This charming town, home to Callaway Gardens, surprises with fun shops and galleries.
I have a crush on Staffordshire dogs―those porcelain spaniel statues from England that adorn mantels and bookshelves. I found a pack of affordable ones in the most surprising place: Pine Mountain, Georgia. Tucked away on the edge of Callaway’s huge resort, this sweet town with plenty of shops to bark about makes a delightful side trip to garden explorations.
Main Street Meanderings
On my first visit, I strolled down the brick sidewalks to Sweet Home Antiques, where those cute spotted pups smiled back at me amid finely polished furniture from England. The shopkeeper quoted a very fair price and was willing to negotiate as well.
In nearby Chanticleer, the Country French and British cottage furniture served as handsome backdrops for vintage mirrors, adorable French enamel kitchenware, new glass and porcelain lamps, and ancient-looking vases.
At Country Gardens, I saw whimsical bird feeders, garden gloves, pretty jardinieres, and sundials. I also found an irresistible antique Roseville lily vase ($185). Before I left, I peeked into the back room, which housed soothing soaps and hair and skin products.
What I needed was a place to contemplate my shopping options. At Cup and Chaucer, I helped myself to coffee and settled into a chair to peruse used books. Later, I walked to Purple Cow Café for a Chattahoochee Mud Slide―a chocolate-and-Kahlúa milk shake ($3.25).
In a nondescript strip shopping center catercornered to Callaway, Anne Tutt Gallery features an eclectic mixture of fine art. I met Alexander Kalinin, who settled here to paint the Edenic scenes at Callaway. His wife, Anne Tutt, fashions exquisite jewelry. Their art and jewelry cover a wide price range, from $10 to $15,000. I discovered a beautiful necklace with a golden cross ($150) that I had to have. It’s a symbol of a lovely day spent near Callaway.
Pine Mountain Tourism Association: 1-800-441-3502 or www.pinemountain.org.
"The Treasures of Pine Mountain" is from the April 2006 issue of Southern Living.