Paradise Beach

For those who want to enjoy the lake, beach and water park, Margaritaville at Lanier Islands (formerly Lanier World), is a unique option that offers all three.

On a recent visit, our family (my husband Jesse, children Andrew, 12, and Gracie, 8, and me) found refreshing renovations and new additions. It was fun for the entire family.

“There was a lot of choices of slides, and they were fast and powerful,” my son, Andrew says. His favorite was the Fin Dunker, a slide that connects to a tank that spins each rider around and then dumps him into an eight-foot pool of water. My husband Jesse, a thrill-seeking soul, loved the Triple Threat, a slide with three drops that made him go slightly airborne, and the Intimidator, a vertical plummet akin to a waterfall. My daughter Gracie’s favorite activity was the WIBIT, an inflatable obstacle course in the middle of the lake.

“It was a challenge,” says Gracie, “and I like a challenge.”

My favorite part was relaxing on the covered patio at LandShark Bar & Grill, eating tasty fish tacos and enjoying picturesque views of the lake.

With a laid-back vacation atmosphere Jimmy Buffet would croon about, Margaritaville has many attractions for families to enjoy. Here are seven things to love about the lakeside beach and water park.

Paradise Beach

Renewed with 1,200 tons of sand that are raked every day, the beach has palapas and umbrellas to provide shade for those who want to relax or watch music videos on a five-story screen. Entry to the beach is free except during special events.

Fun Zone

Especially for young children, it provides entertainment with mini water slides, sprinklers and Wiggle Waves, the junior version of the Wild Waves pool. This area conveniently connects to Paradise Beach, a good place for sandcastle building and basking in the sun.

Wild Waves Pool

Kids can enjoy a sudsy foam party before the family hits The Wild Waves pool, Georgia’s largest wave pool. Play in the waves or ride on a tube, all while watching music videos on a jumbo screen.

The WIBIT

This aquatic adventure is an inflatable obstacle course in the lake that doubled in size this year. Bring your A game if you complete this adventure with kids – they often beat parents through the course.

Water Slides for All

Margaritaville has a water slide for everyone, no matter where you fall on the thrill-seeking spectrum. Choose from slides like Raging River, a tube ride through a peaceful tree-lined area reminiscent of meandering down rapids on a river, to more heart-pounding rides like Triple Threat, The Intimidator and the Fin Dunker.

Reasonably Priced Refreshments

Restaurants overlooking the lake next to the beach have several affordable to moderately-priced food options (from $5 to $16). Families can dine on anything from tacos and pizza to seafood, chicken tenders and wings, hamburgers, hot dogs and more. Paradise Cantina, Frank and Lola’s Pizza to Go, L2C Grill and Feeding Frenzy Fried Shack offer grab-and-go patio dining and welcome bathing suits and bare feet. There are several tiki bars in the beach area, and The LandShark Bar & Grill has a variety of appetizers, adult beverages and big-portioned meals.

Year-Round Special Events

Margaritaville hosts events throughout the year like Full Moon Parties, which are held each month on the Saturday of the full moon. Guests can enjoy fire pits on the beach and live music. Also in November the Magical Nights of Lights are a tradition. Find a calendar of events on the website.

Know Before You Go

Children must be at least 42 inches tall to ride all the attractions in the water park, and some attractions require riders to be at least 48 inches. Strollers are welcome. Guests may bring their own beach equipment, but umbrellas and cabanas are available for rent. No food or beverages are allowed other than bottled water. Lockers are available to rent.

– Janeen Lewis

The Details

Admission: Daily from 10 a.m. to close: Adults, $45.99; under 48 inches tall, $31.99; ages 2 and younger, free.
Parking: $15.
Lazy Day Admission (from 4 p.m. to close): Adults, $31.99; 48 inches and under, $21.99; ages 2 and younger, free.
Thunderbolt Zipline Access: minimal wait for other attractions and access to Chill Zone Lounge (chair and shaded area) is $19.99.

7 Things to Love About Margaritaville at Lanier Islands
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