Healthy Lake Living in Sweet Georgia

Harbor Club Lake Oconee Happy Couple

Folks looking for the best places to retire in Georgia often find themselves exploring the impressive lake communities that are scattered throughout the state. Most folks know Georgia is considered one of the most affordable places to live in the country with a cost of living well below the national average. Georgia offers the ability to retire for under $40,000 according to one study by the US News and World Report. Add good ole Southern hospitality, expansive green space, delicious farm to market produce, authentic regional cuisine, rich history, festivals year-round, favorable weather and beautiful mountains and you will discover that the country side of Georgia is an ideal place to shop for your perfect home.

A ‘lake life’ provides an opportunity to enjoy a rich and fulfilling existence surrounded by peacefulness and scenic beauty. Imagine waking up to see a beautiful sunrise while fishing for striped bass on Lake Lanier or maybe kayaking along the serene waters that surround the property on Lake Oconee while enjoying the birdlife that inhabits the region. Or on Lake Hartwell, boating, swimming, paddle boarding or waterskiing are fun ways folks spend the day while folding in fun exercise.

The serenity of living by water has been proven to reduce stress and improve an overall sense of wellbeing which contributes to increased longevity which is a major plus for age-defying Boomers. Owning lakefront property is a continuing trend for health minded home shoppers of all ages. Water nourishes the soul.

Fall is almost upon us and is great time to visit to enjoy the change of seasons while experiencing the glorious life found living in the beautiful state of Georgia.

Here’s three large lakes with excellent lake communities to live:

GEORGIA’S LARGEST LAKE - LAKE LANIER NORTH OF ATLANTA

The largest and one of the most popular lakes in the southeast is Lake Lanier with 700 miles of shoreline spreading over 38,000 acres equivalent to 59 square miles of water.  This amazing body of water is crystal blue and comes from the rain that falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Cascading waterfalls feed into the lake via the Chattahoochee and Chestatee Rivers with the completion of the Buford Dam on the south end of the lake in 1956 this amazing reservoir was created.  With several million visitors each year, the lake provides an outdoor recreational playground throughout the seasons.

Conveniently situated only 30 minutes from the happening city of Atlanta, Lake Lanier is a great spot to buy or build a home.  Fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, water skiing and camping are all popular activities here.  There are over 45 parks and 10 campgrounds along the shores of the lake.  The Don Carter State Park which opened in 2013 is extremely captivating and is a perfect spot to escape reality.  There are several golf courses, hiking trails, swimming areas, playgrounds, pavilions and barbecue pits to enjoy family outings.

Day trips to the north Georgia Mountains are close by along with access to the infamous Appalachian Trail.  Nearby there is a wide array of mouth-watering restaurants, unique shops and awesome live entertainment.  The two largest cities on the lake are both quite quaint and rich in history, Buford and Gainesville.  Other spots to explore lake communities can be found in the neighboring north Georgia towns of Helen and Dahlonega.  While visiting be sure to check out the local wineries that offer some of the best wine in the country.  This is the one of the best places to retire in Georgia for the best of both worlds.

SADDLING THE GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA BORDER - LAKE HARTWELL

Another awesome place to explore lake life is Lake Hartwell. This massive 52,000-acre man-made lake boasts more than 960 miles of shoreline covering two states and 6 counties bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca Rivers.  Lake Hartwell encompasses 76,450 acres of land and water and is one of the favorite lakes to visit in Georgia.  There are 9 campgrounds with a total of 524 campsite that have restrooms, showers, boat ramps, courtesy docks and electric and water hook ups making this a highly popular tourist destination.

Folks that have chosen to call Lake Hartwell home can enjoy the sunsets on the lake, fishing, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, skiing, and swimming on the beaches scattered along the shoreline.  With incredible mountain views of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, sparkling crystal blue water and easily accessed biking trails this is indeed a beautiful location for active outdoor enthusiasts to explore lake communities. Lake Hartwell is angler’s paradise with a wide variety of mouthwatering fish that abound in the lake.  Largemouth bass, white bass, striped bass, trout and walleye all thrive here making fishing a highly popular sport and a great resource for some awesome locally resourced cuisine.

Boating is also a favorite pastime here and many of the communities offer their own marinas to enjoy the benefits of lake life.  There are five marinas scattered around the lake for the convenience of locals and public boat ramps offer easy access to the serene and pacifying waters of Lake Hartwell.  Residents can enjoy water recreation throughout the year due to the favorable temperatures.  In addition to the captivating scenery, there are over 250 species of birds and 40 different mammals that inhabit the lake making each journey a new and exciting adventure.  Living on Lake Hartwell is a dream come true.

Conveniently located in the charming town of Toccoa, which is between Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina, this is beautiful country location nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Locals love the small town feel and enjoy fresh produce at the downtown farmer’s market, great times at annual festivals, fine dining and spending time on the lake with neighbors in this friendly community.  The mountain views are picturesque towering above Lake Hartwell.

JUST OVER AN HOUR FROM SOUTHERN ATLANTA - LAKE OCONEE

Another great place to retire in Georgia is Lake Oconee in Greensboro. Lake Oconee has 374 miles of shoreline with a surface area of 19,971 acres and is formed by the Oconee and Apalachee Rivers.  Another “get away from it all” destination, Lake Oconee is conveniently situated between Atlanta and Augusta and is the 2nd largest lake in the state providing a sweet spot to escape the city and enjoy the tranquility of waterfront living.

How many of us began to experience lake life when we were growing up and now want make it our forever lake home?  Lake Oconee provides not only a great backdrop for building a retirement nest, but it provides incredible resources for outdoor entertainment for families of all ages.  Golfing, fishing, boating, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking and sipping fine Georgian wine while watching the sunset stream across the lake is the reason Baby Boomers countrywide are flocking to this resort style retirement destination.

Greensboro anchors Lake Oconee and is a charming historical town that was founded in 1786 and the attitude exemplifies true southern values.  The downtown is charming with historic antebellum homes, Southern cuisine, antique stores and unique boutiques along with fun festivals that bring the community together.

Why not explore the “peachy” State of Georgia for retirement? Whether you choose north, south or Central Georgia, Atlanta’s national sporting events, mega shopping venues and rich cultural atmosphere complete the full package of a fun life.

We spent a good deal of time at all three Georgia lakes. Don’t be afraid to ask us for our short list of the best lake communities in the region. It’s our pleasure to help!

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