Tag Archive for: visit valdosta


Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/10/23

The Capital of South Georgia will transform into a magical Christmas wonderland this holiday season. With millions of lights, decorations, sweet treats and jolly visits from Santa, Valdosta is the ultimate Christmas destination for festive family fun.

“In Valdosta, Christmas is not just a season; it’s an opportunity for our community to create something authentic and truly meaningful,” said David DiSalvo, President/CEO of Visit Valdosta. “Our local destinations curate affordable and family-centric experiences that provide a lifetime of memories for locals and out-of-town visitors alike.”

There are countless events, destinations and local businesses to celebrate with this season, including:

Wild Adventures Christmas Wild & Bright: Boasting over two million lights, this is Wild Adventures’ brightest and merriest celebration yet, spreading cheer across the park with new attractions, jolly entertainment and holiday culinary delights. The event features a new animated floating lake spectacular with thousands of sparkling lights reflected across the water. Guests will journey through Wonder Woods, watch the beloved tale of Rudolph come to life in the Holly Jolly Junction and experience the Gingerbread Village to capture one-of-a-kind family memories. Join the Christmas spirit on select dates from November 18 through December 31.

Community Tree Lighting: On December 1 at 6 p.m., the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and the Valdosta City Council invite the community to kick off the holiday season at the Valdosta-Lowndes County annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Located on the lawn of the newly renovated historic courthouse, guests will enjoy a performance from the Lowndes High School Viking Cantors, and festivities include hot cocoa, light refreshments and family fun.

Greater Valdosta Community Christmas ParadeThis year’s Christmas parade promises to be more enchanting than ever with a magical Snow Globe theme. The parade will spread holiday cheer by transforming the streets from Woodrow Wilson to Downtown Valdosta on December 2 starting at 6 p.m. Thousands of guests will enjoy a festive processional of beautifully decorated floats, lively music and the jolly presence of Santa Claus.

Christmas at Valdosta State UniversityBefore Valdosta State University students head home for the holidays, students and faculty will gather for the Blazer Nation tradition of the Lighting of the Palms. Featuring holiday music, sweet treats, a VSU Winter Wonderland and a special visit from mascot Santa Blaze, this holiday tradition kicks off on VSU’s front lawn at 1500 N. Patterson Street on November 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Christmas Card Cruise: What started as a small event in 2020, has now expanded to include the entire county. The community-wide Christmas Card Cruise, hosted by Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority, Lowndes County and the City of Valdosta, includes businesses, organizations and families creating jumbo Christmas cards out of 6-foot sheets of plywood to display outside of their buildings and homes throughout December. Last year, more than 100 cards were posted. Visit vlpra.com on December 1 to view the official cruise map.

Christmas Lights at Camp Rock: Camp Rock, a nonprofit organization serving underprivileged children in South Georgia, will have a Christmas light display on select days in December for families to enjoy. For just $10, guests will enjoy a Winter Wonderland featuring mini golf, bounce houses, roller skating, axe throwing and a light maze. The event also includes a petting zoo, light show, games, crafts, outdoor movies and more.

Hahira FestivitiesJust a few miles north of Valdosta, visitors can enjoy several holiday activities in Hahira. Check out the third annual Parade of Trees at Hahira Square where families and organizations decorate trees to spread holiday cheer, commemorate loved ones and promote local businesses. The Merry Main Street Christmas Parade and Festival will take place on December 9 at 10 a.m., with the parade beginning at 6 p.m. The festival features arts & crafts booths, local vendors, food trucks and more.

31st Annual Toy RideCalling all motorcyclists from South Georgia and North Florida! Hosted by the Outback Riders of Valdosta, the Toy Ride brings together motorcyclists to spread holiday cheer to children in Valdosta. Thousands gather to bring a toy and ride through Valdosta, ending with a donation to the Salvation Army. This year’s ride takes place December 16 at 1:30 p.m.

For out-of-town visitors, Valdosta has cozy inns, a new boutique hotel, campgrounds and much more to find a perfect fit for every family this holiday season. Plan your trip and learn more about overnight accommodations at visitvaldosta.org/stay.


Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 9/11/23

Just a few hours south of Atlanta in South Georgia, Valdosta is the perfect stopping point to relax on the way to Florida or even better for a weekend getaway. They call it finding your “ahhh.” Downtown has everything you could imagine with delicious food destinations, a brewery, a wine bar, shopping, boutique hotels, a local playhouse, artwork to see, all wrapped up in a walkable adventure! Start with staying at the McKey boutique hotel, have dinner at 306 North, take a walking tour of the artwork and murals around downtown, stop for a brew at Georgia Beer Company, and stay for brunch at Downtown Social. So, whether you stop through or stay a while, it’s ahhhmazing. Let’s explore. 

The McKey 

Where can you stay in Valdosta that SOAKS up everything downtown has to offer? It’s The McKey! A brand new, luxurious 12-room boutique hotel in the historic McKey building. It is steps from restaurants, bars, and shopping. Fun fact: all the suites in the McKey are named after tenants that at one time we’re in the building, like restaurants, law firms, or historical facts like the year the building was constructed, or year the first pecan tree was planted. Each room has its own tribute and photos to go along with it!  

We stayed in the S&K Suite that is named after the S&K diner, a local hang out spot nicknamed “sit and kiss,” the suite is thought of as their bridal suite. Feast your eyes upon this one bed, one bath suite, with a spectacular bathroom boasting a massive soaker tub that has changed my mind about baths, a large full-length mirror and sitting area, two spacious vanities, a separated shower and toilet area. If I could have a bathroom at home, this would do! Then, on to the bedroom where there is a large, comfy long bed with a view of downtown right out the window! In the sitting area and kitchenette, it’s the perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine and chat about everything you want to do in downtown Valdosta!  

306 North 

Southern fare was on our mind, so we visited 306 North in downtown Valdosta! They have elevated traditional Southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, fried duck, salads, and even Tuna Tataki, all paired with a great cocktail menu, wine list, and beer selection.  

Starting with this fresh Tuna Tataki, the fish is lightly seared and surrounded by creamy, spicy mayonnaise, a wonderful cilantro soy vinaigrette, pickled ginger, and a spicy wasabi cream to round out the dish. It is a delicious start to our meal. Then, we paired it with their amazing fried green tomatoes. The tomatoes themselves are crunchy yet tender and topped with a sensational, sharp pimento cheese and a spicy, sweet pepper jelly. It’s a flavor train!  

To drink, we tried their Manhattan. This one is boozy with hints of cinnamon and cherry! A delicious accoutrement with our main, the duck breast! On the side, we started our main dish with the wedge salad. It is creamy and cool, crisp bacon, tomatoes, and peas atop a mild blue cheese dressing. The perfect pair for the Maple Farms Duck breast.  

The Maple Farms Duck Breast is lightly fried and crunchy out, tender and juicy in, then topped with a delicious and tangy, sweet blackberry jam reduction that is just stunning with the savory of the duck. On the plate with the duck, we got the Balsamic Mushrooms that are savory and deep, earthy and the honey-truffle sweet potatoes are sweet and tangy, tender, hints of truffle and honey!  

Georgia Beer Company 

After our scrumptious meal, we took a short walk to look at the murals and artwork around Valdosta, GA! All on the way to a great brewery, Georgia Beer Company! They have a large list of brews to choose from, like stouts, sours, IPAs, lagers, and everything in between. The space is large and open with a long bar, table seating, and a huge outdoor space with live music!  

Some of the beers we sampled included the Destress Express sensational coffee milk stout with a coffee forward nose and on the palate then mellowing into a creamy yet slightly bitter aftertaste. Being only 6.5% it is more like a cup of Joe than a boozy stout. Another favorite was the Blueberry Field Party Blonde Ale, a 5% blueberry forward beer on the nose and palate, very fruity. If you love sours, Grandmas Jelly Mayhaw Berry Sour is a 5.3% tangy and tart beer but not overpowering and refreshing. 

Of the rest we sampled, the Foggy Bottom is a 7% west coast IPA, large hops, bitter on the back, while Azalea City amber ale is a 5.5% malty yet balanced, mellow, and smooth amber. Dark 30 Black IPA is a 6% beer that’s both toasty and hoppy, while the Back Nine Lager is a smooth, sippable light beer that only has 130 calories! You really can’t go wrong with any of these beers from Georgia Beer Company! 

Downtown Social 

One morning, we were craving brunch, so we headed just around the corner from The McKey over to Downtown social. Their shareable brunch was right up our alley! Downtown Social is an incredible boutique bowling and game destination with a large full bar and shareable bite menu! We enjoyed the shareable brunch board, mimosa flight, breakfast empanadas, and even a bowl of tot-chos!  

We just couldn’t resist their shareable brunch board stuffed with all the brunch goodies like sweet and crispy waffles, crunchy, tender chicken tenders (Pro tip: make chicken and waffles), savory egg frittata, flaky, buttery biscuits with savory sausage gravy, sweet French toast sticks, fruit, jam, honey, and a helping of bacon and sausage on the side! It will blow your mind! To pair with this we got the super cool mimosa flight with sweet and floral pea flower, bright pineapple, sweet cherry, and tangy orange! 

The other two dishes we tried were the Breakfast Empanadas and the Tot-chos. The empanadas were crunchy outside warm in with spicy chorizo and jalapeño surrounded by egg, paired with bright pico and a sharp beer cheese. For our side, we got an amazing fruit bowl filled with blueberries and strawberries. Another fun dish is Tot-chos. Starting with a savory egg that’s over a bed of crispy warm Tots with sharp beer cheese, savory pulled brisket, and tangy peppers. Either way, you’re in for a treat. 

Valdosta has so much to do, you should get down there for a weekend trip and soak up all the relaxation and fun you can! 


Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/4/23

Valdosta Hosts First-Ever Bluesberry Festival

The two-day festival features a variety of blues music, blueberries and brews at Unity Park Amphitheater in Downtown Valdosta


The first annual Valdosta Bluesberry Festival will take place in the heart of Downtown Valdosta this spring. On April 14 and 15, guests of all ages are invited to attend the blueberries, brews and blues festival at Unity Park Amphitheater, complete with a lineup of live entertainment, family friendly activities, blueberry-themed food and drinks, and even the Blueberry Olympics.

The two-day festival features the following musical performances and activities:

·       Blues musical acts include Dirty Bird and the Flu, Tom “Bones” Malone and Lou MariniThe Page Brothers and many others

·       In the Blueberry Olympics, participants will compete in a series of events including a blueberry pie eating contest, blueberry throwing game and more for a first place prize of $150 Downtown Dollars, second place prize of $100 Downtown Dollars and third place prize of $60 Downtown Dollars. Downtown Dollars are accepted at most Downtown Valdosta merchants. Learn more at ValdostaBluesberry.com

·       Calling all bakers! The Blueberry Bake Off is looking for the best blueberry pies, cakes, muffins and other baked goods. Learn more about prizes and how to enter at ValdostaBluesberry.com

·       Farmers market featuring local vendors with special blueberry themed merchandise

·       Kids’ zone with bounce houses, basketball, rock climbing wall and more  

·       Food trucks offering BBQ, funnel cakes, seafood and more

“Hosting the inaugural Valdosta Bluesberry Festival is a momentous occasion for our city,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson. “It has been an honor to see the hard work of so many people in our community come together to bring this idea to life. This is the beginning of a new tradition here in Valdosta for everyone around the south to enjoy.”

General admission to the Valdosta Bluesberry Festival is free. Guests should bring a blanket or lawn chair and find a comfortable spot on the lawn for a weekend jam-packed with live music and entertainment. For guests wanting to get closer to the action, VIP tickets with a hotel room, upgraded seating and access to exclusive after-hours events are available for purchase.

“The Valdosta Bluesberry Festival will not only be a great weekend of entertainment for the whole family, but it also allows our local businesses and destinations to share their unique offerings with each other and out of town visitors,” said David DiSalvo, Executive Director of Visit Valdosta.

The inaugural Valdosta Bluesberry Festival is made possible with the support of Visit Valdosta, Valdosta Main Street, the City of Valdosta, Coleman Talley, South Georgia Medical Center, The McKey, Pepsi and others.  

To purchase VIP tickets, view the full lineup, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.valdostabluesberry.com