Lake Burton Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Their luxurious imaginations were somehow inspired to install fireplaces and satellite televisions on the top decks of their boathouses so that they can call out the latest scores from the big game being played that day to anyone who happens to be passing by. Then there are the small docks composed of boards that have become splintered due to constant wind and water exposure over the years. Little wooden boxes full of geraniums decorate the posts from which hammocks are strung, and faded beach towels are spread out, warming in the bright sunshine.
As you lay in a boat in the middle of the Lake Burton, you forget all about the troubles that plague your life. Comfort is inevitably found in the gentle rocking motion of the vessel and the sound of lapping waves as you stare up into the pristine blue sky and watch the Canadian geese and an occasional bald eagle soar overhead. The quacking of ducks is heard softly in the distance, as are the deep, throaty rumbles of inboard motors and the high-pitched, whiney cries of the Johnson outboard motors as boats cruise around the lake. Whether in an old, rented fishing boat or a brand new Mastercraft, the people who live and vacation on Lake Burton will look at you with the same good-natured eyes and offer the same wave of the hand and kind smile in greeting as you pass by their docks.
Life on Lake Burton is simple, yet also sophisticated at the same time. The mixes of people are as evident as the mixes of architectural styles on the boathouses. While some houses are elaborate and ornate, others are quaint and their years are evident. Little wooden bears carved into the woodwork around the boat slots in the freshly-painted, two-story boathouses offer a glimpse of the lifestyles of the more wealthy inhabitants of the area.
The regular lake-goers and locals have their favorite spots to eat around the lake. Two of the marinas on the lake own restaurants that are popular among the Burton crowd. Cherokee Marina, Bar, and Grill serves enormous hamburgers cooked and topped however you request, and of course no good hamburger is complete without a cold beer to accompany it, which the gap-toothed, large-bosomed, red-faced woman behind the counter will gladly give you for a small price and a flash of your ID. Every Friday night, the entertainment consists of a local guitarist playing and singing favorite oldies and requests on a small, make-shift stage next to the outdoor deck and eating area that extends out over the lake. Although its main decor consists of flashing neon beer signs, the place is very family-oriented. There is a sandbox next to the dock which the owners gladly stock with fun sand toys that children of all ages enjoy playing with while they anxiously await the arrival of their chicken fingers and hamburgers. The owners also give the children leftover bread so that they can feed the ever-present bass and brim that lurk under the docks, an activity which produces countless squeals of delight
The most famous of all places on Lake Burton is the LaPrades marina and restaurant. Owned by the LaPrades/Kastner familes and in business from the 1920's to around 2005, the restaurant served many generations of families who kept coming back for more. Their family-style atmosphere drew on people's hearts no matter where they were from and what their background was. Nothing compared to sitting in the rocking chairs on the wrap-around porch and playing checkers with your child as you waited for your name to be called off of the seating list. As soon as the sun set behind the mountains in a majestic fanfare of orange and purple, a chorus of katydids, cicadas, crickets, tree frogs, and bull frogs would begin to warm up their voices. When it was your family's turn to be seated, the head waiter would send a lucky child scampering down the gravel driveway to ring a large dinner bell that announced to everyone that it was time for another round of seating. Families were ushered into the old restaurant and seated at long tables covered in red-checked table cloths, complete with bowls of steaming, home-cooked foods that can only be found on a Southerner's dinner table. The bowls of sides were passed around the table, and soon huge dishes of fried chicken were brought out for all to share. The conversations were lively and the company always energetic and joyful, the perfect mix for a perfectly relaxed and sociable dinner. After you had eaten your fill of Southern hospitality, you could thn waddle down to the marina and drive your boat home from dinner. The original LaPrades burned down on Mother's Day 2005, however another completely rebuilt LaPrades with a Marina area offering boat rentals, boat repair, and a new restaraunt was completed in the fall of 2007.
For those weekend lake-goers who can't make it home for their normal church service, there is always boat church on Sunday mornings. Located at Moccasin Creek State Park, people drive their boats from all across the lake just to be a part of this unique atmosphere. As you look around the pavilion, you notice the odd assortment of attire. Some people come in bathing suits, others in pajamas, others in skirts or khakis. No one at this church cares how you are dressed, they are just happy you are there. A different guest preacher gives a different message every week, which adds an extra element of excitement to the whole adventure. The best part about boat church is the setting. Perched right on the shore of the lake, one can look out and see green, cloud-covered mountains rising around them; they can see the tiny waves on the water that the wind creates; they can hear the children playing on the playground; they can smell the combined scents of campfires, bacon, and the summer or fall. The second best part about boat church is the little old man who leads the worship. His name is Jesse, and when he sings those old Southern hymns, he gets a little gleam in his eye and a bounce in his step, and before you know it he is dancing all over the stage, just singing his heart out. After church, people jump back in their boats and ride out into the wider section of the cove, whereupon they tie on their tubes, don their lifejackets, and hop into the water for the ride of their lives.
No matter what your reason for being at Lake Burton, you are sure to fall in love with it. As you watch the sun sparkle off the clean, clear mountain water and hear the sounds of laughter and happiness all around you, you cannot help but be transported into a time of joy and relaxation. The magic of Lake Burton reaches out to all; all you have to do is be ready to embrace it.
Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://www.lapradesmarina.com/