Southern Belle Farms has been operating in the southern Georgia city of McDonough for 80 years. The former dairy farm was sold by the Carter family in 1986 and changed over into a cattle and hay farm with thoughts of developing the property into an educational/agritourism farm.
In 2005, Jake Carter spearheaded the family’s journey into the agricultural tourism business, building a new barn for events and a year later, building Southern Belle’s first corn maze. Some 13 years later, the 300-acre farm now features a fully operational market and bakery, as well as a variety of activities including hayrides, a cow train ride, a corn cannon, a jumping pillow, pedal cart racing, a giant tunnel slide, a Kiddie Korral, a corn box, rubber duck races, barnyard animals and pig races.
During the fall season, one of the main attractions at Southern Belle Farms is the pumpkin patch. Families come from miles around every October to pick pumpkins for decorating and carving.
“We provide an experience for families to come out and unplug from society,” says Southern Belle Farms General Manager Daniel Welliver. “One way we do that is through the pumpkin patch. Year after year, families come out and pick a pumpkin, carve it together and really have a worthwhile experience.”
The expansive pumpkin patch offers all different type of pumpkins that are both grown at the farm and shipped in for visitors to pick.
The family experience is what makes Southern Belle Farms a worthwhile place to visit. The family-owned business prides itself in creating a wholesome environment for children and their parents to enjoy and learn in.
“It’s about letting the people from all different walks of life and all different backgrounds learn and grow together,” Daniel says.
In addition to pumpkins, the farm also grows a number of other crops including strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches and grapes. Many of the fruits are used to make delicious seasonal fried pies, which are sold in the Country Market and Mimi’s Bakery. In fall, the market’s most popular items are fried pies, homemade ice cream and kettle corn.
Southern Belle is a fun and educational place to visit. More than 30,000 children from across the state visit the farm annually to learn about agriculture in the fall, spring and summer.
Although the farm has become a tourist destination, attracting more than 100,000 visitors per year, it is still a farm. Wearing comfortable clothing is advised, and shoes that will be easy to walk in on rough terrain. They recommend that visitors wear tennis shoes or boots with low heels.
1658 Turner Church Road, McDonough, Georgia, 770.288.2582, SouthernBelleFarm.com