Visitors to the Valdosta, Georgia area discover small towns loaded with Southern charm. From historic main streets to genteel plantations, the Valdosta area appeals to travelers who prefer to take it easy. And for those looking to get completely off the grid? This is the perfect place to begin an exploration of the Georgia Grown Trail on Highway 41.
This vibrant corridor winds through miles of family farms in South Georgia, with Valdosta resting firmly at its root. You’ll find markets, wineries, produce stands, u-pick farms and farm-to-table restaurants all within a short drive of the city. Here are a few stops to make along the way if you’re looking for a taste of Valdosta’s countryside.
Valdosta is right in the heart of Georgia pecan country, and South Georgia Pecan Co. has been selling the nuts since 1913. With four processing plants located around the area, the company grades and shells pecans, selling them simply roasted or in more-gourmet preparations, such as chocolate amaretto. Stop by one of the company’s two gift shops in Valdosta for a bag of pecans and so much more—this is where you’ll find gift baskets brimming with locally made jams, chutneys, pickles and the like. And once you’ve gotten addicted to these nuts, you can order them online anytime. You can even buy one of their famous pecan pies.
Experience Valdosta’s rich farming heritage at this family-owned farm & market, where you can purchase the freshest Georgia grown seasonal produce directly from the source. The farm market stocks locally made goodies and gifts, and the country kitchen serves lunch and plenty of Southern take-and-bake items. An especially popular time to visit the farm is in the fall, when sugar cane is harvested and fresh syrup is made. Round out your stay in Valdosta by checking out one of our big events.
For more than a century, this blueberry farm in Valdosta has been a destination for seasonal family fun. Stop by in the summer months for u-pick, pesticide-free blueberries by the gallon from the farm’s bushes. Locals know to pick extra and freeze them for making summer-fresh recipes throughout the winter.
This local favorite is equal parts farmers market and grocery store. Expect to find only the freshest produce sold by the pound or by the case. A well-stocked dairy case features fresh eggs and cheeses produced by area farmers, and Southern specialties such as apple butter, Tupelo honey, and pickled okra line the market’s shelves. Seasonal corn stalks and pumpkins decorate the market in autumn. Year-round, count on Georgia’s finest seasonal peaches, peanuts and produce. While you're out and about, enjoy our self-guided walking tour of Valdosta's architecture, just a short distance away.
Let the kids loose at GTB Farms, a u-pick grower that offers fresh seasonal produce by the bucket. The strawberry harvest each spring is a sure-fire way to get the kids away from their screens and into the fields. During the long South Georgia growing season, head to GTB for tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, peas, watermelons, cantaloupe, corn, eggplant and okra. Twelve bucks gets you a five-gallon bucket to fill with whatever is ripe for the picking.
Rooted in Valdosta, the Georgia Beer Co. is the first brewery to open in South Georgia. The downtown brewery and tap room offers homegrown craft beers such as Midnight Train stout, which gets its punch from locally roasted coffee beans and Southern Isles, which has tropical notes from local citrus. Plus, seasonal and small-batch beers feature the best of South Georgia, such as local honey, peaches and pecans. Better yet, the owners of GBC—old friends from Valdosta State University—transformed the city’s 100-year-old, vacant waterworks building into a Valdosta point of pride. Cheers to that!