If there is one thing I could change about Atlanta, it would be that it is so far from the beach. Ok, and maybe that traffic. But don't despair, there are a number of lakes within a short drive from metro Atlanta that offer beaches for relaxing, boat rentals for getting out on the water, and other fun summer activities.
Lake Lanier is a well-known resort-like lake just a short drive from Atlanta. With a variety of different overnight options from the lodge to villas to campgrounds, Lake Lanier is a popular spot for a short getaway.
For a day trip, try taking the family to LanierWorld - a recreation park within the lake's grounds. There you'll find a large beach area with shops, restaurants and everything you need for a mini beach trip. There are also recreational activities like a giant slide and a kiddie play area.
Lake Lanier is a good choice if you're looking for a beach experience will all of the amenities and don't mind spending a little to get it. Tickets are $35 or $20 for kids. Season passes are available.
One of the closer, no-frills lake destinations is Lake Allatoona, located just north of Atlanta near the Acworth area.
At Lake Allatoona there are 14 different day use beaches where visitors can go hang out by the water for the day. Some areas have beachy, sandy areas, while others are more like a traditional park. At most of the areas, you'll find picnic facilities and grills. If you're looking to take a dip, Dallas Landing, Galts Ferry and Acworth Beach are good access points with swimming beaches.
Why not post up and spend the night on the lake? There are a number of camping grounds at Allatoona, including the popular Red Top Mountain State Park. Choose cabin accommodations or just post up your tent.
Just south of Atlanta is Callaway Gardens has Robin Lake Beach. Open daily, admission to the beach includes other recreational opportunities like mini golf and a ticket to the on-site circus (select dates). For an additional fee there are also activities like "Blaster boats (a water gun fight on a boat!), a water play area, wake boarding, water skiing, and tubing. The beach is included in your full admission to Callaway Gardens, and at just $18 ($9 for children), it's a nice alternative to Lake Lanier while still providing a number of amenities.
Renting Boats on the LakeLooking to rent a boat for a lake adventure? There are a number of marinas that can help you out!
- Little River Marina - Pontoon boats
- Holiday Harbor - Pontoons, speed boats, jet skis, and tube rental
- Paradise Boat Rentals (also at Lake Lanier) - pontoon boats, speed boats, jet skis
- Aqua Sports Adventures - pontoon boats, speed boats and jet skis
- Lanier Aqua Rentals - pontoon boats, speed boats and wave runners
Lake Allatoona Rentals:
Lake Lanier Rentals: