Vacation season is on the horizon. If you’re looking for a fun place full of southern charm, check out Valdosta, Georgia. From historic homes to theme parks, there’s something for everyone in Valdosta.
This neoclassical historic home, built in 1898, features a crescent-shaped front giving the home its name. Once the private home of Colonel William S. West, the house now belongs to the Garden Center of Valdosta. Saved from destruction in 1951 by three ladies of the Valdosta Garden Club, the home is a popular site for weddings and other events. There’s no charge to tour the gardens. The Crescent is currently on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve
Image via Flickr by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Midwest Region
Most of the beautiful trout lilies grow in and around the Appalachian Mountains. No one knows how this flower ended up in southern Georgia but, the Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve ensures this flower has a home in the south. The 140-acre preserve features a forest filled with hardwood trees and a moist layer of soil over clay, perfect for growing the lilies. After years of volunteer efforts, the area gained its designation as a conservation site in 2009. Visit during the blooming season in February and early March. There’s no cost to visit, but don’t forget your camera.
The Big Oak
Speaking of nature, a massive oak tree stands in a town just west of Valdosta. Called “The Big Oak,” the tree is over 300 years old with branches spreading in all directions as it stands at an intersection in Thomasville, Georgia. The old live oak tree’s withstood branches breaking from their own weight and many vehicular accidents. It was of the first trees registered with the Live Oak Society, which tracks these somewhat rare trees that keep their foliage year-round. Tree doctors wire the limbs to help prevent sagging but sitting at an intersection means the Big Oak has its share of collisions. But it remains standing strong, hopefully for another several centuries.
The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta offers a variety of cultural experiences. From art galleries to live performances, the center is also available for private events such as weddings or business gatherings. The center is part of Arts, Inc., a group for promoting cultural arts in the region. Admission varies depending on the event, but the galleries are free and open Tuesday through Saturday. Choose a hotel downtown and enjoy the many unique attractions at the center.
How about a theme park, water park, and zoo all in one location? Check out the Wild Adventures Theme Park including the Splash Island Waterpark. The water park opens every spring and runs until the end of summer. Park admission includes the zoo and all attractions. Special family packages include your meals while you’re there.
Next time you’re looking for a fun vacation spot check out Valdosta, Georgia. From the arts to screaming roller coasters, there is certainly something for everyone in the family.