There isn’t an iconic bridge connecting island to mainland. You don’t need a chartered plane or ferry to cross the river to get there. But as you begin that final stretch of interstate before turning off to Lake Oconee, you’re sure to feel as though you are leaving the rest of the world behind.

Turning onto Linger Longer Road encourages a different pace than the one you struggle to keep up with “out there.” Life is laid back “in here.” It’s natural wonderland that allows for a type of innocent playfulness most of us only remember as kids; a charming and peacefulness that travel from neighborhood to neighborhood. Strangers offer a wave and a smile. There’s social vibrancy across a wide range of interests and activities and a temperate climate allowing for celebration throughout all four seasons of the year.

The community is convenient to Atlanta, Athens, Macon, and Augusta, so the residents have ample opportunity to go to the city. But it’s the sense of calm when they return home that reminds them why they chose to live here in the first place.

“I was driving home from the airport once after a trip,” explains Reynolds’ resident Barbara Mazza, who retired to the lake from Marietta, Georgia after a career as a Delta flight attendant. “I was driving on I-20 and got beyond Social Circle, and it was like somebody just let the air out of the balloon. I had fought through the airport and Atlanta traffic. I was exhausted. But when I got to that point on the interstate, it was quiet and the traffic was almost nothing. At that point I had my ‘aha’ moment of thinking, ‘We have finally come home and this is where we should be.”

So what makes this oasis have such a calming effect on the nerves? There are acres of lake, walking trails, tennis, golf, and even an on-property Ritz-Carlton. But there’s also a full-time population that radiates a sense of peacefulness and positively thrives on the laid-back lifestyle. Their vibe has a lot to do with it.

“When you start getting closer to being back home, you just start to get a sense that your blood pressure is falling," says Reynolds’ member, Larry Vaughan, who knows all about leaving and returning since he’s often on the road in his job as Vice President of Global Sales for a technology company based in California. “Everything is a lot more relaxed and it’s just a nice feeling.”

Stories like Larry’s and Barbara’s are more and more common these days. Probably as quickly as you can fly from our state capital to the nation’s capital, you can drive from Atlanta to the lake with enough time left to get your boat in the water and pop open a cooler full of beverages.

No, Reynolds isn’t a private island. In fact, getting here is really quite easy. But no matter where you’re coming from, you’ll soon be calling those last few miles, “Decompression Highway.” Exit here. 

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