The Lakeside Life Blog
Lewis Smith Lake Alabama | Smith Lake Alabama
Get your boat ready – it’s almost spring!
Groundhog Day 2023 brought news we lake lovers did not want to hear for the upcoming boating season… 6 more weeks of winter?! BUT… that also means it allows 6 more weeks to prepare boats/marine vessels for spring break and beyond!
Now is the time, before spring, to put boats in the shop for servicing, maintenance and upgrades before local shops are overloaded, resulting in sometimes serious delays to your boating season. Also, maintaining and servicing a boat annually protects your investment, and upgrades can substantially help resale value.
See a list of suggestions below (in alphabetical order):
1. AFTERMARKET BOAT & TOWER ACCESSORIES - This can be anything from a depth finder to a trailer tail light to board racks for the boat's tower, or even a new tower and so much more. Try these local companies: Duskin Point Marina, MasterPro Audio, and Russell Marine - Smith Lake
2. BOAT DETAILING - unlike basic auto detailing, boats have a gel coat surface over thick heavy fiberglass which is different from metal and plastics used on cars, so different methods, products and materials are needed for repairs, cleaning and refurbishing the finish. Make sure you use a company that is experienced with delicate boat detailing needs. We recommend local companies like Bama Detailing, Duncan Bridge Marina, MasterPro Audio, Nelson Marine & Cycle Services, and Russell Marine - Smith Lake.
3. BOAT LIFTS - for a new lift, installation, and good annual servicing to keep your investment safe and sound, get quotes from HydroHoist of Alabama, Free State Boat Docks, MasterPro Audio and Smith Lake Republic.
4. DOCK SERVICE & CONCIERGE - this can be anything from dock servicing, repairs, cleaning, solar installation, dock accessories, marine grade audio/video for outdoor entertaining, etc. Try getting an estimate from local companies who can help like Free State Boat Docks, MasterPro Audio, Nelson Marine and Cycle Services, Smith Lake Republic and Wetsteps of Alabama.
5. FINANCING - looking to buy a NEW BOAT - visit Duskin Point Marina and Russell Marine - Smith Lake and finance locally with banks like Bank of Walker County, Citizens Bank and Trust, Cullman Savings Bank, First National Bank and Listerhill Credit Union. Did you know that you can obtain financing for a NEW DOCK? Contacting Listerhill Credit Union to get your application underway.
6. INSURANCE - make sure you’re properly covered for the year or re-evaluate your coverage if you've made any changes recently regarding your boat, home or dock. Grant Thomas of Alfa Insurance can help you. (Note - Grant's family are long time residents of Smith Lake - check out their company Smith Lake Rentals and Sales for local rental homes and sign up early for rentals as they get booked super fast early each year.
7. MARINE AUDIO/VIDEO - Upgrade the entire boat's A/V system if it is not performing on its limited stock system, or if the system is older and needing a few upgrades or component additions. Perhaps everything is functioning fine, and the system just needs some tuning, repairs or refurb. Be sure to use professionals who understand the nuances between name brands of equipment and how to get the most sound bang for your buck. A company we recommend who has over 35 years experience in high end professional audio is MasterPro Audio with experience not just in marine audio and basic 12V, but also for commercial/home/worship/sports venues, entertainment venues, etc. Ask to hear their demo boat system, on the water from a very far distance - you'll be shocked at what their patented tower speakers and component system are capable of - clean, clear high performance sound ready to energize your day on the lake.
8. MARINE FLOORING - whether it's carpet, engineered marine flooring for an entire boat, or just pieces for a back platform, gunwales, or just to artfully replace a torn or damaged section, the following local companies can help get your boat looking the best - Duskin Point Marina, MasterPro Audio, and Russell Marine - Smith Lake.
9. MECHANICAL SERVICE for BOATS & TRAILERS - schedule to get your boat serviced, tuned up, de-winterized and ready to take on the season. Local companies we suggest: Duskin Point Marina, Nelson Marine & Cycle Services, Russell Marine - Smith Lake.
10. TOWING SERVICE - get your annual membership NOW and boat worry free all year. Contact Captain Terry Russeau of TowBoatUS Smith Lake.
11. UPHOLSTERY - repairs or new - contact Bama Detailing or MasterPro Audio.
12. WATERSPORTS EQUIPMENT - new equipment or rentals - try local shops like Lakeside Gear, Pine Valley Outdoor Living, Russell Marine - Smith Lake and Triple Creek Marina.
Once you've got the boat tuned up, spruced up, fully loaded and ready to go, check out our other informational blogs to make sure you are fully prepared for the best boating season every year. Check back on our blog often!
For more businesses in categories you are looking for, try our Business Listing - Alphabetical, and our Business Listing by Category, and check out more information in our LOCAL INFO tab.
Latest update to this blog: 2/2/23.
12/15/2022 0 Comments
Boat Show Season 2023
A favorite time of year for all those who LAKE is Boat Show Season - occurring at the beginning of every year, usually in January, sometimes into March. For us, it means SPRING is just around the corner. The lake area begins to be in high gear for the next boating season as soon as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve! It's certainly the case for us.
Most of the folks in our area enjoy attending several boat shows each year. Favorite shows are within about a 3 hour driving range. Attending shows allows a fun reason to get out and go visit another city, reconnect with other boating friends aka "your lake people," and getting excited for a new season by checking out the vendors - favorite boat brands, marinas, lake life brands and lake-oriented businesses.
Attached is a list of 2023 boat shows you might like to attend - in order by date. All shows are a short drive from the lake area. (we'll try to update this listing each year as soon as we get confirmed info, but also keep the contact information at hand so that you know how to reach out annually for additional information, vendor apps, vendor lists, floorplans/maps and tickets.)
For information on more boat shows further away like the Nashville, Atlanta, and Orlando, FL areas, just Google boat show info for the states you're visiting.
Now, just grab your favorite lake folks, pack up the car and head out to the boat shows of your choice. ENJOY!
12/1/2022 0 Comments
Things to Do at Smith Lake
Access: First of all you have to get here. Traveling to the lake is quick and easy:
Cullman - access the Cullman County side of the lake primarily off I-65 from Exits 299 (to Hwy 69), 304 (to Hwy 437, Hwy 438 & Hwy 222) & 309 (to Hwy 278)
Walker - enter the Walker side from I-22 into Jasper and through Curry AL
Winston - the Winston side can be accessed through Cullman and Walker, both head into Arley, AL (The Heart of Smith Lake), or through Hwy 278 on the far northwest side from the Double Springs, AL area.
For reference, distances are:
from the popular 299 Exit from I65 are: about 40 minutes to Birmingham AL (40 miles), about 1 hour to Huntsville AL (60 miles), and about 2 hours & 20 mins to Nashville, TN (150 miles).
Once you have an address of where you want to go, everything is accessible via GPS, but keep in mind that most of the lake is still very rural, so traveling around can be tricky. There are still some dirt/gravel roads in the area, as well as some hard pack roads. If you're veering off main highways and don't have a 4-wheel-drive, just be mindful of road conditions in inclement weather.
Activities: there are so many activities to enjoy on Smith Lake. We'll list a few of our favorites below.
Also, check out the bottom of our blog on Lewis Smith Dam and Powerhouse for information about visiting the Alabama Power Company Lewis Smith Dam and Powerhouse.
If you would like more information about our area, we encourage you to check with the local Chamber of Commerce for each city/county and/or the tourism boards in those areas. In true southern style and hospitality, they will all graciously provide even more detailed and factual information about their specific areas.
We have gathered these facts from numerous sources for the benefit of our community, so please feel free to offer any edits. Call/text us at 256-708-7679 or email us at email@example.com
6/27/2022 0 Comments
4th of July Events on Smith Lake
NOTE: This blog will be updated annually.
Every Independence Day on Smith Lake is a great holiday, rain or shine; but after tough years through the pandemic, this year’s holiday is bound to be a good escape for everyone as things have been finally getting back to some sense of normal for travelers.
Get ready to have some fun this year on Smith Lake for the 4th of July. Most folks are planning a long weekend due to the holiday falling on Monday, so there will be an influx of friends and family to entertain all weekend, and there is plenty to do all around our large lake. We're all praying for summer storms to hold back for the weekend's events.
Check out our LOCAL INFO listings for everything from restaurants to shopping and much more. Our Cullman, Walker & Winston County areas welcome you with open arms, and would love to have you spend some time shopping locally for your weekend of entertaining. Also, visit our Smith Lake #spotsonsmith checklist to make sure you see some of our favorite spots on the lake while out boating.
There are several big fireworks shows that have been reported so far, see the list below.
(You can find other events on our CALENDAR page - so please let us know of any other events need to be added and we'll have them added as soon as possible.)
"@" tag us on social media OR send in photos of the events you attend to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you want us to post the photos on social media or if you’d like to be on the blog or magazine.
(Please let us know of any other events that need to be added to the list for the weekend).
3/1/2022 0 Comments
AMAZON LAKE LIFE - launched!
The Lakeside Life magazine is very lucky to be have been selected and recognized by Amazon in 2019 as not only an #amazonassociate (aka #amazonaffiliate) but also an #amazoninfluencer.
Along with the new status, our team had to decide whether to roll out our Amazon picks on our store pages or our magazine page, and how best to do it. We are first and foremost a lake living community magazine, dedicated to our lake community in every way, so our goal is to select products from reputable brands that we are already affiliated with by vendors through our store, OR that are sold by our local retailers who are also a part of the Amazon team and seek to extend their products to a wider audience, OR brands that we know and trust from our own lake experience or that of friends and neighbors we have "laked" with for decades.
We boldly decided to roll out our status on all platforms so that we can show a more diverse amount of products and vendors that we support and believe in. We set up our wide-reaching Amazon store using the Instagram account @amazonlakelife as the basis for that with a logo that fits our brand using "lake life" as the theme––a shortened version of our magazine name––and we matched the logo to our local store @lakesidegear using the same logo with "lake gear" as the theme. From these pages, @thelakesidelife_smithlake and @lakesidegear, plus our professional marine audio company @masterpoaudio, we can offer recommendations in any way we see fit through those markets. Again, our overall goal––show you more of what our brands, retailers and affiliates in the lake arena are offering. It's fun having several ways to find the products we all need and want.
Check our BLOG again soon, we'll have some select items to show you in the future.
AND...this isn't all, we still have some exciting changes going on in the background as we grow and change, and we'll keep you posted...stay tuned!
This blog was first published 11/1/2019 and we have updated since we took a pause during the pandemic that followed that post to focus on only supporting local business or businesses like ours that have an Amazon store to complement their brick and mortar or home based business. However, we'll be ramping up some favorite Amazon picks to post on our social media and blog later in the year, so follow us to watch for those.
NOTE: You can still purchase directly through our store, our e-comm, and our local or national affiliates, PLUS you now have an additional way of convenient shopping, from the comfort of your home, for products that help you enjoy the lakeside life. Please... never hesitate to reach out to us for recommendations and direction on anything you are interested in. We're out there shopping all the time, and chances are, in our decades of lake life, and 25+ years on Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama, we've seen or heard of the product you want, and we'd love to help direct you to the best pricing and highest quality items available. Choose @amazonlakelife!
Mai Tai recipe submitted by readers Tamara & Michael Sansbury
Today was an off and on rainy day on the lake, so a perfect one to kick back on the covered deck with a cocktail and relax with a good book or just enjoy the scenery and the sounds of the refreshing summer rain! We were so glad to see this fun photo pop up in our Instagram DMs at just the right time, so we requested the recipe. It just so happens we borrowed 2 ingredients from a neighbor with a well-stocked bar, and now it’s evening and here we are making our own, thanks to readers Tamara & Michael Sansbury.
1 oz Jamaican rum
1 oz rhum Agricole
1/2 oz dry curaçao
1/2 oz orgeat syrup (an almond cocktail syrup that you can buy at most fine liquor stores or if you are super fancy, make your own at home - see recipe below)
1 oz fresh lime
fresh mint sprigs to garnish
Shake, strain, drink, repeat! 🍹🍹
Drink responsibly and enjoy! CHEERS!
2 cups blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 oz brandy
1/2 t orange flower water (or rose water)
• Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside.
• Combine the sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Boil the syrup for 3 minutes, then add the ground almonds.
• Turn the heat to low and simmer for another 3 minutes, then slowly increase the temp to medium-high. Just before it starts to boil, remove it from
the heat and cover.
• Let covered nut mixture infuse for 3-8 hours. Strain it through about 2 layers of cheesecloth, discarding the ground almonds for another use.
• Stir brandy & orange flower water into syrup
• Use a cocktail funnel to pour orgeat into a jar. Seal and store in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
Lake Living at it's best!
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The Lakeside Life
767 County Road 437
Cullman, AL 35055
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Facebook Group: Smith Lake Community
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