Southern Exposure With Black Southern Belle: Reynolds Lake Oconee

Founded on 12,000 acres with 374 miles of shoreline and a mere 85 miles east of Atlanta, lies a club and resort of uncommon character. Reynolds Lake Oconee features six carefully crafted golf courses, a unique sporting ground, and all the recreational and culinary amenities befitting a world-class private club. It is perfect for families, romantic escapes, special events, and simply a fun leisure time.

At RLO you tailor your experience to fit you. Accommodations range from a variety of camping/RV rentals, cabin/home rentals, estate B&B stays and the elite AAA Five Diamond Ritz Carlton Resort. The Ritz Carlton was recognized as one of the “Best Hotels” in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report and is perfect for an elite Lake Oconee stay. For those who desire a more quaint and cultural stay, The Highgate Estate & Gardens is a historic house dating from 1810 that sits on two acres of walkway and gardens. The Estate has five large bedrooms and comfortably fits 15 guests. And finally, for families who want a stay that makes once in a lifetime memories, there are numerous luxury home and cabin rentals on Airbnb.

The uniquely southern Sandy Creek Barn is one of my favorite features of RLO. It overlooks a stocked lake and two-story boathouse. It’s historically majestic qualities, landscape views and picturesque qualities make this barn the perfect space for weddings and cherished events. Sandy Creek Barn dates back to the early 19th century, when Quaker farmer and lumberman, Gideon Widemire, constructed it between 1820 and 1840. The barn is made up of beautifully withered Eastern hemlock timber, the front doors are charmingly red and the sun projects a radiant glow that has people mesmerized.

For foodies, Reynolds Lake Oconee has 10 distinctive on-site culinary venues. However, Eighty8 Kitchen + Cocktails serves as the epicenter of the Reynolds social scene. The restaurant pays homage to its long-standing roots by serving up traditional and comfortable Southern breakfast, Sunday brunch, dinner and cocktails that feel and taste like home. Head there for a casual gathering in the bar and lounge or for a homestyle meal in the dining room.

Lake Oconee is a relaxing southern complex that has endless sites, activities, dining and beyond. For those who have Georgia on their mind and want to make everlasting memories, Reynolds Lake Oconee is waiting for you!


Michiel Perry is the founder of Black Southern Belle, and a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of her work here!

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.