There’s no doubt that summers get hot in Georgia, with high humidity and temperatures in the 90s; swimming is a necessity in this state. Therefore, there are plenty of places to cool off, like the Edge of the World swimming hole just outside Dawsonville. But, if you are looking for something livelier, there are dozens of waterparks scattered around the state, as well as beaches, lakes, and rivers. So, get those bathing suits on and discover the best swimming spots in Georgia.
Swimming Holes in Georgia
There are several magnificent swimming holes in Georgia. While some are easy to get to, others require some effort due to their challenging trails, but the reward at the end is so worth it!
1. Edge of the World Swimming Hole, Dawsonville
The Edge of the World swimming hole is a popular spot on the weekends, so if you don’t want the crowds, it’s best to visit during the week. This swimming hole leaves nothing to be desired with its natural water slides and chutes, picnic spots, and cool water below the rock ledges where you can sit back with a cold beverage.
2. Cherokee Falls at Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn
When hiking atop Lookout Mountain, there is a short trail loop that takes you to this breathtaking waterfall that drops into a clear, inviting pool. This swimming hole is located in Cherokee Falls in Cloudland Canyon State Park, just outside Rising Fawn.
3. Blue Hole Falls on High Shoals Creek, Hiawassee
You can find Blue Hole Falls on High Shoals Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Just follow the High Shoals Creek Trail, and after a short hike, you can cool off in this natural beauty.
4. Jacks River Falls on Beech Bottom Trail
If you are ever near Epworth, Georgia, on a hot summer day, visit Cohutta Wilderness Area on the Jacks River, and take a dip in the swimming hole at Jacks River Falls. This is one of Georgia’s more secluded swimming spots and requires a four-mile hike before enjoying its clear and cool waters.
Lakes in Georgia
There are approximately 860 lakes in Georgia, so you are spoiled for choice. Here are some of the more popular lakes in the state for swimming.
1. Lake Lanier
This lake is the perfect choice for summertime fun. It’s a great place to spend the weekend camping by the water. In addition, visitors can bring their fishing gear, boats, and hiking shoes to enjoy everything Lake Lanier has to offer.
2. Lake Oconee
If you are in Atlanta and looking for an exciting adventure, why not travel 85 miles to Lake Oconee, which sports four marinas that offer fishing, boating, tubing, canoeing, wakeboarding, and several other water sports?
3. Lake Rabun
This lake is one of the best swimming spots in Georgia and has group-friendly campgrounds, hiking trails, and water sports. Lake Rabun is situated in the Georgia mountains, not far from Clayton. It is an excellent family getaway with tons to do. For example, there is a full-service Cajun-American restaurant, yard games, fire pits, and access to several outdoor activities.
4. Lake Chatuge
This gem in Hiawassee has exquisite mountain views from its beaches and scenic hikes along the Appalachian Trail, making it a nature lover’s paradise. Furthermore, you don’t have to slum in tents with the Ridges Resort right by the water. Other activities include:
- Boat rentals
- Swimming pool
- Tennis court
- Walking paths
- Lawn games
- Several camping grounds, including one right on the lake called Chatuge Woods
5. Lake Blackshear
This lake lies in the south Georgia town of Cordele. Lake Blackshear has 97 miles of coastline and spans over 8,700 acres, making it ideal for swimming and boating. There is plenty of accommodation at the Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club, ranging from camping sites to cabins. Activities include:
- Championship golf course
- Cycling trails
- Full-service marina
- Other water activities
Rivers for Swimming in Georgia
While many quaint creeks are scattered throughout the state, two rivers stand out for swimming and water activities. They include:
1. Chattooga River
The Chattooga River starts in the mountainous regions of North Carolina and extends 50 miles until it ends at Lake Tugaloo between Georgia and South Carolina. Many spots along this river are calm and suitable for tubing and swimming. However, some parts of this river have dangerous rapids, so be careful where you choose to cool off.
2. Tallulah River
The Tallulah River extends 47.7 miles through the Chattahoochee National Forest and ends at Tallulah Gorge, where it drops through a dramatic series of five waterfalls called Tallulah Falls. On its way through the Southern Nantahala Wilderness, it passes through five Power Lakes, so there are several places on this river where you can swim and enjoy a day of sun. But the best spot is the swimming hole underneath Tallulah Falls.
Beaches for Swimming In Georgia
If you would rather spend your summer at the beach, the Peach State has you covered. Here are some of the best swimming beaches in Georgia:
1. St. Simons Island
While relaxing on the St. Simons Island beach is heaven, there are so many other activities you can also enjoy, like:
- Take a bike ride during low tide
- Collect sand dollars at East Beach
- Take a stroll down the boardwalk at Gould’s Inlet
- Search the island for tree spirits carved into old tree trunks (represents sailors who died at sea)
2. Sea Island
Tranquil Sea Island is home to the only resort on earth to earn four Forbes Five-Star awards 13 years in a row. So, needless to say, it is a playground for the rich and famous with its luxurious accommodations and leisure activities. This island sports a five-mile coastline, so there is plenty of space to relax in the sun and swim. Furthermore, visitors can go horseback riding on the beach, play golf on one of three championship golf courses, search for nesting sea turtles, and much more.
3. Cumberland Island
Do you want to visit one of Georgia’s most secluded parks? Then, all you have to do is take a ferry from St. Marys in southern Georgia to Cumberland Island. This island sports 17 miles of untouched beachfront, maritime forests, and wetlands. This slice of paradise is home to feral horses, armadillos, and loggerhead sea turtles who nest here. Additionally, you can hike the Southend Loop past the ruins of Dungeness estate, combe the beach for fossilized shark teeth, and spend the night stargazing while camping in one of the five campgrounds on the island.
4. Little St. Simons Island
You can visit Little St. Simons Island for a day trip or stay overnight at the all-inclusive resort on the island. The 11,000-acre property is only accessible by boat, can accommodate 32 guests, and boasts a seven-mile-long beach. As a result, you can enjoy this intimate island without hordes of tourists. Activities include:
5. St. Catherines Island
This island is rich in history because it was the former capital of the Guale Indian Nation and home of the state’s first Spanish mission. Unfortunately, although it consists of 10% of Georgia’s coastline, parts of its sensitive ecosystem are off-limits to the public. However, visitors are welcome to the island. Boat rentals are available; if you are lucky enough, you might even see a lemur on the beach! Surprisingly, this island and Madagascar are the only places on earth where you can see these primates in the wild.
Waterparks in Georgia
- Six Flags White Water: Marietta
- Summer Waves Water Park: Jekyll Island
- High Falls Water Park: Jackson
- Helen Tubing & Water Park: Helen
- Rigby’s Water World: Warner Robins
- Great Wolf Lodge: LaGrange
Summary of the Best Swimming Spots in Georgia
|1||Edge of the World Swimming Hole, Dawsonville|
|2||Cherokee Falls at Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn|
|3||Blue Hole Falls on High Shoals Creek, Hiawassee|
|4||Jacks River Falls on Beech Bottom Trail|
|1||St. Simons Island|
|4||Little St. Simons Island|
|5||St. Catherines Island|
|1||Six Flags White Water: Marietta|
|2||Summer Waves Water Park: Jekyll Island|
|3||High Falls Water Park: Jackson|
|4||Helen Tubing & Water Park: Helen|
|5||Rigby’s Water World: Warner Robins|
|6||Great Wolf Lodge: LaGrange|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.