WEEKENDER: Reynolds Lake Oconee
The waterfront playground in central Georgia welcomes of golfers, hunters, anglers, and foodies of all ages
Avid golfers flock to Reynolds Lake Oconee for its championship courses, but the gated resort community 85 miles east of Atlanta is also a great weekend destination for families with kids in tow. The property has 11 onsite dining options, four full-service marinas, multiple swimming pools, a world-class fitness and tennis club, and a range of activities for kids. It’s a three-and-a-half hour drive from Charlotte and an easy getaway for anyone who loves the outdoors. Come here to unwind and dangle your feet off the dock, hit the backroads for a sporting adventure, or linger over a cocktail with family and friends and watch the sun set over Georgia’s lake country.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee has everything you’d expect from a Ritz—manicured gardens, marble bathrooms, and nightly turndown service. The hotel has a fitness center, infinity pool, and 26,000-square-foot spa, plus three full-service restaurants, a coffee shop, and a cocktail bar. If you’re on a family vacation or have a larger group, check out the vacation rentals. The National Club Cottages have four bedrooms, full kitchens, and porches with views of the National Golf Course. The Landing Cottages surround The Village at The Landing, an amenity complex with a restaurant, golf shop, and pickleball and tennis courts. The Village at Lake Club Pointe has two- and three-bedroom condominiums that give you access to a full-service marina, tennis facility, and 21 miles of walking trails.
Several Reynolds restaurants are members-only, but resort guests can dine at Eighty8 Kitchen + Cocktails for Sunday brunch and Southern comfort food, The Overlook at Great Waters for fresh seafood, The Landing for family-friendly fare and themed dinners, or The National Tavern for bar bites and drinks. If you stay at The Ritz, have a leisurely breakfast at Georgia’s and warm up by the stone fireplace. In the warmer months, grab a table on the patio at Gaby’s by the Lake and order their famous Lobster Grilled Cheese. The Ritz offers special menus for kids ages 2 to 12 in each of their restaurants, and children under 2 dine free.
Reynolds is a golfer’s paradise with six championship golf courses. The Kingdom at Lake Oconee, one of only two facilities of its kind in the world, offers one-on-one consultations, swing analysis, club fitting, and pro-level instructors to help you perfect your game. The 800-acre Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds has a sporting clays course with 20 stations that wind through wooded trails and a century-old pecan orchard. Anglers can rent two-person fishing kayaks and explore the 40-acre lake, and tennis players have their choice of 16 hard and clays courts. When you need to unwind, put the kids in the Ritz Kids program (more on that below) and book a facial or massage at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.
Book a stay at the Ritz, and kids will have the time of their lives. The VIK (Very Important Kid) Check-in is adjacent to the front desk, where they can sign the guest book and collect a scavenger hunt. The Linger Longer Express is an onsite locomotive that offers complimentary 10-minute rides across the property. The train departs every day at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from the hotel entrance. You can also opt for In-Room Camping, which includes one tent per room that’s equipped with a sleeping bag and pillow, flashlight, children’s book, and stuffed animal. The Ritz Kids program is designed for ages five to 12 and includes access to the Ritz Kids Clubhouse, which has a range of arcade games and seasonal outdoor activities. Sign them up for Ritz Kids Lake Adventures ($150 per child for a full day, $80 for a half day) introduces little ones to tent building, fishing, wildlife, and more. Reservations are required for Ritz Kids Lake Adventures at least 48 hours in advance.