Gibbs Gardens, located in the town of Ball Ground in north Georgia, is a place you might not have heard of, but are sure to return to. The popular day trip from Atlanta, only an hour, the gardens started as the private home of the owner of a successful local landscaping company. His dream home is on 292 acres with gardens sprawling throughout, making it one of the nation’s largest residential estate gardens.
What to See at Gibbs Gardens
The gardens are set up by seasonal blooms and native species, including azaleas, dogwoods, and ferns. A calming stream cuts through the gardens, making up over 20 ponds and 19 waterfalls.
Unique sculptures are also mixed throughout. Organized into 16 themed gardens, the most popular are the Manor House Gardens, Japanese and Waterlily Gardens.
The Manor House is designed like an English manor and has a summer house with a swimming pool. It also overlooks the mountains from the area’s highest point.
Features of the house were purchased in Europe and the interior, while not open to the public, is furnished with antiques. The gardens around the house include Japanese murals and willows with terracing. Give yourself at least three hours to roam the stunning grounds. They also host seasonal events.
Tips for Visiting Gibbs Gardens
Parking is free. Tickets are $20 for adults $18 for seniors, and $10 for children, but less if you purchase a season pass. There’s also an onsite cafe and gift shop.
Where to Eat Near Gibbs Gardens
The closest dining option for visitors to Gibbs Gardens is Arbor Cafe, the onsite restaurant. It ha sandwiches, hot dogs, and other snacks.
Outside of the entrance gates, Padella Pizza is an unlikely restaurant inside a gas station with Italian favorites like calzones, fried ravioli, and pizza. The Ball Ground Burger Bus is another unique spot, located in a converted school bus.
Where to Stay Near Gibbs Gardens
Bent Tree Lodge & Vineyard in neighboring Jasper has daily breakfast (with their signature coffee blend) and an onsite winery. Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge is another option, along with nearby cabin rentals.