While strategic geography and sandy loam soil have played an important part in the success of Valdosta-Lowndes County, the fact is we’ve always been quick to go the extra mile to seize the right opportunity. Actually it was four miles in the 1850s. That’s when the Gulf and Atlantic Railroad came through Lowndes County and missed the county seat of Troupville by four miles. Undeterred, citizens simply migrated the four miles in order to open a depot and reap rail prosperity.
Now named Valdosta (in honor Val d’Aosta, the plantation home of the former city’s namesake, Governor George Troup), the town became the flourishing capital of the Sea Island cotton trade. Yet when the boll weevil wreaked devastation on cotton crops at the turn of the century, local farmers wasted no time in switching to other forms of agriculture such as pecans, peanuts and tobacco. Furthermore, realizing that the state also needed a better crop of teachers, the city donated $50,000 toward the creation of South Georgia State Normal College, which opened in 1913 and eventually became Valdosta State University. And in the late thirties with war brewing in Europe, local leaders reached out to the Defense Department and were successful in helping Moody Army Airfield open two months before Pearl Harbor; the airfield became Moody Air Force Base, which today serves as host for the 23rd wing air support and rescue, and for the world-famous Flying Tigers.
Here in Valdosta-Lowndes County we’ve never waited for service or success to come to us.
Today Valdosta-Lowndes is a thriving community with an economy balanced for growth, where wages are increasing at a healthy pace, yet costs of living and business remain competitively low. The secret to our success is no secret: We’re ready to meet the future with confidence while being mindful to save what is best about the past. Valdosta’s rich architectural traditions, for example, are preserved in no less than three historic districts designated by the National Register of Historic Places-- Downtown, Victorian Fairview, and Patterson Street. In the heart of Valdosta, on the historic campus of Valdosta State, lush palm trees and Spanish Mission architecture make for an inviting environment where students, faculty and community members are learning and connecting.
Connections are key to the quality of life in Valdosta-Lowndes, as residents engage not only with the scenic setting, but with the feast of choices this area offers in shopping, dining, arts, entertainment and culture. This is the place to live life to the fullest in a vibrant, non-stop regional center, the cultural, medical, and commercial hub for 11 South Georgia and North Florida counties.
And when it’s time for a getaway, Valdosta-Lowndes is positioned perfectly for regional travel, midway between Orlando and Atlanta (both less than four hours away by car), and less than three hours from both Atlantic and Gulf beaches, putting destination vacations within easy reach, whether at the resorts of Jekyll Island and St. Simons, or on the sugar-white sands of Fort Walton Beach. For faster times or longer distances, air travel is a breeze at the Valdosta Regional Airport equipped with the third longest runway in the state.
Just as Valdosta is an ideal launching point for travel, this area is also a great launching pad for those looking to go farther in life through an extensive array of post-secondary learning resources. Whether you want to earn a Ph.D. or take the fast track to job skills at the nation’s top ranked technical college, you’ll find the right opportunity here in Valdosta. And at the primary and secondary level, our 21st century K3-12 schools offer what parents want most today: quality and choice.
The list is long of tangible benefits—strategic location, mild climate, thriving civic and commercial assets in healthcare, education and retail—yet it’s also the intangibles that have made Lowndes one of Georgia’s fasting growing counties. Our high school football team has won more games than any other high school in the nation, resulting in our nickname Winnersville, while time and again, our spirit and sense of community have earned us other accolades (like ESPN’s “Title Town,” Rand-McNally’s “Friendliest City” and USA Today’s “Best of the Road”), bringing us even more vitality. People love it here; together, our future has no limits.
In fact, in this fast-moving, fast-growing area what may amaze you most is how quickly Valdosta- Lowndes County feels like home.
ESPN awarded Valdosta, GA the distinction of Titletown USA in 2008, an award given to a city nominated by fans based off their sports championship pedigree.
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