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About Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier, on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia, is the most popular lake in America’s southeast region. It is a product of the completed Burford Dam, making Lake Lanier a 38,000-acre reservoir for fishing and boating. Georgia’s humid southern climate allow the area to stay warm all year long. For a relaxing, lakeside vacation, be sure to head out to Lake Lanier! Popular among boaters, fishermen and water sports enthusiasts, the lake sees over 7.5 million visitors each year. Its marinas and the Lake Lanier Islands waterpark are prime hotspots for summer vacationers, as well as the islands in the water that enhance the lake’s appeal. Initially created as a reservoir for flood control and water supply, Lake Lanier has since become a well-beloved getaway for recreation and enjoyment in Georgia. The town of Gainesville hosted the 1996 Olympic Canoe and Kayak events. Remnants from this remain at the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club and Lake Lanier Rowing Club.
Things to do in Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier has many opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of northern Georgia. There are several golf courses nearby, such as Lanier Golf and Chestatee Golf Club. Additionally, opportunities for water recreation are almost endless. Go fishing for spotted bass, striped bass, and catfish, canoe or kayak on the famously smooth water, or even try water skiing. Gainesville, the “Hospitality Capital of the World,” is full of attractions to keep the whole family entertained. The Atlanta Botanical Garden has a branch in Gainesville, full of shaded paths and Chihuly glass art. Try browsing the Gainesville Farmer’s Market for homemade honey and jam, fresh produce—the live band will keep you entertained while you shop. Kinsey Family Farm has everything from fresh flowers to Christmas trees. This charming attraction is sure to provide a fun afternoon for families. There are dozens of types of plants here available for purchase, as well as a seasonal pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm. Summertime at Lake Lanier calls for some fun in the sun. Families might enjoy an excursion to LanierWorld at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. Whether you’re taking a dip in Wild Waves, the largest wave pool in Georgia, or hurtling down one of the 13 waterslides, adventure awaits for guests of all ages. The resort also features world-class golfing with a course designed by Billy Fuller and a spa for the ultimate massage session. If you prefer quiet time by the water, stretch out for a relaxing day at a lakeside beach, or take a horseback ride on trails that loop around the lake. Don’t know how to ride? The Equestrian Center offers individual or group lessons. The lake also offers optimal conditions to learn a new sport. Wakeboarding, water skiing, canoeing and kayaking are top activities on the lake. Fishing and swimming are popular, too. To get the most of the area’s scenery, opt for a canopy tour that will take you through the forests of the Lake Lanier Islands. Take a zipline ride through the trees, or walk across two sky bridges on foot. Lake Lanier Canopy Tours also has tours that start after sunset, for an evening soaring under a star-filled sky. Get your fill of good music, entertainment and dining at Sunset Cove, a great spot for a little nightlife. Alternative dining establishments include Pig Tales on Lake Lanier, a seasonal waterfront bar and barbecue grill; Big Creek Tavern; and Fish Tales Lakeside Grill, where they dish up casual seafood dockside.
Day Trips from Lake Lanier
The Appalachian Trail, one of America’s most famous thru-hikes, is close enough for Lake Lanier visitors to enjoy. About an hour and fifteen minutes north of Lake Lanier, visitors can experience the lush greenery of Northern Georgia’s wilderness. Long Creek Falls, a moderate 2-mile hike, rewards visitors with views of serene waterfalls throughout. Atlanta, Georgia’s capital city, is just over an hour’s drive from Lake Lanier. Go behind the scenes at the CNN Center, explore the Georgia Aquarium, or reflect at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Aside from its many attractions, Atlanta is also known for its restaurants. The Busy Bee Café features delicious southern fare, while Atlas is perfect for a decadent evening of fine dining. Helen, a tiny Bavarian village in northern Georgia, is perfect for a picturesque escape from busier cities like Atlanta. Cobblestone streets and German architecture provide the perfect backdrop for wine tasting and shopping at specialty stores. Helen is also close to Unicoi State Park, which provides visitors with opportunities to hike, bike, and swim.
Accommodation in Lake Lanier
Own an RV or tent? Lake Lanier has 12 campgrounds near the water offering a range of outdoor experiences. You might consider the Blue Ridge Campgrounds a “luxury” destination, with nearby attractions including three restaurants, two 18-hole golf courses, boat rental and equestrian facilities. If you prefer roughing it, War Hill is a self-described “primitive campsite,” on the north end of Lake Lanier. For something closer to a “classic” overnight outdoor trip, campers might find Sawnee, Baldridge Creek, Bolding Mill or Shady Grove Campground more to their liking. Prefer an indoor stay, especially one padded with extravagance, check out the Lanier Islands Resort. This year-round facility includes a renovated 214-room lodge, 30 lakeside cottages and the lake’s largest fleet of rental boats. Staying in a houseboat is another option while vacationing at Lake Lanier. The lakes ten marinas have room for about 10,000 boats, whether you prefer to rent one or bring your own. Back on land, the Legacy Lodge and Conference Center has 216 furnished guest rooms available for rent, in addition to a heated outdoor pool and spa. At Legacy Villas, located adjacent to the Legacy Lodge and Conference Center, guests can enjoy beautiful lake views from the balconies, as well as premium amenities from Gilchrist and Soames.
Transportation in Lake Lanier
Book your flight into nearby Athens-Ben Epps, which is about 40 miles away from Lake Lanier. Once you arrive, you can take a trail around the lake by horseback or walk for a scenic way to explore. This area is also car and RV friendly, allowing travelers to easily access some of Lake Lanier’s top attractions. Transportation around Lake Lanier Islands comes in various forms. Trolleys, shuttle bus services and passenger vans are available for transport around the islands. Trolleys can seat up to 24 passengers, or 30 to 35 people including standing room. Shuttle services can transport up to 14 passengers, are must be booked for tours in advance. Vans seat between 6 to 10. Another way to zip around the island is via resort carts. Visitors can reserve carts and use them for transportation as they would cars. Look into the options provided by your accommodations for additional details.