6 Ways to Rekindle Your Bromance in Georgia’s Lake Country

Cruise around the lake

Boating in Georgia's Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Boating in Georgia’s Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Sometimes the best ways to have fun are also the simplest. What more do you really need than a boat or jet ski on one of our twin lakes to have a blast on your day off? There are several places in Georgia’s Lake Country to rent your water vehicle of choice so you can cruise around the lake for hours of fun and relaxation. Check out Oconee Wild Watersports, Young Harris Water Sports, Typhoon Tommy’s, Twin Lakes Jet Ski, Sinclair Marina and more to rent everything you need to take your bro out on the lake.

Learn to wakeboard or hydrofoil

Wakeboarding in Georgia's Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of CommercePhoto courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Wakeboarding in Georgia’s Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Impress all your friends with your new skills! Being able to skillfully ride a wakeboard or the more recently popular hydrofoil will give you some bragging rights and guarantee you a new fun activity for many summers to come. Oconee Wild Watersports, located behind That Pizza Place at Lake Oconee, can teach you to ski, wakeboard or hydrofoil. (They also offer paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats and jet skis.) Call them ahead of time, and they’ll take you out on the water for a day of bromance under the sun.

Measure up

Fishing in Georgia's Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Fishing in Georgia’s Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Who can catch the biggest bass? Take your bro out for a fun day of fishing on the lake! Georgia Power parks offer public docks and shoreline on both Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair for you to fish at your leisure. Be sure to check out their website for a list of the most common fish in our twin lakes and a PDF of Lake Sinclair fish attractors.

If you’re not comfortable with going it alone, or just want a new experience, Sinclair Marina offers guided fishing tours so you can explore the lake and have a friendly bass fishing competition with your friends.

Hone your poolside manner

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

Photo courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

If you’re looking for a day of luxury and chilling by the pool, there’s a place for you in each part of Georgia’s Lake Country. Lounge around in style at The Lodge on Lake Oconee in Eatonton or the Ritz-Carlton in Greensboro. Even the Antebellum Inn in Milledgeville, though a smaller establishment than the other two, offers a beautiful saltwater pool to all guests right in the middle of the historic downtown area. You can also rent out the pool cottage adjacent to the main house for a larger gathering or extended stay.

Show your guns

Shooting in Georgia's Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Shooting in Georgia’s Lake Country. Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

The Cedar Creek Shooting Range is the place to go in Georgia’s Lake Country if you want to perfect your target shooting. The range is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday (excluding some major holidays), so it’s the perfect stop during a weekend getaway with your buddies. The fee is $5 per shooter per day. Make sure you take a look at the website before heading out, though, to ensure your weapons are allowed and you’re equipped to follow the range rules.

Hike through rugged terrain

Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

The Rock Hawk Park on Lake Oconee is free and open to the public for hiking, biking, boating, camping, swimming, fishing, picnicking and hunting. This park functions as an outdoor classroom and has 15 miles of multi-use trails, plus 20 miles of biking trails. Join them on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. for Trailhead Tuesdays.

Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville has a relaxed trail through the woods on the 500-acre farm that once was home to famed author Flannery O’Connor. This is a must-see for literary buffs and anyone else who enjoys a nice 45 minutes of walking in the shade.

Southern Cross Guest Ranch in Madison has hiking trails as one of its amenities; however, you might also enjoy some horseback riding at this ranch and B&B that has been called “One of America’s best dude ranches” by Travel + Leisure Magazine.

Whether you’re looking for action or relaxin’, Georgia’s Lake Country has plenty to offer you and your bros for the ideal guys’ getaway. See you soon!

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Kaitlyn Parham graduated from Valdosta State University with a degree in marketing. A native of Eatonton, Kaitlyn recently moved back to be closer to family. She is the Tourism and Special Events Coordinator for the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce, and as such, she is on the board of many marketing collaborations, including Georgia’s Antebellum Trail and Georgia’s Lake Country.

Sam Campbell is the summer intern at the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce. Graduating from Georgia College in August 2016 with a B.A. in Mass Communication, Sam assists the Chamber’s efforts in strategic communication, including graphic designs, blog posts and social media.

The Ultimate Lake Oconee Bucket List: Dad Edition

Have a Club Fitting at The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf, Presented by Taylormade

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Make sure your golf swing is in top shape! Improve your personal golf game with a one-on-one consultation at The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf at Reynolds Lake Oconee. Your swing performance will be analyzed by club-fitting professionals and a series of high-tech tools, including the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade System, TrackMan 4 Launch monitors and high-speed Ximea camera. This customization service will have you swinging your way to a more confident and successful golf performance.

Conquer the 16-ounce Prime Cowboy Ribeye from Linger Longer Steakhouse

LingerLonger

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better steak than the 16-ounce Prime Cowboy Ribeye at Linger Longer Steakhouse. All of their steaks are grilled over 100% Georgia hardwood and are so tender you could cut them with a spoon. This restaurant is located at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee and overlooks The Oconee golf course. Make sure you save room for the cotton candy that is made in the restaurant and delivered to each table at the end of the meal.

Get the Men’s Face Treatment at The Ritz

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Unwind at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee Spa with their signature Men’s Face Treatment. You will receive a shoulder, neck, face and scalp massage followed by a deep cleanse. If 50 minutes isn’t enough, opt for the 80-minute treatment and receive a tension-relieving eye treatment. After your treatment, spend a few more hours relaxing in the lounge, sauna, steam room and whirlpool.

Learn to Flyboard

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Enjoy the ultimate adrenaline rush at Lake Oconee with an afternoon of flyboarding! Hover above the lake and see the beautiful scenery from a bird’s eye view. Don’t worry about skill level or age, this activity is perfect for everyone. Make sure someone snaps a photo!

Enjoy a Cocktail while Playing Putt Putt or Corn Hole at The National Tavern at Reynolds

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The bar is the first thing you see when you walk into The National Tavern at Reynolds Lake Oconee, and their beverage menu does not disappoint. Some of the guests’ favorites are an Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Blueberry Martini or a trendy craft beer. Enjoy your drink while playing putt putt on the green overlooking The National golf course or take a shot at corn hole!

Visit visitlakeoconee.com to discover more at Lake Oconee!

hannah-webHannah is a contributing writer for Visit Lake Oconee from Athens, Georgia. She enjoys beauty and lifestyle blogging alongside the perfect cup of coffee. 

5 Dreamy Wedding Destinations at Lake Oconee

Planning a wedding in Georgia, or envisioning your perfect wedding day? Check out these romantic options loaded with Southern beauty and charm on the shores of Lake Oconee.

The Sandy Creek Barn at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee offers rustic romance for Georgia weddings.

The Sandy Creek Barn at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee offers rustic romance for Georgia weddings.

The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee

If you would love a destination wedding but worry about the travel for guests, this venue is the perfect compromise. Your guests will swoon over this luxurious resort, complete with onsite spa, golf, tennis, boating and more. This venue has several settings for ceremonies and receptions, including a barn, lakeside lawn and ballroom.

The carriage at the entrance to the Carriage House at Harbor Club adds charm to the beautiful venue.

The carriage at the entrance to the Carriage House at Harbor Club adds charm to the beautiful venue.

Harbor Club, The Carriage House

With a rustic and romantic flare, the Carriage House is the perfect location for an outdoor ceremony. Add a tent to maximize space and offer a little safety net in case of rain. The renovated horse stables provide covered seating or a nice space for cocktail hour. No need for a photo booth, because your guests will want to take photos near the beautiful carriage located at the venue’s entrance!

Beautiful wedding ceremony sites abound on the Corry House's expansive grounds.

Beautiful wedding ceremony sites abound on the Corry House’s expansive grounds.

The Corry House

With six ceremony site options at the Corry House, you are bound to find a spot that suits your “I Do’s.” The famous house sits on 500 acres and can sleep 20, which is popular for many wedding parties. The air-conditioned barn is often used for receptions and can hold up to 200 guests for the perfect shabby chic wedding.

Wedding parties love the opportunity to stay at the Goodwin Manor B&B.

Wedding parties love the opportunity to stay at the Goodwin Manor B&B.

Goodwin Manor

This bed and breakfast is the perfect place for a Southern wedding! It can hold up to 300 guests, but is also a great option for a small, intimate ceremony. Many brides use the house, which sleeps up to 12 and is furnished with beautiful antiques, for family and the wedding party. It has three popular ceremony options — one indoor and two outdoor — and space for a reception tent.

Throw a perfectly romantic party for your wedding at the Washington Grass Inn.

Throw a perfectly romantic party for your wedding at the Washington Grass Inn.

The Washington Grass Inn

This bed and breakfast will make all your whimsical wedding dreams come true! Hold your ceremony in the Circle of Trees for a romantic forest setting, and then throw the perfect party in the Cottonboll room that seats up to 225 guests. One of the most popular aspects of this venue are the bathrooms! Your guests will be thrilled to find the most adorably rustic bathrooms located just a few feet from the reception area. The parking onsite is particularly impressive, too.

Visit visitlakeoconee.com for more details on Lake Oconee wedding venues and places to stay for your out-of-town guests.

hannah-webHannah Ian is a contributing writer for Visit Lake Oconee from Athens, Georgia. She enjoys beauty and lifestyle blogging alongside the perfect cup of coffee. 

11 Courses to Golf in Georgia’s Lake Country

Hole 5 of Great Waters Golf Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Eatonton

Hole 5 of Great Waters Golf Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Eatonton

With the Masters quickly approaching, golf is on everyone’s mind. Georgia’s Lake Country is home to 11 golf courses, and each one offers a unique experience to the golf enthusiast.

1. The Plantation in Greensboro was designed by noted architect Bob Cupp, along with U.S. Open Champions Fuzzy Zoeller and Hubert Green.

2. Reynolds Landing in Greensboro was the original course built at Lake Oconee and boasts 18 championship holes also designed by Bob Cupp. Golfweek and The Atlanta Journal have ranked this course “Best in State.”

3. Great Waters in Eatonton is a Jack Nicklaus Signature course that introduced the Golden Bear’s design work to Lake Oconee in 1992. Consistently ranked among the Top 100 courses in the nation, Great Waters earned the distinction from LINKS Magazine as one of the “10 most significant and influential courses of the past two decades.”

4. The National in Greensboro was designed by Tom Fazio and freshly renovated in the spring of 2014. This course offers 27 holes, including water views.

The 18th hole at the Oconee Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee

The 18th hole at the Oconee Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee

5. The Oconee in Greensboro is defined by a dramatic routing along the Lake Oconee shoreline. This Rees Jones design is a true risk/reward layout.

6. Harbor Club in Greensboro was the first design for award-winning architects Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish built east of the Mississippi. It was recently named 3rd Best Course of 2016 by Golfweek.

7. Cuscowilla in Eatonton is perfect for golfers who are up for a challenge. GOLF Magazine rated Cuscowilla “#19 Top 100 Courses in America you can play,” for 2009.

8. The Creek at Hard Labor in Rutledge is one of the State of Georgia’s public courses and offers a natural design without houses or human encroachments.

9. Uncle Remus Golf Course in Eatonton is a nine-hole public course and was designed by Bubba Ellis.

10. The Little Fishing Creek Golf Course in Milledgeville was designed by Gary Player and features 6,700 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72.

11. The Milledgeville Country Club was designed by George Cobb, the infamous designer of the par 3 course at Augusta National.

Holes 2 and 3 at Reynolds Landing in Greensboro

Holes 2 and 3 at Reynolds Landing in Greensboro

For more information, visit galakecountry.com or download the Georgia Lake Country app.

hannah-wilcherHannah Wilcher graduated from The University of Georgia with a degree in advertising. She has been the tourism coordinator for Visit Lake Oconee for the past two years and is passionate about Georgia’s Lake Country and all that it has to offer residents and visitors. She currently resides in Eatonton with her husband and two children. She spends all of her free time with her family and friends enjoying life on Lake Oconee.

Exploring Historic Downtown Greensboro and Lake Oconee

DSC_0008Quaint and charming are two words that immediately come to mind when describing historic downtown Greensboro. Even though the destination is located between Atlanta and Augusta, once you set foot on Main Street, you’ll think that you’ve stepped back in time – and that’s a good thing.

IMG_6059As you spend hours (or half a day) meandering through the various shops and antique stores, not only will you come across some “must-haves” but also residents who exemplify a strong sense of community and southern hospitality.

You can’t go wrong with anywhere you visit, but you definitely don’t want to miss Genuine Georgia, where you can purchase something made by artisans from the state. Time your visit right, and you may see an artist working on their craft. You can play the part of a picker when you visit Greensboro Antique Mall. With all of the browsing and shopping, you are sure to work up an appetite. You can’t leave downtown without visiting both The Yesterday Cafe and The Potted Geranium. Ask for a slice of buttermilk pie at The Yesterday Cafe, and chance are you might take home a whole pie to share. Enjoy sipping tea in an antebellum home at The Potted Geranium.

IMG_6058If you have an interest in history, Greensboro doesn’t disappoint in this aspect, either. While walking on Main Street, you’ve already passed a piece of history, ‘“The Big Store” J.H McCommons Company. This was the largest retail store between Atlanta and Augusta, and sold nearly everything. Like in many southern towns, the courthouse is a historic building. Build in 1849, the structure is an example of Greek Revival. Behind it is the Old Gaol, which if you are time-crunched this is a must-see. It’s believed to be the oldest existing jail structure in the state, and had remained basically the same since the early 1800s. It was last used in 1890. There is also the Greensboro City Cemetery, featuring unique stone and iron work. It is filled graves of prominent Georgia figures, a Revolutionary War solider and more.

DSC_0123And when it comes time to relax, there’s golfing just minutes away from downtown as well as Lake Oconee (Georgia’s second largest lake) and the many opportunities to explore it. If you really want to indulge, consider staying overnight at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation.  The 251-room property located on the banks of Lake Oconee is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. Book a spa treatment, visit the pool or sit at the lake  -do all three or none at all. Enjoy a meal at one of their many restaurants. One thing is for certain, you aren’t going to want to leave anytime soon.

aprylWatkinsville, Ga.-based freelance travel writer and blogger Apryl Chapman Thomas enjoys traveling throughout Georgia and the Southeast to discover what all the region has to offer. You can read more of her work at Southern Hospitality Traveler Magazine (southernhospitalitymagazine.com) and Exploration Travel Magazine (explorationtravelmagazine.com), and by end of the month at her own travel blog, Southern Trippin, southerntrippin.com.