Nestled in the heart of Southern Georgia, Waycross is a charming city that often flies under the radar for many travelers. However, this hidden gem has a lot to offer, from rich history and natural beauty to unique attractions and vibrant local culture. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or someone simply seeking a relaxed getaway, Waycross has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Waycross, Georgia.
- Okefenokee Swamp Park: A Natural Wonderland
Start your Waycross adventure with a visit to the Okefenokee Swamp Park, a true natural wonder. This vast wilderness, home to alligators, turtles, and a myriad of bird species, offers boat tours that take you through the cypress swamps and water trails. The elevated boardwalks provide a unique perspective of this untouched ecosystem, making it a must-visit for nature lovers.
- Southern Forest World: A Timber Time Capsule
For those intrigued by the history of the timber industry, Southern Forest World is a captivating destination. This living museum takes you on a journey through time, showcasing the tools, machinery, and techniques used in the early days of the timber trade. Explore the outdoor exhibits and indoor displays that detail the importance of the timber industry in shaping the region.
- Laura S. Walker State Park: Outdoor Recreation Haven
Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Laura S. Walker State Park, a haven for outdoor activities. Boasting a serene lake, hiking trails, and camping facilities, this park is perfect for a day of picnicking, fishing, or kayaking. The diverse flora and fauna provide a picturesque backdrop, making it an ideal spot for family outings or a peaceful escape.
- Waycross Historic Downtown: Timeless Charm
Take a stroll through Waycross’s Historic Downtown to experience the city’s timeless charm. Lined with historic buildings and local shops, the downtown area offers a glimpse into Waycross’s past. Visit the Obediah Barber Homestead, a restored Victorian-era home, and explore the local boutiques for unique souvenirs and handmade crafts.
- Railroad History at The Passenger Rail Depot
For history buffs, a visit to The Passenger Rail Depot is a must. This historic train depot, dating back to the early 20th century, is now a museum showcasing the city’s rich railroad history. Explore the exhibits that highlight the importance of the railroad industry in shaping Waycross and the surrounding areas.
- Live Entertainment at the Okefenokee Heritage Center
Wrap up your day with some local culture at the Okefenokee Heritage Center. This cultural hub hosts various events, art exhibitions, and live performances throughout the year. Check the schedule to see if there’s a concert, play, or art show happening during your visit.
- Biking the Swamp Rabbit Trail: Active Outdoor Adventure
Embrace the outdoors by biking along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. This scenic trail winds through picturesque landscapes, providing a perfect setting for a leisurely bike ride. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a relaxing pedal through nature, the Swamp Rabbit Trail offers a refreshing way to experience Waycross.
- Nighttime Swamp Tours: Okefenokee After Dark
For a unique and thrilling experience, consider taking a nighttime swamp tour at the Okefenokee Swamp. Guided by expert naturalists, these tours allow you to witness the swamp’s nocturnal activities, including the sounds of wildlife and the enchanting glow of fireflies. It’s an entirely different perspective of the swamp that adds an element of mystery to your visit.
- Golfing at the Lakes at Laura S. Walker
Golf enthusiasts will appreciate The Lakes at Laura S. Walker, an 18-hole championship golf course surrounded by the natural beauty of the state park. Enjoy a round of golf in a tranquil setting, with picturesque views of the lake and Spanish moss-draped trees. The well-maintained course provides an enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.
- Folkston Funnel Train Watching Platform: Railroad Enthusiast’s Delight
For those fascinated by trains, head to the Folkston Funnel Train Watching Platform. This unique spot allows visitors to observe trains passing through the “funnel,” a section of railroad with a high volume of traffic. Bring your camera and capture the impressive sight of trains from various railroads making their way through Folkston.
- Waycross Motor Speedway: Roaring Engines and Excitement
Experience the thrill of stock car racing at the Waycross Motor Speedway. Check the schedule for upcoming races and enjoy a night of high-speed entertainment. The Speedway often hosts events that draw racing enthusiasts from the region, creating a lively atmosphere for spectators.
- Crosby Memorial Park: Family-Friendly Fun
Crosby Memorial Park is a family-friendly destination offering playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports facilities. Whether you’re traveling with children or just looking for a relaxing afternoon outdoors, this park provides a welcoming space to unwind and enjoy recreational activities.
- Local Cuisine Exploration: Culinary Delights
No trip is complete without savoring the local cuisine. Explore Waycross’s dining scene and indulge in Southern comfort food at one of the many charming eateries. From classic barbecue joints to homestyle cafes, Waycross offers a variety of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds.
Waycross, Georgia, may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip, but its unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and local charm make it a hidden gem worth exploring. Whether you’re delving into the Okefenokee Swamp or immersing yourself in the city’s history, Waycross offers a delightful escape for all types of travelers. Next time you find yourself craving an authentic Southern experience, consider Waycross for a memorable adventure off the beaten path.