An orchestra of cicadas provides a symphony of sound along the path that leads from my suite at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds to the beach at man-made Lake Oconee in Georgia. I arrived to clean air and a forest whose warmth defies autumn, as does the resort’s nightly ritual of campfires and s’mores.

Like New Yorkers who flee to the Hamptons, Atlantans take the hour-plus drive east to recuperate and rejuvenate here from city life, with family in tow. Unlike its glitzy sister properties, this Ritz is focused on family fun and memory-making in luxurious comfort.

The goal of my weekend in Lake Oconee was to slow my frenetic pace, breathe deeply and, of course, sink my teeth into the local food culture. Of the resort’s three restaurants, I chose my first Georgia dinner at the Linger Longer Steakhouse. After a meal of scallops with Georgia peaches and hickory-smoked filet mignon, the resort’s family-oriented nature surfaced when a colorful cone of cotton candy was placed in the center of the table. To proclaim my own adultness, I washed it down with a vodka-and-sweet-tea cocktail.

The South’s well-known culinary pride was showcased the following day during lunch at the resort’s casual Gaby’s by the Lake, with memorably delicious nachos topped with house-smoked pulled pork. I contemplated eating that same dish again as I sunned by the pool on my last day, but I was too filled up with Georgia peach anything/everything. Peaches aside, my tastiest discovery occurred one evening at the on-resort Georgia’s, where I was introduced to the most scrumptious plate of fried green tomatoes topped with lobster.

As at all of its properties, the option to purchase “inside access” via a Ritz-Carlton Club membership is a benefit for those who’d like to dine, snack or grab a glass of bubbly in between regular restaurant meals. As an honorary member for the weekend, I enjoyed breakfast in the club every morning, and lunch one day was a delightful smoked trout sandwich accompanied by barbecue potato chips that were house-made.

A harvest dinner served on a table set within the forest at the resort was my farewell meal, and it was magical.

Georgia’s Fried Green Tomatoes

For the marinade:

• 3 to 4 medium green tomatoes

• 1 quart buttermilk

• ¼ cup Georgia’s Southern Spice (or your own)

Whisk spices into buttermilk and let the sliced tomatoes sit in the mix for at least 2 hours.

For the breading:

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

• 1 cup cornmeal

• ¼ cup Georgia’s Southern Spice (or your own)

Blend the panko a bit for a finer texture, but not too much or you will lose some crunch.

Pull tomatoes out of the buttermilk and cover in breading, pressing lightly to ensure it sticks well.

Let the tomatoes sit for 5 minutes in the breading.

Bread them again and fry at 375 degrees until golden brown and starting to float, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove from fryer and drain on a metal rack.

Finish with some nice sea salt and top with pieces of lobster and (optional) dollops of Lemon Herb Mayo.

— Courtesy Chef Shaun Thomas of Georgia’s