Your plans for a Lake Sinclair getaway surely include going for a swim in the refreshing waters and maybe casting a line. While visiting Lake Sinclair, minutes from downtown Milledgeville, there is so much more you must plan to do.
1. Cruise the waves
If you find yourself at the lake, obviously you need to get out ON the lake. Spend the day with the wind rushing through your hair, jumping in the cooler, deeper water and a friendly game of tossing your family member off a tube. If you don't have a boat, no problem, many area marinas rent them by the half or full day. For boat rentals and fishing guides try Sinclair Marina. Boats and jet skis are available from Twin Lakes Jet Ski as well as JereShai Lakeside.
2. Dine Lakeside
With views of Lake Sinclair from their dining room and deck, Aubri Lanes will take your taste buds on a vacation to the coast with their award winning seafood including their crispy calamari, sesame seared ahi tuna and their shrimp and grits. Their talented culinary team uses only the freshest ingredients for chef-inspired dishes. If seafood isn’t your choice, locals love their bone in pork chop and hand cut ribeye. All the steaks are certified angus beef, the best around!
3. Explore Inspiration
Located just 5 miles from Lake Sinclair, Andalusia Farm is tucked within the pines. Serving as the home of famed American author Flannery O’Connor from 1951-1964, the property was first settled in 1814 as a cotton plantation. Following a diagnosis of Lupus in 1951, O’Connor moved to Andalusia and completed the bulk of her literary work, as the farm’s environment influenced the setting of many of her writings. Today, the home is open for tours and has been reinterpreted to the 1950’s when O’Connor would have been in residence.
4. Hunt for Antiques
If you need a break from the sun, hunting for a unique treasure is thrilling. Milledgeville is home to some great antique and vintage shops. Downtown’s Market Collective, Auntie Bellum and The Red Door offer a variety of vintage items including old bottles, hand-crafted gifts, postcards and historical artifacts. Closer to Lake Sinclair ensure you stop by the 25,000 sq. ft. Ian Henderson's which provides an incredible array of all sorts of antiques, from architectural to mid-century modern and everything in between. For a more curated setting, Little River Antiques is steps away from the water and full of antiques, vintage items, home decor and outdoor sporting equipment.
5. Paddle Calm Waters
If a slower pace of water-top activities is more your speed, rent a kayak. Lake Sinclair is home to numerous inlets and quiet coves, and feeds into the Oconee River which can be enjoyed by paddlers of all experience levels. Local outfitters will rent you a kayak for the half or full day as well as provide transportation to drop off and pick up sites. If you aren’t feeling up for an epic solo trip, there are small group floats available down the Oconee River as well. Plan your trip to get on the water with our locals Mac's Yaks, Krazy Dave's or Oconee Outfitters.
6. Enjoy Mouthwatering Meals
Featuring a vibrant downtown, visitors will find crave-worthy establishments minutes from Lake Sinclair. Start your day off right with award winning eggs benedict from Local Yolkal or grab an in-house roasted coffee from our local coffee shop, Blackbird. Visitors enjoy a made-to-order brick oven pizza at one of our unique downtown restaurants including a fan fav, The Brick. Experience Southern-style BBQ or take your taste buds on a journey with Milledgeville’s international cuisine. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to get the famous Smiley Face cookie from Ryal’s Bakery! Our small town is the place to go for delicious food and southern hospitality.
7. Lace up
Grab some hiking boots (or a good pair of sneakers) and get outside to one of Milledgeville’s six most popular outdoor destinations. From scenic walking tours to intense hiking trails, Milledgeville offers an outdoor experience suitable for all types of nature lovers. Bartram Forest’s winding trails, pine trees that touch the sky, and trickling creeks are perfect for hiking, jogging, or simply just taking a casual stroll. If you want to explore any of the trails on two wheels, bike rentals are available from Oconee Outfitters.
8. Tour Georgia's History
If you love history and architecture, seeing Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion is a must-do during your stay in Milledgeville. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973, this Georgia gem served as a political powerhouse where the complex social issues of the antebellum period including slavery and gender roles were played out and have since shaped our history. Its storied past also includes an overnight stay by General William T. Sherman as his troops entered Milledgeville during Sherman’s March to Sea during the American Civil War. Today, the house stands as one of the finest examples of High Greek Revival architecture in the nation and is available for tours.
9. Leisurely Meander
Many come to Milledgeville with one thing on their mind: rich Georgia history, as she served as the capital of Georgia from 1803 to 1868. Get lost in the architectural grandeur when you take a leisurely stroll down oak lined streets in downtown Milledgeville’s 10 blocks of historic district. From homes to churches to college campuses, our Historic Walking Tour invites you into the past of well preserved Federal-style architecture, enhanced by noteworthy Greek Revival, Victorian and Classic revival styles.
10. Discover Central State Hospital's Story
Since its founding in 1842, the Central State Hospital Campus (originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum) has been one of Milledgeville’s most well known and intriguing sites. The site gained national recognition during the 1960s as the United States’ largest mental institution with over 12,000 patients, 6,000 employees, and more than 8,000 acres of land. Today, Central State Hospital serves over 200 existing patients and has downsized to roughly 2,000 acres of land. Take a self-guided driving tour that highlights the historic buildings of the campus and mentions important people from its past as well as the significance of certain periods in the Hospital's history.
For those interested in exploring more of the history of the former Central State Hospital campus, a guided trolley tour is your perfect chance. Board 'Milly' the trolley and set out on a guided driving tour through the grounds of Central State Hospital. Learn about the history of the institution as well as the redevelopment of the grounds from a former Central State employee and tour guide. Tours are offered monthly.