There’s nothing that screams summer more than a family lake vacation and one of the best destinations is only a few hours away from Atlanta. Lake Sinclair in Georgia covers over 15,000 acres and offers recreational fun that the whole family will enjoy – including the dog! No matter what ages your kids are, this guide will offer some ideas to help you plan your dream family lake vacation where the daytime adventures are endless and the nights are relaxing.
Unlike some of the more well-known lakes around the metro Atlanta area, Lake Sinclair is more serene. There’s less boat traffic, more quiet coves for fishing and the shoreline is mostly residential. That makes it a fantastic lake for beginner boaters and you don’t need any prior boating experience to get out on the water.
Things To Do At Lake Sinclair In Georgia (With Kids)
Lake Sinclair covers three counties, with Milledgeville, Georgia being the primary city destination closest to the lake. Milledgeville has a cute downtown area with boutique shopping, chef-owned restaurants and historical sites. During the Civil War, Milledgeville was the capitol of Georgia and there are still many pieces of antebellum history for tourists to explore.
Families can stay directly on Lake Sinclair, but have easy access to downtown Milledgeville via a short drive. It’s nice knowing the city area is available with things to do when weather isn’t cooperating for lake fun.
Where To Stay On Lake Sinclair With Kids (Best Lodging Options)
Since the shoreline is mostly residential, the best places to stay (which are directly on the lake) are vacation rentals. Many owners rent out their properties to guests visiting the area. It’s easy to book through third party sites, like VRBO, which offers buyer protection. Plus, most of the lake’s vacation rentals offer families the comforts of home along with the amenities you’ll appreciate for your vacation – like a dock.
We love The Best “DAM” View On Lake Sinclair – which is a VRBO listing. It’s a smaller property, but feels cozy and offers all of the amenities that families need. Read the full review of the Lake Sinclair rental property we recommend and check out all of the amazing details.
Everything You Need To Know About Swimming In The Lake
Lake Sinclair is safe to swim in and there are so many great little coves to discover for swimming. Follow the standard water safety rules and enforce children to wear a life jacket – the deepest point of the lake is 90 feet! Opt for a true life jacket that is Georgia DNR approved.
Looking for a public area to swim in? Check out Rocky Creek Park at Lake Sinclair for a beach area that’s perfect for swimming. The day-use area has public restrooms, picnic tables, grills, swimming beach, playground, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, walking trails and easy swim access to Lake Sinclair.
Family Boating On Lake Sinclair In Georgia
The best thrill on the lake is family boating! It’s easy to rent a boat on Lake Sinclair and it’s the best way to explore everything the area has to offer. If you don’t own a boat, there are several ways to rent a boat for a full or half day. There’s nothing better than feeling the wind in your hair, getting some sun and enjoying the ride. Even the kids love the excitement of being on a boat.
For all of your boat rental needs, whether for recreation or fishing, check out Sinclair Marina. Rentals are one of the many services that Sinclair Marina offers and they can even provide a concierge service of delivering your boat rental directly to your rental house dock. I highly recommend that delivery option for a seamless relaxed family lake vacation.
Be aware that Georgia Rental Boat Requirements are mandatory before operating a vessel, and all children must be wearing a life jacket at all times on a boat. Additionally, Sinclair Marina will guide you through everything you need to know about operating your boat rental.
Where To Dock On Lake Sinclair For Lunch or Dinner
There’s nothing better than a day on the lake. You don’t have to go back to your rental for dining because there are several great lakeside restaurants that offer docking. Most of these lakeside dining locations are also pet-friendly with outdoor seating. Boat over to some of these fantastic Lake Sinclair restaurants, enjoy a stunning view of the water while eating, and then get right back out!
Lake Sinclair Restaurants That Allow Boat Docking:
Fishing On Lake Sinclair With Kids
All skill levels can enjoy fishing at Lake Sinclair, including kids! As the location for many national and local fishing tournaments, the lake is best known for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. If you need assistance, several of the local marinas offer early morning fish ventures where everything is provided for guests – for a fee. If you don’t have access to a boat, the lake offers the convenience of several fishing piers.
Don’t forget that the state of Georgia requires the purchase of an online fishing license from the state’s department of natural resources. Wondering if your kids need a Georgia fishing license too? It depends on their age! Grab your license before your lake vacation and be worry free.
Where To Fish On Lake Sinclair Without A Boat:
- T.D. Cheek Public Fishing Area (Great fishing area for kids with fish attractors)
- Little River Park (Also a nice area for swimming)
- Dennis Station Ramp (Put your boat in or fish off the docks)
- Rocky Creek Park at Lake Sinclair (Fish from the shore & enjoy playground areas)
Kayaking On The Lake
Don’t be discouraged by the boaters, because if you prefer laid back kayaking, Lake Sinclair is a great location for that as well. Bring your own gear or check out several of the Lake Sinclair kayak rentals shops and they’ll provide you with everything that you need. You can even arrange shuttle service from the rental providers to help drop off your gear and pick you up after you’re done kayaking.
Some of the Popular Lake Sinclair Kayaking Routes: Oconee Greenway to Central State (3 hour beginner route), Sinclair Dam to Oconee Greenway (2.5 hour intermediate route) and Sinclair Dam to Central State (6 hour scenic route).
Bringing Your Dog On The Family Lake Vacation
Seamlessly add your dog to the family vacation with all of the pet-friendly Milledgeville businesses. Our family lake vacation was made complete by bringing our furry friend an we didn’t have any hiccups during our trip. Start by picking a Lake Sinclair vacation rental that is pet-friendly.
Fill your day with outdoor fun that the family dog will enjoy too. Rent a dog-friendly boat (our pup loved spending time on the pontoon – don’t forget a dog life jacket) or walk around the downtown Milledgeville area. You can dine outside at the local downtown restaurants and at most of the lakeside dining options.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet family escape, want to bring the dogs or even plan a family reunion – there are so many great family-friendly things to do at Lake Sinclair in Georgia. For a relatively small city, in the middle of Georgia, Milledgeville offers so many thrills. Completely customize your dream family lake vacation, which is waiting only a few hours away from Atlanta.
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