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Good For Kids
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The light show at night was really impressive.
Closest available address
17800 US Highway 27 Pine Mountain, GA 31822
Day use hours vary by season, generally 9-5 in winter and 8-8 in summer.
Best time to visit
Callaway Gardens is a large resort and garden in west Georgia about a 1.5 hour drive from Atlanta. The resort has over 13,000 acres and is extensively developed with a variety of recreational, dining and lodging options. More prominent attractions include golf courses, lakes/beaches, flower gardens, a zip line course, hiking trails, a live raptor show and a butterfly garden. There are also seasonal events, such as a light show in winter, and a water-ski performance and hot air balloon festival in summer.
The gardens were established in 1952 by Cason and Virginia Hand Callaway who had acquired land in the area for use as a personal retreat. Cason had become wealthy from a textile manufacturing business. After retirement, he focused on farming and then on the gardens. He died in 1961 after which his wife managed the gardens. She died in 1995, and the gardens are now owned by a nonprofit foundation.
The visit took place in November so some flower gardens and the beach were either skipped or were closed. An employee recommended a visit to the butterfly center and attending the live raptor show. Both were worthwhile, but the raptor show in particular was entertaining with eagles flying low over the heads of the audience. There was not enough time to try out the zip line course, but it looked fun and was popular with kids. The marquee attraction was the Festival of Lights evening show, in which cars caravaned slowly past a dazzling spectacle of lights, moving figures and Christmas music. It was well worth an extra fee. The lodge/spa facility, which is managed by Marriott, looked like a nice place to stay over. There were also 6 restaurants to choose from. Calloway was enjoyable for a day visit, and also could work for a weekend stay if you prefer some down time or want to go for a hike, bike ride, swim, or to play golf. The staff were helpful and pleasant, and the resort had enough attractions and activities to appeal to most ages and tastes. A visit is recommended.
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