Greensboro came about as a retirement and second home lake and golf community formed by those who were looking to take a quick getaway from the big city of Atlanta. Over the past two decades, though, a boom in vacation rentals and new businesses has attracted younger families from all over the country to settle in Greensboro. Still, the city has a remote feeling, with lots of outdoor recreation spaces centered around Lake Oconee, six championship golf courses, and many campgrounds. During spring and summer, multi-generational vacationers spend entire days on the water, indulging in water sports and relaxing by the beach. And after a fun day in the sun, there are several music venues, festivals and restaurants to pleasure all the senses.
Set along Lake Oconee, Ritz-Carlton Reynolds is designed to blend in with the quiet natural surroundings. The family-friendly resort offers the ultimate luxurious getaway on the waterfront. You can walk along the manicured gardens, take a dip in the family pools and splash pads, sit in an Adirondack chair along the shore, and gather with the family around the fire pit at night. Lake adventures can be accessed right from the hotel’s docks, on a Hacker-Craft boat or motorized water sport equipment from Young Harris Water Sports Boat Rentals. During the holidays, there is a life-size gingerbread house in the lobby, breakfast with Santa, and an ice skating rink. With an impressive spa with steam rooms and a sauna, signature golf courses, Southern-inspired dining, and a Ritz Kids Clubhouse to engage young travelers, there’s really no reason to leave the property.
Whether you favor land or water, there are a variety of outdoor activities available in Greensboro to keep you out in nature. The 19,050-acre reservoir, Lake Oconee, is ideal for kayaking, jet skiing, boating, wakeboarding, tubing, paddle boarding, or simply relaxing on a pontoon. You can bring your own boats and equipment or rent them at one of the marinas.
The lake has 374 miles of shorelines, offering plenty of spots to camp, fish, and sunbathe on the beach. Old Salem and Parks Ferry campgrounds have full service amenities, including swimming beaches, children’s playgrounds, picnic pavilions, boat ramps and restrooms. For a unique glamping experience, sleep inside an authentic railroad boxcar with a full bath at the KOA in Greensboro.
Set on Reynolds Lake Oconee’s 100 acres, the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds is the ultimate destination to test your physical and mental agility. Here you can play tennis at one of the 16 hard and clay courts, take an off-road adventure through a thrilling course, or try your hands on a sporting clay course. There is also a five-stand shooting range, an air rifle range, and an archery range. If you are not a shooter, head out to fish, canoe, kayak or hike through the pristine settings including scenic ponds, rolling terrain, forested thickets, and pecan orchards.
If you want to practice your swing, there are six championship golf courses around the area, including The Preserve, The Landing, Great Waters, and Harbor Club (the only public course). The Kingdom at Reynolds Lake Oconee is one of two of its kind in the world, integrating advanced technology and expert instruction. Membership is required to access most courses, though Ritz-Carlton hotel guests also enjoy some of these benefits.
To learn more about the history and culture of Greensboro, take a self-guided walking tour through downtown. Starting on Main Street, check out the Chamber of Commerce that housed a phone switchboard named “gossip central” and The Herald Journal building that once had a bowling alley. There are also murals depicting the razing of Greensboro by the Creek in 1787, painted at the Greensboro Post Office. ne of the spookiest places in Georgia—the Wyatt Jail, and a number of historic homes boasting unique southern architecture.
Genuine Georgia is Greensboro’s premier artisan marketplace located in downtown and one of the best places in the state to shop for gifts and art handcrafted by over 100 Georgia artists. You can browse for works in clay, fiber, folk art, glass, and wood, and each piece comes with a note about the artist who made it. During festival weekends, you can also meet the artists and watch live demonstrations.
Food and Music
Greensboro is home to arts, crafts, music, and food festivals taking place throughout the year. In spring, the Southland Jubilee heritage arts festival in downtown has live music, classic cars, antique tractors, arts, and crafts. And in the summer, there’s Pickin’ on the Greene and Motown on Main. Fall brings the Rock ‘n’ Roll Cruise In and Rhythm and Brews Festival.
The craft beer production facility and tasting room at Oconee Brewing Company is worth a visit. It’s a 5,000-square-foot event space located in a former cotton mill house that hosts live concerts practically every weekend. Kids and pets are also welcome here.
For lunch, head over to Ripe Thing, a local farmers market and shop that creates daily alternating soups and sandwiches. The cozy interior serves as a community table and a marketplace offering locally-grown and seasonal food and products from around the South. Across the street, Holcomb’s Bar-B-Que’s slow-smoked pulled pork and stew are popular local favorites.