The Most Expensive Lakes in Georgia to Buy a Second Home

Written by Kaleigh Moore
Updated: July 26, 2023
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As the sun rises over the mist-shrouded waters and casts a golden glow on the calm surface, you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility at the thought of owning a second home on one of Georgia’s most luxurious lakes. These prestigious water bodies epitomize opulence and exclusivity like precious gems scattered across the state.

It’s no wonder that 42% of second-home buyers in the U.S. prefer to invest in lakefront properties. However, with such allure comes a hefty price tag.

Join us as we embark on a captivating journey through Georgia’s most expensive lakes. This is where nature blends seamlessly with the lap of luxury. Discover what it truly means to own a slice of heaven on earth.

Lake Lanier

Nestled in northeastern Georgia, Lake Lanier lies just 50 miles from Atlanta’s bustling heart. Its waters lap the shores of Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, Gwinnett, and Lumpkin counties, making cities like Gainesville, Dawsonville, Cumming, and Flowery Branch its neighbors. 

This sparkling oasis has become a sought-after destination for those seeking respite from the daily grind. Like a magnet, it draws visitors worldwide, offering various enticing activities. Parks encircle the lake, their verdant arms embracing campers, hikers, bikers, and sightseers alike.

Naturally, the lake’s shimmering surface is a playground for water enthusiasts. Swimmers, anglers, boaters, kayakers, canoeists, and waterskiers find their haven here. With nine marinas dotting the coastline and 23 beaches that welcome splashing toes, there’s no shortage of fun to be had on Lake Lanier.

As the lake’s reputation has grown, so has its coastline, which is now adorned with luxurious waterfront properties. From modest lots to opulent condos and townhomes, most homes for sale cater to those seeking a second abode.

Prices span from $233,000 for a cozy 900 square foot, two-bed, 1.5-bath home to a jaw-dropping $7,995,000 for a sprawling 17,700 square foot palace with six bedrooms and 9.5+ bathrooms.

Yachts and boats docked on Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier is one of Georgia’s most sought-after destinations for second homes.

©Marcus E Jones/

Lake Oconee

Cradled between Atlanta and Augusta, Lake Oconee is Georgia’s treasure trove — a 30-square-mile sapphire, glistening with 370 miles of shoreline. Morgan, Greene, and Putnam counties share this gem, with Greensboro, Milledgeville, and Eatonton as their bustling neighbors. 

Like a generous host, Lake Oconee welcomes locals and visitors with open arms, inviting them to fish, boat, swim, and hike. The Oconee National Forest wraps around the lake’s north like a verdant embrace. Ten marinas dot the shores, offering storage and rentals for eager explorers. For thrill-seekers, Oconee Wild Watersports promises their much-sought adrenaline rush.

Lake Oconee’s allure lies in its seven stunning golf courses — verdant oases that beckon golf enthusiasts. Reynolds at Lake Oconee, the premier destination, boasts 117 holes across 16 acres, crafted by legends like Jones, Fazio, Engh, Nicklaus, and Cupp. Luxury amenities and dining options abound, painting a picture of luxury.

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds at Lake Oconee epitomizes indulgence, offering a lavish hotel and spa — the perfect retreat after a day on the greens. As a coveted vacation spot, Lake Oconee has sprouted luxurious communities along its shores, reflecting its exclusivity.

Lakefront homes in August 2022 showcased a wide array of prices, from $349,000 for a cozy two-bed, two-bath cottage to a staggering $5,499,000 for a newly built five-bed, 5.5-bath masterpiece. Vacant lots, too, presented a broad price range, from $49,500 to $3,500,000.

Lake Allatoona

Like a hidden gem in Georgia’s landscape, Lake Allatoona emerges as a luxurious oasis for those seeking an opulent second home. Its shimmering waters, akin to a sapphire in the sun, are cradled by the Allatoona Dam, which has been standing sentinel since 1949. Though smaller than its sibling, Lake Lanier, this liquid jewel boasts a majestic 270-mile shoreline of around 18.7 square miles.

Lake Allatoona is framed by four vibrant cities: Emerson, Cartersville, Acworth, and Canton, each adding a unique charm to this exquisite tableau. Straddling Bartow and Cherokee counties, with a whisper of Cobb County, this lake is a mere 35 miles from Atlanta. Yet, it retains an air of tranquility, thanks to the expansive parklands and campgrounds that embrace it like a protective cloak.

Boating on Lake Allatoona is a dance of joy, with eight marinas and two yacht clubs orchestrating the ballet. The lake’s 15 boat ramps, maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, ensure smooth sailing. Boat rentals are available from Allatoona Landing and Holiday Harbor, inviting you to explore this aquatic paradise.

The nearby towns serve as gateways to shopping and entertainment, tempting visitors with their rich history and culture. Attractions like the Adairsville Historic Register and the Etowah Indian Mounds beckon, while the Booth Western Art Museum and Tellus Science Museum offer intellectual delights.

The lake’s pristine nature means property opportunities are scarce and precious, like rare pearls. Vacant lots range from $55,800 to $11,400,000. Homes vary from cozy cottages at $75,000 to sprawling estates for $2,245,000.

Aerial view of Lake Allatoona just after the sunset

Lake Allatoona is a highly desirable destination for acquiring a second home in Georgia, thanks to its prime location.


Lake Burton

Lake Burton is a sought-after haven for those craving lakefront living. The allure of its crystal-clear waters, the embrace of breathtaking mountain vistas, and the promise of countless recreational activities make Lake Burton a luxurious and serene oasis.

Lake Burton invites residents to dive into a treasure trove of recreational pleasures. Cast a line into its rich waters teeming with trout, bass, and other prized catches, or set sail on a boating adventure through the shimmering expanse. The lake also offers swimming and water sports for those who crave more aquatic excitement. And if you prefer dry land, nearby golf courses beckon for a leisurely round.

Lake Burton’s property offerings are as diverse as the interests of its residents. From quaint cabins whispering of rustic charm to sprawling estates echoing luxury, there’s a lakeside home to match every taste and budget. It’s where dream getaways become a reality, and lavish lakeside living is within reach.

The cherry on top of this exquisite lakeside sundae is the tight-knit community surrounding Lake Burton. This community is a gathering of like-minded enthusiasts who cherish the natural splendor and tranquility of the region. Lake Burton nurtures a warm and welcoming atmosphere through community events and local businesses.

Lake Burton’s irresistible blend of breathtaking scenery, abundant recreational opportunities, diverse property options, and a close-knit community make it one of Georgia’s most expensive and coveted lakes for a second home. It’s where luxury, peace, and natural beauty intertwine to create the ultimate lakeside retreat. The typical listing price for homes available on Lake Burton is approximately $1,199,000.

Lake Hiawassee

Lake Hiawassee, in Georgia, offers an exquisite canvas for those seeking a second home. Picture this: pristine waters mirroring the sky, mountain vistas stretching across the horizon, and many activities to fill your days with joy. Lake Hiawassee weaves together the threads of serenity and adventure, creating a tapestry unmatched by any other destination.

But what sets Lake Hiawassee apart as the premier choice for lakefront living in Georgia? Let’s dive into the alluring depths of this gorgeous lake.

The symphony of recreation at Lake Hiawassee resonates with people of all ages. Boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking form a musical medley, ensuring the score always has a bright note. Nearby, the great outdoors sings its chorus with camping, horseback riding, and scenic drives.

Lake Hiawassee’s lakeside abodes are the crescendo of luxury and charm. From opulent estates to cozy cottages, these homes serenade you with outdoor living spaces that showcase the beauty of the lake and its surroundings. No two homes are alike, each offering its unique melody of elegance and comfort.

Beyond the lake, the North Georgia mountains whisper tales of adventure and discovery. The Nantahala National Forest and the Appalachian Trail beckon, inviting you to explore their secrets. Quaint towns dot the landscape, with charming shops and restaurants waiting to delight your senses.

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell’s shimmering waters reflect the rich history of the Revolutionary War heroine Nancy Hart. A colossal masterpiece, this lake stretches 87.5 square miles, boasting an impressive 960-mile shoreline that whispers tales of adventure and relaxation.

On the Georgian side, the counties of Hart, Franklin, and Stephens cradle the majestic lake, with charming towns like Hartwell, Gumlog, and Reed Creek dotting its shores. Lake Hartwell is a treasure trove of recreation, with opportunities to hike, camp, fish, swim, and boat, all wrapped up like a gift in the 147-acre Hart State Park.

Fishing enthusiasts will find their paradise at Lake Hartwell, where catfish, crappie, small and largemouth bass, and stripers teem beneath the surface like a hidden world of aquatic wonders. The lake’s accessibility is unparalleled, with public and private boat ramps peppering the shoreline.

The nearby town of Hartwell serves as a cultural hub, offering shopping, dining, and entertainment options. History buffs can delve into the past at the Hart County Historical Museum and Center of the World Monument. At the same time, antique lovers can embark on a treasure hunt along the Tri-County Antique trail.

Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Hartwell Golf Club or Cateechee at Lake Hartwell, where manicured greens meet stunning lake views.

Lakefront properties on the Georgian side of Lake Hartwell range from $8,000 to a staggering $3.4 million, making it one of the most expensive lakes to buy a second home in Georgia. Whether you’re looking to build your dream home or settle into a luxurious lakefront abode, Lake Hartwell is the opulent oasis you’ve been searching for.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Second Home Near Lakes in Georgia

Purchasing a second home near lakes in Georgia can be a dream come true. However, several factors require careful consideration to ensure a wise investment:

Location and Accessibility

First, focus on the location of your potential second home. Choose properties near well-known lakes, like Lake Lanier or Lake Oconee. Check for easy access to major roads and nearby attractions. Proximity to towns and cities also matters for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

An aerial view of lake homes.

Consider accessibility and location to ensure convenience and maximize your investment.

©Carl Banks Photography/

Property Size and Type (single-family, townhome, condo)

Determine the size and type of property that best fits your needs. Single-family homes offer increased privacy, while townhomes and condos include extra amenities. Considering your budget and lifestyle, weigh each property type’s advantages and disadvantages.

Local Amenities and Attractions

Investigate the area’s amenities and attractions surrounding your desired lakeside property. Seek recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, and hiking. Additionally, evaluate nearby golf courses, restaurants, and shopping centers for convenience and enjoyment.

Maintenance and Management Costs

Remember that owning a second home entails additional maintenance and management costs. Account for expenses like landscaping, pool maintenance, and pest control. If renting out your property, contemplate hiring a property management company to handle daily tasks.

Potential Rental Income and Return on Investment

Finally, evaluate your lakeside property’s potential rental income and return on investment (ROI) —research similar rental rates in the area to gauge your property’s earning potential. Compare the costs of ownership against potential returns to ensure a wise investment.

Uncovering Lakeside Luxury: Georgia’s Priciest Retreats

Owning a second home in one of Georgia’s lakeside communities is a luxury and relaxation. The stunning views, cutting-edge amenities, and activities to indulge in make it a worthwhile investment. These homes offer a refuge from the mad rush of city life and are perfect for weekend getaways and long-term investments. 

In conclusion, Georgia’s priciest lakes offer exclusivity for those looking for a second home. Lakeside living in Georgia has a tranquil escape or a spot to indulge in water sports and outdoor activities. So, if you’re prepared to live a life of luxury and pleasure, think about searching for your ideal second house among Georgia’s priciest lakes.

Summary of The Most Expensive Lakes in Georgia to Buy a Second Home

RankExpensive LakeLocation
1Lake Lanier50 miles from Atlanta
2Lake OconeeGreene County, between Atlanta and Augusta
3Lake Allatoonaabout 35 miles from Atlanta
4Lake BurtonRabun County
5Lake HiawasseeNorth Georgia
6Lake HartwellHart State Park
Summary Table of The Most Expensive Lakes in Georgia to Buy a Second Home

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Vineyard Perspective/

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