Humans and mother nature have a special relationship. Sometimes when things get crazy in this busy, modern world that we live in, the best medicine is not only to get away, but to connect with nature. Imagine being able to stroll through acres of trees, exotic plants and flowers, breathing in nature’s aromatic cocktail. Or paddling a canoe with your significant other out into a serene lake, just so you could lay back and watch the birds fly overhead. What about watching the kids splash in a lake, or play a family challenge of putt-putt mini-golf? Sometimes you don’t need a week long vacation to Disneyland; you just need a weekend at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Callaway Gardens is a Nature Resort
Callaway Gardens was developed by Cason and Virginia Callaway with the purpose of making a place where everyone could come to enjoy the beauty of nature. With Virginia’s love of horticulture and philanthropy, they transformed old farmland into this nature preserve. Today the gardens have become a source of education, and example of conservation, and fun resort for the whole family.
Activities at Callaway Gardens
The sprawling 6,500 acres are full of nature trails, lakes, streams, and gardens; as well as golf courses, hotels and event facilities. Just 1 1/2 hours southwest from the sprawling city of Atlanta, Callaway Gardens offers the perfect weekend getaway option. With so many things to do, you may want to spend more than just a weekend!
Click the Links Below to Learn More About Each Attraction!
The Discovery Center is where most visitors begin their journey at Callaway Gardens. With information desks and giant maps and photo murals on the walls, it’s a great way to become acquainted with the area and plan out your visit. There is also an orientation video, as well as a Birds of Prey show that is held outside in a nearby amphitheater.
The Cecile B Day Butterfly Center is actually one of our favorite places to visit at Callaway Gardens. Containing thousands of butterflies and hundreds of exotic species, we love to walk around inside this tropical conservatory. The bright sun penetrates the glass enclosure and illuminates the tropical plants inside. With butterflies fluttering all about, if feels as though you are transported into a bit of a fairy-tale. You may even have a brightly colored butterfly land on you! Keep an eye out for the Geocache hidden here.
The Sibley Horticulture Center is another favorite of ours. Year-round this garden / greenhouse always has something in bloom. Covering 5 acres, you will find both native and exotic plants, sculptures, grottos, and a waterfall. Special seasonal exhibits are also on display.
The Azalea Garden covers more than 40 acres and contains more than 3,000 types of azaelas! With thousands of other trees and plants, this area comes alive with color when the flowers are in bloom. Taking a relaxing stroll through the Azaela Bowl, or admiring the garden from the gazebo, with the sound of running streams and falls in the background makes for a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
Of course, one of the main activities at Callaway Gardens is simply enjoying the beauty of nature. Eight different nature trails weave their way through the property, offering more than 7 miles of well maintained exploration through the greenery. While the Discovery Bike Trail is a 10 mile long paved path that takes you on a secluded journey through the property. You can bring your own bike, or rent one on property.
Callaway Gardens is extremely Geocaching Friendly. There are over 40 plus caches located all over the property. Geocaches have been placed at all of the major attractions like the Butterfly Center, The Discover Center, and there are caches placed on the beautiful Azalea Bowl Trails. With so many caches hidden on the grounds, you are sure to have a great time taking in the beauty of Callaway Garden while having your own treasure hunt at the same time. If you get stumped at a location don’t be affriad to ask volunteers or other visitors for hints. It’s so nice to have a resort that is completely Geo-Friendly for the cachers from all over the world. The two golf courses weave their way through the lakes and nature, providing a beautiful natural setting. You may also opt to play some tennis at the Mountain Creek Tennis Center. If something a little more relaxing is your style, they you may be interested in simply taking a boat out on the lake for a ride, or to do some fishing. You can bring your own boat or they are available for rent. Fishing equipment is also available for rent and excursions and classes are available, such as the fly-fishing school.
Robin Lake Beach is a massive man-made white sand beach that stretches for a mile and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are a variety of activities adjacent to the beach such as shuffleboard, mini-golf, and table tennis. For an additional fee, you can rent paddle boats, bumper boats, or ride a giant inflatable water slide! Waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are also available. And Aqua Island is an enormous floating playground that is full of obstacles and fun!
One of the newest activities at Callaway Gardens is the Treetop Adventure and Zip Lines! With 10 zip lines and 34 different obstacles, this high adrenaline adventure is not for the faint of heart. To read more about the treetop adventure, check back soon for our full review!
Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden is another popular attraction and has been home to the PBS series “The Victory Garden.”
Special Events Year Round at Callaway Gardens
The beach area at Callaway Gardens is also host to a number of big events year round. Memorial Weekend is host to the Masters Waterski and Wakeboard tournament, the Fourth of July Star Spangled Beach Party, and all through the summer there are concerts, movies, and circus acts to enjoy. As summer draws to a close, Labor Day weekend hosts the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival. Another popular event that we enjoy is the Fantasy in Lights, which goes from late November through New Years. Thousands of lights decorate the gardens in elaborate displays, you guests can take a trolly-train tour to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. For more information about special events held at Callaway Gardens, click here.
Where to Stay at Callaway Gardens
In order to enjoy the variety of activities at Callaway Gardens, it is best to stay in the area. Conveniently there are accommodations on site, which include your park admission. You may opt to stay at the Southern Pine Cottages, the Mountain Creek Villas and Vacation Homes, or the Mountain Creek Inn (click here to read our full hotel review). Other options nearby include the Lodge and Spa, owned by Marriott, and Pine Mountain RV Resort.
Callaway Gardens Offers Fun for Everyone!
I’ll never forget the first time that I visited Callaway Gardens. It was years ago, and Josh recommended that we go for a nice weekend getaway from Atlanta. Not being a native of Georgia, I wasn’t familiar with Callaway Gardens; so I didn’t know what to expect. But from the moment I arrived I fell for the beauty and serenity. Ever since, I have enjoyed visiting Callaway Gardens multiple times. Whether it was for a weekend of golf or over the holidays for the Fantasy in Lights. Every visit to Callaway Gardens is special. So if you haven’t yet visited, be sure to put it on your list. Regardless of if it is just you and your significant other, or your whole family you will have a wonderful time at Callaway Gardens!
Click here to check out the specials and packages, or to make reservations at Callaway Gardens.