The dirty 30 has arrived, y’all – and so far it’s shaping up to be the best year ever. I wanted to ring in this milestone birthday with a milestone trip, but it’s hard to get away in November with the holidays in sight and end of year work commitments, so we wanted to stay somewhat local.
My husband was adamant – we HAD to go to Barnsley. He knew I would LOVE it, and boy was he right. It was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken, and a couple weeks later we are still talking about it. Keep reading for more information on our southern weekend trips to Barnsley Resort!
Unless we are on a beach we LOVE to stay active on vacation. The best vacation schedule is a packed schedule – and Barnsley is the perfect place for those looking to be on the go – that is until cocktail hour. This trip was so busy, and so amazing, it’s going to require a couple of posts – but let’s start with the sporting and activities!
Barnsley has my hands down, no contest, favorite shooting grounds. The area is stunning, complete with water features, beautiful trees and flowers and…DEER! How cool is that? A baby deer wandered on over to us while I was setting up. Cutest thing that has ever happened to me. The squeals of delight were heard for miles, which didn’t exactly thrill our instructor.
Speaking of, the instructors at Barnsley are incredibly knowledgable and experienced, so every level of shotgunner can either simply have fun (my approach) or improve his or her skills (my husband’s focus). We worked on stance, footwork, swing and lead without it feeling like work – it was just really, really fun. We took advantage of the entire seventeen-station sporting-clays course. We’re definitely coming back for the five-stand course (that closely resembles a hunt) which would be great for a larger group. Visit barnsleyresort.com or call 770-773-9230 for details.)
Another highlight of sporting clays at Barnsley is that they let me borrow a Syren gun from Caesar Guerini. For those of you not familiar with guns (raises hand) this is a beautiful gun designed especially for women. Why is this important? It made me much more successful and there was very little kickback because it it has a shorter length of pull, a tighter radius grip, and a stock that’s angled out for a more natural fit for women. Plus, it looks great in photos, right?
Let’s keep it real here…I hadn’t been on a horse in about 10 years. I really like horses, but the closest I’ve been to riding one was the infield of the Kentucky Derby in college and let’s just say the only horses I got close to were on my mint julep cup. Both of us were a litter nervous. That lasted about 10 seconds once we got to the barn because it was so darn fun! First we met miss Heidi, the cutest and most friendly goat I’ve ever met…and I’ve met a lot of goats (don’t ask.) Once Heidi let us leave the corrall we had an amazing ride around and THROUGH the property. It was so neat! The pace was perfect for beginners and the horses were as kind and gentle as they were beautiful.
You may be asking yourself…how is a beer garden a sport? Clearly you’re new here – welcome! Beer is a sport, and my husband and I are athletes. Let’s continue. We LOVED the beer garden. I know, no big surprise there, but it was so incredibly festive! I kept telling B it seemed like it was right out of a romcom movie, which he said was starting to ruin it for him (whatever), but it WAS! We had pretzels and beer by the fire and chatted with other guests in-between games of bocce and horseshoes. The only thing missing was Ryan Reynolds and a meet cute. Just kidding…ish.
The Spa at Barnsley Resort, housed in a beautfiul english carriage house, has 10 treatment rooms, an amazing whirlpool in a room drenched in sunlight, plus a steam room and sauna. In addition to the treatment (I had a Swedish Massage and it was heavenly) I recommend you plan at least an hour of your day so you can enjoy all of these amazing features.
It would be absolutely unthinkable to leave the resort without hitting the links. It’s one of the most challenging golf courses in the state of Georgia because of its fast and true greens and challenging tee shots. My husband can’t get enough of the broad-shouldered 7,189-yard Jim Fazio-designed course that includes a full practice facility with driving ranges, putting greens and short game area. The grass was remarkably green for the end of November, and it was actually really fun to be out there in the winter. Not super busy, we could take our time and it gave us an excuse to the hit the pro shop for some really warm and comfy merch. WIN.
I can’t wait to share the rest of the trip with ya’ll, because this is just the tip of the iceberg. The entire property, including the gardens, were inspired by the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing, designer of the White House grounds and the Washington Mall. The restaurants were INCREDIBLE and the ruins, pictured below, gave us chills. Barnsley Resort is a true treasure of the south – and it needs to be added to the top of your travel bucket list. Like…NOW.
Thanks to Barnsley Resort for hosting us for an amazing weekend away! It was a highlight of our year, and a trip we will be talking about for a very, very long time to come!