A Big Day at a Small Beach

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By Myra McElhaney

Of course you know that Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Buford is one of the largest resorts in the state. Situated on a group of islands along the shore of Lake Sidney Lanier, the resort operates the largest harbor on the lake with boat rentals from small pontoon to luxury houseboats and yachts.

In the Lanier World Water Park, small children will love the slides and spraying water in the Kiddie Lagoon and Wiggle Waves. Everyone can enjoy the beach area where you can lay in the sun, swim, participate in beach volleyball and enjoy drinks from the Tiki Hut. There are multiple body slides including the Raging Waters, Black Out, Intimidator, Triple Threat, Twister and Typhoon. If you prefer more challenging fun on the open water, check out Energy Watersports which offers kayaks, paddle boats, and wake-boarding. In addition to a great place to play all day, Sunset Cove boasts exciting nightlife with live entertainment on a floating stage. For additional information about activities and special events, visit www.lakelanierislands.com.

If boating and fishing interest you more than beach activities visit Georgia”s number one attraction, Stone Mountain Park in Snellville. You can fish on the 363-acre lake. Private boats are allowed on the lake during daylight hours each day of the week. In addition to the lake, enjoy the 3,200 acres of natural beauty with various outdoor adventures. You can hike the fifteen miles of woodland nature trails or climb the 1.3-mile trail to the top of Stone Mountain. Have a picnic near the Grist Mill or Covered Bridge and stay after dark for the Lasershow Spectacular. This amazing show of neon laser lights features fireworks choreographed to popular music and has been updated with digital projection technology that”s said to give 3-D effects without the glasses!

If a smaller, more rural lake is more your style, Gwinnett has several to choose from. You can fish off the pier at the lake in Alexander Park in Lawrenceville. Walk or bike on either the 1.4 mile paved multi-purpose trail or the one-mile soft surface trail. Play horseshoes in the horseshoe pit, picnic at one of the pavilions or play 18 hole of golf.

Little Mulberry Park in Dacula has an overlook area that”s one of the highest elevations in the county and is open sunrise to sunset. With 890 acres, there is a fishing lake and five miles of paved multi-purpose and soft surface trails for horseback riding and hiking.

If you prefer the clear water of a swimming pool or want to prepare for competition while you play there are several options. The Bogan Park Aquatic Center in Buford, the Collins Hill Aquatic Center in Lawrenceville and the Mountain Park Aquatic Center in Stone Mountain all feature indoor competition pools and leisure pools with beach entry plus waterslides and water play structures. Learn to scuba dive or have private swim lessons at West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center in Norcross. The 25 yard by 25 meter competition pool has 750-seat spectator area and an instructional pool that”s open year round.

Grab your swimsuit, beach towels and sunscreen. Pack the kids in the car and put your sunglasses on. Summer fun is just a short drive away!