Home » Family Travel » Florida Travel Guide » 13 Best Lake Vacations in the Southeast Region, USA

13 Best Lake Vacations in the Southeast Region, USA

By Life, Family Fun Team


Updated on

The Southeast region is home to many lakes and bodies of water. You can always find a great lake vacation spot in this area. Lake vacations offer many activities and accommodation choices for you and your family. Get out your fishing poles, camping gear, boats & swim trunks and check out these great lake vacation spots in and around the southern region of the US.

Best Lake Vacations in the Southeast USA

Lake Wylie- South Carolina/North Carolina

Photo Credit: Madhan Karthikeyan
Photo Credit: Madhan Karthikeyan

Lake Wylie is in both Carolinas and the variety of activities in this area is great. Lake Wylie is the oldest lake on the Catawba River. Lake Wylie covers over 13,000 acres, with a shoreline of 325 miles.

Ebenezer Park on Lake Wylie offers a boat ramp, picnic tables, swimming, playgrounds, and fishing. There are also campgrounds located here.
The Buster Boyd Access Area is in the town of Lake Wylie, SC and offers bike trail, boat ramps and plenty of dining options.

The Copperhead Access Area has boat ramps, picnicking, swimming, and campgrounds. It is also handicapped accessible.
Whether you are on the NC or the SC side, Lake Wylie has a lot to offer.

Lake Santeetlah – North Carolina

The perfect setting to get away from it all, Lake Santeetlah, along with its 76 miles of shoreline is almost completely protected as a natural forest. Nestled in the Appalachian mountains and surrounded by old-growth wilderness, the lake is a true oasis for those who want to experience peace and tranquility. Canoe or row along the shoreline of the lake, enjoying views of the trees, mists around the lake, rocky shores, and local wildlife.

If you like a little bit of modernity with your retreats, don’t worry, Lake Snteetlah provides it. Their Cheoah Point Campground has car campsites for $20 a night complete with hot showers and flush toilets. If you don’t want to completely rough it, you can head over to Blue Waters Mountain Lodge for a drink and a bite to eat after a day of enjoying the lake’s peaceful waters. 

Lake Lure – North Carolina

A trip to Lake Lure is about more than the water. This beautiful lake is nestled in 1,000 acres of wilderness with a variety of nature trails to enjoy. In addition to the gorgeous waters and wooded landscape, climb to the top of Lake Lure’s iconic Chimney Rock to get sweeping views of the area. 

Trophy Lakes – South Carolina

A dream for lovers of watersports, Trophy Lakes was specifically designed for skiers. The lake is small and only about 10 feet deep, making it ideal for skiers to get out and enjoy the water and sun. While there, consider staying at Ansonborough Inn, a restored 1901 warehouse located just outside of downtown Charleston. 

The lake’s design and proximity to Charleston make it the perfect getaway for those who are looking to combine the beauty of nature with some adrenaline, nightlife, shopping, and modern amenities. 

High Falls Lake- Georgia

If you are looking for a beautiful lake area to relax, then High Falls Lake could be your next vacation destination. High Falls Lake is not too far from Macon, Georgia, but you will feel like you are far from civilization.

High Falls Lake is 650 acres situated in dense woods of pine. High Falls State Park is adjacent and also has much to offer in recreational activities. You can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking and boating in this area.

In Georgia, High Falls Lake is rated as one of the best fishing lakes for Largemouth Bass. There are many other types of fish in the lake, especially in the more shallow areas. There is a large fishing dock on the lake which is great for kids to enjoy fishing, too.

Enjoy picnic areas, canoe and kayak rentals, and paddleboats, too. There are 4 ½ miles of hiking trails around the lake as well. High Falls Lake is known for great bird watching along the lake and trails.

Lake Rabun – Northern Georgia

If you want your family vacation to be focused on slowing down, then Lake Rabun is the place for your next vacation. Known for its classic style, Lake Rabun harkens back to a time when life moved more slowly. Family time is the name of the game here. Play in the water, hike the woods, and generally take it easy in an atmosphere that practically begs visitors to kick back and take it easy.


Stay at the classic Barn Inn, a 20’s-era stone-and-timber inn with incredible views of the lake, or hang your hat at the refined, farmhouse-style Glen-Ella Springs Inn. For a more upscale experience, the family can stay at the refined mountain lodge. While the lake welcomes boaters, there are no boat rentals available. However, you can bring your own and launch it from Hall’s Boat House. 

Lake Oconee – Georgia

At only 75 miles east of Atlanta, Lake Oconee is the perfect place to get away from it all without being away from it all. The pristine waters and wooded shoreline make for a tranquil way to let the stress of everyday life melt away. If you’re planning a trip to the lake, why not do it in style at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge?


Nestled along the shore of Lake Oconee’s 35 wooded acres, this resort offers posh amenities like an infinity pool, spa, fine dining, and more, in addition to the rustic beauty of the water and forests.

Related: Perfect Weekend Retreat to Reynolds Lake Oconee

Lake Lanier Islands – Georgia

Head 30 minutes north of Atlanta to Lake Lanier Islands and prepare to bask in both the beauty of nature and the lap of luxury. This beautiful resort located on the lake of the same name offers watersports, a spa, and more in a luxurious setting right on the water. Couples will enjoy the recently renovated hotel, while families and groups of four or more should take advantage of the available lake houses. With 30 cottages to choose from, all perched on the lake, families will enjoy the space afforded them by two bedrooms, two baths, a full kitchen, fireplace, decks, and more. 

Photo Credit: Lanier Islands

Pine Mountain – Georgia

What began as a one-family retreat, Callaway Gardens is now one of the most popular resorts in the south, offering the beauty of the surrounding wilderness, Lake Martin, Mountain Creek Lake, along with the slower pace of the old south. Visitors can enjoy the gardens, hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, and even hosted activities. It’s an oasis of tranquility with all the charm and relaxation that we know and love about the south. 

Lake Martin – Alabama

Lake Martin is a lake lover’s paradise. A popular spot among Birmingham and Montgomery locals, as well as the population of year-round residents, Lake Martin is the kind of lake where visitors make fast friends with everyone. Weekends at the lake see boats rafting up at Chimney Rock, a popular cliff-jumping spot near the local dam. 

If you make the trip to Lake Martin, enjoy a stay at Mistletoe Bough Bed & Breakfast, a restored Victorian mansion built in 1895 that’s a short 10 minutes from the lake. 

Lake Guntersville – Alabama

Surrounded by the quiet town that gave it its name, Lake Guntersville is a calm body of water that’s perfect for family getaways. Enjoy boating, fishing, and other watersports, and when you’re finished, head into town for some shopping and dining options that are fit for a city. The area’s tourism has encouraged some of the best shops in the area to call Guntersville, and its lake, home. 

Lake Douglas – Tennessee

Swimming, skiing, swimming, fishing, and more await watersports lovers at Lake Douglas. About 30 minutes from Sevierville in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lake Douglas offers gorgeous views and more fun on the water than you can shake an oar at. Beautiful, cabin accommodations complete the scene, making for a getaway that’s all about the water – which is right out your front door at this lake. 

Related: Down Home Family Fun in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Newnan’s Lake- Florida

Photo Credit : Lagged on User
Photo Credit : Lagged on User

Of course, Florida is known for beaches, but there are so many lovely lake areas to visit. If you are a bird or nature lover, try Newnan’s Lake in Northeast Florida. Newnan’s Lake is just six miles from Gainesville.

Newnan’s lake is 7,000 acres and is bordered by Preserves on the south and Conservation areas to the north, so there is a lot of untouched areas and lots of wildlife. The most common wildlife sightings are fox, white-tailed deer, some snakes, and even otters.

There is a boardwalk to take relaxing walks on and a fishing pier, too. There is also a covered picnic area, barbeque grills and a playground to enjoy. The lake has catfish, bass, bluegill, sunfish and crappie in abundance.

Take time to visit the conservation areas and the state park that border the lake.

If you had to choose, what would be your favorite lake vacations in the Southeast?

Leave a Comment