Adventure Town: Valdosta, Georgia

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Valdosta adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat.

Pop. 48,547
GPS: 30°51'N 83°17'W

Genteel "Azalea City" is the unlikely launchpad for the Okefenokee Swamp: a 700-square-mile (1,813-square-kilometer) blackwater refuge for gators, endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers and Florida soft-shell turtles that’s crisscrossed by 120 miles (193 kilometers) of paddling trails.

PLAY

Brave? Sign up for an overnight paddling excursion through the evergreen bog lands, cypress forests, and reptile habitats. Okefenokee Adventures offers guided trips that last up to five days (from $295 per person; www.okefenokeeadventures.com).

EAT

You may be in the swamps, but you’re still in BBQ country. And Smok'n Pig BBQ has got all the trimmings—fried okra, Mama June's sweet potato soufflé, fresh collard greens—to accompany its award-winning pulled pork (www.yelp.com/biz/smokn-pig-bbq-valdosta).

Book your next trip with Peace of Mind
Search Trips

SLEEP

Fairview Inn, a bed and breakfast in the heart of Vandosta's 1800s-era neighborhood, is within walking distance of downtown museums (doubles from $85; www.fairviewinn.info).

Read This Next

An ambitious new Florida trail links two U.S. national parks
How reading the night sky helped Black Americans survive
Does a woman’s fertility really plummet at age 35?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet