Jet Ski rentals. Relish in the exhilaration of sailing across Lake Anna in style on one of their 2021 Sea-Doo 130 models—fitting two people per Jet Ski, this activity is perfect for couples who are geared more toward an adrenaline rush than rest and relaxation. Rates start at $220 for a two-hour ride.

For the fish aficionado (a-fish-ionado?) in your family, look no further than the plentiful striper and largemouth bass fishing that exists on the lake. The largemouth bass is a special favorite in the region; many anglers come to Lake Anna in late spring to find that perfect prize-winning fish. Beware, though, that the options for renting fishing poles at the lake are slim, so you should come prepared with your own equipment. Or, head to McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service to learn from the professionals about all the secret tips and tricks for Lake Anna fishing.

STAY

Looking to take a break from the lake and embrace the history the area has to offer? Charm abounds in Stevenson Ridge, with nine historical cottages and cabins dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The different cottages range from rustic to refined and come complete with wood-burning fireplaces and beautiful front-porch views. The history buff in your group will be ecstatic to see some of the best-preserved Civil War trenches in the country on the property. Visitors who want to continue exploring nature can enjoy the inn’s onsite fishing pond and extensive hiking trails.

EAT

If you can’t get enough of the unique history this region has to offer, consider visiting Tavern on the Rail in the nearby town of Mineral. Just minutes from Lake Anna, this restaurant is housed in an 1837 Nationally Registered Historical Landmark. Take in the atmospheric whistle of the nearby train tracks as you indulge in Southern comfort food. Highlights include the seafood casserole, the garlic mashed potatoes, and the delicious hummingbird cake, the tavern’s classic Southern special.

This story originally ran in our May issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.

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