Valdosta On a BudgetValdosta is a fast-growing city located in Southern Georgia in the United States. With a humid, subtropical climate, Valdosta is sometimes called the Azalea City, as the blossoms thrive in the area. The city is also home to many museums, galleries, restaurants, and venues for entertainment, as well as Valdosta State University.
SightsValdosta is home to many buildings, old and new, that can make for a full day of sightseeing. The historic courthouse marks the city center, with the surrounding downtown area full of sights and things to do. The Lowndes County Historical Museum, housed in the historic former Carnegie Library, provides almost 10,000 square feet of local history displays and research material in addition to outdoor exhibits and guest speaker events. The Dosta Playhouse is another historical gem of the depression era, with the Theatre Guild Valdosta putting on live shows throughout the year. The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts features an impressive collection of rotating exhibits as well as a permanent collection of East African Art, while Valdosta State University Fine Arts Gallery hosts a variety of exhibits and events as well.
One of the best known landmarks, however, may be the Crescent-the 1898 historic home of U.S. Senator William Stanley West. It gets its name from the circular veranda with 13 massive columns, each representing 13 original American colonies. It still stands today with beautiful gardens, a schoolhouse, and a quaint chapel, surrounded by the shade of trees draped with Spanish Moss.
NeighborhoodsDowntown Valdosta stretches for 26 blocks and is centered on Central Ave, running across Patterson Street and Ashley Street as well. Each street and alleyway is dotted with endless opportunities for shopping and dining, as well as some of the more historic buildings in the city. The Historic Courthouse, for example, sits at the center of it all looking grand with ionic columns and signature domes. In addition to shopping amidst boutique stores and dining in some of Valdosta's best restaurants, you can find plenty in entertainment amidst the downtown area. Some of the city's top art galleries include Artists on Ashley, Art and Soul, and Kaleidoscope Gallery & Emporium while the performing side of the arts is often exhibited at the Dosta Theatre. The depression-era playhouse has been restored and is host to many a show of romance, mystery, and comedy, classic songs, timeless suspense, and more. The downtown is the heart of it all.
ActivitiesIn addition to the aforementioned shopping, dining, galleries, museums, plays, shows, and historic sight-seeing, Valdosta has a few other attractions up its sleeve. For the family, Wild Adventures and its accompanying Splash Island make up a theme park, zoo, and waterpark that are well-frequented by visitors.
As far as entertainment goes, Morven Music Hall holds substance free live music and dancing, and Watkins Music Hall hosts live music as well. And then of course there are often live performances held at the Dosta Playhouse.
For those looking for a sanctuary outside of the city's busyness, Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area is home to many hiking trails, a 2,000-foot boardwalk, and a 54-foot observation tower that overlooks open prairie and a heron rookery. There is also a canoe trail and boating opportunities through the Blackgum Swamp.
Food and DiningGeorgia, and most of the southern United States, is known for its homegrown comfort food-barbeque being the favorite. All types of meat are prepared grilled and smothered in thick sauce, but pork is traditionally the most common in the state. In Valdosta, Smok'n Pig B-B-Q is one of the best, serving up smoky beefs and briskets in a casual rustic environment. Beyond barbeque though, Georgia is also prone to seafood dishes, making Bubba Jax Crab Shack in Valdosta another instant favorite serving up ingredients like local shrimp, oyster, fried pickles, crab cakes, po boy, crawfish, catfish, and grits. Then there are restaurants that offer new takes on the traditional low country favorites. Steel Magnolias, for example, serve up dishes like shrimp and grits with andouille sausage and roasted red pepper gravy, crispy chicken confit with baked mac & cheese and crispy okra fries, as well as pan-seared scallops and crispy pork belly served with a creamed corn risotto. In a city like Valdosta, the dining options are many and varied, with hometown favorites and international cuisine alike.
TransportationThe nearest airport is Valdosta Regional Airport, served commercially only by Delta, to and from Atlanta. In Atlanta, HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport is served by many major airlines with international flights available.
By car, Valdosta is located just off I-75, about 15-20 minutes from the Georgia-Florida border, roughly halfway between Atlanta, Georgia and Orlando, Florida. Valdosta can also be reached traveling on US 84, US 41, and US 221.
By bus, there is a Greyhound Station on 200 N Oak St in Valdosta with routes to and from Atlanta.