Modern Lakeside Lodge with Fine Dining and Full-Service Marina
The Ridges Resort & Marina sits on the shores of Lake Chatuge, surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Its setting and agreeable climate make it a popular place for outdoor activities year-round: A 400-slip marina is the center of activity during warmer months, when you can rent pontoon boats, kayaks, and canoes. You can also go fishing off the lakefront pier, hike the nearby ridges, or brush up on your tennis skills. You’re never disconnected from nature at the lodge, even when inside—resort-view rooms feature private balconies, some with mountain views.
It can get chilly here at night in early spring; guests can keep warm by toasting marshmallows and sipping cider and hot cocoa at the outdoor fire pit. A throw blanket is included in this deal, so you can keep warm as you have drinks outside on the patio or take an evening stroll along the shore.
The Oaks on Lake Chatuge serves farm-to-table Southern cuisine. You can use your dining credit to sample signature dishes such as Georgia shrimp ‘n’ grits ($18), blackened North Carolina trout ($21), or locally sourced filet mignon ($29) in the wood-paneled dining room or on the waterfront patio.
Lake Chatuge, Georgia: Hiking and Fishing amid Blue Ridge Forest
Located about two hours from Atlanta, The Ridges Resort & Marina is sandwiched between the Nantahala and Chattahoochee National Forests. It's a fine spot to go hiking or mountain biking, and you can access a number of scenic trails within 5 miles of the resort. If you walk up to the summit of Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak, you can see four states. Nearby, it's possible to go fishing for trout all year long in the Hiwassee River.
In the town of Hiawassee, charming galleries and stores display quilts and crafts by local artists and artisans. A handful of wineries in the area offer tastings of small-production wines in intimate countryside tasting rooms.