Springtime Bliss: A Guide to Spring at Lake Oconee

March 4, 2024

Step into spring at Lake Oconee, where nature’s canvas comes to life with vibrant blooms, and the air is filled with the promise of adventure. This season, the lakeside haven transforms into a playground of possibilities, offering a myriad of spring events and activities for the whole family.

1. Pitch a Tent

Camping is a family favorite! Kids will love fishing, playing volleyball on the beach, biking, and sleeping under the stars. Lake Oconee’s campsites, Parks FerryOld Salem, and the KOA, include swimming beaches, restrooms, and picnic areas. You can even bring your furry family members along!

If you’re in need of provisions to take back to camp, the open- air Ripe Thing Market features local produce, coffee, and other local products, including jams and jellies.

2. Stay at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

Bask in the comfort of the region’s only full-service luxury resort, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, which offers several different accommodation options, as well as diversions ranging from golf and boating to – well, just relaxing and not doing much of anything at all.

The resort’s guest rooms and suites (some featuring private patios and fire pits) have been transformed thanks to a multimillion-dollar renovation that brings the colors and textures of the landscape inside. For those seeking the benefits of a private home with the amenities of a world-class resort, The Ritz-Carlton offers two- and three- bedroom cottages featuring golf and lake views, fireplaces, and wraparound porches.

And then there’s the ultimate in luxury and privacy; the Lake House, a 5,400 square foot, four-bedroom enclave with concierge level service. For those families whose work-from-anywhere flexibility allows them to a stay a little longer, Study Buddy at Ritz-Kids offers a fully-customizable educational program that combines virtual learning with a variety of outdoor programs exploring the natural wealth of the Lake Oconee region. Meanwhile, parents can indulge in the The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee offering saunas, steam rooms and cold plunge pools in addition to therapeutic and beauty services.

The resort’s Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds specializes in outdoor pursuits including shooting, archery and off-road driving. And of course there’s the lake, and the kayaks, canoes and motorized crafts that help families get the most out of their time on the water.

Dining options at The Ritz-Carlton run the gamut from the family-friendly and open-air Gaby’s by the Lake at The Ritz-Carlton, to the new Amore del Lago at The Ritz-Carlton,  the ultimate Italian experience and elegantly refined options like Linger Longer Steakhouse at The Ritz-Carlton.  Just when you don’t think you could eat another bite, make sure to stop by the resort campfire for s’mores, available nightly.

3. Go Hiking and Biking

Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the day hiking or biking! Rock Hawk has it all. Think of it as an outdoor classroom, with hundreds of educational displays along the 30 miles of trails that surround and lead to an ancient effigy. The displays and interpretive centers near the effigy cover a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as 12,000 years of the area’s history, including Putnam County’s unique large effigies, old cemeteries, home sites, quarries and more. Other recreational opportunities include: camping, boating, fishing, archery (3-D & static plus limited hunting), beach, and nature watching.

Ride your bicycle along the Firefly Trail. The Firefly Trail is a planned 39-mile rail-trail from Athens to Union Point. In Union Point, trail users will find a historic downtown business district, museum, theater (currently undergoing renovation) and convenience stores for supplies.  Nearby, mountain bikers will enjoy more than 26 miles of privately developed mountain bike trails at Hart Farms-Corry House Trails. With plenty of parking and easy access to I-20, Union Point will be a great starting and ending point for adventurers from Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, Milledgeville and points beyond.


4. Golf Lake Oconee

Enjoy a father-son day at Harbor Club for golf (while the ladies shop in downtown Greensboro). If you are staying at The Ritz-Carlton or Reynolds Lake Oconee, you have access to all five of Reynolds’ championship courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.

Is your child an aspiring golfer? They may enjoy and benefit from a private lesson at The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf, presented by TaylorMade. Dad might even want to splurge on a pair of custom fit clubs while he’s there.

5. Get Out On The Water

Take the entire family out for the day on a boat or jet ski. Young Harris WaterSports is proud to serve the entirety of the lake with the largest selection of boat and jet ski rentals. Their fleet consists of jet skis, ski boats, pontoon and triton boats, kayaks, stand up paddleboards (SUPs), and much more. They also have tubes, skis, wake boards, and wake surfers for rent.

For those interested in catching some of the native striped bass and crappie, Captain Mark Smith at Reel Time Guide Service has 30 years of experience helping visitors learn to fish.

Experience what an entire day on Lake Oconee feels like and don’t forget to swing by the Jumping Rock, a local favorite!

6. Visit Oconee Brewing Co

Spring break isn’t complete without a refreshing beverage in hand. Stop by Oconee Brewing Company (kids and pets are welcome too!) and try a delicious craft brew. The brewery also hosts live events most weekends for when you want to experience a night out in our small town.

As an added bonus, the brewery is home to The Burch Food Truck where you can grab dinner Thursday and Friday nights, lunch on Saturday or brunch on Sunday. Their smash burgers are a must try!

7. Explore the Culinary Scene

From lakeside bites to sip-worthy delights, Lake Oconee has a lot of yummy options!

Fuel up for the day with a coffee from Bonnie’s Coffee and More or PJ’s, both are locally owned and sure to get your day started right.

Breakfast can be found at a local favorite, Cafe 44, voted “The Lake Country’s Best Place for Coffee, Breakfast, Lunch and Fresh-Baked Pastries.”

If you’re looking for dining with a view, Gaby’s by the Lake offers some of the most inspiring views of Lake Oconee.

For dinner and drinks, Table at the Lake is a charming restaurant focused on thoughtfully sourced ingredients and seasonal menus, paired with expertly made cocktails and a curated wine list. Join them for dinner or Sunday brunch and discover for yourself the lake’s newest dining destination.


No matter how you like to get away, Lake Oconee – with its cool waters, warm sunshine, tree-lined splendor and symphony of birdsong – is a truly complete family vacation.