Lake Lanier Islands Blog

Happy Thanksgiving from Lake Lanier Islands!

November 28th, 2013

We just want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving! From our family to yours, we’re so very thankful to all of you for making us a part of your family traditions. Now, enjoy this top ten list of what we’re thankful for!! What are you thankful for? Tell us in the comments!

10. We are thankful for the warm, sunny skies of summer. And we are thankful for the cool water of Lake Lanier and LanierWorld when those skies get a little too warm.

9. We are thankful for the poet Sydney Lanier, who lent his name to our beautiful slice of heaven, and for the US Army Corps of Engineers who built it and maintain it.

8. We are thankful to have an opportunity to provide fun and enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of guests who are looking for a little rest and relaxation.

7. We are thankful to get to host one of the South’s most charming Christmas light displays every year, and we are thankful to get to share it with our friends and family.

6. We are thankful for the Williams family, who have pumped more love and devotion into this property than any family should be able to. We are thankful for their vision, and we can’t wait to see where they take us next year.

5. We are thankful for our staff: housekeeping, front desk, front gate, maintenance, food and beverage, all of them! Without our incredible staff, we would just be an empty, albeit beautiful group of buildings on a lake. We are thankful for the time and effort they spend every day to make our property one of the very best in Georgia, if not in the entire Southeast.

4. We are thankful for all the groups that choose to host their conferences here. We love all the corporate families that come, big and small, and we are thankful to be able to provide them with a Conference Center that is both state-of-the-art and feels-like-home.

3. We are thankful to have a resort with truly amazing extra things to do. Zip lining, horseback riding, pontooning, water parking, concert going, golfing, fishing and more!! We are thankful that you can never be bored at Lake Lanier Islands!

2. We are thankful for our chefs who are serving up a most delicious and delightful Thanksgiving Buffet for everyone to come together and enjoy. We are thankful that feasting is a major part of this holiday, because feasting is the best.

1. We are most thankful for you: our guests, our friends. We can’t express adequately how much you all mean to us, and we look forward to being here with you for so many years to come!

Jingle Ball 2013 Contest

November 20th, 2013

This Saturday, we gave away 2 VIP tickets to Jingle Ball 2013, being held in New York! The headliners this year are Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Paramour, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Fall Out Boy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, and Austin Mahone. It looks like it’s going to be an awesome show, as usual! Sonic from Power 96.1 came out to host our giveaway, and we are very excited to announce the winner:

Congratulations to Alexa Polanski! Winner of 2 VIP tickets to Jingle Ball in NYC! Thanks Power 96.1!!!

The Largest Tacky Christmas Sweater Party at Lake Lanier Islands

November 18th, 2013

You guys. On opening night this year we wanted to surprise everyone with a really great present, and so we announced at midnight Thursday that Friday would be free admission at Magical Nights of Lights! But there was a catch! At least one member of your party had to be wearing a tacky Christmas sweater! Boy did you guys respond! We had well over 1,000 guests stream across the Snowflake Bridge, through the light show, and into Holiday Village where we took a group picture! Even with the rain threatening, you all came through and cheered “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy Holidays!” at the top of your lungs! Our very good friend Gene Philips took the picture from atop a giant lift to make sure we got everyone in.

Merry Tacky Christmas Sweater Christmas!!

Lanier Under The Lights Annual 5K

November 11th, 2013

This time of year is pretty popular for marathons and 5Ks across the South, as the weather is on the cooler side of mild and the leaves changing makes the perfect backdrop for a nice afternoon jog. Some places even have their Christmas decorations up already! Lake Lanier Islands Resort is one such place. It takes a lot of prep-time to put up all those amazing light displays, and we typically get started some time in early October, if not before. So Lanier Under the Lights takes advantage of the last week of preparations before Magical Nights of Lights officially opens, and invites their athletes to come out and run under the lights for a great cause.

Lanier Under the Lights had eight fantastic sponsors this year in addition to ourselves as the mere host: Home Depot, Pro Care EMS (always good to have around at a race), WDUN News Talk Radio, Big Peach Running Co., public accounting firm Deemer Dana & Froehle LLP, Lanier Therapy Motion, Leon Farmer Company, and Tencate. At just over 4,300 participants, the event was a great success! And, thanks to the sponsors and the athletes themselves, Hamilton Mill and Toys for Tots both managed to take in a really solid amount of donations!!

This really couldn’t be a more special event, and we only have you to thank for it! Picture time!

The Hall County Fire Department was having a great time while keeping a watchful eye.

All lined up and ready to go!

Zoom!

There they go!

Lots of people wore festive hats!

The second giant group of people raring to go!

Look how many people! Over 4,000!

And there they go!

This was the winner of the 5K! He was so fast our camera couldn’t grab him!

And here come a couple of our favorites!

We got a lot of thumbs up!

And a lot of arms raised in victory!

Everyone really enjoyed themselves.

This kid was showing off his muscles.

Even Santa could be spotted getting ready for cookie season!

 

The First Annual BBQ, Boots & Blues Fest at Lake Lanier Islands

November 4th, 2013

Well ladies and gentlemen, our very first BBQ, Boots & Blues Fest went off without a hitch! Even the weather cooperated with us in order to make this day as perfect as could be! More then 2,500 guests at Peachtree Pointe Amphitheater and the event field were well taken care of with nearly 20 local restaurants showcasing their prized BBQ, live music on two stages all day long, a very cool classic cars “Cruise-In,” and a variety of fun activities for kids including a rock wall, a high-fly trampoline, bouncy slides, face painting and sand art! All in all we had a blast, and we can hardly wait for next year’s BBQ, Boots & Blues Fest benefitting the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. The GFBF raised a solid amount of donations, and more importantly, spread a ton of information about the organization and what it does. Our non-food vendors enjoyed the day as well, with YP being a popular BBQ tent, and the Spinal Testing tent giving out a lot of consultations to people who may have just been tired of walking around… Anyway, let’s get to the pictures already!!

 

It was a perfectly cloudless day at our very first BBQ, Boots & Blues Festival!

We set up our own tent where our Facebook followers could grab a free sample of BBQ and chili!

And guests could easily purchase some souvenirs from the event.

But what better souvenir than Sand Art?? Harry Tallman provided the sand and the bottles for this popular kids activity.

Another popular kids activity was facepainting!

And the bouncy slides!

While the kids were at play, the Dalmatians kept careful watch.

And while the Dalmatians kept careful watch, the firefighters took careful pictures!

But they weren’t the only ones! Many guests really enjoyed the view from Peachtree Pointe!

Even the Amphitheater saw some action!

Kids could even take a ride on the train!

These old dudes certainly did rock!

Wow, look at them jam!

Bands on two stages provided live music all day long for people enjoying their BBQ!

And speaking of BBQ, here’s the WIlliamson Brothers BBQ tent! They won best overall BBQ at the end of the day! Way to go guys!

Pit Boss BBQ was a close 2nd!

BBQ lovers need side items too! This booth would fry just about anything!

Including Oreos! Goodness, we love the South!!

Fox Dogs, while famous for their huge variety of hot dogs, also fried up some fabulous Sweet Cream Corn Nuggets and amazing beignets!

The food trucks were out in force as well on Saturday! One Love was very popular.

Smiley’s may have had the best view for a vendor!

And ChayJs was a huge hit with the kids! Cookies baking in the sun? Yes, please!

Plenty of ice cream stops around the event field! This one had prime real estate next to the bouncy rides.

Ice cream ended up being one of the favorites for the day with the amazing weather at the beginning of November!

Former Braves pitcher John Rocker was out signing autographs and taking pictures with fans who remember his 3-year stint in Atlanta.

Because of you guys and your support, the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation will be able to do a lot in the upcoming year to promote fire safety and to help burn victims across the state. The GFBF does a ton of outreach in the community, providing camps, scholarships, weekend family retreats, and donations to both the Grady Hospital Burn Center in Atlanta and the JM Still Burn Foundation in Augusta. You can visit www.gfbf.org to learn more about this incredible organization. We can’t wait to see you all again next year!

Stay tuned for Wednesday’s article, focusing on the Classic Cars “Cruise-In!”

 

Save The Horses Fall Festival & Fundraiser at Lake Lanier Islands Resort

October 28th, 2013

This past Saturday, the Stables at Lake Lanier Islands were very proud to host the Save the Horses Fall Festival & Fundraiser. There were all kids of great activities, like face-painting, bouncy rides, pony rides, a pony-decorating contest, stick horse derbies, pumpkin contests and more!! The kids had a blast, and we’re not just talking about the little goats in the petting zoo! Even better, with your help we managed to raise almost $3,000 for the Winter Feed Program! If that doesn’t make you smile, we don’t know what will!

It was a gorgeous day on Saturday, and everyone had a really great time! The line was long but quick for pony rides, and the demonstrations by Sky Acres Farms were incredible to watch.

The Fall Derby Stick Horse Races were a great success, with kids riding the little stick horses from cone A to cone B and laughing all the way. The main event for the Derby was the Legacy Derby, where we picked 3 adults to skip as fast as they could to the blue barrel and back. Michelle had her game face on, and while Russell was enthusiastic, he couldn’t quite catch up with Michelle after they rounded the barrel. It was an exciting photo finish as Michelle took the victory!

While the arena was active, there was a milder activity happening right beside it… Casper and Black Jack came out to play with the younger kids and participated in a dress-up contest! Casper’s mane was a big hit, while Black Jack wore the orange and black boa better.

Another big hit at the party was little Cooper! Cooper smiled and danced his way into our audience’s hearts. Our guests could even lead him around a bit to learn more about him.

In addition to all the fun and games, we were also giving out prizes like crazy!! Here’s a couple of our winners, including Miss Grand Prize herself!

All in all it was a fantastic event, and we’re really looking forward to making this event an annual one! We couldn’t do it without your help, and we feel very proud to support and sponsor Save the Horses, and we’re very eager to continue to promote its mission of rescue and rehabilitation for abused equines. If you’d like to learn more about Save the Horses, you can check out their website here. We’re also hosting a photo contest over on the Stables facebook page!

 

 

Lake Lanier Islands presents BBQ, Boots & Blues Festival

October 22nd, 2013

Can you smell what Lake Lanier Islands is cooking?? It’s BBQ like you’ve never seen before!! In partnership with and support of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, Lake Lanier Islands is very pleased and excited to be hosting the first annual BBQ, Boots & Blues Festival on November 3rd, 2013! Gather ’round as more than 20 local hand-picked restaurants show off their BBQ-cookin’ chops on the Peachtree Pointe event field and listen to some amazing musicians jamming out under the crisp blue sky all day long.

 

There’ll be tons of fun for all ages! In addition to the restaurants and live entertainment, we’ll have artist tents, a Sports Center with the Atlanta Braves and Hawks fan teams, a Kid’s Corner, and dealer car show will cover the event field with a “Cruise-In” featuring some really awesome classic cars. Do you guys remember former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker? Ohhhh boy yes you do! He’ll be there signing autographs and taking pics for all you Braves fans out there! The really awesome news is that admission to the festival is FREE with purchase of a parking pass! BBQ tastings range from $0.50-$6.00. BBQ, Boots & Blues is a rain or shine event.

 

 

For more information about this spectacular event, be sure to head over to our website and check out the FAQs, schedule of events, and to see our sponsors. You can also see a list of of which restaurants will be showcasing their delicious food!

 

 

Sunset Cove Fall and Winter Hours of Operation

October 14th, 2013

Attention fellow food and Lake Lovers! Today (Columbus Day) is the last day that Sunset Cove Restaurant and Cafe will be open during the week until Magical Nights of Lights Starts.

Sunset Cove Restaurant and Cafe is one of the most popular lakeside eating destinations on Lake Lanier. There aren’t a ton of places on the Lake where you can just dock your boat and walk right up to get some grub, and Sunset Cove frequently offers live music in addition to giant fire pits and big screen tvs for optimal sports-watching. But as winter approaches and temperatures begin to drop, we find that people are much less likely to want margaritas and ice cream, and much more likely to want soup and hot chocolate.

That’s why we’re very happy to announce that Sunset Cove will be getting some modifications in the near future to combat the encroaching cold. This information is hot off the presses, so check back regularly here, on our Facebook page, and Twitter page for more details as they come out!

 

 

Ruckus Comes to Lake Lanier Islands This November!

October 9th, 2013
Ruckus. Think of mud. And endurance, and courage, and perseverance, and determination. But mostly, think of mud.
The Ruckus obstacle race is one of the nation’s premier 5K series, and on November 16, it’s going to be right here at Lake Lanier Islands. Ruckus may seem intimidating at first for those of us who aren’t quite the studly studs we were in college, but event coordinators have made sure there’s something for anyone aged 2-82! It’s all achievable – one of the messages that Ruckus promotes. In fact, very nearly 100% of runners finish, and that’s a pretty big achievement for a 5K obstacle race! It was even purposefully created for those looking for the adult playground experience. Who doesn’t look at a kids’ playground and think about how fun it was to clamber all over the climbing walls and slide down the ridiculously hot metal slides? No hot metal slides at Ruckus though, you’ll have to be satisfied with immense mud hills, piles of tires, and mud gardens. Sounds like a fun time, right?! And no parents to fuss at you for getting mud all over your clothes! In fact, Ruckus has even been described as everything from “the ultimate family adventure,” to “the #1 obstacle race under 10k.” So come on out and experience an environment that is challenging, rewarding, and fun.
Come run Ruckus Atlanta at Lake Lanier Islands for yourself or enjoy the kids obstacle race (they did say there was something for everyone!). The Mini Ruckus is an awesome way to get your kids involved in the obstacle race fun.

Ahem, we are running (see what we did there?) a bit of a special for our Ruckus runners. Reserve your room November 15 or 16 and receive a Ruckus discount! Just use the promotional code “131115RUCK”, and book your stay at their stunning hotel rooms and suites equipped with the finest amenities! Click here to reserve you room.

Now here’s something that will get you excited about getting those running shoes all dirtified! Ruckus Sports is excited to partner with Barrel Aid to provide shoes to children and teens in need. Barrel Aid will collect your muddy shoes post-event, clean them and ship them to Mission-Haiti’s schools in the mountains around Ti-Rivier, Haiti, with all of the remaining shoes going to children and teens in need in the Dakota area. Barrel Aid supplies clean shoes, fresh water, food, schooling and hope for over 1,600 children in Southern Haiti where no other groups are serving and the need is extremely urgent. So you can feel good about the race, and then feel great about helping out a kid who could one day be the next Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt 2.0 with your running shoes.

There’s really no reason not to sign up and run the Ruckus. So, for more information on this totally awesome event, check out runruckus.com, or you can follow them on twitter, or like them on facebook. Or all of those. More pictures!!

Lake Lanier Islands Fall Wine Cruise Series

October 7th, 2013

Sunday’s Wine Cruise was a great success, and we want to thank everyone who signed up and came out! It was a perfectly splendid day for cruising about on the Lake! The weather was balmy, the breeze was light, and the crew was gracious. If you’ve never been on one of our wine cruises, you’re really missing out; this event is one of the gems of the South, and a fantastically unique way to spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Let’s get to some pictures, shall we?

What a beautiful day!

Our first wine was a Charmeroy Brut Rose, which was bubbly and sweet and selected for its lovely pairing with our first course. In addition to a nice cheese and fruit platter (which included honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, cranberries, and cheddar, smoked gouda, and borsin cheese with garlic and herbs), our first course offered chipotle and chocolate ganache tartlets. The spicy richness of the ganache really brought out the sweetness of the wine, and many if our guests eagerly looked for seconds and thirds of the little tartlets.

Our second wine was a floral, oaky white wine: Arroyo Secco Chardonnay from Monteray. There are only 600 cases in the world of this creamy, buttery white with a citrus finish. Served with the Chardonnay, our guests enjoyed a tasty dish dreamed up by Chef Kevin Allen which consisted of a seared sea scallop, served chilled with Meyer lemon foam and garnished with a crispy fried mint leaf. The mint leaves had to be carefully placed on each pillow of lemon foam or they would essentially disintegrate due to delicacy.

Next up was the Stolpman Golden Point, a dry white from California which was a big, toasty blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Roussanne with a brown spice finish. Our guests enjoyed a light, refreshing butternut squash and mango couscous with roasted poblano and a lime vinaigrette. During the whole tasting, Demetrius, the wine rep for Prime Line Spirits, came around to each table to discuss the wines being poured and to answer any questions.

For our fourth wine, we brought out the first red of the afternoon: a bold, jammy Crush Farms Zinfandel with a peppery finish. Our guests were wild about the walnut and maple sausage brioche “Monte Cristo” with a tomato maple jam! This sweet and spicy treat enhanced the spices and berries lingering in the Zinfandel, and brought them to the forefront of the palette.

Next we brought out a second Crush Farms red wine, this time a very smooth, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. With this kind of wine you want a rich, heavy meat, and our Chef delivered a beautiful tray of lamb lollipops with lavender and blood orange gastrique. The lamb was tender, its flavor enhanced and was enhanced by the Cab quite marvelously.

Finally, as the Island Princess headed home, we brought out one last wine, a Sofa King Bueno. This bold wine was a spicy, full-bodied, and exciting blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, petit Syrah, and Grenache. If you’re wondering why the vintners decided to call their wine “Sofa King Bueno,” just take a sip, and say it really fast. The Bueno was served with grilled shrimp skewers, seasoned with smoked ginger and coriander. The interesting combination of flavors brought out by the red reminded us slightly of Mediterranean or Indian cuisine, and certainly this dish was the talk of the ship until we docked again.

And what wine tasting cruise would be complete without a nice dessert to finish? Chef Kevin Allen personally brought around a charming tray of assorted tiny cheesecakes and macaroons, including various chocolates, vanilla, lemon, raspberry, mocha, and fan favorite pistachio. As usual, each of the wines was available for purchase after the cruise.

As guests disembarked, full of happy memories and chatting with new friends, we asked a few of them to tell us what they thought. Gordon said, “It’s one of the best kept secrets. The ambience was exceptional.” Marie added, “I think it was very nice, I’d definitely do it again and invite more friends.”

Well, folks, we’ve got one  wine cruise left unless we decide to extend the series, and that’s on October 27th. You tell us in the comments below, would you like to see an extension of our popular wine cruise series into late fall and early winter?