Georgia’s Callaway Gardens for An Old Fashioned Family Summer

Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel
Robin Lake beach

When I was a child my family spent summer weeks in the Appalachians hiking, fishing and just laying back. The world seemed to move slower back then with days spent on simple pleasures. Rocking on the porch in the evening. Taking a bike ride along a wooded trail. Canoeing across a mountain lake. Wouldn’t it be nice to return to those days if only for a short time? A few years back our family discovered how.

Trail around Robin Lake
Callaway Discovery Center
The Gardens Restaurant seen from the boathouse
Labor Day Weekend Balloon Launch

Welcome to Callaway Gardens. Located seventy miles southwest of Atlanta in Pine Mountain, Georgia, it is a delightful throwback to an age that seems to have all but disappeared. While the Gardens still draw crowds to special events like a hot air balloon event every Labor Day, a steeplechase and a national water skiing competition there is plenty to recommend this attraction all year round.

Bike trail bridge
Trails thru the Pine Cabins
The Lodge entrance

The Gardens include miles of hiking and bicycling trails thru a number of habitats. A butterfly center where typically 1,000 or more butterflies flutter freely about in one of North America’s largest tropical butterfly conservatories. Several lakes for fishing, boating and water sports including Robin Lake beach with a recreation area, snack bar and weekend concerts in the summer. There are also a number of good restaurants associated with the property..

Accommodations at the Gardens include The Lodge and Spa, The Mountain Creek Inn along with rental cottages and villas. There are a number of activity programs like Family Adventure, several championship golf courses and shows like Birds of Prey. At Christmas the Gardens attracts crowds to Fantasy in Lights, one of the countries highest rated light displays.

Pioneer Log Cabin

Two special times at the Garden are Spring when the Azaleas are in bloom and Fall around late October and early November when the leaves are changing.

Photo curtesy of FSU

Callaway is also the summer home of the Florida State University Flying High Circus which includes daily performances and also provides lessons to children in The Family Adventure program.

Downtown Pine Mountain

Near the Gardens is also the town of Warm Springs, Georgia that was the summer Whitehouse of FDR and the town of Pine Mountain with good antique shopping and additional restaurants.

Looking for an alternative to theme parks and tourist attraction crowds? Take the family for a little old fashioned fun in the South.

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