Sparkman's Cream Valley

Take a Culinary Road Trip in South Georgia

Looking for a culinary road trip highlighting South Georgia? Then the new Georgia Grown Trail 37 is the one for you! Georgia’s State Road 37 has officially become Georgia Grown Trail 37, whose focus is to spotlight the ever-growing agritourism in South Georgia. You can spend the day (or two) harvesting produce at U-pick farms; purchase fresh milk, butter and yogurt for the road at dairies like Sparkman's Cream Valley; and even go hunting and stay the night at family-owned lodges like Ford Farms in Lakeland.

Survey the landscape

Gin Creek Plantation, Hartsfield, Georgia

There are 157 miles of scenic highway to cruise, running east to west from Homerville, midway between Waycross and Valdosta, across I-75 to Moultrie, taking a northwest turn in Camilla and ending up at Fort Gaines, just below the Walter F. George Dam right at the Alabama line. Georgia Grown Trail 37 runs through nine South Georgia counties: Clay, Calhoun, Baker, Mitchell, Colquitt, Cook, Berrien, Lanier and Clinch. Each county has its own unique agriculture, making each a culinary hot spot and the perfect place for the entire family to visit. 

Tour wineries

Still Pond vineyard

Wine connoisseurs are in for a culinary treat! Trail 37 has many vineyards and wineries specializing in fruit-based wines, like muscadine, strawberry and even watermelon. So, make sure to leave enough time during your trip to tour one of the vineyards and sample award-winning South Georgia wines. Local wineries include Horse Creek Winery, Gin Creek Plantation or Still Pond Vineyard, Winery & Distillery, the only farm winery and distillery in the Southeast United States that produces regional wines and distills craft spirits.

Take farm tours

Will Harris, White Oak Pastures

If farming and fresh produce is more your speed, then sign up for one of the many farm tours Trail 37 has to offer. For a unique farm tour, contact Georgia Olive Farms to see one of the few olive farms right here in Georgia, or White Oak Pastures to see (and sample) grassfed beef and pastured poultry.

Bring your appetite

Dinner at The Square in Moultrie

There is no shortage of great food along Trail 37 or restaurants using Georgia Grown products. Dine in for a hot "home cooked" meal at restaurants that highlight local and regional products on their menus. Steel Magnolias in Valdosta offers upscale Southern comfort food on its seasonal menu, while The Square in Moultrie offers both international and Southern cuisines, and monthly wine pairing dinners. You can also dine while enjoying the great outdoors at The Pilot House Grille Restaurant at George T. Bagby State Park.

Shop for Georgia specialties

Pick up Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Gayla's Grits from Georgia Olive Farms in Lakeland - in the store or online. - GDECD Photography

Interested in taking some South Georgia goodness home with you? Then you are in luck because Trail 37 offers over 100 specialty food stores. Take home a couple of pounds of pecans from Little Duck Farms or a bag of freshly ground grits from Gayla’s Grits. Lauri Jo’s retail shop stocks dozens of local South Georgia products, like pepper jelly, peach preserves, pickles, and barbecue sauces. At Southern Grace Farms you can pick your own berries, buy fresh peanuts, and even take home one of their Georgia Grown gift baskets stocked with South Georgia’s best.

Whether you decide to drive 7 or all 157 miles of Georgia Grown Trail 37, you will enjoy mile after mile of hospitality from South Georgia’s agritourism destinations. 

Jennifer Hill Booker is Explore Georgia’s Official Culinary Explorer. Find more dining recommendations from Jennifer on the Explore Georgia blog.

Published: June 2016