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Growing up in the South, specifically West Georgia, just south of Atlanta, I would visit Callaway Gardens quite a bit. For those of us who live hours from a real beach, visiting man-made lake beaches was a summer highlight. I have so many pleasant memories of spending a day at the beach there. We’d play a round of mini golf in the afternoon, enjoy a picnic under the grand beach pavilion and enjoy some ice cream in the hot, humid Georgia summer sun!
But, there is much more to Callaway than just gardens or the beach from my childhood. It has heaps to offer, with an abundance of activities year round!
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There are so many reasons to visit Callaway Gardens. It is an amazing family summer destination, but it can also be fun for a couples getaway retreat, whether for a day or a weekend. Accommodations for a weekend stay include Cottages, Villas, the Lodge with a Spa and an Inn.
#1 It is a short, 90 minute drive from Atlanta.
From my home town of Newnan, Georgia in Southwest Metro Atlanta, it was more of an hour drive, but regardless of the area of Atlanta you are coming from, it is an easy day or weekend trip.
#2 The Gardens, oh the Gardens!
It is called Callaway Gardens and they do it so well! Start with the Discovery Center and then branch out to the beautiful Hydrangea (Hydrangea’s are one of my favorites as my grandmother had Hydrangea bushes), Azalea and Meadowlark Gardens!
#3 The Beach & Family Fun
There is so much more to do at the Beach now than when I was a kid. They have the beach, pavilion, play ground and miniature golf, but now they have water sports too! They also have a High Flying Circus every summer!
The Butterfly House is a huge draw for visitors to Callaway and they are famous for it! The beautiful creatures are numerous, various, unique and breathtaking! Stand still for a while and they’ll land on you too!
#5 Nature Walks
Callaway has some of the most beautiful Nature Walks you can find! Many are easily accessible, even for the less outdoorsy type like myself!
#6 The Chapel
One Nature Walk leads you to the tranquil Memorial Chapel. Take a seat in one of the nearby benches and embrace the quiet as your stress disappears. You can also get married in this Chapel. My husband and I visited Callaway when we were dating. I was expecting or hoping for a proposal any day that summer. I remember clearly during our visit how many times I had thought, “This would be a perfect spot for him to propose!”. And, sitting on the bench looking across the water at this charming chapel, was definitely one of those moments. It didn’t happen at Callaway, but guys definitely take note. There are many romantic proposal spots at Callaway Gardens!
#7 Recreation of All Kinds
#8 Christmas Fantasy in Lights
Every Christmas Season you can also enjoy the spectacular Fantasy in Lights on display at Callaway. You can drive through in your car or take the trolley. If you want to take the trolley, I highly recommend booking a spot in advance before driving down!
#9 The Surrounding Area
The surrounding area has even more to offer, from the quaint town of Pine Mountain with its neighboring Wild Animal Safari to Warm Springs and the home of FDR, The Little White House, you’ll find a plethora of activities to amuse you.
I also highly recommend getting a meal with a mountain view at the Country Kitchen. You can also pick up some souvenirs, delicious homemade fudge and some local Muscadine Wine in the Country Store before heading home.
Check out the Callaway Gardens map HERE.
They are open daily 9 am to 6 pm.
Have you visited Callaway Gardens? What is your favorite part?
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