Rustic Chic: Callaway Gardens


June 9, 2016
Words by
Photos courtesy of Callaway Gardens

Couples looking for a domestic destination which offers rustic chic accommodations, countless activities for the kids, miles of hiking trails and spectacular gardens should take a glance at Callaway Gardens. Located a little over an hour drive from Atlanta, Callaway Gardens is home to 13,000 acres of breathtaking countryside complete with blooming azalea gardens, cherry trees and butterfly habitats.

Visiting in the spring is decidedly a great experience because their world renowned azalea gardens are in bloom. Meandering paths lead you through an array of colors and sights, arguably the most beautiful thing you’ll lay your eyes on (aside from the endearing look of your husband-to-be.)

Reminiscent of days past, you’ll be greeted with a friendly Southern welcome as well as a family focused experience that brings people together. Group outings can include fly fishing, nature walks, mountain bike rides or just a good ol’ gathering around the campfire to roast some marshmallows. And the air, did I mention the air? So crisp and clean with a sweet sent of pine and honeysuckle it makes you want to curl up in a hammock and read a book.

Destination weddings here come as natural as the setting itself. With countless options  to say “I do” including their onsite chapel (seats up to 75 people) with gorgeous stained glass details, old woodland feel and a history that goes back to the 60’s. My personal favorite was the John A. Sibley Horticulture Center (accommodates from 120-300 people). The walls are made of glass and open up completely to allow the outdoors in. The blossoming cherry trees, immaculately tended gardens both inside and out paired with the calming sound of falling water make you feel as if you’ve entered the Garden of Eden. There are so many other options as well, Callaway Gardens really has a little something for everyone.

Heidi Jones, wedding coordinator for Callaway Gardens tells us how important it is that their couples have a great experience, “We want our brides not to worry about anything on their day. We make sure to have the best of the best for each couple. They don’t really even need a wedding coordinator because we do so much of the footwork.”

The Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center has numerous daytime programs for kids of all ages to learn and explore. A show about “Birds of Prey” allow for kids to get an up close and personal glimpse of a bald eagle or raptor, staff members will instruct how to create their very own botanical garden, and bird watching tours will keep kids entertained all day.

Bachelors have their fair share of day time entertainment as well. Golf, well hey, you are at Callaway Gardens – so expect a special treat there. Fly fishing is another popular activity for men and women. The onsite FFF Certified Master Instructor, Carl Warmouth told us how popular fly fishing is becoming for women. “It’s very therapeutic and is a great option for bridal parties.” Even the outdoor shop at Callaway Gardens is supporting the ladies by offering pink fishing gear. Follow up a day of golf and/or fishing with a treatment at their Spa Prunifolia. The array of botanical oils gives life to their signature treatments by bringing a local natural element to the experience.

At the entrance of Callaway Gardens, a sign reads: “Remove nothing from the Gardens except: nourishment for the soul, consolation for the heart, inspiration for the mind.” And that’s exactly what you’ll leave with.

Between the fresh inviting air, the myriad of things to do, decadent cuisine and fabulous property, Callaway Gardens is as special a place as they claim it is.

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