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Lake Lanier at sunrise

Want a Georgia lake house? Here’s what you need to know.

It’s Labor Day weekend, and Atlantans are hitting the lake. Looking to get in on the action? Here’s what you need to know to get a lake retreat of your own—or even to live there full time (yes, it's possible).
Ridge at Lake Martin

Vacation Home Community Snapshot: the Ridge on Lake Martin

About 150 miles from Atlanta, family-owned Russell Lands includes 14 neighborhoods clustered around the southwest corner of Lake Martin—a 41,000-acre reservoir awarded state “Treasured Lake” status because of its exceptional water quality. The community is about 40 miles from both Auburn and Montgomery.

Lakeside idyll: The Greystone Inn in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Back in the days before smartphones, my husband and I made a perilous journey in his 1986 Maxima to Lake Toxaway, North Carolina’s largest private lake. Lousy with directions, I steered him onto a steep wilderness route that must’ve been a forest service road. We twisted and turned up rutted gravel, past sketchy cabins and gnarly dogs. When we finally arrived at the Greystone Inn, it was an oasis.

June 2013: Hidden Lakes

These lesser-known bodies of water offer cool refuge from summer's heat, whether you're looking for a second home or just a second wind.

Summers on the Lake

When my wife, Linda, and I were very young and very poor, we lived in a tin-roofed cabin in Mountain City, Georgia. Sometimes, to love well what we could love for free, we would drive around the lakes of Rabun County and all the green, wrinkled land in that far northeastern part of our state.

Carters Lake

Like just about every other sizable body of water in Georgia, Carters Lake is not a lake but a reservoir. It was created thirty-six years ago, when the Coosawattee River—which had been diverted to permit construction of the largest earthen dam east of the Mississippi—slammed into the dam’s embankment.

Clarks Hill Lake

Coming from Atlanta, Clarks Hill Lake seems buried deep in the middle of nowhere, but stripers don’t care that the address barely registers on TripAdvisor. Clarks Hill is widely considered one of the best bass fishing spots in Georgia, if not the nation.

Lake Chatuge

It’s easy to get lost on Lake Chatuge, but that’s sort of the point. When the Tennessee Valley Authority dammed the Hiawassee River in 1942, it splattered water everywhere into the nooks and crannies of the Blue Ridge Mountains that straddle the border between Georgia and North Carolina.

Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier isn’t Georgia’s largest lake, but it is the closest major reservoir to Atlanta, the state’s most visited, and perhaps its most notorious.

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