Hurricane Florence Evacuees are Welcome in Valdosta

Looking for a place to ride out the storm?

Valdosta, Ga. may be exactly what you are looking for. While North Georgia offers shelter from the brunt of the storm, the area is likely to be crowded and damp from the swelter. By contrast, South Georgia is looking forward to a beautiful, sunny weekend with a 0-10% chance of rain.

This is a great weekend to visit Valdosta and experience exciting events going on all over the community.

 

 

  1. Free admission to Wild Adventures Theme Park. The park is offering free admission to everyone who can prove they are evacuees of Hurricane Florence (just show your I.D). The Pecan Harvest Festival will be going on over the weekend as well so be sure to try the tasty treats made from this South Georgia staple. For hours of operation, click here.
  2. Comedy and Queens with DeeAnn Smith. This international performer is consistently rated one of Montreal’s Top 10 comedians. See her live Friday at The Patterson! Tickets range from $20-$50 and are available online. For more information, click here.
  3. South Georgia Pride Festival. The Annual South Georgia Pride Festival at John W. Sanders Park includes vendors, a kid zone, food court and entertainment including GOD-DES, J. Tyler, Maida and Celeste Holmes! For more information, click here.
  4. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (a Wakeskate Tour event). The Valdosta Wake Compound is hosting a wakeskating competition. Experience the practice rounds Thurs.-Fri., 3- 8 p.m. and the competition Sat. For more information, click here. 
  5. Downtown Sidewalk Sale. Stroll the downtown blocks from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday and experience all downtown Valdosta has to offer!

With more than 40 restaurants and 4,000 comfortable hotel rooms to accommodate travelers, the Valdosta area is always a hub of activity. For more information about upcoming events, lodging, dining or directions contact our staff.

 

Georgia state map with highways and visitor information centers

 

Hurricane Florence Resources

Visitor Information Centers
Download a PDF of the Georgia state map above that shows the major highways and state visitor information centers. Georgia hosts 11 Visitor Information Centers (VIC) located on major roadways. Staff provide accommodations and travel information by phone from 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. every day of the week. For a complete list of Georgia VIC locations and phone numbers, click here. To speak with the Valdosta VIC staff, call (229) 559-5828.

Lowndes County Lodging Properties
To see a list of the area’s hotels, motels, B&B’s, campgrounds and RV parks, click here.

Don’t see what you are looking for? Download a PDF of Georgia lodging properties. The downloadable PDF of Georgia lodging properties features hotels, motels, resorts, B&B’s, campgrounds, RV parks and other accommodations categorized by Georgia travel regions.

Travel Resources

  • Visit www.511ga.org or call 511 for free real-time travel information on road conditions and closures.
  • Visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/Emergency/Hurricane for resources from the Georgia Department of Transportation, including hurricane evacuation tips and maps.
  • Visit www.gema.ga.gov for more information and preparedness tips from the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency.
  • Visit ready.ga.gov to download the Ready Georgia app to stay weather aware and informed about potential threats and protective measures to take.

Spend the Rest of Your Summer in Valdosta

Valdosta happens to be one of the most beautiful cities in Georgia and if you have never been there before, you are going to want to plan a trip there very soon. If you have managed to spend even just a few minutes in this amazing city, then you know that there is no better place to visit at any time of the year. There are a few more weeks of summer left, which means that you have ample time to explore and see everything that Valdosta has to offer.

Here are a few of the things that you can see and do as you spend the rest of your summer in Valdosta:

Visit Wild Adventures Theme Park

This theme park will keep you busy for days as you spend the remaining lazy days of summer in Valdosta. You can go on all the rides numerous times, but you may want to take a break to watch all the shows too. Wild Adventures also has a plethora of animals, which means you can wander around and see all of them when you need a break from the rest of the excitement that this park offers. Don’t forget to check out the special events and concerts at Wild Adventures as well, because you will be able to attend many of them using your season pass or daily ticket.

Visit the Valdosta Wake Compound

The Valdosta Wake Compound was opened in 2011 by two people who met while wakeboarding, and they have continued to expand their business to make it one of the best in the world. Wakeboarders and wakeskaters can use the cable features to have the adventure of a lifetime on the water. The entire design was constructed with safety in mind, and while one area is better for beginners, experts will find themselves able to use any of the features. Valdosta Wake Compound also teaches newbies what this sport is all about, so you will not need to worry if you have never been on a wakeboard before.

Visit Raisin’ Cane

No one can resist visiting Raisin’ Cane, because they can see a real working farm and purchase some food at the farm market there. The Country Kitchen is a great place to grab a bite to eat, although you may be more interested in their desserts and homemade fudge.

Visit Freedom Park

Picnic lunches seem to taste better when they are eaten at Freedom Park, especially when they are devoured after a ball game or some time on the playground. You will love all the activities that you can participate in when at this park, however, you may become distracted by the sporting events that are taking place all around you. If you are looking for a more low-key activity, you should consider taking a stroll along either the walking trail or hiking trail that go through the park.
Visit the Grand Bay Wetland Education Center
There are plenty of animals and plants in Valdosta and the best place to see many of them and learn about each one is the Grand Bay Wetland Education Center. This center is within more than eight thousand acres of land, and while the hands-on experiences are wonderful, the best part is the fifty-four-foot tower that you can climb for the magnificent views.

Participate in Miss Kate’s Deep South Food Tour

You won’t venture too far on this tour, but the food that you will taste will make you feel like you have found a little piece of paradise. During this tour, you will go to numerous restaurants and taste many different southern cuisine dishes, including fried green tomatoes and crab cakes. Tours are available during the day and in the evening, but you may want to consider one of the evening tours if you are interested in incorporating it with a beer or wine tasting.

Watch a Theatrical Performance at the Peach State Summer Theatre

The Peach State Summer Theatre has been producing summer musicals since 1990, and each year, the musicals are different. This summer, you can see three different musicals, including Hello Dolly, Newsies, and Million Dollar Quartet. If you want to see all three musicals, but are a little short on cash, each one has a pay what you can performance that you can attend.

Go Golfing

There are a couple different golf courses in Valdosta, but you may prefer the Quiet Pines Golf Course that is near the Moody Air Force Base. There are only nine holes with a par of seventy-two, but that may be perfect for a quick game in between everything else that you will be doing in the area. For a list of golfing places in Valdosta click here.

These are only a few of the fabulous things that you can do while you are spending the rest of your summer in Valdosta. Once you arrive in this city, you will find that a summer may not be enough time to experience everything. However, that is okay, because you can always return during the fall to complete the rest of the items on your list.

11 Must Try Restaurants In Valdosta

Steel Magnolia’s

At Steel Magnolias, our food base is urban Southern, taking the roots of classic Southern cuisine and showing a new way of looking at them. We serve our fare with an old familiar smile, where our patrons are surprised by a new approach, yet still know the secret handshake. We prepare the best quality ingredients at the freshest possible point and allow them to speak for themselves. We support local farmers and Artisan producers in an effort to become a supporting element in the community and drive our “eat local, be local” philosophy.

steel

Mom and Dad’s

The Violante family immigrated to the United States in 1956. Nino Violante, along with his parents, Barbara and Giuseppe Violante, opened a small restaurant in De Funiak Springs, Florida. They had two tables and a counter to serve people. Times were very different and not many Italian products were available in the south. The Violante family made their own fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Nino was convinced that the ‘Americans’ didn’t like Italian food. He thought the family should learn to make hamburgers because it seemed as though that was all Americans ate! Times certainly have changed…

Osvaldo Pistelli and his family immigrated from Ancona, Italy in 1973 to Tallahassee, Florida. Osvaldo, Tita (Violante), Massimo, and Danilo learned the restaurant business for the next five years from Nino and IsoldeViolante and Gary and Diana(Violante) McLean. In 1977, Osvaldo Pistelli and his family moved to Thomasville, Georgia to open their own restaurant. It was in Thomasville that Massimo met his future wife, Cynthia Fragakis, whose family was Greek and also owned a restaurant. Massimo and Cynthia married on July 4th, 1983 and became partners with Massimo’s parents at the Thomasville Mom and Dad’s Restaurant. In 1986, two years after the birth of their first son, Giuseppe, Massimo and Cynthia moved to Valdosta, Georgia to open their own restaurant. Vito, their second son was born in 1988.

Since then, Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant has been serving Lowndes County and the surrounding areas. Massimo and Cynthia are both semi-retired but still go to the restaurant daily. Cynthia continues to make desserts from scratch while Massimo assists Giuseppe with book keeping and ordering. Timmy and Calvin Troupe have been cooking with the Pistelli family for more than twenty years and are part of our extended family!

momanddads

Smok’n Pig

Home of the Brisket Sandwich. At Smok’n Pig we use the finest quality pork, chicken, turkey, and Sterling Silver® beef to serve you. Bar-B-Q slow cooked daily with pecan wood… never dry, always lean and juicy inside. It is our goal daily to prove that we are only as good as our last meal. We feel that Bar-B-Q should never be eaten alone, always with friends and family. It’s our goal at the Smok’n Pig to be that gathering place with a southern tradition and old time Bar-B-Q, freshly prepared country cookin just like grandpa used to do back in the day. So relax, sit back and enjoy.

Smokin

Bubba Jax Crab Shack

As the name suggests, Bubba Jax Crab Shack is a seafood restaurant specializing in local shrimp and crab. A great choice for a low-key yet hearty and tasty meals, the menu at Bubba Jax features an abundance of delicious starters such as Bubba Bang shrimp, fried oysters, Louisiana crawfish and gator tail. The entrees are equally tempting, especially the soft shell blue crab served with a choice of two sides and hushpuppies. Tables of four or more are encouraged to order the Bubba Jax combo. A deliciously fresh selection of snow crab legs, boiled shrimp, crawfish, corn, sausage and potatoes – this is the real Bubba Jax experience.

306 North

Looking for a wonderful dining experience? Look no further than 306 North Restaurant!  They are a locally owned and operated restaurant that features a blend of Southern sophistication in a classic and comfortable environment. At 306 North, they strive to provide great food using locally provided ingredients, including fresh produce, cheeses and farm raised meats.  Go visit them for a refreshing and delicious meal or to enjoy a drink from their extensive wine list.

306

Austin’s Cattle Co

Specializing in steak, seafood and prime rib, Austin’s Cattle Co is the type of restaurant to visit on an extremely empty stomach. The dishes are generous in both size and flavor and the fare on offer is a meat lover’s dream. Austin’s in-house butcher cuts the steaks fresh daily ensuring that none of their beef is ever frozen. Different cuts on offer include the classic rib-eye, filet mignon and t-bone, as well as the delmonico and filet kabob. Seafood enthusiasts will appreciate the vast selection of fresh catches available each day. These include Cajun grilled shrimp, Gulf grouper, grilled tilapia and farm-raised catfish.

austins-cattle-co

Empanadas and More

Loved for its crisp empanadas packed full of flavor, Empanadas and More is the perfect stop off for a quick and tasty snack, simple lunch or delicious Saturday brunch. The empanadas on offer include both Caribbean and Colombian variants and come stuffed with a choice of beef and potato, shredded chicken, ham, or cheese. Daily lunchtime specials are also available for diners seeking a healthier, non-fried alternative. Tuesday’s pork chop stew and Friday’s beef meatballs are both particularly good.

empalas

The Bleu Cafe

The Bleu Cafe features a great atmosphere, great beer, and great food. It has one of the best restaurant ratings in the Valdosta. The Bleu Cafe has a wide variety of California Mex and Pizza. Quality fresh ingredients in each dish! Stop on by and grab a bite when you are downtown!

bleu

The Salty Snapper

Some of the best seafood in South Georgia! Their main goal is to provide you with a great experience through food, drinks, service and atmosphere. Stop by when you are looking for good oysters and shrimp!

Friends Grille + Bar

Friends Grille + Bar is a locally owned neighborhood restaurant specializing in modern, but  laid-back southern cuisine that reflects the very best of what the area has to offer. They strive to use local, seasonal produce, all-natural meats, and the freshest seafood.

Giulio’s Greek & Italian Restaurant

The best kept secret in South Georgia! It’s a relaxed, family-owned spot for Greek & Italian cuisine along with live musical performances. Giulio’s Greek & Italian Restaurant has one of the greatest dinning atmospheres in Valdosta located in an historic 2 story pink house in downtown!

giulios

These are only a few great restaurants of what Valdosta has to offer!

Sources and information were taken from Google, TripAdvisor & the Culture Trip.

Top 10 Things to Do in Valdosta

Valdosta is on the southern border of the state of Georgia and it is filled with adventure, nature, and beautiful azaleas. The azaleas can be found just about anywhere and they thrive in the fantastic Georgia weather!

Here are the top 10 things to do while in Valdosta, Georgia:

1. Peach State Summer Theatre

Every year since 1990, the Peach State Summer Theatre has presented musicals for all to see. The season lasts for ten weeks and during that time, they present three different musicals. During this season, sixty people will help bring Shrek the Musical, Forever Plaid, and My Fair Lady alive on the stage for audiences to enjoy.

2. Turner Center for the Arts

Every art lover will need to visit the 17,000 square feet of space inside the Turner Center for the Arts building. There are six galleries in total and they show both old and new regional and international works of art. Included in the permanent exhibits are East African art and European porcelains. There are thirty different exhibits displayed every year and they are rotated out to ensure that people are always seeing something new when they visit.

3. South Georgia Pecan Company

Business began at the South Georgia Pecan Company back in 1913 and they now have four plants located within a one-and-a-half-mile radius in Valdosta. Each plant does something different including cleaning in-shell pecans, shelling pecans, packaging, and grinding. People can stop in and purchase nuts and other items from the gift shop during their visit.

4. Grand Bay Wetland Education Center

Animal lovers will love this educational center, but the best part of the entire place is the fifty-four-foot tower. People can go to the top of the tower to see spectacular views of the surrounding area. There is also a half mile boardwalk for people to stroll along in between their time in the tower and education center.

5. Freedom Park

Outdoor enthusiasts always find themselves somewhere in the middle of Freedom Park, because there is always something going on there. There are eight baseball fields, multiple soccer fields, a disc golf course, and a playground and each one is waiting for a group of people to arrive and start playing. There are also tournaments in these areas and people are encouraged to stop by to watch all the fun and excitement. In addition to the sporting events, there are hiking and walking trails that people can walk along either by themselves or with family and friends. Dog owners have fallen in love with the large dog park, especially since it has sections for both large and small types of dogs.

6. Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum

The history of Valdosta comes alive in this 10,000-square foot building and people are encouraged to take their time as they look at photographs and documents from the past to the present. In addition to all of that, there is also a large library that is filled with government documents, genealogy records, and books waiting for someone to come in to do some research.

7. The Crescent

The Crescent was built in 1898 by William S. Nest. The building has twenty-three rooms and has been part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. This is where many of the local garden clubs meet and there are numerous events like flower shows and antiques sales held there every year. The landscaped gardens are perfect for parties and weddings, so people should be prepared to be quiet while wandering around if a special event is happening.

8. The Barber-Pittman House

The Barber-Pittman House can be found on North Ashley Street and it was built in 1915 for E. R. Barber. Mr. Barber was the first Coca-Cola bottler outside of Atlanta and he was also an inventor. Upon his death, the house went to his daughter Ola, and she did everything in her power to keep the house from being demolished and replaced with a parking lot. In 1977, she left her house to the citizens of Valdosta with explicit instructions of how it was to be used. This house can never be controlled by the government or sold and if anyone tries to do so, it automatically reverts to her estate.

9. Valdosta Wake Compound

Valdosta Wake Compound started in 2011 with a 2 tower system on a 10 acre fishing lake. While running the two tower wakepark, VWC acquired and developed a 30 acre facility with custom developed ponds and a 6 tower Full sized cable system where they are currently located today. The crew at Valdosta Wake Compound is constantly pushing the sport and the facility alike and have come to develop a moto of “dedicated to progression”, which is fundamental to the day to day operations at the compound.

10. Wild Adventures Theme Park

No one can ever forget to mention the Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta and people love to visit there to go on the rides, see the animals, and watch the shows. New for this year is an expanded water park and even more animals. There are many special events planned for the season including two days of BBQ Country and the Stars of Wrestling.

Valdosta has so much to do and there is always something happening in the city. It is best if people make a list of what they want to do and then put it in the order of importance to them, so that they can see at least the top items on their list while they are visiting.