Berry picking at Paulk Vineyards in Wray, Georgia. Photo by Ben Galland
Best Things to Do in South Georgia
From local food to historic sites and wildlife, this region is full of surprising finds.
South Georgia is chock-full of natural beauty. Whether you're splashing around the Ocmulgee River or taking in a sweeping farmland vista in Vidalia, your eyes can feast on Mother Nature's bounty. And your stomach can, too! Come hungry to this region, where you'll find some of the state's best produce.
The region's fun, family-friendly events and attractions speak for themselves, drawing countless visitors each year to enjoy the region's shops, farms, and superb restaurants. If you're looking for a taste of the real Georgia, look no further.
Taste local flavors
Cruise the countryside along Georgia Grown Trail 1, a route that runs between Augusta and Folkston on Highway 1. Along the way, stop for everything from pecans (Southern Nuts) and peaches (Southern Peach Plantation) to blueberries (The Blueberry Barn) and olive oil (Terra Dolce Farms).
If you're traveling in the area with kids, be sure not to miss Popell Farms in Odum. This family-friendly working farm goes all out in the fall — think hayrides, a pumpkin patch, and a haunted maze.
Dublin's Company Supply specializes in rotisserie chicken and indulgent pub grub. Can't-miss dishes include the chicken nachos and the pulled chicken plate, which comes with a choice of two sides. Got room for dessert? Round out your meal with a slice of decadent sweet potato cheesecake.
Things to see & do
World War II Flight Training Museum
This Douglas treasure trove once housed cadets learning to fly. If you're lucky, you may be able to snap a photo with a vintage aircraft undergoing restoration in the hangar at the WWII Flight Training Museum.
Wild Georgia Safari Park
Hop off Interstate 16 in Metter to visit this informal petting zoo. Its adorable residents — goats, sheep, llamas, pigs, and more — will give you plenty to smile about.
Artist Dylan Ross added a pop of color to downtown Fitzgerald with this railroad mural. The bright blue-and-gold sunburst stands out in any photo.
Center for Wildlife Education
Education meets fun at the Center for Wildlife Education that supports Georgia Southern University's environmental programs. The center is home to three eagles (Georgia Southern's mascot is the eagle), as well as hawks, falcons, and a 14-foot-long Burmese python. Learn about them, and many more critters, during the center's wildlife programs.
More: Guide to Statesboro
Jesup Drive In Theater
It doesn't have to be #ThrowbackThursday to enjoy Georgia's oldest drive-in movie theater, Jesup Drive In. Built in 1948, it still has the original screens. To add to the nostalgia, carhops straight out of the 1950s (with outfits to match) take food and drink orders directly from your car.
Vidalia Onion Museum
The Vidalia onion is world-famous, but it only grows here. You can learn all about the sweet onion's history at the 1,300-square-foot Vidalia Onion Museum in Vidalia, where it all began. For example: Did you know that this particular onion is sweeter because it grows where the soil has low sulfur and the winters are mild?
Places to stay
Hit the hay at Paulk Park RV Campground, near County Lake in Fitzgerald, or at Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge. You'll find the latter tucked away in the pines, along with the 265-acre Little Ocmulgee Lake, a golf course, and the Fairway Grill, which serves up such Southern classics as fried green tomatoes, pecan pie, and chicken and waffles.
Get back to nature at Towns Bluff Park and Heritage Center. Set on the Altamaha River, just north of Hazlehurst, this park has abundant wildlife. Keep binoculars handy for spotting bald eagles, swallow-tailed kites, deer, and turkey. (Fishermen may see catfish, bream, and bass.) Snag a campsite or book a yurt to enjoy nature alongside some of the comforts of home: a bed, outdoor sink, and — mercifully in hot Georgia summers — air conditioning.
Tips from a local
What's the one thing all visitors to your region must do?
There are so many farms that are fun to visit, and the kids love them. Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet has something for everyone: horseback riding, a petting zoo, and a farm tour.
What's your favorite restaurant or place to go?
Where would you recommend someone go with kids?
Splash in the Boro, a huge water park with a new wave pool, lazy river for tubing, a FlowRider for surfing, mat racer slides, and tons of options for all ages.
What’s something surprising about your region?
People would be surprised by the natural beauty of our region. I so love driving down a dirt road and taking in the country air along with the beauty of cotton fields, cut grass, and green peanuts.
What do you love most about living here?
I love the sense of community and how my children are enjoying an extended childhood — I don’t want them growing up too fast!