There's a spirit of adventure and a connection to nature you can't help but catch at Callaway.

By Caroline Rogers
June 26, 2018
Callaway Gardens
Credit: Courtesy Callaway Resort & Gardens

Callaway Resort & Gardens is known for its winter events—including the Fantasy in Lights holiday light display, a seasonal spectacular that draws visitors from near and far, as well as the November Steeplechase—but we're here to tell you that this spot is the perfect summer getaway too. Callaway Gardens is located in Pine Mountain, Georgia (the town formerly known as Chipley) just 30 miles north of Columbus. Visit Callaway Gardens in summer and you'll be treated to blue skies and outdoor adventures across the resort's 2,500+ acres. (It's also a popular destination for golfers looking for a green with a view.) Read on for a few of our favorite attractions, all of which are good reasons to start planning a trip to Callaway today.


Callaway's most popular summer spot is the beach at Robin Lake, which is billed as "the world's largest man-made white sand beach." There you'll find family fun all day long and into the night, including waterskiing, fireworks, and movies, plus live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Next door, the FSU Flying High Circus, which calls Callaway home during the summer, offers high-wire thrills for the whole family. Check out the resort's events calendar for all the summer's Callaway happenings.

When you check in, you can park your car and leave it there. There are miles of hiking and biking trails to keep you busy all day. We recommend renting bikes (the rental office is conveniently located at the Discovery Center) or bringing your own to explore the shaded, picturesque trails that wind through the gardens and around the lakes.

Those trails will take you by the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, which is surrounded by gardens and filled with fluttering butterflies; the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel, an English-style chapel nestled in the forest where you can hear organ concerts in the afternoons; and the Discovery Center, where you can see twice-daily shows featuring the gardens' resident birds of prey and afterwards take to the trees on the Treetop Adventure ropes and zip-lining course.


There are several accommodation options at the resort, all of which are accessible by bike, the preferred form of transportation around the gardens. The Mountain Creek Inn is a comfortable, affordable option, while The Lodge and Spa is newer accommodation with modern suites. The Villas and Cottages offer an upscale stay with kitchens and multiple bedrooms, which are great for families.


When at Callaway Gardens, breakfast at The Country Kitchen is a must. Get there early for a table by the windows, which open out onto a stunning forested view. The Gardens Restaurant is an upscale option for dinner. On warm summer nights, sit on the second-floor wraparound porch, which looks out over the golf course, serpentine bridge, and shimmering lake, to enjoy your meal with a view of the sunset and its cotton candy skies. The Spirit of '52 is located in The Mountain Creek Inn and is a laid-back sports-bar-style eatery where you can unwind after a long day of biking, hiking, golfing, and exploring. Also check out Cason's Tap Room for craft beers and handcrafted cocktails alongside a delicious Southern supper.


Don't forget to visit downtown Pine Mountain. Venture into the nearby village for a meal at Steakhouse, and spend all day browsing lovely downtown shops including Whisk, Sweet Home Antiques, Chanticleer, and Cat's Meow. Roosevelt's Little White House is also a stone's throw away. It's located in Warm Springs, Georgia, and makes for an easy day trip from Callaway.

WATCH: South's Best Small Towns

There's a spirit of adventure and a connection to nature you can't help but catch at Callaway Gardens, and that's what keeps visitors coming back year after year. Let us know if you plan a trip there this summer!