Warmth and Southern Hospitality of Valdosta, Georgia, USA

It's not uncommon on the 1,000-kilometer road along the US southeast coast for a traveler to find themselves in need of activities to fill the very large gap that separates Atlanta and Miami. The trip from Georgia to Florida can be monotonous if not planned correctly.

Yet there are many things to see between the 'Peach State' and the 'Sunshine State' just knowing how to choose and also having a bit of luck.

To counteract the crazy, fun days that we had in Miami, we hit the road for Atlanta just before Thanksgiving. It was a very long trip. We didn't know if we could do it in two days because it's a 10-hour drive from Miami Beach. So we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a break for the day in Valdosta. I looked online through Hotel Planner for a room located near Valdosta.

Lunch and Exploring Valdosta State University


Valdosta is the county seat of Lowndes County and is nicknamed Azalea City. The Azalea Festival takes place every year in the middle of March. The city is a pleasant place that stands out for its theme parks and university.

For lunch, we entered a typical sports bar — the kind of place where Americans gather to watch games with friends. I ordered tomato soup, which I love. We also ordered some standard American hamburgers. After a gracious lunch, we left to discover college life by touring the Valdosta State University campus.

Chasing the Myth of Gone with the Wind in Marietta, Georgia

Image via Flickr by TomSpinker

Other Attractions in Valdosta


There are many other places to discover in the city, such as Theatre Guild Valdosta and Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

But it's about 15 kilometers northeast of downtown where you'll find the best attractions. We traveled along a dirt road that leads to a "T-intersection," where we turned left. There we visited the Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area. The 1,350 acres of wetlands are part of an even larger swampland complex called Carolina Bay. This is the second largest wooded swamp in the state after the Okefenokee Swamp.

It was Thanksgiving, and we were basically alone walking along the boardwalk. There were herons, alligators, river otters, raccoons, red lynxes, gray foxes, white-tailed deer, different types of frogs and more. After an hour-long hike, we visited a cafe to get some rest.

Our next destination was the Wild Adventures Theme Park. We had already booked our tickets online, so we entered and observed the many wild animals, including zebras, giraffes, lynxes and snakes.

We also immersed ourselves in some exciting attractions. We have fun on a 90-meter roller coaster and then refreshed ourselves in the river rapids. After a long day, we decided to return to our hotel. We had another long road journey ahead.

Crossing State Lines


Approaching a border with another American state means it's time to start searching for the "welcome" sign. Sometimes the state's sign is easy to find, and sometimes it's not. Sometimes they're beautiful, and sometimes they're not. On the border between Florida and Georgia along Route 75, finding the states' signs is really simple. Between two exits. which are a few miles away from each other, you can visit both the Georgia Visitor Center and the Florida Visitor Center.

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