Jim and Catriona Erler, the owners of Silver Bay View Cottages, first discovered Smith Mountain Lake in 1987, a few years after they moved to Northern Virginia from San Diego with their infant children. Craving the long open views they grew up with in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Jim and Catriona knew they had found the ideal spot for their young family to build vacation memories.
The Erlers purchased Cabin 1 in 1993 and began offering it as a rental a few years later. As the rental business grew, they purchased Cabin 2 and soon learned that there was a desparate need for accomdations large enough for reunions. When the Main House and Cedar Cabin became available in 2002, they purchased them and began major rennovations to prepare them for large reunions. Since 2003 Silver Bay has been a first choice on Smith Mountain Lake for reunions.
With the lake becoming a year-round destination there was a growing demand for hot tubs. So, in the spring of 2012 the Erlers undertook a major rennovation project where hot tubs were added to the Main House and Cedar Cabin, and all the properties were updated with new HDTVs and furnishings.
Today, Jim and Catriona divide their time between their lake home next to Silver Bay, and their home in Charlottesville. While Jim manages the properties, he is assisted by Tina & Brian Vandergraft who own and operate Maid4You housekeeping services.
Jim is an entrepreneur with a wide range of technical, artistic and business interests. When not managing Silver Bay, he is a mentor for technologists at the University of Virginia and at the Darden School of Business who aspire to start their own companies. He also consults for growing technology companies. Having a technical background in physics, chemistry and engineering, and having founded a semiconductor company, Jim offers a unique combination of technical and business expertise.
Jim's artistic interests inspired him to design Loblolly House, a reproduction of a famous 1908 Arts & Crafts home in Pasadena, California. Loblolly generated the interest of architects and academics who encouraged Jim to offer design services to others, which he now does. Loblolly House is next door to the Main House at Silver Bay and was featured in the Smith Mountain Lake Home Tour in October of 2011. It has also been featured in local and national magazines. If available, Jim is happy to offer private tours of the house. See www.ErlerDesign.com to see a video about the house.Catriona Tudor Erler
Catriona is a garden author/photographer/speaker who has written 9 books and countless articles for national and international publications. Her books are available at Amazon.com, major booksellers and home improvement stores. You can also see her regular articles in the Smith Mountain Laker Magazine which is free at local businesses. Check out her web site, www.CatrionaTudorErler.com for more information
Grocery and convenience stores are listed below, starting with the closest. The best grocery store on the lake is Kroger.
CVS and Kroger in Westlake Corner are the only full service pharmacies on the lake. Some over-the-counter remedies are available at the grocery and convenience stores listed above.
There are a number of restaurants on and around Smith Mountain Lake. Some are accessible by both water and road (these are also listed in the “On the Lake” page), while others are only available by road. While this is not a complete list, these are establishments that we have visited and can recommend. They are presented in the order of our personal preference.
The Landing 773 Ashmeade Road | Moneta, VA 24121 | Phone: 540.721.3028 | Web Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~20 minutes by water, ~45 minutes by road The Landing is generally recognized as the best restaurant on the lake, and we agree with this assessment. The quality of the food and its presentation is outstanding, with an excellent beer and wine list. In our opinion, it is as good as the best restaurants in a major city, with prices that are only slightly less than similar establishments in major cities. For those of you who have a passion for food and cooking, The Landing offers special event meals and cooking classes. There is outdoor and indoor seating. While they are on the lake, views of the water are obscured by boat lifts in front of the restaurant.
Mexico Viejo 404 Crazy Horse Dr | Moneta, VA 24121 | (540) 719-1000 Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~20 minutes by water, ~45 minutes by road Mexico Viejo has the best lake views of any restaurant on the water, with the exception of those to be had while dining at Silver Bay View Cottages! The New Mexico style food is good. We always enjoy our meals here. Prices are quite reasonable, and the Dos Equis beer on tap is excellent. It is also a very pleasant boat ride from Silver Bay, and one of our most frequent destinations.
Portside Grill & Bar 3619 Airport Road at Virginia Dare Marina | Moneta, VA | 540-297-7100 x3 | Web Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~20 minutes by water, ~15 minutes by road A tiki bar with outdoor seating over the water. This is a fun place to enjoy a drink and a sandwich. Enjoy live entertainment, D.J.’s, steel drums, dancing, limbo and sunset views over the water. They also have TVs so you can watch your favorite game or race. It is open only in the warmer months.
Marina Café at Mitchell’s Point Marina 3553 Trading Post Road | Huddleston, VA | 540-297-4829 Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~10 minutes by water, ~10 minutes by road The Marina Café is the closest restaurant to Silver Bay. They have both indoor and outdoor seating and offer a limited menu of burgers and sandwiches. A great place to catch a bite with the locals.
Kings Point Pub 15844 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway | Huddleston, VA | 540-297-7347 Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~10 minutes by water, ~15 minutes by road A fun Irish pub with indoor and outdoor seating. While we usually stop by for one of their great beers on tap, they also serve a variety of Irish dishes (Steak and Guinness Pie!) and sandwiches. They are only open in the warmer months, and only Wednesday through Sunday. Call before you head out!
Smokehouse Restaurant 1123 Celebration Ave. | Downtown Moneta | 540.297.4646 Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~15 minutes by road In the recently built Downtown Moneta (intersection of Routes 608 and 122), Smokehouse offers a variety of home cooked barbecue along with southern sides such as hushpuppies and sweet potato fries.
Mayberry Drive-In & Diner 1696 Whitehouse Road | Moneta, VA | 540-296-1480 | Web Driving time from Silver Bay View: ~15 minutes by road Home-style cooking in a classic silver diner that is located at the local drive-in theater quickly brings us back to the 50’s and early 60’s. It is also a popular place for breakfast.
Catering is a great option for reunions. Private dinner cruises are also included in this category, since they are able to pick you up at your private dock at Silver Bay.
The Landing Restaurant 540.721.3028 | Web In addition to being our favorite restaurant on the lake, The Landing also offers catering.
Blue Ridge Catering 540-982-7700 | Web While we haven’t tasted their food, we have heard good things about Blue Ridge.
Barnyard Catering 540.297.4646 Barnyard is the catering half of Smokehouse Restaurant (see above), and are a local favorite for catered barbeque at very reasonable prices. You can either pick up the food at Smokehouse, or have it delivered.
Southern Belle Sightseeing and Dinner Cruises on Smith Mountain Lake 540-352-0873 or 540-352-2124 | Web The Southern Belle offers private dinner cruises for up to 35 people. With indoor seating for dinner, and a large upper deck for pre and post dinner partying, the Southern Belle is one of the best ways to celebrate a family reunions. The deep water at Silver Bay makes it possible for them to pick up your entire party at any of our docks. Their food is excellent and the owners are wonderful hosts. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on the Belle, so it holds a special place for our family!
Virginia Dare Sightseeing and Dinner Cruises on Smith Mountain Lake 3619 Airport Road | Moneta, VA 24121 | (540) 297-7100 | Web The Virginia Dare has been cruising Smith Mountain Lake as long as we can remember, and is one of the more popular attractions on the lake. Beyond offering sightseen and dinner cruises to the general public, they also offer private charters. We have not taken a dinner cruise, so we can’t comment on the food. We did attend a private dockside party there, and the food was excellent. It is normally moored next to the Portside Bar & Grill (see above).
To give our housekeeper more time to clean and maximize your stay, there are different check-in and check-out times for the Bay View and Point View cottages. If your cottage is not occupied before or after your visit, we may be able to offer more flexible check-in or check-out times. However, this can only be confirmed a few days before your arrival/departure date.
|Check-in Time||Check-out Time|
|Point View Cottages (Main House & Cedar Cabin)||4 p.m.||11 a.m.|
|Bay View Cottages (Cabins 1 & 2)||3 p.m.||10 a.m.|
After taking in the beautiful setting, please take a moment to look around the cottage. If there are any problems, let us know immediately and we will do our best to correct it. This is important to make sure you are not charged for breakage caused by a prior visitor. If you discover any problem during your stay or there is any accidental breakage, please let us know immediately.
If you are staying at one of the Point View Cottages, be sure to check the maintenance sheet for the hot tub. The hot tub should have been serviced within a few days of your arrival. If it is not, please call us immediately and do NOT use the hot tub until it has been serviced.