Lake Lanier (officially Lake Sidney Lanier) is a manmade reservoir located in the northern portion of Georgia, encompassing 38,000 acres, 59 square miles of water, and 692 miles of shoreline. Built and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and patrolled by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, real estate on and around Lake Lanier is highly sought after by homebuyers looking for summerhouses, weekend getaways, and permanent residences.
One of Atlanta’s most popular outdoor recreational areas, Lake Lanier attracts 7.6 million annual visitors, many of whom live in its five surrounding counties including Forsyth County. Popular with boaters, Lake Lanier's visitors and local residents have access to 79 boat ramps, 13 full-service marinas, Lanier Islands Resort, the LanierWorld waterpark, the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, and several waterfront restaurants. Surrounding cities, including Gainesville, Flowery Branch, and Buford also offer a variety of eating establishments, shopping, and businesses for seasonal or year-round occupants. In the winter, from mid-November through January, Lake Lanier Islands also celebrates the holidays in a big way with over 6 miles of Christmas lights, featuring the “Magical Nights of Lights,” an animated drive-through display that ends with a Christmas village, carnival rides, bonfire, Santa Shop, live nativity, and more.
For a comprehensive list of attractions and activities in Lake Lanier and surrounding areas, visit our Local Activities page.