Within a two-hour drive from Atlanta, an adventurous yet relaxing retreat awaits along the beautiful shores of Georgia’s Lake Country. With a combined 35,000 acres of glistening waters, Georgia’s Lake Country beckons sunshine lovers to explore two expansive lakes and four picture-perfect small towns. From stunning sunset cruises to world-class fishing to idyllic shopping and dining destinations, Lakes Oconee and Sinclair offer the promise of living the best version of your lake life dreams.
Once you make it to Lake Country, there’s only one thing left to do: get out on the water. Go for a swim, ride a jet ski, or maybe even do some water skiing. Bring your rod and reel for world-class fishing on Lake Sinclair, or rent a pontoon for hours of family cannonball competitions from one of the many local outfitters on Lake Oconee.
If working on your swing is more your speed, Georgia’s Lake Country is home to 11 golf courses, each one offering a unique experience to the golf enthusiast. GOLF magazine continues to rank two of the Reynolds Lake Oconee courses in America’s Top 100 and four in the top 10 in Georgia. Offering an integration of superior equipment technology with golf instruction, Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade is one of only two such facilities in the country, providing an exclusive retreat for full-game improvement.
Spend the day exploring miles of walking and biking trails, shooting clays, riding dirt bikes, and taking in the great outdoors. Durhamtown Off Road Resort offers over 150 miles of trails open to bikes, ATVs, and SXS. Hike along 30 miles of trails and wetlands that surround old cemeteries, home sites, quarries and lead to an ancient effigy at Rock Hawk. The recreation possibilities are endless.
The Oconee River is to thank for the creation of both Lakes Oconee and Sinclair, but more than just a source for the reservoirs, the river is a destination of its own. South of the Sinclair Dam, the river flows unobstructed. Local outfitter rentals and boat ramps at the Oconee River Greenway make it an easy float by kayak or canoe for everyone in the family to enjoy.
If your destination is relaxation, whether you’re a health novice or an experienced spa goer, Georgia’s Lake Country offers relaxing and pampering treatments. The only goal for each guest at The Spa at The James Madison Inn is to enjoy a personalized and relaxing experience of body treatments, facials, and soothing massages. Drawing inspiration from its surroundings, The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee offers a menu infused with native Georgia ingredients, water-themed therapies, and a lodge-like space with windows overlooking Lake Oconee.
Rocking on a front porch with an ice cold sweet tea in hand isn’t just a daydream, it is a way of life in Georgia’s Lake Country. Southern hospitality flourishes among the historic antebellum era B&Bs and luxury resorts. Charming amenities, complimentary bicycles, wine and cheese hours, and full gourmet breakfasts await you. If you enjoy sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows and waking to the sunrise over the water, various lakeside campgrounds are the perfect option.
Founded in 1803, Milledgeville served as the capital of Georgia during the Civil War and was recently named one of the coolest small towns in America. This charming southern town boasts a hip college vibe that has an eclectic mix of locally owned shops and dining options. A popular tourist tour destination, Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion was home to Georgia’s governors from 1839 to 1868 and was occupied by General Sherman at one point. Showcasing the beautiful Greek Revival architecture style, the Mansion is open for guided tours daily. The best way to take in the town of Milledgeville is aboard their Historic Trolley Tour, offered Wednesdays-Saturdays.
Discover picturesque antebellum homes while shopping boutiques and antiques to find one-of-a-kind treasures to take home. Madison is the town Sherman refused to burn on his infamous March to the Sea and its National Register Historic District is one of the state’s largest collections of 19th century architecture. Tour Heritage Hall for a classically Southern experience, as this Greek Revival home was built in 1811 and was a private residence until 1977. Madison also features one of the South’s few authentic dude ranches, Southern Cross Guest Ranch. Home to well over 150 quality Paint and Quarter horses, the Ranch is known for its exceptional 17-room inn, hands-on horseback riding programs, and unguided riding opportunities.
Lake Oconee’s hometown was around long before the lake was created. Greensboro was founded in 1786 and offers vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment. Grab a local beer at Oconee Brewing Company, a craft brewery housed downtown in a renovated cotton warehouse. Located directly behind the Greene County Courthouse, the Old Gaol (jail) housed Greensboro’s prisoners well into the 1890s. Today (by appointment), visitors can touch the two foot granite walls, look down over the gallows, and stand in an actual cell to imagine what life was like for the accused.
Nestled between the lakes and the Oconee National Forest lies the historic antebellum town of Eatonton. Heritage is deeply rooted in this community and its people understand the value of preserving the past, which you can see just by taking a stroll through downtown, lined with antebellum, Gothic, and Victorian-style homes. Find out more about the man behind the famous Uncle Remus stories, his life, and the surroundings that influenced one of America’s greatest writers at The Uncle Remus Museum. Take a scenic drive through the countryside along the Alice Walker Driving Tour. Walker, author of the award-winning novel The Color Purple, was born in Eatonton and the driving tour takes you past several important places in Walker’s life.