Scenic North Georgia Delivers
City-like Perks in a Pristine Setting
The Barnsley Resort in Adairville, GA, encompasses 1,300 acres amid a pristine setting. It features deluxe cottages and suites; a pampering spa; and such outdoor amenities as golf, horseback riding, sporting clays, mountain biking and paintball. It also boasts lovely, manicured gardens.*
By Katie Kelly Bell
Sometimes the best of big city life can sprout up in the strangest of places. For those in need of an escape both rustic and luxurious with a twist of culture, the perfect trio of art, hospitality and dining awaits in the area around Cartersville, GA, only a 45-minute drive from Atlanta just off I-75.
If you go, you’ll savor one of America’s finest collections of art the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville. For the ultimate in pampering, you might stay at the luxurious Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairville. And save your appetite for D. Morgan's, a Zagat-rated steakhouse in Cartersville.
Enclave of Relaxation and Fun
Located on a 1,300-acre estate, Barnsley Gardens Resort (877-773-2447 or www.barnsleyresort.com), 597 Barnsley Gardens Rd, Adairville, makes a great hospitality base from which to explore the area. Affiliated with the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the deluxe resort consists of 33 cottages that house 70 individual suites filled with antiques and fine furnishings. The charming cottages are positioned along tree-lined walkways.
Barnsley Resort's cottages feature modern amenities and private porches.*
Suites have a wood-burning fireplace, 12-foot ceilings, heart-of-pine flooring and either a king sleigh bed or four-poster bed. Bathrooms boast ball-and-claw cast iron soaking tubs, a separate shower and pedestal sinks. Suites also have two-line phones, high-speed internet access, pay-per-view cable television, a CD player, wet bar and complimentary coffee service. Guests will relish the private porches with rocking chairs
After you’ve checked in, you have myriad resort diversions. Spa lovers might book a treatment by calling 770-773-2465. A one-hour “Barnsley Rose Body Treatment” will dry brush and gently exfoliate your skin with pure organic rose body oil. Also included is a mini-facial using a rose and lavender hydrating mask and marma-point facial massage. The treatment is priced at $150.
Prefer to relax with a challenging game of golf? Contact the resort’s golf shop at 770-773-2555 to schedule a tee time or a lesson. Test your game on “The General” the resort’s Jim Fazio-designed championship golf course.
"The General," Barnsley Resort's Jim Fazio-designed championship course.*
Ranked #13 in Georgia by Golf Digest, this par 72 layout plays to 7,350 yards from the back tees. It’s a challenging course for golfers of any skill level.
Guests might also take a lesson in sporting clays, enjoy fly or spin fishing, traverse the resort’s grounds on a guided horseback ride or by mountain bike, or play paintball. Definitely stroll through the exquisitely manicured gardens.
A “Couples Retreat” package includes a one-night stay in a Garden of Manor Cottage suite; breakfast and dinner for two; and champagne and a bouquet of flowers in your suite upon arrival. It’s priced at $635 per couple for Thursday through Saturday arrivals (or discounted 15 percent for Sunday through Wednesday stays). Guests pay extra for taxes, gratuities and a resort fee. For myriad specials and packages, visit www.barnsleyresort.com.
Western Art and Quality Beef
Just a short drive from the resort is Cartersville, home to the 80,000-square-foot Booth Western Art Museum (770-387-1300 or www.boothmuseum.org), 501 Museum Drive. Opened in 2003, it’s the only museum of its kind in the southeastern U.S.
North of Atlanta in Cartersville, the Booth Museum of Western Art with western-focused paintings and sculpture is an unexpected find in the South.*
Seven galleries display stunning American West art, Civil War art, western movie posters and illustrations and a Presidential collection – with a photograph or painting and a signed letter of each American president. The core works of the collection showcase the talents of such contemporary artists as Howard Terpning, Harry Jackson, Mort Kunstler, Frank McCarthy, and Don Troiani.
The 800-square-foot Borderlands Gallery specifically hosts exhibitions by artists whose works reflect the American West. Through June 3, the gallery displays “Four Corners: Watercolors by Don Maier.” Maier’s vibrant, impressionistic watercolor landscapes, were painted on location in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Also on exhibit through June 3 is “Glass is my Canvas: Fused Glass by Licha Nicholson.” She has a knack for taking facets of everyday life and depicting them in her glass works.
Multiple galleries including this one await art lovers who journey to the Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, GA.*
Young visitors will enjoy the interactive Sagebrush Ranch Gallery. Kids can take a ride on a stagecoach, sit on a life-sized horse and learn to draw a buffalo or brand a cow. A café, museum store and multimedia theater round out the experience.
Museum admission is $8 for adults; $6 for those 65 and older or military members with an ID; $5 for students; and free for kids 12 and under.
After a satisfying dose of American west, head a block or two down the road in Cartersville for a bit of window shopping before dinner. You’ll want to work up an appetite to better appreciate the award-winning talents of Chef Derek Morgan at D. Morgan's, a restaurant and wine bar (770-383-3535 or www.dmorgans.com), 28 W. Main St.
Situated in a late 1800s building, the steakhouse is centrally located on the town square. Entrée choices include a braised beef short rib with horseradish crust, gruyere potato gratin and soybeans for $24; pan-seared lemon sole with asparagus, chanterelles, garlic mash and lobster butter for $19; and grilled beef tenderloin with a herb crust, brussel sprout mash and rosemary demi for $25.
Duck, scallops, pork and chicken are also on the menu. Vegetarians may order the grilled portabella mushroom with wild rice, spinach and toasted almond broth for $16
After a day of exploring the Barnsley resort, perusing western art at the Booth and dining at D. Morgan's, it’s time to head back to the resort. As you sink into the softness of the luxurious linens in your suite, it’s easy to dream of the Old West, fine food, outdoor pursuits – all perks of a country setting, yet just a short drive from the big city.
For More Information
Want to learn more about the area? Contact the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-733-2280 or 770-387-1357 or visit www.notatlanta.org.
Katie Kelly Bell is a professional freelance writer covering wine, dining and travel. She writes for a variety of local, regional and national publications including the Atlantan, Where Atlanta, Private Air, Flavors and others.
Editor Susan J. Young also contributed to this story.
*Photos are owned, copyrighted and used with permission of the Barnsley Resort, the Booth Museum of Western Art and D. Morgans. All rights reserved. Please do not link to nor copy these photos. Thank you.