Note: the photos here all from the picnic areas near the beach area. To view photos of the beach itself, I recommend visiting the park’s website.
Ryan and I had the best time at Don Carter State Park, so we decided to go back to Lake Lanier for the day on Saturday. I wanted to try somewhere a bit closer and see more of the lake, so we switched it up and went to Lanier Park Beach this time. It’s closer to the city (about a 45 minute drive) in Buford, Georgia.
Lanier Park beach is clearly a bit older than Don Carter State Park and the sand is not as nice, but the beach is bigger with more room to swim. The area had bathrooms, a few grills, and the size gives it more spots to camp out for the day, which was perfect for maintaining distance. It feels a little less secluded right on the beach itself, though, as there are more boats around and the beach is right next to a dam. I think I would prefer Don Carter State Park just for the better sand and views, but I liked the closer drive from Atlanta to Lanier Park.
We had some bad luck with the beach itself, though- we realized when we got there that the beaches had been closed by the Army Corps of Engineers because of the virus. Ironically, I actually did research before we left (I’ve made it a habit to check for latest updates these days), and didn’t find anything about the beaches being closed online. Today, I found that there a few updates on Facebook, but otherwise I haven’t found many updates aside from a few small news articles. I definitely recommend checking Facebook before you go, or be prepared to make the best of it like we did!
We ended up just hanging out for the day as it was beautiful outside and still nice to be at the lake. Picnic areas were still open, so we found a secluded one and set up the new chairs Ryan bought us after we decided we were getting too old to spend the day laying on towels. I’m very glad we had chairs this time as we would’ve been really uncomfortable not being on the beach, haha! If you are interested in the chairs we got- here is the link for Ry’s (stripes) and here is the link for mine (fruit)! They turn into backpacks which is great for when Ryan has to carry them (haha love you, Ry!).
It was a really peaceful spot- quiet, beautiful, and a great view of the boats around. We even saw some people across the little inlet we were at jumping into the water despite the rocks and no real “sand” to walk in- it was a straight jump through the classic red Georgia clay. We tried and lasted about ten minutes before deciding it was too slippery, but it looked fun!
Although the beach itself was closed- it was a great way to get outside and away from the city. We decided next time we go back to the lake (when everything is open, haha!) we want to go to the islands and try Margaritaville for a long weekend.