The Southeast has some of the most beautiful public gardens in the country and now that spring has officially sprung, this is the perfect time of year to pay them a visit. Two amazing gardens I highly recommend are in Georgia: the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, just an hour southwest of Atlanta.
- Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit any time of the year, but it’s especially beautiful in the spring, when the tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths are in bloom. I went last year and it was a treat for the senses. I can still remember the smell of the perfumed air as I walked past the hyacinth garden and the explosion of color across the fields of vibrant tulips. If you’re an orchid fan, try to make it there by April 10th for the last week of their annual Orchid Daze exhibition, an incredible display in the largest orchid center in the United States!
A new exhibit starts on April 30, “Chihuly in the Garden”, where over 20 of the brilliantly-colored works of glass artist Dale Chihuly are placed among the plantings, adrift on the ponds, and suspended in air.
- If you’re looking for a fun-filled day of adventure in an exquisite setting, the Callaway Gardens is for you! This 6,500 acre natural paradise features beautiful gardens, a resort complex and wide variety of recreational attractions. Gardens include the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl, home to more than 3,000 hybrid azaleas, the Thornhill Hydrangea Garden, and the spellbinding Overlook Azalea Garden, where thousands of azalea shrubs explode in an array of colors. The Callaway Gardens is also home to the magnificent Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel, an early 19th century log cabin, and the incredible Day Butterfly Center, where you can stand amidst thousands of beautiful butterflies flying all around you in one of the largest butterfly conservatories in North America. Want to see some larger winged creatures? Then the Birds of Prey demonstration at the Callaway Discovery Center is for you. Here you’ll get to see some amazing raptors swooping overhead and up close and personal.
There are also lots of recreational activities available, including golf, tennis, water sports and bicycle and hiking trails. If that’s not enough adventure for you, then there’s always the thrilling TreeTop Adventure, featuring 5 zip lines and other obstacle course type challenges.
Yes, spring has sprung, but it doesn’t last long, so visit soon!