Lake Oconee

In Family, Restaurants, Travel on September 3, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Ahhh! The final days of summer are upon us.  Recently, as a tribute to Kenya’s birthday, the T&S duo discovered the wonderful beauty of Lake Oconee.   Located just 75 miles/about 90 minutes East of Atlanta, the splendor of nature is not too far away.  What a beautiful destination we have to add to our list of great places to go.

Whether you’re looking for a quick get away, a nice retreat or even a family vacation, we offer Lake Oconee as a top spot for any, all or more of these purposes.  “How did we not know about this”, was all we could say.  “How did we miss this in the past four years”, was all that we felt.  We had an amazing time and promised to be back with the girls very soon.

Without missing a beat, the Ritz Carlton, Reynolds Plantation offers nothing but the best in class service.  Although the décor will probably remind you a little of your grandmother’s “front room” or maybe even “Little House on the Prairie” meets granite and tile, this hotel presents an ambience that brings luxury and comfort to the forefront.  The staff is friendly and pleasant from the time you stop your car at the valet to the time you leave to go home.  And, the grounds of the hotel invite you to do nothing but relax and enjoy.

We first hit Gaby’s by the Lake for lunch indulging in the sinfully delicious roasted garlic parmesan and truffle oil fries.  O! M! G!  After a game of pool, we then challenged ourselves to the bike trail.  (Although we brought our own bikes, there are bikes available at the hotel).  The trail was almost like riding a mountain trail.  It is full of dips and hills that keeps your gears in constant shift and makes you thankful that you are wearing a helmet.  Although the trail is only about 8 miles (4 miles up and back), we recommend that you not follow our order of events.  Such a bike trail AFTER roasted garlic parmesan and truffle oil fries is NOT recommended.  AT ALL!

With a dip into the infinity pool accompanied by a full catering bartender to the pool, we welcomed the beginning of a wonderful evening.  We even got to witness a wedding that was taking place in the nearby yard, which was adorned by a beautiful backdrop of the sunset on the lake.  They could not have asked for better weather or a better scene.

From 8p-10p daily, the hotel hosts a campfire for s’mores.  Although we didn’t make it down in time to enjoy before dinner, we thought it was a nice touch to wind down the day.

A golf cart scooted us down the road to the Linger Longer Steakhouse for a delectable evening.  While there are a variety of places to dine, we recommend this nearby restaurant for their ambience, menu selection and classic Ritz Carlton service.  Most of all, when they bring you the bill, they sweeten it up, literally, with a stick of fresh cotton candy.  What’s not to love about that?

As if the evening wasn’t already wonderful, we found ourselves swinging beneath the stars in a hammock between two of the trees on the hotel grounds.  As the stars shined in a clear black sky and water flowed in the nearby stream, we couldn’t help but to fall asleep without a care in the world.  If only we had a blanket, we would have indeed been found the next morning hanging in the net.

Brunch on the patio of  Georgia’s Bistro was, of course, worthy of a wake-up call.  It’s always nice when there are advanced meat options such as turkey bacon and chicken sausage.  When you leave, be sure to walk out into the yard and go for one of the best swings in your life.  When have you last been on a swing?  Talk about therapeutic.  And, these weren’t your normal playground swings.  They swung high, deep and were big enough for any adult who doesn’t mind letting out their inner child.  You definitely can’t help but smile.  So, don’t miss this youthful enjoyment.

We brought our golf clubs but never made it to the beautiful links that surround this destination.  We are certain to make time for a few holes next visit in addition to the relaxing spa.  Both looked enticing and we look forward to adding them to our future agenda.

Before we end our review/recommendation of Lake Oconee, we mentioned that this was a place for a family vacation.  It’s hard to imagine a romantic get away also being a place for kids but we really think it’s grand enough for whatever you desire.  Particularly with the water activities by the lake, we think this is a place kids would love.  If you don’t have your own boat, there are boats available for renting so that the family can take in the scene of this beautiful 19,000-acre area lake.  The hotel also has plenty of activities for the kids to do on shore including Ritz Kids Camp and Kids Night Out.

For whatever reason, you seek this gorgeous destination, we recommend you just go and see for yourself.  This is truly a beauty of God’s wonder.

Lake Oconee.  That’s What’s Up!


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