Lake Lanier is one of the top vacation lakes in Georgia, visited frequently by locals and visitors to the metro Atlanta area and beyond. It’s a massive lake (38,000 acres), great for partying and special events, even weddings. Together with the Lanier Islands, a trip to Lake Lanier is like a tropical vacation in the warm seasons. The lake is a 45-minute drive north of Atlanta with a distant view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It has 692 miles of sandy shoreline to play on and almost 50 parks with swimming at 23 of them.
The Olympics rowing and sprint canoe races were held at Lake Lanier back in 1996, giving it a dash of history. The lake was named in honor of poet Sidney Lanier who was born in Macon, Georgia. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers, the lake filled in 1950 for the purpose of flood control, hydroelectricity, and navigation. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) and local law enforcers help keep the lake safe for visitors.
Many come to Lake Lanier to do some serious fishing. The GDNR’s Wildlife Division offers anglers an app that uses geo-locating tools for locating fishing spots and boat ramps. The app also gives all the state’s fishing and boating regulations and access to a copy of your fishing license.
There’s lots more to do at Lake Lanier besides fishing and boating. Once you pass over the iconic bridge to the Lanier Islands, all the best lakeside amenities are within 1,200 acres of fun in the sun. Relax on the white sandy beaches and try out the slides at a gigantic waterpark called Margaritaville. You’ll find paved trails for walking, scenic roads for biking, and a golf course for putting. Enjoy breathtaking lakeside sunsets with the mountains on the horizon. Waterfront restaurants and bars like the Chill Zone and Tiki Bar serve island cocktails along with casual dining.
The fun doesn’t stop at Lake Lanier when the summer goes. The waterpark turns to snow tubing with plenty of cold artificial turf, and Snow Island features ice skating. During the month of December, millions of lights twinkle for Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular while Santa and his Elves greet the kids at the Legacy Lodge.
In addition to the Legacy Lodge, the lake has a variety of lodging options with several hotels, lakeside villas and cabins, and multiple spots for tent and RV camping. The lake has limited first-come-first-serve courtesy docks for visitors who arrive by boat or bring one. Overnight docking is not allowed. A stay at the Legacy Lodge or the lakeside cabins and villas includes a courtesy dock. The Margaritaville RV park also provides a dock for quests.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!