Valdosta Information and Points of Pride

Considering becoming a faculty member at Valdosta State University?  Welcome to the community of Valdosta, GA, nicknamed “The Azalea City” and the county seat of Lowndes County.  It is the center of this South Georgia region and home to Moody Air Force Base and South Georgia Medical Center.

LOCATION

  • Centrally located in South Georgia: 72 miles to Tallahassee, 120 miles to Jacksonville, 184 miles to Panama City Beach, 185 miles to Savannah, 213 miles to Orlando, 231 miles to Atlanta

POPULATION

  • Valdosta is a city of approximately 56,426 (2018), but it is part of a Metropolitan Statistical Area more than double that size.

EDUCATION

  • The Valdosta area is served by two public school systems: the Valdosta City Schools and the Lowndes County Schools as well as a number of private schools. Besides VSU, two other post-secondary institutions are in the area: Georgia Military College and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.

PLACES AROUND TOWN

  • Downtown Valdosta features local restaurants, shops, arts, a brewpub, and theater and music as well as First Fridays, Art Walks, Makers Market, and other events.

RANKINGS AND DESIGNATIONS

  • Named one of Georgia's first "Cities of Excellence" for being one of the state's "best managed and most livable cities" for quality-of-life issues that include administration, citizen participation, community and economic development, cultural arts, education, fiscal management, infrastructure, intergovernmental cooperation, planning, public safety, recreation and leisure services, social services and technology.
  • Named a 2018 "Great American Defense Community." The South Georgia region—which includes Valdosta, Ga.—is one of five communities across the country to be named a 2018 Great American Defense Community. The Great American Defense Communities, now in its third year, recognizes military communities and regions that help improve the quality of life for service members and military families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, educational and employment opportunities, and family support.
  • Ranked 6th Best Georgia City for Families in a study conducted by Apartmentlist.com in 2015, outscoring most other Georgia cities in four categories--safety, housing costs, school quality and child-friendliness.
  • Designated a Tree City USA community by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its 31 consecutive years of commitment to community forestry.
  • Recognized as an Accredited National Main Street program since 1984 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Georgia Main Street Program for commercial district revitalization, meeting standards for performance set by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center, and for serving as a role model for other state downtown revitalization programs.
  • Named Georgia’s Best Adventure Town National Geographic.
  • Named one of “America’s Friendliest Cities” by Rand McNally.
  • Named “Best Place in Georgia” by the Georgia Planning Association.
  • One of the “Top 200 Great locations” in the South for Aviation and Aerospace.
  • Ranked 38th in “Emerging Metro Areas” in the nation by Sperlings’s Best Places
  • Named “Titletown” by ESPN for football heritage.

ATTRACTIONS

  • Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts: The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts is a premier regional arts center located in downtown Valdosta, Georgia, offering a wide variety of art experiences to citizens of Valdosta, Lowndes and surrounding Georgia and North Florida counties. The six light-filled galleries offer a diverse selection of works by regional and national artists in approximately 30 exhibits annually.
  • The Crescent at Valdosta Garden Center: “The Crescent” is a landmark home on the National Register of Historic Places, built by Col. William S. West in 1898. The Crescent is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area: Grand Bay totals 1,350 acres and is part of a 18,000-acre wetlands complex of Carolina bays and forested swamp second in size only to Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. Open from daylight Saturday until sundown Sunday, year-round, for outdoor sports including fishing, canoeing, hiking, camping, and deer and small game hunting. Boaters and canoeists enjoy this area.
  • Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum: The museum provides almost 10,000 square feet of local history displays and research material. The museum grounds also include multiple outdoor exhibits.
  • Peach State Summer Theater, the official Musical Theater of Georgia: Peach State Summer Theatre is Valdosta’s premiere professional summer stock theatre! Each summer, a company of some 60 actor-singers, dancers, technicians, managers, and creators will reside in Valdosta for a ten-week season. During that time, they will rehearse, build and present three musicals in rotating repertory. Valdosta State University has produced professional summer musical theatre since 1990.
  • Valdosta Symphony Orchestra: Winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra has served both the cultural life of Valdosta and the regional academic mission of Valdosta State University since 1990.
  • Wild Adventures Theme Park: This 170-acre theme park hosts one of the South’s largest ride collections, hundreds of exotic animals, and the region’s largest water park. It also hosts concerts and events.