Gifts Ahoy is a combination fudge and gift shop, located in the Smith Mountain Lake region. I often stop in here either before or after I go to Mangos Bar & Grill, which is in the same strip mall. Gift Ahoy is actually listed as one of the top ten gift shops on Smith Mountain Lake, for good reason. They carry a very unique selection of gifts that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. One thing that is somewhat surprising is how big the shop is. It looks deceptively small from the front, but once you enter through the glass door, you’ll notice that it goes really far back. Be prepared to spend a while just browsing around. It’s kind of a heady experience with so much merchandise, plus there’s that heavenly scent of fudge that permeates the air.
Gifts Ahoy has been at Smith Mountain Lake for more than 25 years. During that time, they’ve managed to find their way into the hearts of all the Smith Mountain Lake residents, as well as visiting tourists. They’ve been voted as the #1 place to buy a Smith Mountain Lake souvenir, but I think they’re much more than a souvenir shop. They carry such a vast assortment of home items and souvenirs, but they also sell what I consider to be the best fudge in Virginia.
Location & Environment
Gifts Ahoy is on the far right-hand side of the building complex, next to the Bridgewater Marina & Boat Rental. You enter off of a wooden deck that they usually have decorated with container flowers. Inside it has a high end boutique ambience, with eye candy in every little nook and cranny. It’s got a real earthy, homey feel, with a wooden floor and lots of small areas that are just filled to the brim with goodies. It’s not dissimilar to an antique mall, where different vendors have their own little area to fill with merchandise, only at Gifts Ahoy everything is new and sparkly.
The environment is like a boutique, with lots of little things, some of them delicate. For that reason, I don’t recommend bringing small children in. Because all the merchandise is so attractive, you might spend your whole visit managing your children’s curious fingers. Also, the merchandise is displayed quite close together, so it’s a bit of a challenge for adults to navigate without disrupting any displays, but on the positive side, everywhere you turn there's something new and unique to entice you!
The staff are always friendly and eager to help people find what they’re looking for. They always have someone behind the fudge counter, but they also make sure someone’s on the floor to help answer questions about anything.
Souvenirs & What's for Sale
If you came in looking for a gift for a friend, like I did, you’ll know instantly that you’ll find something special. Truth be told, I found several things that I wanted for myself, like a gorgeous, silky tunic top and a scarf to match.
As far as price points, they’ve got something for everyone. Whether you want to spend a little or a lot, you’ll be able to get a nice selection here. I’ve never seen anyone leave empty-handed. The other thing that I really like about Gifts Ahoy, is that it has items for locals; it’s not just a shop for tourists. They carry a ton of cute items to decorate a lake house, plus functional and cute items like journals, walking shoes and boat shoes, socks and similar items. They carry brand names, too. Some ones that stood out to me are Vera Bradley, Simply Southern and Lilly Pulitzer.
I can’t forget to mention the toys and kids’ plush animals. They have a nice range of educational toys, plus the more adorable little baby clothes and soft plush animals. If you have a child or a niece or nephew, this is the place to shop for a little something special. Gosh, I haven’t even gotten to the fudge yet!
First of all, they ship their fudge, so you could actually stop on in, sample some fudge and then have the store ship it to your loved ones. That’s very convenient, especially if you don’t want to spend your vacation at Smith Mountain Lake standing in line at the post office. They’ll even gift wrap it for you. As far as fudge flavors, you’ll find things like German Chocolate, peanut butter fudge, white chocolate fudge, cookie dough fudge and more. They also have really exotic fudge flavors like cotton candy, cookies and cream, caramel fudge and more. They typically have over a dozen fudge varieties on hand at any given time!
Gifts Ahoy has some of the best fudge in town! They can even ship it.