Sprawling Lakeside Resort Tucked into Scenic State Park
In central Georgia, old-fashioned SAM Shortline excursion trains rumble past Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains and through the Victorian town of Americus before rolling to a stop at Georgia Veterans State Park, where armored vehicles and warplanes gleam in the sun. Another stop along the way lies just minutes from Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club, set on the shores of an 8,000-acre lake.
Inland, golf balls sail over sloping greens against a backdrop of lush forest on a course that's rated four stars by Golf Digest and stays open year-round. The resort’s 64 private villas are housed in contemporary buildings with geometric façades and large windows overlooking the water.
The villas feature balconies and patios facing the resort's marina, where boats, pontoons, and Sea-Doos are lined up for fishing trips, cruises, and other excursions. At Cordelia's, the onsite restaurant, chefs fuse southern and European flavors, offering a menu with both fried green tomatoes and three-mushroom chicken marsala. Casual bar fare and cocktails are served at 88's Lounge Lakeside Bar, which draws a social crowd to its cozy lakeside setting.
Cordele, Georgia: Outdoor Activities and Small-Town Attractions Off the Beaten Path
In his poem “Back Roads to Macon,” Raymond Farr captures the small-town charm of Cordele when he describes a mailbox's hand-painted sign scribbled with the folksy adage, "Whatever your destination, thank God you arrive." The town that inspired Farr sits off the beaten path—about 2.5 hours south of Atlanta. It's dotted with antique shops and quirky specialty museums showcasing the history of cotton-harvesting tools and vast collections of telephones. The dry Atlantic coastal-plain climate permits year-round outdoor activities, many of which can be pursued on or near the resort grounds. Three miles of hiking trails wind through a wetland ecosystem inhabited by deer, red foxes, and lost hikers.