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Georgia’s Lake Country Summer Bucket List

Summer is here and it’s time to start planning your vacation! Spend your days on the water, indulging in local cuisine, and exploring the small towns that make Georgia’s Lake Country so special. We don’t want you to miss a thing when you come to visit so we’ve come up with your perfect summer bucket list!

Kids jumping into water

Spend the day on the water

If you find yourself in Georgia’s Lake Country, obviously you need to get out ON the lake. Spend the day with the wind rushing through your hair, jumping in the water and playing a friendly game of tossing your family member off a tube. If you don’t have a boat, no problem, many area marinas rent them by the half or full day. For Lake Sinclair rentals and fishing guides try Sinclair Marina. Boats and jet skis are available from Twin Lakes Jet Ski as well as JereShai Lakeside. For a unique experience the whole family will love, try the inflatable obstacle course at Oconee Springs Park. Featuring a sand beach, lounge chairs, a playground, sports area, and an extensive inflatable obstacle course, a day at the lake will fly by.

While June is known as one of the best months for striper fishing on Lake Oconee and as we move into late summer, the crappie fishing will just get better and better. Captain Mark Smith has over 30 years of experience as a guide and will make sure you don’t go home empty handed. To arrange a fishing tour, visit Reel Time Guide Service. For Lake Oconee boat and jet ski rentals, go to Young Harris Watersports.

Eat your way around all four towns

Food could easily be considered the most important part of the day and the four communities that make up Georgia’s Lake Country are not lacking in delectable dishes and waterfront views! With views of Lake Sinclair from their dining room and deck, Aubri Lanes will take your taste buds on a vacation to the coast with their award winning seafood including their crispy calamari, sesame seared ahi tuna and their shrimp and grits. Their talented culinary team uses only the freshest ingredients for chef-inspired dishes.

In Greensboro, you cannot get a better view than from Gaby’s by the Lake. Located poolside at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds while offering some of the most inspiring views of Lake Oconee. Gaby’s by the Lake provides a relaxed dining experience for the entire family. Whether arriving by boat or by car, guests are welcome to enjoy the casual menu, signature cocktails and stunning view.

In the small town of Madison, savor a farm-to-table meal to nourish mind, body and soul at Farmview Market. In addition to the cafe, Farmview Market offers a specialty grocery store, butcher shop and ice cream straight from a local creamery. All featuring delicious, farm fresh, locally sourced offerings. It fuses elements of Georgia’s rich agrarian heritage with a sensible approach to sustainability to present a truly unique food and educational experience for guests.

Dining in Georgia Lake Country
Farmview Market

Looking for a quick grab and go? Stop at an Eatonton local favorite: Tastee Chick. Tastee Chick features an extensive menu of fried chicken, wraps, burgers, hotdogs, cheesesteaks, and much more. We recommend the Fried Chix Wrap with curly fries and a sweet tea. If you like good ranch dressing, get extra ranch on the side, it is some of the best out there. 

Time for a history lesson

All four communities are steeped in rich history and old sites to see. Since its founding in 1842, the Central State Hospital Campus (originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum) has been one of Milledgeville’s most well known and intriguing sites. The site gained national recognition during the 1960s as the United States’ largest mental institution with over 12,000 patients, 6,000 employees, and more than 8,000 acres of land. Today, Central State Hospital serves over 200 existing patients and has downsized to roughly 2,000 acres of land. Take a self-guided driving tour that highlights the historic buildings of the campus and mentions important people from its past as well as the significance of certain periods in the Hospital’s history. For those interested in exploring more of the history of the former Central State Hospital campus, a guided trolley tour is your perfect chance. Board ‘Milly’ the trolley and set out on a guided driving tour through the grounds of Central State Hospital. Learn about the history of the institution as well as the redevelopment of the grounds from a former Central State employee and tour guide. 

Take a trip to downtown Greensboro and pick up a brochure to take a self-guided walking tour around town. The Old Gaol is a must see! At more than 200 years old, the Old Gaol is believed to be the oldest masonry in the state. Built of granite from a local quarry, the building is patterned after European bastilles and the walls are 2 feet thick. Take a tour inside – if you dare! The keys can be checked out from Genuine Georgia, Monday – Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

Madison is known for its beautiful historic homes. With homes dating back to 1809, discover the remarkable history of this small town with a free, self-guided walking tour through Madison’s Historic District or by touring the historic house museums and the Morgan County African-American Museum.

Drive through Eatonton and take the Alice Walker Driving Tour. Alice Walker, author of the award-winning novel “The Color Purple,” was born in Eatonton on February 9, 1944. Eatonton celebrates the author with the Alice Walker Driving Tour that takes you past several important places in Walker’s life.

Relax, relax, and relax

What we all really want out of our vacation is to have time for some R&R! Rent a vacation rental and do absolutely nothing at all. Start your day off waking up to the sound of the birds instead of your alarm clock. Enjoy a late brunch (complete with mimosas, of course) and then stroll around one of the four quaint downtowns in Eatonton, Greensboro, Madison or Milledgeville. Head back to your rental to lounge around the pool or finally finish that book you started while laying in a hammock. The possibilities are endless in Georgia’s Lake Country!