7/13/2016 – Callaway Gardens draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to its beautiful landscapes and walking trails. But the 2,500-acre garden and resort, located just an hour southwest of downtown Atlanta, boasts much more activity and recreation than its name divulges.
Visitors have the luxury of choosing their own adventures and experiences, day or night. Adults and kids can get wet, soar through the trees, enjoy live music, pamper yourself and learn new skills. Here are six unexpected features at this popular Georgia getaway.
1. Get your feet wet water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing
Experience a water adventure and see the resort from a new perspective as their high-speed boat tows you around the 65-acre Robin Lake. Choose water skiing, wake boarding or tubing. Need to brush up on your wakeboarding or skiing skills? No problem. Callaway’s instructors can guide you. Advance reservations suggested, gate admission required.
2. Soar with the FSU Flying High Circus
After a nice stroll through the gardens or a day at Robin Lake Beach, take your Callaway experience into the evening. Florida State University’s Flying High Circus is in residence at Callaway Gardens each summer. The amazing aerial troupe of college students performs daring feats on the high wire and trapeze at least once a day every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Robin Lake Beach Dome. Performances are included with resort admission. For special shows, stop by on July 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
3. Mellow out with the Summer Sunset Music Series
If you’re up for a good show, but you would rather be serenaded than sit on the edge of your seat, then Callaway Gardens’ Summer Sunset Music Series may be more your speed. Featuring a different band every Saturday night through Sept. 10 and special performances the weekends of July 4 and Labor Day, there’s plenty of variety and opportunity to get your toes tapping. For a special concert, the Swingin’ Medallions, a.k.a “The Party Band of the South,” will take the stage on July 4 – don’t forget to bring a blanket or a comfy lawn chair.
4. Be riveted by the raptors
Since it began in 2000, Callaway Gardens’ Birds of Prey program has given more than 1 million people an up-close look at these birds as they swoop, dive and show off their natural speed and strength. The thrilling show also educates visitors about raptors and other different types of wildlife. Summer shows begin at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Callaway Discovery Center in July. Extra special shows will be featured July 2-4 at 2 p.m. Check the website for showtimes later in the summer.
5. Zip through the treetops
To see the world the way those magnificent birds of prey do, grab a brave friend and make your way to the forest behind the Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center. There, you can take part in Callaway Gardens’ TreeTop Adventure zipline and obstacle course. You’ll have a bird’s-eye view as you zip along 10 ziplines that range from 44 feet to 700 feet in length, and navigate obstacles like ladders, wires and logs. Make sure you dedicate at least two hours to this popular adventure. Reservations are recommended, and you may want to take the 10 a.m. tour to beat the summer heat.
6.Celebrate July 4 with the Star Spangled Beach Party
The patriotic celebration begins early at Callaway Gardens on Saturday, July 2 and lasts late into the evening of Monday, July 4. Each day is a special event in and of itself, with numerous activities for all ages from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., including paddle boats, a rock climbing wall, a water slide, miniature golf and more. Over the course of just three days, there will be a sandcastle building competition, live music, circus performances, skydiving demonstrations and, of course, fireworks. Throw on your best red, white and blue and head to Robin Lake Beach for all of the fun.
7. Find tranquility at the spa
With so many activities and adventures, Callaway Gardens can keep even the most active vacationer busy. But don’t forget to include a little time for rest and relaxation. Before you head home or back to work, treat yourself and someone special to a couple’s massage or enjoy a manicure and pedicure at Callaway Gardens’ Spa Prunifolia. The resort’s luxurious spa is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the staff will send you home well-rested and ultra-exfoliated.