After a great time at the Savannah Scottish Games we stopped at the Savannah Botanical Gardens to see the roses. Owned and operated by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs, Inc., it’s always a treat to walk through the gardens. My favorite time to visit is when the roses are blooming.
It was Cinco de Mayo, and the Cinco de Mayo rose was displaying it’s gorgeous blooms.
The Neil Diamond rose is my favorite.
Roses of every color were blooming all throughout the gardens.
Our latest wandering took us on a short trip that was full of excitement. Our first stop was F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest state park, in Pine Mountain. It was the perfect place for us to use as home base for exploring both Callaway Gardens and F.D.R.’s Little White House in Warm Springs.
After driving in the rain on the winding road through the park we arrived at the Visitor’s Center to check in just after a tornado warning had been lifted. Everything was fine in the campground and we set up camp just before another rain shower began.
“Connecting man and nature in a way that benefits both.” – Callaway Gardens Mission
With the sun shining the next morning we drove about 15 minutes from our campsite to Callaway Gardens. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Callaway Gardens opened in 1952. Today, there are many different gardens to explore, a lodge, golf course, swimming beach, and even a zip-line adventure.
Our tour of the gardens began with a stop at the Pioneer Log Cabin. From there we strolled along the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Trail with many Georgia native plants. The Flowering Dogwoods and many other wildflowers displayed their brilliant spring colors.
Next we walked on the trails to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center for a look at some tropical butterflies. Butterflies of all sizes, shapes and colors fed on the colorful blossoms and sailed by our heads as they flew from flower to flower.
We learned about some of Georgia’s birds of prey at the Discovery Center. As our guide gave a very informative presentation, two different species of owl and a red tailed hawk flew over our heads during the program.
We must have just missed the Azaleas at their peak because most of the Azaleas on the Overlook Azalea trail had finished blooming. The Flowering Dogwoods and other trees added color to the landscape.
Our visit to Callaway Gardens included only a few of the many gardens there. It is a wonderful family destination and bicycles are a popular way to get around the park. There are several restaurants to choose from or you can have a picnic in one of the picnic areas.
When I first read about Florida’s tallest waterfall at Falling Waters State Park my first thought was “I didn’t know there were ANY waterfalls in Florida!” I had to see it with my own eyes.
So off we went to Falling Waters State Park to check it out. The campground sits at 324 feet above sea level on top of one of the highest hills in Florida.
An easy trail down the hill leads to a small pond and boardwalk trails to the waterfall and around several sinkholes. We observed the 73 foot tall waterfall from a platform above the falls but construction on the platform near the bottom of the falls prevented us from seeing the water dropping into the sinkhole at the bottom.
The trails meander through a long leaf pine forest with southern magnolias scattered among the pines. A few wildflowers blooming along the trail let us know that spring was almost here.
While exploring the trails we did some more geocaching and found two in the park. We’re getting better at this!
A Zebra Swallowtail became fascinated with my shoes when we stopped to take a break along one of the trails.
We continued our quest for good local food and stopped at the Main Street Market in downtown Chipley for some Plant City strawberries. These wonderful, sweet strawberries are only available for a short while and although we had been getting them at grocery stores I had to have some more. While we were there I was thrilled to see some Florida Honeybells. These strange looking orange citrus fruits are sweet and juicy. The also have a very short season so of course I grabbed some of those, too.
Falling Waters State Park is located south of Chipley, Florida just a couple of miles from I-10.