Lake Oconee: 5 Ways to Make your Georgia Lake Week The Perfect Getaway
Georgia is choc full of beautiful lakes. Fishing, boating, tubing, wake surfing, and so much more. If you’ve ever wanted to just get away, for a weekend, or maybe more, Lake Oconee is the easiest family friendly lake you could find.
We tend to take long weekends, spend them soaking up the sun in a boat and pulling the kids behind us on a tube or wakeboard. There are beautiful places to stay, kid friendly casual and luxury restaurants, and a plethora of must-hit spots!
How to Find Lake Oconee
Finding Lake Oconee is a breeze. Just an hour or so outside of Atlanta, it’s is the perfect family fun destination! A beautiful backdrop of lush greenery, big blue sky, and smooth boating water make for the perfect family lake week. Our family has been visiting Lake Oconee for almost 25 years. Finally, you’ve got the insider tips, best swimming spots, and must-do activities for your ease.
Know Before You Go To Lake Oconee
Tip 1: Accommodations
Before you can get out on the water, remember to secure your nightly accommodations! Rent a beautiful lakefront home from United Vacations Rental, AirBnB, or Reynolds Lake Oconee Vacation Rental, or you can bring your camper to the Parks Ferry or Old Salem Campgrounds on the lake.
Another overnight option is to stay at the Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. The ultimate family friendly hotel on the lake, the Ritz has a beautiful pool overlooking the water. Boats, kayaks and paddle boats are available for your entertainment, a white sand beach, a luxurious spa, and golf courses galore are just some of the amenities here.
This is usually our spot for Mothers Day Spa treatments! Book ahead and book early, as the Ritz at Lake Oconee is often a hot spot! Shh…it’s rumored that J.Lo and Ben Affleck recently re-married here in a secret ceremony over Memorial Day weekend 2022.
Tip 2: Boat Rentals
Once you are settled in and changed into your boating attire, make sure you get the perfect boat for your group or family. You can rent a Boat from Young Harris Watersports, or sign up for a membership at the Freedom Boat Club. If you are slow traveling, and plan to be in the Lake Oconee area for a month or more, I highly recommend a membership to the boat club. Choose from dozens of boat styles, hundreds of specific boats, and trade your choice out daily if you want! If a weekend or week at the lake is more your pace, go for the daily or hourly rentals at Young Harris Watersports instead!
Tip 3: Getting Out On The Water
Finally! Time for some fun in the sun. I’ve got a few local secret spots to recommend for your day on the water. Boat over to the numerous sand bars and drop anchor. My favorite you will find about 10 minutes south (on the water) of the Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. You can’t miss it. You can always find 20 or more boats anchored down, and lake goers floating and playing. Be sure to drop anchor, you don’t want to float into another party.
Once you’ve had your fun swimming, find the jumping rock. You’ll boat about 5 more minutes south, and look to your right. Again, you cant miss it! Its a HUGE boulder, in a cove, with a rope hanging. You’ll almost always find people jumping off.
Tip 4: Filling Your Tank (the boat’s and the kid’s)
When you need to fill your gas tank, and your kids are starting to get hangry, go ahead and head north, back to the Harbor Club gas station and restaurant. Its the easiest place to dock for gas, and the food is a hit for all. You can sit inside or outside, let the kids play on the lakeside lawn while they wait, and watch the boats come in.
If you still have some energy left in the evening, take a sunset boat ride and then head to the Visit Lake Oconee website for concert and event information in the area (https://visitlakeoconee.com/).
Tip 5: The Lake Laws you NEED To Know
Keep in mind, safety comes first at Lake Oconee. The Laws of the Lake are few but important. These items are usually standard if you rent a boat, but be sure you have the following with you:
- 1 well fitting life jacket per person (including all adults)
- 1 Life saving cushion/pillow on board the boat
- Fire Extinguisher
- Boat registration and rental agreement
- First Aid Kit
- Extra buoys and ropes for tying up
- Anchor (if you plan to anchor down at the sandbars)
- GA Drivers License or boating license
- Sunscreen/Hats/Towels (Atlanta summer heat is no joke!)
- Flip flops for docking at a restaurant or gas station (the docks are too hot to go barefoot!)
I hope you have a perfect getaway with your family on the best lake in Georgia!
Check out our other recommendations for the Best Day Trips near Atlanta