Picture yourself relaxing on a scenic lakeside shore, listening to the calming sounds of lapping water. Or, perhaps you prefer heart-pumping water adventures like kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding, skiing, or tubing.
If you are thinking of visiting one of Georgia’s thirty-one lakes, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the best lakes in Georgia from north to south.
Keep reading to find out which lake you should visit!
Best North Georgia Lakes
1. Lake Rabun
Lake Rabun is a family-friendly destination nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains with 25 miles of isolated shoreline. Surrounded by some of the oldest mountains in the world, Lake Rabun, also known as “The Land of Enchantment,” is renowned for its timeless beauty and pristine waters.
Lake-goers are welcome to swim, boat, fish in the trophy waters, or hike the local trails and visit nearby waterfalls.
Tourists are also welcome to stop by the historic Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant right across from the lake and marina. Rated “one of the great small stays in the state” by Southern Living, the hotel is a regional favorite because of its warm hospitality, charming ambiance, and acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant and bar.
In addition, Lake Rabun Hotel offers complimentary concierge services that can help guests book boats or on-the-water adventures like whitewater rafting and fly fishing. Or, if guests prefer, they can explore mountain trails of native mountain laurel, rhododendron, and ferns on a hiking or ATV tour.
After an active day of lake and mountain adventures, it’s time to relax. Guests can enjoy a remarkable meal at the Lake Rabun Restaurant. Recognized as an Open Table Diner’s Choice Restaurant since 2012, it offers a friendly and casual culinary experience with international flavors and seasonal menus.
2. Tallulah Falls Lake
The Tallulah Falls Lake is located within the great Tallulah Gorge State Park, which is home to the second deepest gorge in North America. In fact, the area is known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia! While visiting Tallulah Falls Lake, you can hike the Gorge Floor Trail, where you can see the spectacular Bridal Veil Falls up close. Additionally, water release events happen year-round on select days, providing spectacular views and opportunities for whitewater rafting.
Lake Rabun Hotel, approximately 10 minutes away, is the closest lodging facility to the Tallulah Lake.
3. Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier is the largest lake in Georgia, covering 39,000 acres and 692 miles of shoreline. Moreover, there are nearly fifty parks on Lake Lanier, 23 of which are for swimming. The sandy beaches, known for their vibrantly blue waters and picturesque sunsets, are perfect for a day picnic.
4. Lake Oconee/Lake Sinclair
Just a river connects Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair. Sheltered by densely forested hills, Lake Sinclair has public boat ramps, tailrace fishing, and over four hundred miles of scenic shoreline. Just up the river is Lake Oconee—a family-friendly spot with local gift shops, on-site lodging, and picnic areas, as well as options for boating, fishing, and golfing.
5. Seed Lake
With only 13 miles of shoreline, Seed Lake is the smallest lake on our list. Nonetheless, it is a popular destination for swimming, boating, fishing, and camping. Additionally, the dense forest that surrounds the lake is perfect for wildlife watching and hiking.
It is also just a short seven-minute drive away from Lake Rabun Hotel, where many tourists stay while enjoying the local surroundings.
6. Lake Allatoona
Lake Allatoona is one of the cleanest lakes in Georgia and is used as drinking water by nearby towns. The lake has eight full-service marinas where people can rent, buy, or store boats. The area also has playgrounds, picnic areas, and swimming beaches.
7. Lake Burton
Lake Burton is a large reservoir located in Rabun County, Georgia. It’s the first in a six lake series called the Tallulah River Watershed. It holds a treasure trove of fish, including spotted bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, rainbow trout, and many more. Lake Burton is the perfect destination for watersports. If you enjoy wakeboarding, tubing, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, or fishing, Lake Burton may be the destination for you. It’s also home to Camp High Harbour, a popular youth summer destination.
For lodging and dining, the Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant is nearby.
Best Lakes in South Georgia
1. Lake Seminole
Lake Seminole is a prime fishing territory for recreational fishermen and experienced anglers. The lake’s abundant stump and grass beds create a favorable habitat for largemouth, hybrid, striped, and white bass. Additionally, you can find substantial populations of crappie, catfish, and bream. You don’t have to be a fisherman to enjoy Lake Seminole! Lake Seminole has numerous boat launch sites for a leisurely day activity on the water.
2. Lake Blackshear
Lake Blackshear borders five Georgian counties and is known for its many recreational activities. For example, visitors may enjoy boating, skiing, trophy fishing, swimming, and other water sports. In addition to its on-the-water amenities, Lake Blackshear is surrounded by a variety of popular local restaurants and a golf club.
3. Walter F. George Lake
Last on our list of the best lakes in Georgia is the “Big Bass Capital of the World.” Walter F. George Lake extends 85 miles along the Chattahoochee River and is formed by the Walter F. George Lock and Dam. As its nickname suggests, the lake is an immensely popular destination year-round for fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.
Escape the city and visit one of our listed lakes in Georgia! It’s a fun family experience that can make memories for years to come. And, don’t forget to stop by the Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant when you drive through—we can’t wait to see you on your next visit!