Along the backroads of southeastern Georgia, the Magnolia Midlands travel region is a vast, fertile plain of uncrowded highways that take travelers to small Southern towns at a slow and simple pace. Rich in agricultural heritage, beautiful rivers and lakes, abundant wildlife, shopping, and small-town festivals, you will want to spend a day (or longer) in this region of Georgia where life goes back to basics.
Explore the locally-sourced foods, Georgia-grown products, unique attractions, and beautiful works of art that Magnolia Midlands and these nine cities and counties within have to offer.
Explore Fun Facts About Vidalia, Georgia
- Vidalia is in the center of the 20-county Vidalia® Onion growing region.
- The nearby Altamaha River is the second-largest watershed on the east coast and remains completely undammed. It was named one of the 75 Last Great Places on Earth by the Nature Conservancy.
- Paul Anderson, the “World’s Strongest Man,” established a youth home in Vidalia in 1961 for troubled teens.
- Interested in tracing your roots? Try the Ladson Genealogical Library, located downtown.
- The PAL Theatre, owned and operated by the Brice Family from 1928-2004, was renovated in 2018. Today it shows movies and hosts live performances year-round.
See Resilience in Action in Eastman-Dodge County, Georgia
Eastman-Dodge County, Georgia is RESILIENT! (And big in agriculture.)
Stuckey’s Candy Corporation, the makers of that famous Pecan Log Roll, originated here—but there’s so much more to Eastman-Dodge County.
In the last twenty five years, this county and its county seat have focused on Advanced Aviation Manufacturing. With a 6,503’ x 100’ ILS runway; Middle Georgia State University’s Flight Training Center; and world-class manufacturers—including KENCOA (CNC Machining), AREMAC (Heat Treating), and VALENCE (surface treatments)—all located at the Eastman-Dodge County Airport, it is only fitting that parts for Boeing, Air-Bus, Defense Logistics, Lockheed, Gulfstream, and many other companies across the United States are built here.
And yes, you can still buy a Log Roll here! Come see resilience in action.
Celebrate the Gopher Tortoise Festival in Douglas, GA
Come spend the second weekend of September in the historic district of downtown Douglas for the city’s very first Gopher Tortoise Festival. The gopher tortoise is an endangered species with habitats located in the General Coffee State Park and the beautiful Broxton Rocks Preserve. Being such an iconic creature in the community, this species is having a festival thrown in its honor. The festival will bring awareness to the gopher tortoise’s protected habitats and celebrate with local arts, crafts, and live entertainment. A street dance will commence at 9 PM Friday night during the headlining act, Dark Desert Highway, an Eagles tribute band. The fun continues on Saturday with more arts and crafts, food, children’s activities, some wildlife shows, and a Regional Talent Showcase!
Visit Fitzgerald, Georgia for Arts & Entertainment
Enjoy shopping and sightseeing along the brick streets of Downtown Fitzgerald. Savor the food at the local restaurants. Pose in front of the murals. See an art exhibit or create your own art at the Carnegie Center. Watch a movie, concert, or live theater performance at the Grand Theatre. Discover—at the Blue and Gray Museum—the heartwarming story of one of Georgia’s few planned cities. Find out why chickens roam throughout downtown. Visit anytime or during one of the city’s many events, including the annual Wild Chicken Festival and the Harmony Jubilee.
Tour the “Fruitcake Capital of the World”
Experience the “Fruitcake Capital of the World” where true Southern hospitality, good food, and adventure awaits in Evans County. The Claxton Bakery and Georgia Fruitcake Company are two famous bakeries that contribute to the town’s worldwide fruitcake reputation. Outside of fruitcake, there’s lots to see and do in Evans County:
- Relax in a canoe or kayak down the Canoochee River, or spend the day with nature at Evans County Public Fishing Area—it’s only 372 acres with three beautiful lakes.
- Visit for one of Georgia’s longest running festivals. Celebrating 53 years, the Claxton Rattlesnake & Wildlife Festival is held the second weekend of March. It features a grand parade, wildlife exhibits, a beauty pageant, live entertainment, arts and crafts, a 5K run, a classic car show, and more.
- Plan a cycling trip for the second weekend in November and participate in the “Cruisin’ in the Country” ride. This family-friendly bicycle ride offers five route options and attracts hundreds of cycling enthusiasts.
Enjoy Paulk Vineyards, Growing Since 1973
Six generations of the Paulk family have farmed the land in Irwin County, Georgia, from traditional row crops to a variety of fruits, including muscadines. The Paulk family has established a legacy in the muscadine industry—with over 600 acres of muscadines and scuppernongs, theirs is now the largest muscadine vineyard in the world!
If you’re looking for something that’s healthy, tastes good, and is unique, Irwin County is the place to look! Muscadines are “The Superfruit of the South,” and you can enjoy them in juices, jellies, supplements, and wine.
Appreciate How Nature and History Meet in Telfair County
River adventures abound in Telfair County, where boating, canoeing, and kayaking on the Ocmulgee River will provide you with beautiful, historic scenery and an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors of Southern Georgia.
Along the county’s boundary, flowing west to east, you can travel down the Ocmulgee River near Lumber City. Float under the historic train trestle, which was once a rotating bridge that allowed passage of steamboats; and experience the Ocmulgee’s gentle arc formation, previously called the “River of Bubbling Water” but known today as the “Big Bend.” Catch a big one at Montgomery Lake, an oxbow lake on the Ocmulgee, where the World Record Largemouth Bass was caught in 1932. This lake is located in the Georgia DNR’s Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area. There are plenty of places to pull your boat off the river, including Lumber City Landing, Stave’s Landing, Scuffle Bluff Landing, and Dodge’s Lake Landing.
Get Back to Nature at Towns Bluff Park and Heritage Center
Towns Bluff Park and Heritage Center is located on the Altamaha River and in the Bullard Creek Wildlife Management Area in beautiful Hazlehurst-Jeff Davis County. Spacious RV and camp sites are available for rent, along with several yurts if you want to experience glamping. Kayak along the serene river and enjoy the ecosystem filled with wildlife, birds, and flora and fauna not found anywhere else in Georgia. Dine at Manna Café & Eatery, a unique café serving award-winning burgers and sandwiches. Visit www.townsbluffpark.com to learn more, or visit www.altamahariver.org for more information on the river trail.
Experience the Blueberry Capital of Georgia
Welcome to Alma, the Blueberry Capital of Georgia!
The Alma/Bacon County Welcome Center on Highway US 1 is located in a former school built in 1934. Free Wi-Fi is offered, along with clean public restrooms and brochures from around the State of Georgia. Newcomers, visitors, and residents are all welcome here.
Visit in June for a two-day celebration of everything blueberry at the Georgia Blueberry Festival!
There are a number of interesting places to see that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including The Bacon County Courthouse, the Alma Depot, and the Rabinowitz Building. The courthouse, built in 1919, still serves residents.
Other buildings and places of interest include the Old Dixon Hotel and the Camp Ground Methodist Church, both of which date back to the early 1800s.