When my friend’s husband planned a guys-only weekend at her home, he offered to send her, their twins, Whit and me off on our own little getaway! What luck!! We chose Callaway Gardens for its proximity to Atlanta (2 hours in Friday traffic) and variety of things to do.
After an easy drive (we left Atlanta at 2:45 and made one stop), we were pulling in at The Lodge & Spa at Callaway Gardens at a quarter to five! The property is tastefully decorated in a simple, but upscale style.
And, as to be expected from a resort with “gardens” in the name, the landscaping was beautiful! It was such a peaceful, and beautiful retreat.
We had a double queen room with a beautiful view of the fountain, pool, lake and beach. It was in pristine condition and quite spacious! The lodge only has about 150 rooms, so all of the amenities are convenient, no matter where your room is located.
We spent our first night enjoying a lovely dinner on the patio at Cason’s, just off of the lobby. The food was really good, and the ambiance was also great. There is live music on the weekends starting at 8PM. Their Scarlett Belle cocktail ended up being a favorite and we can’t wait to try and recreate it at home.
After dinner we settled in at the pool while the kids swam straight through till dark!
We were up bright and early Saturday morning for the buffet breakfast at the Piedmont Dining Room. It was a great value for kids, and they loved it. Missy and I just don’t eat enough to get our money’s worth out of a buffet. They do have an a la carte menu as well.
After breakfast we were off to the Butterfly Center. This was a highlight for all of us, when we looked back on the weekend and talked about our favorites. Every one of us had a butterfly land on us or let us hold it in our hand!
Next was the TreeTop Adventure & Zip Lines course. We were so looking forward to this but only two of the five of us finished! It was much harder than it looked or seemed to be when we researched. Two of the kids (Whit being one of them) were just not comfortable with the swinging parts on course. Missy brought her daughter down at the first opportunity after number 8 (of 26). Whit stuck around until 18 when he said he couldn’t take any more. So, Luke and I were the last two standing through number 26! It was hard work, but a ton of fun.
Now, my one complaint is that on multiple occasions I found Luke and Whit completely unattached to ANYTHING trying to figure out their belay system 30 feet up in the air on a 2 foot wide platform. I absolutely would not take a kid younger than 10 on this and I would want to have a ratio of 1 adult to 1 child. We’ve done quite a few of these in different parts of the country and have never seen one like this!
Note: This is an experience we paid extra for, but everything else I’m sharing was included in the price of admission to the gardens, which is FREE when you have a room reservation.
Back at the Discovery Center, we stopped for a little picnic snack on the lake. Afterwards, the kids wiped me clean of quarters feeding the turtles. This was also a highlight for them!
We timed it perfectly to catch the Birds of Prey Show at the Discovery Center outdoor theater. It was incredibly fascinating and well done. A very enjoyable experience for adults and kids alike! Arrive early for a seat in the shade.
We spent a few more hours exploring the gardens, azalea bowl, chapel (where my brother and sister in law were married!), pioneer cabin and Country Store!
There are so many things to do, we really couldn’t even do them all. The main thing we didn’t squeeze in was renting bikes. But, after the TreeTop adventure, the moms were pooped. :-)
Missy and I collapsed on pool chairs on our return to the resort, and the kids alternated between running in the grass playing tag, swimming and the hot tub.
We spent the last hour or so of the afternoon down at the beach. You can swim, but the boys were happy throwing a ball while Lauren built sandcastles. Missy and I sat happy as clams on our beach towels soaking up the sun.
We debated doing the Prime Rib dinner back in the Piedmont Dining Room or Cason’s again and landed on Cason’s. Where we ordered prime rib. LOL. We just loved dining out on the patio and had another great meal there.
We spent our evening on the beach where the Columbus Symphony Orchestra was performing a concert. You could buy seats at tables, but we knew the kids would last 10 minutes there. So, instead we took our towels down the beach where they could run and play for about an hour. We wrapped up the evening watching fireworks over the tree tops from our balcony!
Sunday morning we had breakfast and headed out. We had planned to hit The Little White House, but a flat tire changed our plans. :-)
I really can’t say enough good things about our getaway. It was relaxing, low key and pretty affordable. In the summer there are even more activities on the lakes and beaches, but the temps would be pretty hot for exploring the gardens and other activities. Everything was peaceful, yet family friendly. We saw a good mix of adults, girls trips and families. The resort was sold out Saturday night and didn’t seem crowded at all.
If you decide to visit Callaway Gardens, do let me know!
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DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED