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Clarksville - Virginia's Fabulous Lakeside Town

Located within close proximity to the cities of Roanoke, Richmond, Washington DC, and North Carolina's Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill), Clarksville is a refreshing break from the bustling city lifestyle. With small town charm and friendly people, Clarksville is a place visitors will certainly want to return to time after time, especially since it is nestled right smack in the center of so many nearby metropolis areas.

The quaint town of Clarksville is the only lakeside town in Virginia, and its primary attraction is Buggs Island Lake. Virginia's largest manmade lake is a boastful 50,000-acre body of water, which includes more than 800 miles of shoreline. Water sports of every kind are plentiful, and tourists are attracted to the area annually to enjoy water skiing, fishing, boating, camping, and many other outdoor activities.

RealEstateJournal.com recently included Clarksville as one of the twelve most tempting locales to buy a vacation home. However, throughout the year, and regardless of the season, Clarksville hosts a variety of recreational events which attract locals and tourists alike to come out and see just what this small town is up to now.

The Occoneechee State Park Native American Festival, or the "Pow-Wow" in the springtime is held annually at Occoneechee State Park. This is a fabulous way to learn all about the history of Native Americans and to enjoy traditional singing and dancing. This is not a competitive Pow-Wow, but more of an educational event that focuses on the history of the surrounding areas.

Occoneechee State Park is a beautiful relaxing scene to host such an event, as the Park has recent additions of cabin facilities, a playground area for children, and a new visitor center. There are also numerous walking trails to explore within the park as well as picnicking areas.

Historically, from about 1250 to 1670, the Occoneechee Indians once lived on an island on what is now near the area of the park. After Nathaniel Bacon led an attack on the Occoneechee Indians in 1676, most were slaughtered. Then in 1839 William Townes built a plantation home on the land. One of the state park trails takes visitors through what remains of the Old Plantation grounds, which were destroyed by fire in 1898. Other trails and markers inside the park offer more information on the lives of the Occoneechee Indians.

Another feature of the park is that the amphitheater overlooks Buggs Island Lake. This site is particularly gorgeous spot to enjoy the sunset or plan for a romantic summertime getaway moment with your sweetheart or spouse, if not plan a wedding ceremony.

If the lake is Clarksville's biggest draw, than the second largest attraction is the Lake Festival.

Clarksville's Annual Lake Festival, known as simply "LakeFest" by the locals, was voted one of Southeast Tourism Society's "Top Twenty Festivals in the Southeast" in 2007. Hailing more than 80,000 visitors to this annual event held on the third weekend of July, LakeFest attractions include the Lake, live entertainment, hot air balloons, arts and crafts vendors, sand sculptors, delicious local and ethnic foods, and Saturday night's "Gathering of the Boats" and fantastic fireworks display!

LakeFest is a weekend filled with all sorts of activities, which start Friday night with Opening Ceremonies and continue throughout the weekend. All the details about LakeFest happenings are available from the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce.

Fishing tournaments are a year-round attraction to Clarksville and Southern Crappie Association, Virginia B.A.S.S. Federation, FLW Outdoors, and Bobcat's Bait and Tackle have sponsored events here in the past. Buggs Island Lake and the nearby John H. Kerr Dam Reservoir area are both famous for the plentiful and sizable catches that can be reeled in here. Largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, bluegill, and perch are in no short supply. Be sure to bring along a valid Virginia or North Carolina fishing license or plan to obtain one once you get here.

If you're looking for a larger than life fish tale, you might just be surprised at what you might catch in the Clarksville area. The local fishermen tales swear that there's fish here the size you've never dreamed possible before! If you're interested, but not exactly sure where you should start looking, there are several local tour guides who are always happy to show you around. If you need a boat, that can be arranged with a rental from the Clarksville Marina or Occoneechee State Park. The Clarksville Marina rents pontoon boats as well.

Near Clarksville, there are approximately 30 public boat launch areas as well as two public beaches. Rudds Creek Recreation Area is located less than 10 miles east of Clarksville on US Highway 58. Rudds Creek has a beach area and boat launch on one side of Highway 58, while the Rudds Creek Campground area is located on the opposite side of the highway. The second public beach, Longwood Recreation Area, is located about 7 miles south of Clarksville on US Highway 15. Longwood has a beach area, boat launch, and camping facilities too.

Harvest Days is the first weekend in October, and organizers are equally striving to turn this fall festival into just as grand an event as the summer LakeFest. In 2007, Harvest Days weekend in Clarksville was also The Dominion 2007 World Inboard Championships.

There is also an 18-hole golf course, Kinderton Country Club, if you prefer to putt around during your visit. The course, designed by Donald Ross, has clubhouse facilities, a driving range, and a putting green. If you want to practice with a little more privacy, there is a driving range just five miles outside of Clarksville. The range is open year round from sunrise to sunset and has automated machines.

If all the outdoor excitement is not your thing, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy. Clarksville has a downtown walking tour that includes 60 buildings listed on the Virginia and National Registers of Historic Places. Plan to visit Prestwould Plantation, which is an 18th century plantation home, and you will not be disappointed. The center of Clarksville is also the proud home of the Mecklenburg County Veterans Memorial Monument. The memorial is an ideal location to honor veterans, stop for a moment of silence, or pause to send some thoughts and prayers to those individuals who are currently serving our country.

Downtown Clarksville is also known for its eclectic assortment of shops, which include antiques, collectibles, and a little something for everyone. The Virginia Avenue Mall is a place you will want to make sure you set aside some time to browse through.

You can even enjoy the small town charm and atmosphere of Clarksville without having to sacrifice the connectedness of the big city. Local hotel rooms are all high speed ready. If you are up to vacation a bit more on the adventurous side, consider renting your very own private lake house. Local real estate agents will gladly assist you in finding exactly what you have in mind.

Someone let the catfish out of the bag! The little town of Clarksville is making a big splash in quickly becoming an incredibly hot destination for city folks and not just during the summer months anymore.

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