Birdsong Nature Center: Birdsong Nature Center’s 565 acres of wildflower meadows, forests, ponds and swamps, are home to a myriad of birds and other wildlife. Here you can enjoy the serenity and beauty of the natural landscape and return home with a renewed spirit. Birdsong Nature Center; 2106 Meridian Road, Thomasville, GA 31792;Phone:229-377-4408;800-953-2473. www.birdsongnaturecenter.org
Lapham Patterson House: A National Historic Landmark, the Lapham-Patterson House is a remarkable monument to the imagination, creative engineering, and craftsmanship of the Victorian Era. The Thomas County Historical Society operates the Lapham-Patterson House.Open Friday 1 – 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 2 – 5 p.m. Last tour at 4 p.m.
Closed on and around major holidays. Call ahead to confirm hours.$1 – $5 admission.626 North Dawson Street,229-226-7664 Group rates and wedding/event space available. 229-226-7664.
Pebble Hill Plantation: A stunning local plantation house and grounds rich in art and history dating back to 1825 and now open for tours and events. A place of quiet beauty and architectural grandeur, Pebble Hill Plantation is a living museum that provides visitors a glimpse into the genteel life of the southern sporting plantation of yesteryear. Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm. U S Highway 319 South, 7 miles south of Thomasville, www.pebblehill.com. 229-226-2344
Thomas County Museum of History: Step into the fascinating past of Thomasville at the Thomas County Museum of History where you’ll learn how this charming, small town became the original ‘Winter Resort of the South’ or how the county’s antebellum cotton plantations were transformed into magnificent hunting and sporting retreats. 725 North Dawson Street, 229-226-7664 www.thomascountyhistory.org
Thomasville Center for the Arts: Tour the restored historic East Side School, which has been converted into a vibrant and vital Arts Center The Thomasville Center for the Arts is Thomasville’s doorway to the arts. This premier fine arts center offers art exhibits, cultural events and performances, as well as programs and classes in the visual, performing and literary arts for all ages. Self tour the exhibits and learn about classes and programs. Don’t miss the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival the weekend before Thanksgiving each year. 600 East Washington Street or accessible via Jackson Street. 229-226-0588, www.thomasvillearts.org.
Thomasville Rose Garden: Thomasville, known as the City of Roses, has a long rosarian history and nowhere is this more evident than at the Thomasville Rose Garden. The City of Thomasville maintains a stunning variety of over 500 rose bushes that burst into bloom each spring just in time for the Annual Rose Show and Festival in April! Corner of Smith Avenue and Covington Avenue
The Big Oak: A must for every visitor is a stop at Thomasville’s oldest and most cherished natural landmark, The Big Oak. This massive Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) grew from a tiny acorn beginning around 1685 and is one of the original members (#49) of the Live Oak Society, enrolled in 1936. Record your visit using the Big Oak Cam. Corner of Crawford and Monroe Streets, 229-228-7977
Tall Timbers Research Station: Research and practical solutions to land management and research on the Southern Pine Forest. 13093 Henry Beadel Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32312 ,Phone: (850) 893-4153 www.talltimbers.org.
Wolf Creek Trout Lilly Preserve, Grady County: A stunning display of millions of very rare trout lilies which bloom for a short time each early spring. Saved from destructio by Magnolia Chapter (Tallahassee) of the Florida Native Plant Society, the Georgia Native Plant Society, and the Georgia Botanical Society and the hard work and luck of Dan Miller, Betty Jinright, the Georgia Land Conservation and an anonymous donor. On Wolf Creek Road in Grady County west of Cairo. Visit www.wolfcreektrouplillypreserve.org for more information and directions to the preserve.
Goodwood Museum and Gardens: Once the centerpiece of a 2,400-acre plantation, the main house has been restored. All furnishings are original to the house, and the plants and flowers outside also are “heirloom” – none are used that appeared after 1929. 1600 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL. www.goodwoodmuseum.org.
Maclay Gardens, State park in Tallahassee featuring naturalistic gardens, with magnolia, azalea, and camellia displays, a walled garden, water features, and a secret garden. 3540 Thomasville Rd Tallahassee, FL 32309
Nespal: The National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL) is a unit of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.UGA Tifton
2360 Rainwater Road, NESPAL Building, Tifton, Ga. 31793-5737,Phone: (229) 386 – 7274 www.naspal.org.
South Georgia Native Plant and Wildflower Symposium: Tifton, a day of education sponsored by the Garden Club of Georgia held each spring. www.sgnpws.org.
American Camellia Society: American Camellia Society, at Massee Lane Gardens100 MasseLane
Fort Valley, Georgia 31030(877) 422-6355(478) 967-2358 Ft. Valley, GA, www.camellias-acs.com
Gibbs Gardens: located 1 1.5 hours north of Atlanta, is a wonderful place to visit or to have a dream wedding. Four seasons of blooms are stunning set against the backdrop of the north Georgia mountains, designed by noted horticulturist Jim Gibbs, who has planted for more than 20 years on this site. 1987 Gibbs Drive, Ball Ground, GA 30107 · 770-893-1880 www.gibbsgardens.com.