Friday Night Serenades at Russell Crossroads
Friday nights at Lake Martin are a special time for its weekend residents. This is the time they leave their stressful corporate jobs in the city to retreat to their lake homes. It happens every Friday during the summer, like swallows returning to Capistrano. In fact, the opulence of Lake Martin might remind you of a bit of the OC, complete with live music, fine European food, and a fantastic wine selection. Of course, we’re talking about Friday on the Green at Russell Crossroads.
Most every summer Friday night, a revolving selection of musicians grace the state to serenade your sunset. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket, but you can find all the fine provisions you’ll need at Catherine’s Market, located just off the Town Green at Russell Crossroads.
Feasting at SpringHouse
If you have a hearty appetite or enough self-control to restrain yourself at Catherine’s, fine dining awaits you at SpringHouse. This is the first of this weekend’s many ‘castles’ you’ll encounter. It offers upscale southern dining with a flavor-forward palette.
If you’re looking to live it up, buy a couple of bottles of wine and some hors d’oeuvres to warm up your taste buds at Catherine’s and make a reservation at SpringHouse for 30-minutes after sunset. Enjoy the ambiance on Town Green, including that bottle or two. It’s ok to indulge because it’s only a five-minute walk from the stage to SpringHouse. Pro-tip, park at SpringHouse so you can drop your lawn chairs back at the car before dinner.
Romantic Nights at the Mistletoe BoughIn storybook romances, the prince and princess return to their palace after their magical evening. Then something horrible happens like they’re attacked by a witch, dragon, flying monkeys, or some such beast. Our choice of “palaces” was the 1890 Victorian charmer, the Mistletoe Bough Bed and Breakfast, located atop the tallest hill in Alexander City. You’re steeped in Southern hospitality from the moment you first see this classic home to snuggling up to sleep in a bed of soft linen. Waking up to a southern-style breakfast is a storybook ending for sure, only without any flying monkeys. Pro-tip, show up early for the complimentary social hour from 4-5 pm. You can meet your hosts and fellow guests and get situated for the night’s festivities. The last thing you want to do mid-date is to check in to your room, so knock out the logistics early and leave the evening to romance.
Sailing Inland Seas, Fighting Pirates, and Visiting Magical BeastsYour romantic escape continues on the water Saturday. No matter how you experience boating Lake Martin, you’ll find romance and adventure. Options include boat rentals or even booking your own captain with Lake Martin Tours. As you sail (or motor ) around this inland sea, which at one time was the world’s largest man-made lake, you’ll discover mysteries and magic. With stops that include the enchanted Jim Scott Gardens, fluffy encounters on Goat Island, and, of course, the swashbuckle of Pirate Island, a day on the water feels like a classic love story. Cruising by palatial waterfront homes only deepens that fantasy. Add in a bottle of wine and a charcuterie plate that you purchased the night before at Catherine’s Market, and you’ll be immersed in a nautical daydream.
Sunset Over the Water at KowaligaWhen Hank Williams stayed in Lake Martin, he wrote Kaw-Liga, a country and western romance about a stoic wooden Indian who lost out on his one true love. Poor old Kaw-Liga, he never got a kiss. If you don’t get a kiss watching the sunset from Kowaliga Restaurant, your heart must truly be made of knotty pine. The restaurant has exceptional waterfront views and locally sourced southern comfort food, including a wide assortment of fresh Gulf Coast seafood. It’s the perfect way to end the day. Unless, of course, you’re pining for something naughty, which we’ll leave up to your imagination when you return to your chambers at Mistletoe Bough.
Sunday – Choose Your Own AdventureAll good stories end with a consummate climax. Hey now, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but we’re talking about a choose-your-own-adventure at Lake Martin. This is the part of the story where the prince and princess triumph in the face of adversity and pledge their eternal love. Who are we to argue with a tried and true trope? Your options include:
- Flying through forests at the Wind Creek State Park ziplines (aka Screaming Eagle Adventures)
- Scaling castles (aka the Smith Mountain Fire Tower)
- Braving rapids on the Tallapoosa
- Exploring the Russell Forest on your trusty steed
Wrapping up Your Romantic Weekend at Lake MartinWe hope we have left you and your love yearning for a romantic weekend getaway at Lake Martin. We have two other articles that contain the logistics of boating on Lake Martin and things to do on Lake Martin without a boat. These articles have all the tools you’ll need to plan your own adventurous and romantic getaway, including interactive maps. Also, be aware that the water level drops about 10′ in the winter on Lake Martin. Some years, this begins on September 1. Other times it’s extended until mid-October. The lake is usually at its summer levels by the end of April. Check the water levels if you’re heading out during the shoulder seasons and plan accordingly. However, if you’re coming to the Friday On The Green concert series, the lake will be at its summer level. Thanks for reading, and let us know if you try this getaway!
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