Butterflies at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia

Callaway Gardens

Created as a place for people to connect with nature, Callaway Gardens takes full advantage of Georgia’s moderate climate, changing with each season and offering endless opportunities for discovery. Its natural beauty, programs and events make it a great spot for families, friends and couples to relax, unwind and reconnect any time of year. 

Blooms & Butterflies

Callaway Gardens is perhaps best known for its awe-inspiring, breathtaking azaleas that bloom in the spring. Visitors can walk or bike through trails bursting with a kaleidoscope of red, crimson, pink, lavender and white blooms on more than 3,000 native and hybrid plants. Spring is a brilliant time to stroll through the gardens, take pictures and picnic among the splendid views of the Azalea Bowl.
 
Thousands of other trees and shrubs provide foliage throughout the year, such as the colorful hydrangea-filled Meadowlark Garden near the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens. That’s where more than 1,000 butterflies flutter about in one of the world’s largest conservatories. The dynamic, glass-enclosed environment is also home to a variety of tropical plants that feed its residents.
 
Each month welcomes a variety of species to the gardens. Winter brings bluebirds and purple martins, followed by spring’s cardinals, chickadees and hummingbirds feeding on the blooming azaleas, with great blue herons patrolling lakes and ponds for fish. Summer sees fireflies, tiger swallowtail butterflies and large fox squirrels scampering among the trees, while fall hosts Monarch butterflies on their migration to Mexico, as well as chipmunks feasting on acorns.
 

Reflection & Recreation

The Birds of Prey program, Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden and the Sibley Horticultural Center are other ways visitors can see how the natural world works and be inspired by it. 
 
The Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel is a tribute to both the founder’s mother and the natural resources of the area. Built of fieldstone quartz, the Gothic chapel’s beautiful stained-glass windows depict the progression of seasons in the Southern forests, offering a serene setting for reflection and a joyous one for weddings.
 
Naturally, Callaway Gardens offers plenty of activities. A treetop adventure and zip-line course joins swimming, boating, fishing, golf and tennis on a never-ending “things to do” list. Callaway Gardens also hosts some of the region’s most popular special events, like the Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament, Florida State University’s Flying High Circus, Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival and the Festival of Lights, featuring millions of lights each November and December. 
 
No matter if you want to walk among the azaleas or swing from the treetops, Callaway Gardens truly is a place for all seasons.
Published: December 2014