Seasonal Period Months We Are Open?
Our seasonal opening period is last Saturday of February to 2nd Saturday in December. For 2021 Seasonal Opening; February 27th to December 11th, 2021 (Covid 19 has not changed our operating hours.).
Our Days & Hours Open ?* are: Tuesday through Saturday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.; and Sunday 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. (We are closed Mondays.) Holidays; call for times. (Most Holidays we will be open but call for confirmation and hours before coming*.)
* Weather conditions such as an all-day rain shower can change our hours open. We reserve the right to change our Seasonal Period/Days Open/ and Hours. Changes may not necessarily be updated on the Web page or other avenues of advertisement if only temporal changes are needed. We suggest calling 601-947-8422 prior to visiting.
Guided Tours Available, Admission Price? There is no charge to tour the Gardens, and we try to provide tour guides to all who come regardless of the size groups or individuals who visit. The tours and length of time is about an hour or a little more or less depending on your schedule and enjoyment. If this is your first time visit, may I suggest reviewing our contact/map page. We are five to four miles inward from the highway(depending if you come from Hwy. 98 or Hwy 63).
Are Reservations Needed? The General rule is, "Reservations are not required but helpful". Tours are given regardless of size of groups, or families or single individuals. The advantage to scheduling a tour on a given date and time is allow potential other groups requesting a tour (conflicting same date and time) the option to schedule before or after the prearranged tour. However, in the twenty six years of doing this, it is very rare that conflicts occur. Almost visitors receive either a complete or major portion of a tour.
Since tours are given on a first come first served basis, regardless of reservations made or not, it is natural to give preferential treatment to those who have made reservations, and arrive when expected, should a conflict arise. Just realize I may leave a group to accommodate new arriving visitors or combine both tours (if just started).
As a courtesy, just let us know the date and time your group will be coming since a large group which would be scheduled anyway.
What is the Best Time to Visit? March, April, May, June and September, October, November, early December.
Lucedale is a growing city with most of the fast food establishments as well as buffet styled and menu restaurants. We suggest making reservations if large groups will be planning lunch in town. Palestine Gardens has six picnic tables that are available that sit six to eight persons each table. However, Palestine Gardens is not a playground for children to run around. There are safety concerns as well. Lucedale’s Park is suggested if children need to expend their energy. George County (Lucedale) Chamber of Commerce 601-947-2755, M-F, 9-5, resource for businesses contact information, will be able to answer specific questions.
Are you Wheelchair Accessible? We have a golf cart for anyone that may have special needs. A wheel chair is hard to push through the Gardens unless the person is a child. There is no charge for the golf cart that can seat three passengers.
Is the walking tour senior citizen friendly? We are an outdoor attraction and with that comes some differences that you would not fine with a stroll through, yet’s say, ‘a mall”. The tour’s walking distance is ¼ mile. Benches are equally space about every 30 yards (sittings for ten visitors). The path is hard packed clay/pea gravel, for ½ the distance, and pine straw the rest of the path. The path is designed to cause rain water to run off quickly, but expect to get some clay on your shoes if you come right after a hard rain shower. (Don’t despair, the pine straw with help remove the clay.) The path is slightly hilly and best efforts are done to make it safe as possible but, because of tree roots and washouts, some trip hazards must be watched for. See below for other concerns:
I have children and an infant, is it safe to bring them?
• Mosquitoes, and other bugs. Surprisingly mosquitoes are not usually a problem but there are exceptions in certain conditions. Ask your tour guide. We have a can of spray for your use. Wasp and bees are around and visitors have been stung, just as in your own backyard, but has been very rare. Gnats in May and they only seem to bother working people and not retired people. Black and Yellow flies in late May and June and can be a nuisance. Not much can be done about them, except kill them when they lite or Avon’s Skin–so-soft. Mosquito spray does some good. June and August is too hot for bugs. If you are raising a sissy, go to the mall instead.
• Snakes, yes. Most are harmless but copperheads have been seen and are poisonous. The path is designed and maintained to take into account of this potential danger. (If you are a visitor from outside the Southern States be aware this is an ingenious reptile to the south and some parts of the northern states. They are very docile and are not aggressive unless you step on one or molest them in mating season, February to May and from late August to October. Temperatures must be warm for them to be active and usually move about at night.) The venom is not lethal to Humans but can cause swelling, pain and requires medical attention. Allergic reactions can be serious. Diamondback Rattlesnakes are very dangerous and are in the area, but have never been seen in the Gardens. A testimony to God’s grace. Black Moccasins or Cottonmouths, only one has been seen in twenty years (probably longer) and he was killed quickly. Parents are strictly advised to ensure their children stay with them and all are to stay on the path, no exceptions. Let’s keep this a truth, “No one has ever been bitten by a snake in the Garden's history.”
• Heat, yes the Gardens are shaded and direct sunlight is not a problem but late spring and summer is hot. Wear lose clothing, bring bottle water (or a container to fill up and carry). Children in a stroller is like an oven, a wet towel can keep the child comfortable, just use common sense. Same for seniors. Please consider any medical conditions that the heat may pose to your health. The area is shaded but, without a breeze, it still can be hot and the tour will generally be shorter (not due to the tour guide’s design but the visitor(s’) request or experience).
Are dogs allowed? You must inform and obtain permission from the Tour Guide prior to allowing your pet outside the vehicle. A six foot or less lease is required and owner must clean up after their pet.
Why does your dog have one eye? Uri the official tour greeter was born that way. He has been greeting visitors for the past nine years and the only harm that has been his hard tail wagging might plop you on the leg. If you are apprehensive about having him on the tour, let the tour guide know and he can be put on a chain.
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