Modern Lakeside Lodge with Full-Service Marina for Boating and Fishing
A handmade wooden canoe is perched atop a paneled shelf in the lobby lounge area of The Ridges Resort & Marina. It's a subtle reminder of the property's bond with Lake Chatuge, whose tranquil waters center much of the experience here: vacationers can rent boats and fishing tackle from a full-service, 400-slip marina in the warmer months, or just relax and reflect as they walk they shoreline. The rolling, wooded hills of north Georgia's Blue Ridge create a border to the outside world. The 66-room main lodge builds upon its natural solitude, and stone floors, overstuffed leather couches, and natural wood create a homey-yet-refined atmosphere that radiates through the property.
Private balconies look out to either the lake or the surrounding hillsides in the lodge guest rooms, which nod to the landscape with natural willow and oak furnishings as well as a woodland color scheme of browns, greens, and golds. Guests can settle in with cookies and cider or s'mores and cocoa for two and, until March 31, 2012, warm up in a comfy fleece blanket emblazoned with The Ridges' logo. King or double beds stretch into living spaces and are heaped with soft pillows and quilted bedspreads to foster practice leaf-pile belly flops without the hassle of raking.
Although closed in the fall and winter—except for special guest requests—the onsite marina is a hub of activity in the warm seasons. After March 31, 2012, lodgers can explore the waterscape during a two-hour excursion on a 10-seat, 24-foot pontoon boat. After a day's adventure, The Oaks restaurant awaits with an upscale menu, featuring dishes such as Georgia-coast shrimp scampi and cedar-planked Appalachian Mountain trout.
Lake Chatuge, Georgia: Outdoor Pursuits Amid Blue Ridge Forests
About two hours from Atlanta, The Ridges Resort & Marina is sandwiched between the Nantahala and the Chattahoochee National Forests; each sets the stage for year-round hiking and group tree hugs in the wilderness. A championship golf course—also named The Ridges—is just a 15-minute drive away in Hayesville, North Carolina, with fairways set against panoramic mountain views. And in the town of Hiawassee, charming galleries and stores display quilts and crafts by local artists and artisans.