“We have a bar, a dance floor, club, and for a lot of people who live nearby, there are no gay bars around here,” says Steve Cramer, owner of Oz Campground in Unadilla. “As far as Middle Georgia goes, we’re it. A lot of guys come here looking for something besides Grindr or a blind hookup.” But there are also plenty of people who trav- el from all around Georgia and surrounding states to stay in a cabin, RV or a simple tent to enjoy a little bit of the great outdoors while still having the benefits of a bar and dance floor.
“For people who come here, this is our family of choice,” Cramer says. “There is a strong community plus new people come in every weekend.” Oz Campground has 1,800 members with about 10 people who live full-time on the 150 acres of land that makes up the site. There are plenty of hiking trails and a 2-hour “hay ride” (well, actually, everyone sits on a mattress) takes place every night. The land is surrounded by cotton fields and tree farms. “We’re in the middle of nowhere,” Cramer says.
The best part about owning a gay campground is the people, Cramer adds. “When I see someone new come and they’re shy and then within an hour they have new friends—I love to see that. We make sure everyone is included.”
Oz Campground Private, clothing optional About 120 miles south of downtown Atlanta, or 2 hours from the Atlanta airport Available: Everything from double sleeper cabins, deluxe studio cabins, tent sites, RV sites, • Heated saltwater pool • 4,000 square-foot bar 50 Hwy. 30 Unadilla, GA 31091 www.ozcampground.com
UPCOMING EVENTS Memorial Day weekend: May 23-26 with Del Shores of “Sordid Lives” Music Fest: June 13-15 featuring Lindsey Hinkle and Halcyon
‘We have become a tradition’ at Swiftwaters
“It’s still hanging in there,” says Pat Roberts, owner of Swiftwaters, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.
“There’s always women who want to get away, from the city or home life, and do something different. All campsites are right on river. All you hear are the birds. There’s no city noise, nothing but peace and the quiet and tranquility. Here you can relax,” she adds.
Many women who visit Swiftwaters say they feel like they are home, that this is where they belong, Roberts says. And now, women who came to the campground when younger are now bringing their daughters—so visiting is becoming generational. “They bring their daughters here, they joke, because we have bad cell phone reception and they can’t text their friends,” Roberts adds. Women can raft down the Etowah River and grill by the river and many like to sing and play music around campfires. There is also a volleyball court, a place to play horse-shoes and also badminton.
“Hopefully we will be here again another 35 years,” Roberts says. “As long as it pays its taxes and upkeep I will keep it going. The community has been very good to me and I like to repay the community by keeping this place going. We have become a tradition.” Swiftwaters Campground Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Opened as a safe space for all women 22 acres of campsites along the Etowah River • Two rustic cabins • Dog and children friendly 830 Swiftwater’s Road Dahlonega, GA 30533, www.swiftwaters.com
UPCOMING EVENTS Nothing organized for this summer, but the Fourth of July weekend is always a popular weekend
OTHER LGBT GEORGIA CAMPGROUNDS
In The Woods Campground • Clothing optional • Members only • Drinking allowed for 21 and up • 2.5 miles of walking trails • Indoor video lounge • Spacious rooms • Large RV sites • Wooded, electric tent sites • Air-conditioned clubhouse • Hot tub and swimming pool • Exercise and dining rooms 142 Casey Court Canon, GA 30520 706-246-0152, www.inthewoodscampground.com
UPCOMING EVENTS Memorial Day weekend is the campground’s summer kick off Events include bingo, hot tub parties, DJ and dancing, grilling out ’80s Disco Weekend: June 6-7
Daddy’s Day Weekend: June 13-14
River’s Edge • Clothing optional • Banana Cabana Café • Clubhouse • Work out room • Pool and hot tub • Free wi-fi at clubhouse and pool • 95 campsites • 9 campsites with electricity • Creek that flows through campground • RV sites • Sleeper cabins • Loft cabins 2311 Pulliam Mill Road Dewy Rose, GA 30634 www.camptheriversedge.com
Roy’s Hideaway • Members only • Clothing optional • Electric and primitive tent camping • RV sites • Bear Den Cabin • Stable House • Queen Suite • Eduardo’s Café at the pool serving lunch and dinner 268 Catfish Lane Collins, GA 30421 912-225-3900 www.royshideaway.com
UPCOMING EVENTS Summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend
Silver Daddy Weekend: June 13-15 Country Weekend: June 20-22 Motorcycle Weekend: June 27-29