Southern Hospitality of Valdosta, Georgia, USA

It's not uncommon on the 1,000-kilometre 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. So we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a break for the day in Valdosta, one of the best spots for weekend trips from Atlanta. I looked online for a room located near Valdosta.

The trip from Georgia to Florida can be monotonous if not planned correctly while traveling the US. 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 as you travel the USA.

Points of interest might be national parks-memorials-monuments-forests, historic sites of famous events, top 50 most beautiful places in America according to various websites, Presidential birthplaces and burials, underground missile sites from the Cold War, famous movie locations, legendary restaurants, various tragedies, and notable sports locations. The list is almost endless.

A point of interest could even be something as mundane as one of the longest bridges or tunnels in America, geographic centers, steepest roads, largest houses, the point in the 48 states farthest from any road, or farthest point from Google Street View. It gets as ludicrous as the northernmost building, or the southernmost house, the easternmost pavement, or the westernmost ice rink, or even the world’s largest (fill in the blank).

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.

Southern Hospitality of 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.

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 Valdosta 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 after enjoying the southern hospitality. 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.
Kalyan Panja