Take a walk through history and Callaway Gardens on this fun roadtrip

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Looking for memorable place to spend a few days or a long weekend with the family? Check out Callaway Resort and Gardens. It’s about a four-hour drive from the Huntsville area to Pine Mountain, GA and is totally worth experiencing. Whether you want to be one with nature, frolic on the man-made beach, relax and fish on one of the thirteen sparkling lakes, have your adrenaline pumping with a tree top course or just shop and dine, Callaway has it all! On our drive to Callaway Resort and Gardens we opted to stop at the Anniston Museum of Natural History to stretch our legs and avoid the dreaded “are we there yet” from the kids.

Anniston Museum of Natural History

If your family loves nature and wildlife from Alabama to Africa, they will love this! The museum hosts a variety of fascinating exhibit halls including a huge collection of taxidermy animals, minerals, and fossils. In addition, there are dinosaurs, mummies, a replica of an Alabama Cave and so much more.

Even the grown ups will love exploring the exhibits at Anniston Museum of Natural History.

While the majority of the museum’s displays are not interactive, there are a few hands-on activities for kids to enjoy. My children were mesmerized by the “Environments of Africa” exhibit, which depicted how these majestic animals appear on an African savannah. In fact, the museum boasts several naturescapes with an overwhelming number of taxidermized creatures that truly enhance the realism of the tour. Some interesting facts about the museum: it is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and the majority of the collection came from Pennsylvania in 1930 from the now-demolished Carnegie Library, and in 1976 a generous donor made it possible to open the doors to the Anniston Museum of Natural History.


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Kids of all ages will enjoy the exhibits at the Natural History Museum.

Things to Know Before You Go:
Address
: 800 Museum Drive, Anniston, AL 36206 (map)
Phone: 256-237-6766
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Admission: Ages 3 and under are free; child is $6.00; adult is $8.00 and senior citizen is $7.00.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10a.m. – 5p.m. and Sunday 1p.m. – 5p.m. Check website for holiday hour closings and summer hours.
Parking: Ample on-site and is free
Bathrooms: Restrooms are inside the Museum. The women’s restroom has a baby changing station.
Allotted time: around 1 ½ hours
Other: No food or drinks are allowed in the exhibit halls. There are no stairs or tight spaces – strollers will do fine.

Callaway Resort and Gardens

Callaway Resort and Gardens can be experienced two different ways: (1) stay on the Resort or (2) nearby in one of the many lodging options and pay the daily admission price to visit the resort and gardens. If you stay at the resort, there are three different types of accommodations to choose from: The Lodge (traditional hotel, up to 4 in a room), The Cottages (standalone apartment/duplex style) and The Villas (larger, individual houses), the latter 2 accommodates up to 8 guests). Our family decided to splurge a little and stay in The Cottages on the resort. They were more than ample for a family of 5, with plenty of room to comfortably relax throughout multiple rooms.

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Three children of varying ages pose in front of a yellow and blue butterfly mural at Callaway Gardens.
The whole family will have something to explore and enjoy together at Callaway Gardens.

Depending on the length of stay, you may need to narrow down your activity list. During our fun filled weekend, we were able to enjoy the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Discovery Center, Robin Lake Beach, Aqua Island and the Southern dishes served at Country Kitchen. While we very much wanted to see and explore everything during our 2-night stay, we simply didn’t have the time. We went on Labor Day Weekend to watch the nightly hot air balloons and fireworks, but the fun at Callaway doesn’t stop there! Callaway has so many special events to pick from, including Pumpkins at Callaway, Spring Flower Fest, Fantasy in Lights (which National Geographic has proclaimed as one of the Top 10 Light Displays in the world), to name a few. There’s so much more to explore, and there are daily activities (depending on the season you visit) such as the Birds of Prey show, Callaway Circus, zip lines, walking and bicycle trails, golfing, fishing and boating. For the foodies, there are five different restaurants on-site, ranging from family to tavern to fine dining. We had a blast and highly recommend this as a weekend destination!

Two rainbow colored hot air balloons are tethered in a large green field at Callaway Gardens.
There’s plenty of activities and unique events for the entire family to enjoy.

Things to Know Before You Go:
Address:
17617 US-27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822 (map)
Phone: 1(800)-225-5292
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Daily Admission: – Ages 2 and under have free admission; Child (ages 3-11) $19.95; Adult (ages 12+) $24.95; and Senior (65+) $21.95. Admission varies by event and if it is a weekend versus week night.
Hours: (if not staying on the resort) – most of the attractions are 10am to 5pm, during special weekends, hours may be extended.
Parking: Ample on-site, included with admission.
Bathrooms: all the main buildings have restrooms
Other: The garden is 2,500 acres and is not designed for walking exclusively. Drive your car or rent a golf cart to drive from point to point. There are three different entrances into the resort: Gardens Main Entrance, Robin Lake Beach Entrance and Resort Lodging Entrance.

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