Just up 75 is an escape unlike any other in Georgia. It’s Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Ga, and it is unmistakably one of the best romantic spots in the state. We participated in a number of activities on the resort. You don’t have to do them all – just what looks fun and what your pocketbook can handle. In fact, many of these things can be done even without an overnight stay! However, I have to say that if your budget and schedule allows…do ALL THE THINGS.
There are no typical rooms here, only lovely cottages. Ours came complete with a rolling fire in the fireplace and spectacular back porch. One of the best parts? The claw tooth tub with bubble bath!
From the beadboard walls to the detailed ceiling…the double doors off the master and the cute round window in the bathroom…the details are magnificent.
The Fairy Godmother
Need something special? Maybe you want to celebrate a special birthday, renew your vows, wow your someone-special? Whatever requests you can dream up, Barnsley’s Fairy Godmother can make come true! When hubby and I visited it was near Valentine’s Day … which is also right between our birthdays. The Fairy Godmother delivered balloons, wine, a cheese platter…pure romance!
True Love’s Ruins
I highly recommend touring the gardens and the ruins. Godfrey Barnsley built the gardens and home for his life’s love, Julia. Sadly, they never enjoyed this place together; she passed while he was away on business before the estate and gardens were complete. Godfrey stopped construction for several years on the home, before eventually completing the gardens and manor house in 1848, including modern plumbing, imported marble, and globally collected furnishings. It is a testament of sacrifice, and a true love story.
With over 3,000 acres of both woodlands and open fields, touring on horseback is one of the best ways to see a vast array of the property. Take a guided 1- or 2-hour tour, or enjoy a private ride with a romantic picnic.
If you happen to have the kids with you, they will also enjoy a 1-hour intro to horses – including instruction on grooming, tacking, leading, communication and riding in the ring. 7 years and older.
We walked the boardwalks and trails, but exploring by bike is another option. Rent bikes for a few hours, or for the entire day. Not staying the night, but still want to explore the garden and trails? Bring your own bike and ride for only $10.
If you’re visiting with a group or another couple, you might also enjoy Disc golf (they will set up the course for you,) or paintball. Paintball includes the playing field admission, 500 paintballs, Tippmann paintball gun, safety equipment, 12oz. CO2 tank and a referee. Additional paintballs and CO2 available for purchase.
When hubby and I visited we opted for taking on the sporting clays – we both grew up shooting and were anxious to try again. The SpringBank Sporting Club is one of the top sporting clay facilities in the Southeast, with a 12-station clay course that includes stops in open-fields, forest canopy, and bauxite mine ponds.
I recommend a private shooting instruction option, which includes gun rental. NSCA Level III Instructor Skip Smith was our guide. His 15+ years of experience left us, even as seasoned hunters, with new skills and greater precision. Guests can also enjoy quail hunting, turkey hunting, continental pheasant releases, private instruction and more.
Pool and Spa
Our visit was in February, so we didn’t take a dip in the pool, though it looked great for summer. At the spa you can enjoy facials, manicures, massages and more.
Canoes and Kayaks
The 10-acre pond is another romantic option. Guests can use the canoes and kayaks to explore the water at no extra charge. Again, it was a little too cold when we visited, but we did enjoy walking around the pond.
You know about my passion for fly-fishing! Fly casting instruction or guided fly fishing is available with one of the resort’s expert anglers. Poles are complimentary for resort guests for catch and release in the (well-stocked) ponds.
Dinner at the Rice House
We had a magical time with a Valentine’s inspired wine tasting and dinner. If you happen to miss one of their special events, dinner at the Rice House is an exceptional option, also. We love that much of the food comes from the large garden right behind the building.
On weekends when the weather is favorable, enjoy outdoor dining at the Beer Garden. More than 30 craft beer selections are available, including Monday Night Barnsley Resort Englishman ESB, exclusive to Barnsley Resort. There are also salads, sandwiches, bratwurst and more – perfectly suited for the rustic tables surrounding the fire pit.
Want something exceptionally romantic? Ask the crew to assemble a private dining experience for you, either in your cottage or at a special location on the grounds. It runs $200-250 for dinner (including your own personal butler) and could not be more incredible!
OK, I know it’s not something you can enjoy all the time, but I have to mention in. During Christmas, the ruins and gardens of Barnsley are covered in gorgeous Christmas lights. Bring the kids, or use it as an excuse for a romantic holiday escape.
Annual Savings Packages
I’m not going to lie, Barnsley is a splurge. BUT, it is worth every penny and more! You can save by visiting at special times of the year. Try weekday rates in winter that start under $160/night, Valentine’s Day packages that include several meals and a resort credit for the activities mentioned above, Easter fun which includes a resort credit, or Mother’s Day.
What About The Kids?
While we didn’t visit with our kids, I would love to bring them back one day. There are s’mores roasting pits; a barnyard for fun animal encounters with miniature horses, donkeys and goats; pony corral rides; horse painting (yes, a real horse, with animal-friendly paints!!!); kiddo golf and sporting clays.
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Disclosure: I was a guest of Barnsley Resort, as a “thank you” for several articles I wrote for other outlets. I did not have to post this here, but it was INCREDIBLE and I just had to share. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal