Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia | Photo by @benjamingalland
10 Must-Dos in Southwest Georgia
From riding roller coasters in Valdosta to fishing in Donalsonville, southwest Georgia is full of family fun. Go shopping and eat farm-fresh food at great restaurants in towns large and small. Start exploring the many things to do in southwest Georgia with these 10 trip ideas.
1. Walk on the Wild Side in Albany
Meerkats, cheetahs and bears! Oh my! Chehaw Park is home to exotic and indigenous animals such as meerkats, flamingos, red wolves, gopher tortoises, black rhinoceros and bald eagles. Explore the wildlife exhibits, bike the BMX track, have a picnic, play on the playground at the Children’s Play Park or visit during the park's many special events and festivals.
Stop by the flea market, or pop into one of the shops on Main Street to browse antiques and doodads. Alice and Jay’s, the Sasser Flea Market and more are stocked full of gems looking for a new home. After a day of antiquing, make a pit stop at Mark’s Melon Patch just outside of Sasser for fresh-from-the-farm melons, boiled peanuts, squash, tomatoes, sunflowers and other Georgia produce. If you happen to be passing through during the fall, the famous pumpkin patch will cover the roadsides with bright orange pumpkins. Mark’s is a must-stop for any locally grown produce fan.
3. Explore South Georgia's River Critters in Albany
At the Flint RiverQuarium, you and your family can learn about Georgia's wildlife, ecosystems and river conservation. The 175,000-gallon, 22-foot-deep blue hole spring is home to 120 species such as snapping turtles, alligators and fish. Other exhibits at the RiverQuarium include the Discovery Caves that allow kids to control the weather, change the river flow and cave dive. Once you finish exploring the RiverQuarium, take a short walk to RiverFront Park to splash in the fountain, play at the Turtle Grove Play Park and take a picture of one of the larger-than-life painted turtles along the river bank.
Learn what life was like as a kid on a South Georgia farm during the 1800s at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village. Watch a blacksmith swing his anvil, and see the sparks fly. Turn the grindstone at the Grist Mill. Learn how women made soap and cooked without electricity. No trip to the Agrirama is complete without stopping at the drug store to shop for penny candy and have ice cream from the antique soda fountain.
Downtown Thomasville captures the Southern charm and hospitality of a small south Georgia town. Shop for bridal gowns, antiques, clothes, shoes, toys and books, and eat a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Catch a performance of the famous Swamp Gravy in Colquitt. Swamp Gravy is the official folk life play of Georgia, and each performance tells stories about Southern traditions, family and community. Based on a collection of oral history underscored with original music, Swamp Gravy gives a unique glimpse into the lives of South Georgians.
The Flint River stretches from Hapeville to Bainbridge, where it flows into Lake Seminole. This picturesque waterway is one of only 40 rivers in the United States to flow for 200 miles without the impediment of dams or other man-made systems. Fishing enthusiasts love to stand along the banks and fish for shoal bass, or you can launch a boat from Earl May Boat Basin Recreational Area. Not into fishing? Soak up the scenery from the vantage point of one of the railroad bridges spanning the river in Albany and Bainbridge.
Throw your hands in the air as you zoom down roller coasters, get soaked at Splash Island on a hot summer day, explore the bird house and animals and enjoy live entertainment at Wild Adventures Theme Park just north of the Georgia-Florida line.
Cast your line into Donalsonville’s Lake Seminole at Seminole State Park, and it won't be long until bass are tugging on your hook. Covering 37,000 acres and dotted with the stumps and grass beds where bass love to hide, Lake Seminole is an angler’s dream and the perfect spot to catch lunker largemouth and hybrid bass. So, put your boat in the water and settle in for a day of fishing in Donalsonville, the "Gateway to Lake Seminole."