How You Can Help In The South Georgia Tornado Relief Efforts

The quickest and easiest way to assist in South Georgia tornado relief efforts is to send a contribution. National relief organizations include The Red Cross, United Way, Second Harvest of South Georgia. the United Methodist Committee on Relief among many others. If you choose any of these agencies, it is imperative that you indicate your contribution is for South Georgia storm relief.  Also, Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany is one of the areas largest churches, and has a dedicated relief fund as well as acting as a volunteer center and drop off location for donations.

Also, Luke Bryan, Phillip Phillips and others will be performing a concert in an effort to raise funds for the relief.

Please comment below any other verified relief organizations as well. Thanks.

-Visit Valdosta.


Top Instagram Photos from @VisitValdosta

When it comes to nature and beauty, the heart of South Georgia has it all. Here are our top Instagram Photos from 2016! Follow us on Instagram at @visitvaldosta!

Golden hour coming to a close down on Long Pond. Twin Lakes.


Upside Downtown by Lin McMichen. Discover downtown #Valdosta shopping by clicking on the link in the description.


The lights look amazing this time of year at #Valdosta State! (Christmas)


Amazing shot over Hahira by @c_cour!- “This was a 240 second exposure during an epic sunset over a cotton field. I couldn’t resist pulling over in the ditch for this one.”


The Courthouse Square in #Valdosta is lined with magnolia & oak trees strung with dangling holiday lights. (Christmas)


Valdosta Historic Courthouse looking through an alley.


Beautiful picture taken from @c_cour over Lake Park!


While the weather is still warm, visit Grand Bay Wildlife Center for fun activities


Nothing like the #backroads of the South! Who’s ready for some fall weather?


Photo by @c_cour. Lake Park in all of its glory.

Why Valdosta Georgia is one of the Best Places to Visit in the U.S.

Charming and almost unassuming at first sight, Valdosta in the heart of South Georgia is a fascinating insight into small town America while being a big experience and one of the best places to visit in the US at the same time. Known for Wild Adventures Theme Park and successful high school football teams, this fast emerging travel destination is overflowing with things to do and with so many attractions, it’s no wonder most travelers choose to stay for a few days to take in everything it has to offer.


The Crescent

Hidden gems and southern hospitality

Situated just off interstate 75, Valdosta is relatively easy to find and often a stopover for anyone road-tripping along the east coast or between Atlanta and Orlando. However, to say that this intriguing town is merely a stopover hardly emphasizes the true appeal, as further emphasized by exhibitions in the Turner Arts Center or Lowndes County Museum and the hidden treasures that can be found in the beautiful historical home, The Crescent. Valdosta is also known for some unique dining and food. Travelers rave about the The Bleu Cafe and the King’s Grill. She crab soup, artichoke lavosh and chicken salad croissant will tell you that the first of these is most certainly unique while the corn munch and blueberry muffin with ice cream will give you an idea of the southern experience you can expect in the latter. In fact, this is possibly where Valdosta really excels, for the warm welcome, friendly locals and genuine southern hospitality in general are what make this town so endearing.

Grand Bay

Things to do in Valdosta, GA

The “Azalea City” is home to an incredible theme park and Grand Bay Wildlife area. Test your courage on Tasmanian River Rapids (in the summer), The Cheetah and many other adrenaline-fueled rides or just enjoy the atmosphere. Wild Adventures is a fantastic, affordable theme park which lives up to expectations of a fun day out. Explore the swampy surroundings of Valdosta from a scenic boardwalk and marvel in safety at dragon flies, alligators, ducks and more before climbing the fire tower for unforgettable panoramic views at Grand Bay Wildlife Area.

Intriguing and interesting in every way, this may seem like a very unassuming town at first and little more than a stopover en-route elsewhere but when you reach beneath the surface in this southern gem, you will quickly find that Valdosta Georgia is one of the best places to visit in the US and more than deserving of a few days.

Downtown Valdosta Shopping

Some useful information:

Where is Valdosta, Georgia?

Situated in the coastal plain in southern Georgia, Valdosta is almost halfway between Atlanta and Orlando with the nearest major city being Jacksonville.

What is the climate in Valdosta?

As with neighboring regions, Valdosta is known to be semi-tropical with warm to hot summers and mild to cold winters.

Why is Valdosta known all over the United States?

High School Football. Valdosta is renowned for having the most successful football teams in the country and it is here you will find the Valdosta High School Wildcats who have more victories than any other nationwide with more than 850 wins and no less than 7 championships.

For more information on things to do in Valdosta, go to:

Valdosta Named First Cornerstone Community!

Mike Beatty, President and CEO of Great Promise Partnership, named Valdosta as the first Cornerstone Community in Georgia on Nov. 28 for their commitment to providing an educated and well-trained workforce and for achieving the Four Cornerstones of GPP Success, which are Political Leadership, Educational Leadership, Business Leadership and Community Leadership.



“I’m proud to present this award to Valdosta as the first community in our state—and what will also be the first in the nation—as we seek to develop this program across the country,” said Beatty, who will meet in December with representatives from 13 other states. “It’s all four corners coming together to create a climate of success for our young people.”

Beatty, former Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, had a dream to help young people succeed by offering them up to two years of employment, job training, and an income as an incentive to finish high school. In 2013, Valdosta became the first community to embrace the program. Now in its fourth year, the GPP partners include Wild Adventures, Langdale Industries, Valdosta City Schools, City of Valdosta, eLead, and the Rainwater Conference Center.

“This is a proud accomplishment for our community, and we hope to grow these opportunities in our area for more young people to participate,” said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle. “This is a public/private partnership, made up of various industries in our community, who are doing the right thing and the best thing for our youth—and that is teaching them the fundamentals of success.”

Paris Cole, a senior at VHS, said it is more than just earning a paycheck. Some things, she said, money just cannot buy.

“I have appreciated the experience of working in the Human Resource Department at the city and the advice on how to get along in the ‘real world’,” said Cole. “I have come out of my shell and have learned some important job skills and how to better interact with adults.”

Students work part-time around their school schedules, gaining real-world experience and job training while also earning a paycheck. The program, with a 98 percent success rate, is having a significant impact. In fact, since its inception, more than 300 graduates from the 30 different locations across the state have graduated and have either gone on to college, into the military or into the workforce full time.

“This is a great program, and it is a great promise for young people who apply themselves, set goals, complete their education and prepare themselves for a successful future,” said Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. “We are proud to be the first local government in the state to participate as a GPP partner and proud to be a part of this collaborative commitment to our youth and their future.”

The City of Valdosta employs students in several city departments, such as Engineering, Planning and Zoning, Inspections, Permits, Finance, Main Street, Public Information, Human Resources, Neighborhood Development and Police. The local government organization plans to hire additional interns to work in the Public Works Department’s recycling division, as well.

Wild Adventures, who employ hundreds of high school students throughout the year, is a proud GPP partner.

“Why wouldn’t we support this program? What could be better than a workforce that is readily available to us and that has the support of the school system and the community behind it? You couldn’t ask for a better situation,” said Wild Adventures General Manager Molly Deese.

With 1,300 employees scattered over 23 affiliate companies, Langdale Industries is also witnessing many benefits from the GPP program. Human Resource Director Mark Wilson said the GPP program fits into their aggressive workforce development process.

Many of their staff members will likely be retiring in the next five to seven years. The company works closely with the school system to provide part-time employment that helps pave the foundation for work ethics while providing real growth opportunities for local youth.

“Valdosta’s commitment to an educated and well-trained workforce is a model that we hope other communities across Georgia will follow,” said Beatty. “It is paramount that other communities follow Valdosta’s lead by encouraging public and private sectors to join in their support of student success, which is truly a win-win for all involved and a necessity for our shared future.”


IN PHOTO: Mike Beatty (center), President and CEO of Great Promise Partnership, presented the first-ever Cornerstone Community designation to Valdosta during a public event on Nov. 28. Accepting the award are GPP partners (from left) Human Resources Director Mark Wilson of Langdale Industries, Chef Joel Cologne of the Rainwater Conference Center, City Manager Larry Hanson, Mayor John Gayle, VHS Principal Dr. Janice Richardson, VHS Assistant Vice Principal Chris Chastain, Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Cason, and Wild Adventures General Manager Molly Deese.


For more information on GPP, please visit