Life on the Lake
Lake Oconee offers the perfect getaway
Words by Paige Townley
Life tends to be a little bit better at the lake. Perhaps that’s because of the fresh air and wide open spaces, or it could also be the endless opportunities for family fun and the closeness to nature. Whatever it is that draws you in, a weekend visit—or perhaps a weeklong stay—should be on your agenda, and believe it or not, the opportunity is much closer than you’d think at Lake Oconee.
Nestled in the heart of Georgia—about halfway between Atlanta and Augusta—is Lake Oconee, one of the state’s largest lakes. With 19,000 acres of water and 374 miles of scenic shoreline, the lake borders three counties—Morgan, Greene, and Putnam—and is adjacent to multiple communities, including Eatonton, Greensboro, and Madison. Throughout the area, there are a number of developments that are more than ideal for a quiet and elevated lakeside experience, whether it’s a week with the family or a quick weekend getaway with your girlfriends.
The many lakeside properties dotting the Lake Oconee landscape certainly exceed the typical rustic property one may expect to find. Here you’ll find upscale and expansive accommodations that are as big on comfortably chic décor and sought-after amenities as scenic lake views. Each and every abode offers the perfect stay, space for the whole family, a fun set up to enjoy with friends, and a welcome to the lake lifestyle. Many vacationers stop by the grocery store in town to last their stay before heading out to the lake, where they then spend a cozy week or weekend enjoying all the water has to offer.
Many properties may have their own water equipment, but local marinas and marines also offer easy boat and jet ski rentals to easily get vacationers everything needed to get out on the water exploring all the area has to offer.
While Lake Oconee offers plenty of activities to keep everyone out on the water, a variety of other nature activities still await nearby. Rock Hawk is a natural mecca with 30 miles of trails that are renowned for hiking, biking, and even bird watching. Hundreds of educational displays are also located all along the trails, which also offer opportunities for exploration of flora and fauna and lead to an ancient effigy. For the ultimate connection with nature, check out a local yoga class. Exhale Lake Oconee offers specialty classes and even private yoga sessions for groups that are sure to relax the mind and body in its beautiful lakeside location.
For those looking for a little to do outside of nature and away from the water, the options continue. Located nearby Lake Oconee is Harmony Crossing, an outdoor shopping complex that offers a wide range of retail options, including jewelry stores, boutiques, homewares, and more. For even more retail therapy, just next door is an antique store and fine leather goods workshop and store, where it’s all but certain a uniquely local souvenir can be found. For a truly immersive local experience, there’s downtown Eatonton. The historic destination is great spot to drop by and soak in the area’s rich history and architecture while walking the quaint streets featuring large antebellum homes. There’s even a Historical Walking Tour that can be enjoyed, with a brochure highlighting the tour available to pick up at the Visit Eatonton Visitor’s Center.
While out exploring, a few eateries should also be on the must-visit list. Sweet Kneads is a local favorite for morning pastries and coffee, but it’s also well known for its chicken salad and quiches. The whole family would enjoy a stop by one of the area’s newest culinary offerings, Lake Oconee Bistro. The Bistro offers a wide-ranging menu, but no visit is complete without its famous chicken and waffle—a brunch time favorite available on the weekends. Situated across the street from the lake, the Bistro is also a fun nighttime spot that regularly features live music. Another notable culinary delight is The Silver Moon, an eclectic restaurant and bar that always keeps a crowd.
Whatever it is you may be looking for when planning your next lakeside getaway—water sports, nature opportunities, luxury rentals, or simply opportunities to relax with friends and family—Lake Oconee is the destination that can always offer it all.