How does Lake Lanier show its southern charm to competitive athletes and their families?

When you’re planning a sporting event, it can be difficult to choose a venue which appeals to hundreds or thousands of people with different athletic interests and vacationing needs. However, their comfort and enjoyment should always be among your first priorities.

Lake Lanier and surrounding cities like Gainesville offer a perfect mixture of Southern charm and comfort that is sure to hit a home run in the hearts of your athletes and their families. Spectators can relax and enjoy a gorgeous coastline view of Lake Lanier, while athletes train and compete in watersports like boating, canoeing, rowing and kayaking. There are also plenty of convenient shopping locations, lodging and group dining options, and exciting family-friendly activities to help make them feel right at home.

How has Lake Lanier proven its sports hospitality to event planners?

The Lake Lanier area offers a variety of sports venues for event planners. Gainesville proved its hospitality and effectiveness to thousands of spectators by hosting the 1996 Centennial Olympic flatwater competitions. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Lake Lanier only impresses watersports enthusiasts. The area also s acres of grassy playing fields, parks and state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor sports complexes for your next sporting event.

X Factors

  • University, Hotel & Resort housing
  • PR/Social Media Coverage
  • Volunteers
  • Hosted site visits
  • Welcome bags and other swag
  • Custom online housing portal

 What kind of sports and activities are available at Lake Lanier?

Lake Lanier Olympic Venue

Sports: Kayak, rowing

As home of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, this canoe/kayak/rowing venue plays hosts to elite athletes from across the globe year round. Upcoming events include the Pan American Sprint Kayak Championships (May 2016) and Dragon Boat World Championships (2017). Located at Clarks Bridge Park, the venue offers rental facilities and stadium seating for up to 2,000 guests. Each facility is equipped with its own restroom, and the Boathouse is currently expanding to host additional guests.

Frances Meadows Aquatic Center

Sports: Swim

This 34,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor center is located in Gainesville. After a $12-million renovation, the center now includes a 4,400 square foot fitness center and meeting space. Equipped to host both leisurely swim outings and competitive tournaments, the facility has a 10-lane competition pool and four-lane instructional pool with indoor stadium seating for up to 300 spectators. The outdoor portion of the facility offers a kid-friendly water playground with slides and sprinklers. There are on-site concessions, locker rooms and a sundeck for relaxing.

Road Atlanta Motorsports Center

Sports: Cycling, running

With 750 acres of pristine Northeast Georgia land, the center hosts a wide variety of professional, world-class motorsports events, including the Petit Le Mans (150,000+ spectators). It includes a 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course, which is perfect for a cycling, running and other road-related sporting events. In 2006 the family-friendly center underwent major renovations to include private rental spaces. The Podium Club offers private viewing decks, catering services and VIP parking. There are electric and water hookups for in-field camping and designated parking areas with shuttle service for spectators. The track includes multiple restrooms and concession stands.

Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center

Sports: Rodeos, archery

Situated on 66 acres, the multipurpose complex facilitates equestrian and animal expositions, along with archery competitions, circuses, rodeo shows, and other community and corporate events. It offers bleacher seating, restrooms, concessions and free parking. There are 51 RV hookups reserved for vendor camping, large animal holding areas and indoor meeting facilities.

Allen Creek Soccer Complex

Sports: Lacrosse

The complex features nine youth and adult soccer and lacrosse fields that are perfect for practice, tournament and league play. The venue is located amid 54 acres of well-manicured playing fields and includes stadium seating for up to 2,500 people. The grounds include over 800 parking spaces, restrooms and concessions.

Lanier Point Athletic Complex

Sports: Baseball, softball

The complex rests on approximately 90 acres of grassland and includes four, 300-foot baseball and softball playing fields for tournaments. The entire facility takes up approximate 28,000 square feet, and all of the outfields are equipped with 8-foot fences. The playing fields and pavilion are available for rental. Picnic areas, restroom facilities and concession stands are located throughout the park and complex. The complex has its own supervisory staff, halide lighting and a two-story control tower with telecommunications to all of the state-of-the-art playing fields.

Laurel Park

Sports: Baseball, tennis, softball

Laurel ParkOccupying 124 acres along Lake Lanier, the park offers paved walking trails, two tennis courts, four grassy baseball and softball playing fields. The park’s mega boat ramp is 350 feet in length. The park recently underwent renovations to include a fishing tournament staging area, additional restrooms and parking spaces. Laurel Park hosts a wide variety of sporting and community events, including Forrest Wood Cup bass fishing tournament (2010, 2012), Dock Dogs and numerous Little League baseball events. The facility also includes an amphitheater, dog walking park, lighted playing fields, picnic areas, playgrounds and a seasonal water spray ground.

Disc Golf at North Georgia Canopy Tours

Sports: Disc golf

North Georgia Canopy Tours offers an array of outdoor adventures and sports activities, including a professional, 18-basket disc golf course (Par 61). The entire venue takes up approximately 100 acres in the North Georgia Mountains, and includes both grassy and wooded nature trails. The course includes steep hills, wooded and open fairways, multiple river crossings and a signature chicken coop hole. The Atlanta Disc Golf Association, along with help from Keith Johnson and John Ritger, designed the two-mile-long course as part of the park’s sports theme. Refreshments are available at the Canopy Command Center and along the course.

What is the best way to get to Lake Lanier?

Gainesville is among the many hospitable Georgia cities located along the Lake Lanier shoreline. It is located roughly 45 minutes north of Atlanta.

By Car: Gainesville is easily accessible from GA-369 E/W and I-985 N/S.

By Air: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport receives flights from most major cities, and Greyhound provides shuttle service to and from Gainesville. Locally, there is Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport.