LaGrange, Georgia: Destination Family

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A brand-new family-centric resort, nationally recognized fishing spot–with abounding watersports, and an outdoor amphitheater make this South Georgia destination a gem year-round

Ideally located less than an hour from Atlanta, LaGrange, Georgia, welcome families year-round. Great Wolf Lodge will soon make its newest home in the West Georgia town, while the nearby idyllic waters of West Point Lake, coupled with the area’s mild year-round climate, make this a water-friendly destination nearly year-round. Plus, LaGrange’s Sweetland Amphitheatre serenades visitors with outdoor concerts throughout the summer. No matter what experience you choose, LaGrange makes it easy for families to create lasting memories.

Make waves
West Point Lake offers something for thrill and retreat seekers, alike. An Army Corps of Engineers reservoir that holds over 26,000 acres of sparkling waters spanning along more than 525 miles of shoreline, this Southern recreation destination is surrounded by the yellow pine dotted hills of West Georgia, a serene backdrop for anyone looking to escape. Whether you feel the need for speed, prefer to float the days away or want to break a sweat, you will find whatever you’re looking for with a variety of boat and watersport rentals available. Highland Marina offers standard and deluxe pontoon boats for big crowds. Or, cast a line from either of the fishing boats they have available to rent. Southern Harbor has boats both big and small to accommodate your group. Adventurers, look no further than GLL Marine. This watersport shop offers kayak and paddleboard rentals. With 30 public recreation areas with boat ramps, feel free to bring your own watercraft to West Point. Whether you prefer sailing, wind surfing or power boating, West Point Lake is a boater’s paradise. To make reservations visit http://www.HighlandMarina.com/index.htmhttp://SouthernHarbor.com/index.shtml and http://www.GLLMarine.com/kayak-rental/

After a day in the water, head for dry land, stopping by one of the many parks that surround the lake. Hit up the tennis courts, ball fields, basketball courts or cast a line off the fishing piers. These Army Corps of Engineer parks also have more than a dozen nature and hiking trails. Get lost in these beautiful tree-laden paths that accommodate hikers of every skill level. Each trail has its own unique feature–like waterfront views, benches, rest shelters and playgrounds. This is also a bird watching haven. Keep eyes peeled while walking the paths, because this area is home to purple martins, herons, egrets, osprey and several pairs of bald eagles. Had enough excitement for one day? Kick back by digging toes in the sand at one of the three public beaches or reserve a picnic shelter to share a meal together, al fresco. Visit http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Recreation/West-Point-Lake/for more information.

Both experienced and novice fishermen will rejoice with the bites available in West Point Lake. With a dozen creeks and the more than 40 square miles of lake, there are plenty of good fishing spots for the thousands of anglers who visit here regularly. In fact, fishermen from all over the world flock to this lake year-round where six-pound bass are common and the lake record largemouth bass is 14.2 pounds. Fishermen can reel in largemouth bass, crappie, hybrid bass, stripers, channel catfish and spotted bass–making this one of the most sought out fishing spots in the country. It’s no wonder West Point Lake is home to over 70 fishing tournaments every year. Want to fish, but have never held a rod? Let an expert help you catch a big one with a guided fishing tour.

For guided tours, visit http://www.HighlandMarina.com/west_point_lake/west_point_lake_fishing-guides.htm

Sunset sounds
Save the date for First Friday events at Sweetland Amphitheatre, which serenade visitors June through August. The amphitheatre offers 2,500 lawn and stadium seats set among the swaying West Georgia pines. Sunsets at Sweetland feature culturally diverse programming, like concerts, movies and gatherings, which are free or affordably priced. All of these events are picnic approved, so bring your cooler and socialize with friends and neighbors. Visit www.SweetLand.events for more event specifics, including start times and other important details.

History lesson
The whole family can enjoy stepping back in time at LaGrange’s Biblical History Center, a walk-through living history museum focusing on what life was like during the time of Jesus. The Center has scientific replicas of The Life of the Shepherd, The Life of the Farmer and The Life of the Village, and is proud to house the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery, with more than 250 authentic artifacts on long-term loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority. The collection is one of only four like it in the United States, and is the only one in the Southeast, with the other three artifacts collections being housed at museums in New York and Los Angeles. BiblicalHistoryCenter.com

More to explore
Head south to nearby West Point, where you’ll find more mouth-watering local dining at Coach’s (724 3rd Ave, West Point), Pokey’s 8th Street Grill (307 W 8th St, West Point) and Johnny’s New York Pizza (712 3rd Ave, West Point). If you’re looking for a place to relax with friends, be sure to stop in at Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse (709 4th Ave, West Point), a new addition to the emerging craft brewery scene in Troup County.

History buffs will enjoy a visit to Fort Tyler, site of the last battle of the Civil War. Located just blocks from downtown West Point, Fort Tyler was the last Confederate fort captured by the Union, giving it the distinction, “Last Fort to Fall.”

Just north of LaGrange visitors will find Hogansville, the City of Friendly People. Take a stroll along the historic Hogansville walking tour or explore the Hummingbird Trail, an installation of fiberglass hummingbirds decorated by local artists to reflect the history and heritage of Hogansville.

Where to stay
Take advantage of grand opening specials: Great Wolf Lodge will open a 500,000-square-foot, multi-faceted resort in LaGrange on May 31. Great Wolf Lodge provides the ultimate water park experience, rain or shine, for your pack at their signature indoor water park resort. With games, attractions, and activities throughout the resort, there are tons of fun things to do, keeping your kids busy for hours–and even better–it’s all under one roof. Don’t forget the spacious suite options, on-site dining and shopping outlets, and kid’s spa–at the Lodge’s only Georgia location.

Just opened in December 2017, the brand new Courtyard by Marriott, located on the square in downtown LaGrange, is within walking distance of great shopping and a variety of locally-owned restaurants. Just down the way, you’ll find one of the newest craft breweries in the region, Wild Leap Brew Co. (308 Main Street, LaGrange), where you can take a tour while enjoying a variety of original beers certain to please the most discriminating palate.