Lake Lanier is a reservoir that formed as a result of the construction of the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. It’s the largest lake in Georgia and offers hundreds of miles of shoreline, excellent boating, and beautiful sandy beaches. Rent a boat on Lake Lanier to get the full experience when you visit. The lush surroundings of green forest and the welcoming atmosphere towards recreational boaters makes it a pleasant stop on a summer vacation with family and friends. Enjoy the beautiful sunset over the lake during a warm summer night in Georgia. 

Lake Lanier Boat Rentals.jpg

Points of Entry on Lake Lanier

There are many cities with shoreline on Lake Lanier. Gainesville, Cumming, Buford, and Flowery Branch are some of the popular towns for people to stay in during their boating vacation on Lake Lanier. Each town has its own unique feel, so you’ll want to investigate which one makes the most sense for your travel itinerary.


A historic high country city of Georgia, Gainesville is known for its hospitality and charm. The city area covers the northeastern portion of Lake Lanier, stretching far along its coastline. Some outdoor attractions to see if you stay in Gainesville include the Don Carter State Park and Atlanta Botanical Gardens. If you’re traveling with young children, the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) museum is a fun, hands-on experience that will entertain any kid.


Cumming is on the west side of Lake Lanier. It’s an excellent place to stay if you’re looking to camp or have a relaxing stay in a quiet area. Visit nearby attractions like the Sawnee Mountain Preserve and the Big Creek Greenway, outdoor spaces that are worth exploring while staying in Cumming.


Buford is an eclectic, artsy town on Lake Lanier. It’s the perfect place to visit for millennial travelers looking to dive into the local culture and support the art scene during their summer vacation. It’s on the south side of Lake Lanier and offers exciting attractions like the Town Park & Theater - perfect for outdoor movies, and the Buford History Museum, which has Native American historical and cultural exhibits.

Flowery Branch

Home to the Atlanta Falcons, this town on the southeast side of Lake Lanier is perfect for visitors with an appreciation for historic buildings and a desire for a quiet, relaxing vacation. You’ll have easy access to the lake as well as attractions like Alberta Banks Park, and amazing restaurants and bars like Crossroads Bar & Grill and Branch House Tavern.

Boating Experiences and Rentals on Lake Lanier

Renting a boat when you visit Lake Lanier is a must. There’s no better way to absorb the lively summer atmosphere than to cruise on your own private powerboat. Rent a motor yacht or a pontoon for a relaxing day with your family and friends. Bring a picnic onboard, stop at a beach for a swim, and soak up the sun for hours in the beautiful bays and open water of Lake Lanier.

Lake Lanier Pontoon & Houseboat Rentals

Renting a houseboat or a pontoon for a weekend of fun is an excellent option when visiting Lake Lanier. These vessels give you plenty of space to spread out and relax. There’s nothing better than having a picnic onboard a pontoon as you cruise by the scenic shoreline of Lake Lanier. Houseboats can accommodate large groups, so it’s perfect if you’re hosting a party or other event during the summer months.

Lake Lanier Houseboat.jpg

Motor Yacht Rentals on Lake Lanier

If you have a smaller group and would prefer a motor yacht, rent or charter one during your stay on Lake Lanier. Motor yachts are fabulous if you want to explore a large area of the lake, and you can cruise to different lake towns and pull up to a dock if you're going to get out and see what’s around. It’s also a nice taste of luxury during your trip to this part of Georgia. Visit waterfront restaurants and soak up the sun on a private motor yacht rental on Lake Lanier.

Lake Lanier Jet Ski Rentals

For an exciting day of flying through the water, book a jet ski rental on Lake Lanier. These machines give you so much power to cruise through the waves at high-speed or drift along the shoreline at a leisurely pace. Jet skis are fun because they are relatively easy to drive, and you can have a lot of fun in a short amount of time on a jet ski rental.  

Fishing Trips on Lake Lanier

There’s nothing more relaxing on summer vacation than spending a day fishing. Lake Lanier is an excellent spot in Georgia to cast off, kick back, and reel in fish like trout, crappie, and bass. Book a full-service fishing charter on Lake Lanier and have a captain take you to the secret spots where they’ll be biting all day long. Fishing boats are the perfect rental for avid anglers visiting Lake Lanier.

Lake Lanier Fishing.jpeg

Water Sports on Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier is an excellent place to enjoy a day of fun and exciting watersports. With everything from flyboarding to river tubing, you can find the perfect water experience to match your vacation goals. Rent water sports equipment on your own and bring it on your boat rental while in Lake Lanier, or see if your boat captain will offer it as an option in a charter. Watersports are fun for both kids and adults; they provide the perfect opportunity to make unforgettable memories with your family.

Paddle Sports on Lake Lanier

For active and fitness-focused travelers paying a visit to Lake Lanier, renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard is a must. Rent a kayak and paddle out, exploring the gorgeous shoreline and getting in an upper body workout while on vacation. It’s an unbeatable combination; you’ll get to make memories and see the lake in a sustainable, zero-emissions way!

Lake Lanier Canoe.jpeg

Accommodation on Lake Lanier

Hotels & Resorts

For visitors to Lake Lanier who want to spend a majority of their stay out on the water, Lake Lanier Lodge, Lakehouses at Legacy, Hampton Inn Gainesville, and the Guest Lodge Gainesville are a few nice places to check out. You can often also rent lake homes via websites like Airbnb.


If you’re traveling with a group of camping enthusiasts who’d prefer to sleep under the stars than in a resort, there are plenty of campgrounds to meet your needs. Sawnee Campground, Shoal Creek Campground and Bald Ridge Creek are some of the most popular sites. Most campsites have access to bathrooms and shower, as well as other comforts that you might want during your stay.

Other Things To Do

Lake Lanier Islands Waterpark

If you’re visiting Lake Lanier with kids, who want an exciting day of water fun, head to the Lake Lanier Islands Margaritaville Water Park. There are water slides, kiddie pools, and other water rides for all ages. Race your family members down the competitive slides, relax in the lazy river, or catch waves in the wave pool.

Hiking Trails

If you need to spend a day off the water and want to explore on foot, consider going hiking during your stay on Lake Lanier. Some excellent trails include Buford Dam Trail, Laurel Ridge Trail, and the hiking trails on the Lake Lanier Islands.


Sometimes, getting connected with nature isn’t enough to rejuvenate a traveler. If you need a relaxing spa day during a trip, book yourself a massage or facial at Tranquility Spa on the Lanier Islands. It’s the ultimate way to relax and de-stress during your visit to this area of Georgia.

If you’re out enjoying all the beauty and fun that Lake Lanier has to offer, be sure to tag us in your photos! Follow us on social @GetMyBoat for updates, and use the #GetMyBoat so we can see your awesome #boatday pictures!