Summer Waters and Longer Days of Fun
Forever Summer at Lake Blackshear
A little more than two hours south of Atlanta, Lake Blackshear sparkles in the summer sun. I like to let my mind go into a trance when I’m here and see diamond-like reflections on the lake surface cut by the cast of a fishing line, the wave of a jet ski, and the splash of a heron that stalks its prey with patience, and then precision.
Welcome to the lake life, the forever summer here on the shores. Imagine squeezing in one more weekend to do something totally different and yet so close by.
SAM Shortline Train
One of my favorite things to do at Lake Blackshear is to ride the historic SAM Shortline, the Savannah-Americus-Montgomery line. Rumble back in time on Georgia’s official rolling state park.
On Saturdays, you can book a special excursion called The Presidential Flyer on cars built in 1949. You’ll roll from Georgia Veterans State Park, across Lake Blackshear, to the quaint towns of Americus and Plains. It’s fun to go into town and do a little souvenir shopping before the journey back.
I’m partial to the Murder Mystery Dinner Train. When the real mayor and citizens of Plains, GA dress up to play roles in a Who Dunnit mystery, it’s like jumping into a television set from the 1950s. You may even meet relatives of President Jimmy Carter in the cast. This is small-town fun in a big-time way.
You’ll see signs to be water-aware of alligators, but they tend to keep to themselves in protected coves away from people and boats. I looked for them when I was kayaking, but only saw two little juvenile gators sunning on a log near a faraway bank.
This lake is busier on the weekends with boaters, jet skiers, people fishing and kayaking. The sandy beach for swimming is a must right now when the temps are higher.
Tee Off at Vet’s Course
Last time I stayed the weekend here, I took a golf lesson from Brian Williamson, the golf pro at the Georgia Veterans Memorial Golf Course, a Denis Griffiths-designed course edged with beautiful South Georgia loblolly pines. I always thought business on the golf course was about that – just business. Yet Brian’s expert knowledge surprised me.
“One of the first things to know on how to do business on the golf course is you don’t talk business on the golf course,” shares Brian. “It’s all about bonding and relationships. It’s about how to establish a relationship using golf. Do you have to be a great player? No. You really don’t, but all you need to do is learn some of the etiquette, how to keep up, and it’s not difficult after that.”
Book tee times here and enjoy the wide-open fairways and breezes as our summer wanes. You’ll be glad you squeezed in that last game with friends and family.
Serve the Living: Honor Our Heroic Dead
This is the theme of the Military Museum on the grounds of the Georgia Veterans State Park at Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club. Allow at least an hour to tour the museum located inside the visitor center. It’s an amazing collection of historic artifacts from Georgia-born veterans who have served in every war and conflict in our nation’s history.
Book your dog-friendly lakeside cabin or villa, go camping or stay in the resort lodge. Can you imagine squeezing in one more weekend of summer fun?
By LYDIA SEA, Georgia wanderer finding off-the-beaten-path places (and gems!)