Who doesn’t love a girlfriend getaway to the beach? Unfortunately, we can’t always make it to the beach, so I look for the next best thing: a beautiful lake. For me, that means heading to Georgia’s Lake Country, home to Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair. Approximately an hour and a half to two hours east of Atlanta, both lakes were created by Georgia Power to generate hydro-electricity. Formed in 1953, Lake Sinclair encompasses 15,330 acres with 417 miles of shoreline; Lake Oconee followed in 1979 with 374 miles of shoreline.
Today, both are surrounded by everything that makes a great girlfriend getaway: upscale resorts, fun shopping, entertaining cultural attractions and, of course, delicious food. If you want to go all out, I recommend The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro. Book a room with a balcony overlooking the Lake Oconee, so you can enjoy the tranquil view day and night.
Another must-have for a girlfriend getaway? A day at the spa. And The Ritz-Carlton Spa delivers. My personal favorite is the Drift to Sleep massage. My treatment started with a soak in an aromatherapy milk bath, followed by a body massage that thoroughly relaxed me. The best part? If you’re like me, you are ready for a nap after a good massage. With the Drift to Sleep massage, you get to take one! My therapist gave me a fluffy down duvet and invited me to take a 30-minute power nap. Who was I to resist?
If you want a more budget-minded resort, consider Cuscowilla Golf Resort on Lake Oconee in Eatonton. Make sure you book a room in the Lake or Lodge Villas that overlook the lake. Outfitted with a patio or balcony, these rooms provide lovely views of the water. My favorite time was early in the morning, when you could watch the mist fade away as the sun comes up.
When you are ready to explore the Lake Country, I would start with Madison, just a short drive away. This quiet town features several beautiful antebellum homes, including a few open for tours (after touring Heritage Hall, I highly recommend enjoying the view from one of the front porch rockers). In addition, there is a walking tour highlighting the architecture of Madison that includes more homes as well as churches, the courthouse and other significant buildings.
Ready to shop? Then head to Greensboro, where you can explore the many shops that line the historic downtown area. My favorite is Genuine Georgia, which carries Georgia-grown products and artwork. Also, don’t leave this town without taking tea at The Potted Geranium. Have it served up with the raspberry pecan streusel bar. You won’t regret it! For a more complete tour of Greensboro, stop by the Greene County Chamber of Commerce, and pick up the brochure for a historic walking tour through the town.
To add a little culture to your getaway, make your way over to Milledgeville, home to several interesting attractions. The city served as Georgia’s state capitol from 1804 to 1868, and today visitors can tour the Old Governor’s Mansion, a gorgeous example of High Greek Revival architecture. You’ll also find Andalusia, author Flannery O’Connor’s farm. In this quiet setting, O’Connor wrote many of her books, including “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “The Violent Bear It Away.”
Literary fans also will enjoy the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton, which showcases the stories of Uncle Remus made famous by Eatonton native Joel Chandler Harris. The museum also includes a wing dedicated to Joseph Addison Turner, the man who served as a benefactor and mentor to Harris. It was at Turner’s plantation, Turnwold, where Harris would hear the stories he turned into Uncle Remus tales.
There is so much more to do, see and experience in Georgia’s Lake Country, but, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do it all. Of course, that just means I’ll have to return with my girlfriends for another visit. I hope you’ll join us!
Disclosure: Karon visited Georgia’s Lake Country as a guest of the Georgia Travel Media Marketplace hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.