The Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center was something of a revelation for me. I’ve always loved the delicate little creatures, but you only get to see them in one and twos on warm summer days, if you’re lucky. I’m not at all sure if I’m right, but it seems to me that these incredible little colorful creations are slowly but surely disappearing – very few visit my gardens these days where once the flowers were alive with them. Anyway, if you want to see them in quantity, you should visit the Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens.
Since its opening in 1988, millions of visitors have strolled through this tropical world where butterflies fill the air with brilliant color. Take your camera, but don’t touch the butterflies; they are delicate and easily damaged.
Highlights of the Butterfly Center
- The Center encompasses 4 ½ acres.
- The Conservatory contains approximately 1,000 tropical butterflies representing 50 species.
- The octagonal conservatory is enclosed by 854 panes of glass.
- The conservatory varies in height from 16 to 42 feet.
- A one-of-a-kind climate control system adapts to seasonal weather changes, maintaining a constant temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 60 to 80%, conditions ideal for both tropical plants and butterflies.
- A waterfall sends water cascading 12 feet into a 275 square foot pool which averages two feet in depth.
- The Center is crowned by the Hand Cupola, salvaged from the 1895 childhood home of Callaway Gardens co-founder Virginia Hand Callaway. It was first placed in the Meadowlark Gardens as a memorial to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Judson Hand of Pelham, Georgia, in the early 1970s, before becoming part of the Day Butterfly Center.