15 Best Lakes in Georgia

Written by Veronique Raes
Updated on
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The majority of lakes in the state of Georgia are created by dams, and most of the lakes on our list are just that. These lakes offer great fishing and recreational boating, from small quiet lakes to mammoth party lakes, whatever you are looking for can be found in the great state of Georgia.

Each lake also brings its own unique history since most of these lakes were created by the Tennessee Valley Authority Act signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Many of the lakes actually have towns, or even bridges, under their peaceful surfaces.

1. Lake Allatoona

Lake AllatoonaSource: Rob Hainer / Shutterstock
Lake Allatoona

Lake Allatoona winds it’s way through three counties, Cherokee, Cobb, and Bartow Counties. Allatoona is not only beautiful but provides clean drinking water for the surrounding communities.

With 270 miles of shoreline and 12,000 acres to explore, this massive lake is great for boating and fishing.

With a few marinas located along the lake, and multiple campsites for both tents and campers, this place is great for a long weekend or extended stay!

2. Lake Blackshear

Lake BlackshearSource: RHMeeks / Shutterstock
Lake Blackshear

Lake Blackshear is in fact a manmade lake created in 1930 by the Crisp County Power Damn. Named for David Blackshear, the founder of nearby Fort Early.

When the area was first flooded, it was assumed that the trees would die and decompose once submerged, however the Cypress trees have maintained their ground and can be found in the middle of the lake.

Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club is a great place to relax and take in stunning beauty of the lake in the lap of luxury.

3. Lake Seminole

Lake SeminoleSource: Carolyn Davidson Hicks / Shutterstock
Lake Seminole

Just next to the border of Florida, this lake is actually closer to the city of Tallahassee than any metropolitan area in Georgia.

The area is known for its excellent goose hunting, but also known for the variety of wildlife. Be on the lookout for the infamous alligators in the area!

With 46 campsites and 15 cottages for rent, a sand beach, smooth water for tubing and skiing, and great fishing, this is a great place to take the family for the weekend to explore a new part of Georgia.

4. Lake Lanier

Lake LanierSource: RodClementPhotography / Shutterstock
Lake Lanier

Just 45 minutes north of Atlanta you will find a favorite destination to escape Atlanta’s summer temperatures.

There is simply too much for one person to do during just a weekend at Lake Lanier, shopping, fishing, tubing, dozens of different types of accommodation, you will just have to return to continue the adventure.

The rowing and sprint canoeing races of the 1996 Olympics were held here on the lake, which gives it a dash of interesting history.

This massive lake is sure to give you exactly what you are looking for. Definitely look into renting a houseboat for your stay!

5. Lake Blue Ridge

Lake Blue RidgeSource: KevinYOLO / Shutterstock
Lake Blue Ridge

Lake Blue Ridge is a reservoir that was created when the Blue Ridge Dam dammed the Toccoa River. The dam was built during the great depression as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act that got thousands of Americans back to work.

The lake in it’s current state is a bit smaller than it was before 2010. The lake was drained so that repairs could be made on the physical dam. Once repairs were completed, there was concern about ground shifting that happened in 2011, so the lake repairs partially drained.

Despite the draining, there is still plenty of lake to be enjoyed! 80% of this stunning lake’s shoreline is actually located in the Chattahoochee National Forest. With five access points for boats, this is a great location to get your boat wet this season.

6. High Falls Lake

High Falls LakeSource: Sergey Maksienko / Shutterstock
High Falls Lake

Known for the crashing waterfalls and fabulous trails, High Falls Lake is located near Macon, Georgia. High Falls is also notable for its exquisite fishing, be sure to check out their website for tips and tricks to getting the best fish on the lake.

Boating is absolutely encouraged on the lake, however outboard motors with more than 10 horsepower are not allowed to be used. Which might be a deterrent for some, however it creates a very relaxed and chill feeling out on the lake since there is not a lot of noise pollution.

7. Lake Oconee

Lake OconeeSource: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee is a reservoir located in the heart of Georgia’s lake country and is created by the Wallace Dam. Visiting the events calendar can be overwhelming with the number of wonderful events, festivals, and activities to attend!

If you are looking for an upscale lake vacation, the Ritz Carlton on Lake Oconee is the place to be. The beautiful resort is surrounded by a fantastic golf course that looks right out onto the lake.

8. Lake Rabun

Lake RabunSource: SUSAN LEGGETT / Shutterstock
Lake Rabun

This twisty lake located in the northeast corner of the state is small in size but mighty in fun and things to do. This lake is perhaps best visited over the Fourth of July holiday with a wooden boat parade across the lake.

With a few inns and resorts along the lake’s edges, accommodation is best served with breakfast. The lake residents tend to be weekenders who come up from Atlanta to enjoy the quaint and quiets parts of this special lake.

9. Lake Burton

Lake BurtonSource: ESB Professional / Shutterstock
Lake Burton

Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, this lake is part of a chain of lakes each created by a dam to generate electricity in the area. The lake is named after the town of Burton which is now situated at the bottom of the lake.

Much like Lake Raburn, Lake Burton also has a special Fourth of July celebration each year, complete with fireworks set off from the middle of the lake.

10. Lake Varner

Lake VarnerSource: Georges_Creations / Shutterstock
Lake Varner

Lake Varner is on the smaller side which makes it the perfect place to spend a quiet weekend away. With some excellent fishing, it can be a great spot to take the boat out on the water and get the rod wet.

Lake Varner offers some accommodation, but not a ton. So be sure to book your spot early so you can really enjoy the lake!

11. Chatuge Lake

Chatuge LakeSource: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Chatuge Lake

With half of the lake located in North Carolina and the other half in Georgia, this lake is an inter-state wonder. Created as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority, this lake is also seated comfortably at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Lake Chatuge Lodge is a perfect place to spend a few nights while getting to know the lake and surrounding area. The lodge is located in close proximity to swimming, golf, fishing, water skiing, hiking, rafting horseback riding and shopping! If the activities route isn’t your style, be sure to just sit on the veranda and enjoy the view from your rocker.

12. Carters Lake

Carters LakeSource: ScottyJ3785 / Shutterstock
Carters Lake

Carters Lake is the deepest of Georgia’s reservoir lakes at 450 feet deep. If you are looking for a lake that is unspoilt by man, then look no further, there are no houses or docks along its shore.

Carters Marina and Resort is the exception to that rule. It offers plenty of boat parking and accommodation options. With cabins ranging in size, there is sure to be something that fits the size of your party. It also offers a private beach, camping, and boat rentals for your time on the lake!

13. Richard B Russell Lake

Richard B Russell LakeSource: Cesar Zapata-Lozada / Shutterstock
Richard B Russell Lake

Locally known as Russell Lake, it is shares half of its shoreline with South Carolina. Before the area was flooded, there was an effort to discover the Native American village and mounds that were in the area. In addition, the Georgia-Carolina Memorial Bridge was not demolished before the lake was flooded, so it is still down there to this day!

Almost the entire shoreline has been undeveloped which makes for a great place to visit. There are of course a few state parks that dot the shoreline and allow for boat access and picnic areas. The Richard B. Russell State park offers campsite and cabins for rent.

14. Lake Nottely

Lake NottelySource: Lyle Dorman / Shutterstock
Lake Nottely

Lake Nottely is located just across the border from North Carolina and is just two hours from Atlanta. 70% of the shoreline is owned by the United State Forest Service and is therefore undeveloped.

With plenty of vacation rentals to be had along the shore, be sure to bring your friends and your boat for this lakefront adventure!

15. Lake Seed

Lake Seed was formed in 1927 when the Nacoochee was completed. This 270 acre lake is perfect for walleye and trout, though spotted bass, yellow perch, white catfish and redear sunfish can also be found readily available.

If you are interested in golf, the Lake Seed area has a few options for you. Accommodation is mostly lakeside rentals, though a few cabins and campgrounds pop up here and there in the area. This place is a bit off the beaten path, so if you are hoping for something a little calmer than Lake Seed is the place to be.

15 Best Lakes in Georgia:

  • Lake Allatoona
  • Lake Blackshear
  • Lake Seminole
  • Lake Lanier
  • Lake Blue Ridge
  • High Falls Lake
  • Lake Oconee
  • Lake Rabun
  • Lake Burton
  • Lake Varner
  • Chatuge Lake
  • Carters Lake
  • Richard B Russell Lake
  • Lake Nottely
  • Lake Seed