Visit Lakes in Georgia for a Day or a Week


In some previous stories, we’ve touched on State Parks in Georgia, and some of them are located on our gorgeous lakes. This time, however, we’re going to concentrate on the lakes themselves and some of the amenities near them.

by PBT1981 via WikiMedia Commons

Our first stop is Lake Sidney Lanier, located in the foothills of the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s about an hour northeast of Atlanta, either up Georgia 400 or I-85 to I-985. It is a 38,000-acre reservoir created in the 1950s by the US Army Corp of Engineers, with more than 690 miles of shoreline.

Lanier offers spectacular boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, and relaxing. Many chain hotels and motels are located in the area as well as Georgia’s newest state park, Don Carter State Park.

Lanier Islands is a resort community on Lake Lanier featuring 1500 acres of spectacular accommodations, including rentals of luxurious lake houses, villas, a lodge and conference center featuring a new heated saltwater pool, campgrounds, restaurants, golf, horseback riding, ziplining, boat rentals, and even a water park. Many lodging options are pet-friendly, and there are more than 20 miles of walking and hiking trails.

by Tim Ross, via WikiMedia Commons

Our next stop is Lake Oconee, located a little more than an hour southeast of Atlanta, straight out I-20, about half-way between Atlanta and Augusta. Created in 1979 by Georgia Power as a reservoir for their hydroelectric plant, the nearly 19,000-acre lake with almost 400 feet of shoreline, offers fabulous fishing, swimming, boating, camping, picnicking, water-skiing, and golfing.

Chain hotels and motels are located nearby as well as luxury accommodations at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge in the gated Reynolds Plantation community. Bed and breakfasts and vacation home rentals are also available to visitors.

With the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta in April, many golf enthusiasts plan their visit to Lake Oconee to coincide, allowing families to enjoy the vacation even if they don’t attend! Many golf packages are available for this time period.

by Adrien Lamaire via WikiMedia Commons

Lake Burton, one of the first lakes in the United States constructed specifically for power generation, was created in 1913. Owned and operated by Georgia Power, the lake is the first in a six-lake series called the Tallulah River Watershed, created to generate hydroelectric energy for Atlanta.

Located about an hour and a half up I-85 and US 23, the town of Lakemont is home to Atlanta’s first resort area. With 2700 acres of lake and 62 miles of shoreline, Burton seems small in comparison to Lanier and Oconee.

But the history of Burton and her sister lakes, Rabun and Seed, predates them by many years. Originally dotted with fish camps and small cabins, the area has grown to include multi-million-dollar homes.

by Yinan Chen via WikiMedia Commons

Although most accommodations are rental cabins and campgrounds, some chain motels are nearby, as well as bed and breakfasts and private inns.

The nearby historic Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant has housed guests since 1922.

Moccasin Creek State Park is located nearby with camping and other facilities open from mid-March through November. Numerous marinas on the lakes offer supplies for boaters and fishing enthusiasts. Like the state park, some venues are closed during the winter months.

by Stephen Ausmus, USDA, via WikiMedia Commons

If you’d rather explore a warmer area, the 37,500 acre Lake Seminole with 376 miles of shoreline is located in the southwest corner of Georgia along the Florida border.

Created in the 1950s, Seminole is also one of the older US Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs. Nationally known as one of the best sites for sports fishing in America, Seminole is also home to American Alligators, snakes, and various waterfowl.

The Corps maintains ten parks along the shoreline, with a total of 35 parks available for recreation, including five campgrounds. Seminole State Park covers more than 600 acres in Georgia while Three River State Park covers nearly 700 acres of wetlands in Florida.

Several private hotels, motels and inns offer accommodations in addition to the camping facilities and private vacation rental homes.

So there you have a few new areas to check out. Whether you’re just out for a leisurely Sunday drive or a week’s vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, there are plenty of options in Georgia. Tell us about your favorite lakes in Georgia!

Next: Easy Weekend Trips From Atlanta - Going South

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