Visit Georgia's Great Lake 45 Minutes North of Atlanta

LBGT Community Creates Summer Hot Spot at Lake Lanier

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Living in Atlanta has many perks. Without a doubt being able to travel easily is one of the best. We have a powerhouse airport in our backyard and scores of day and weekend trips surrounding us. The nip in the air can’t last forever, so today we’re looking at Lake Sidney Lanier, one of gay Atlanta’s favorite weekend trips.


Staying at the lake can be as nice or rustic as you want to make it. You can stay in a resort, rent a lake house, go camping, or even invest in your own lakefront property. Yet, it doesn’t matter where you stay because every gay in the area eventually heads to Gay Cove. The lake hotspot has been around for 25 years and even has its own website: If you’ve never been and want to go, head to the middle section of the west side of the lake just north of marker 21.

Gay Cove has to be seen to be believed. Boats, large and small, don big gay flags all anchored together with hunky gay guys and hot lesbians galore. Music pumps and alcohol flows at the party like no other. However, remember not to drink and drive your boat. Governor Nathan Deal signed a new law that goes into effect this month, setting the boating blood-alcohol limit at .08, the same for driving a car. The blood-alcohol limit for operating a boat was previously .10.

After a few hours on the water, a man can start to get pretty hungry. Luckily, there is Lanier Delivery that delivers gourmet food (packed with dry ice) straight to your boat, dock, or marina. Delivery to your dock is an extra $20 and on-the-lake delivery service is an additional $50 – $100 depending on your boat location and delivery time.

This year will be an especially good year for Gay Cove because water levels are higher right now than they normally are. The Times of Gainesville reports the lake hasn’t been this full in May since 2003.

Gay Cove Boat

Lake Lanier’s water levels were decimated over the past few years, especially during the severe droughts from 2007 to 2009. As Atlanta became drier and drier, water restrictions were put into place and Lake Lanier, as Atlanta’s primary source of water, continued to lose water. It didn’t help that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers “accidentally released 22 billion extra gallons of water from Lake Lanier … just as the region was sinking into a deep drought.”

Boaters, skiers, and swimmers had to remain vigilant for rocks or trees on the lake bottom when Lanier was at its lowest. However, this season lake enthusiasts are starting to wonder if they have to worry about a new danger. The National Park Service has issued a health advisory statement regarding E. coli bacteria counts in the Chattahoochee River at Medlock Bridge Road.

Lake Lanier is a reservoir that was created when the Buford Dam was installed on the Chattahoochee River in 1956. In addition to water from the Chattahoochee River, the lake is also fed by the Chestatee River. Yet, it is the water from the Chattahoochee that has National Park Service officials concerned.

This Chattahoochee sampling site is south of Lake Lanier, closer to Atlanta, but local lake lovers are wondering if the Chattahoochee may have the bacteria further north. At a sampling station at Paces Ferry Road in Cobb County, the National Park Service found lower levels of E. coli and the National Park Service issued no health advisory.

Hopefully this issue will not affect lake goers; however, I would think twice before getting into the Chattahoochee near Medlock Bridge Road. Helping to maintain the Chattahoochee water quality are environmental groups such as the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Their mission is to “restore and preserve [the river’s] ecological health for the people and wildlife that depend on the river system.

The recent cooler temperatures can’t last much longer, so grab some friends and plan a fun weekend at Atlanta’s favorite lake.

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