GEORGIA

48 Hours in Thomasville, Georgia

 

Referring to Thomasville, Ga., as the quintessential southern town is not an exaggeration. Located minutes away from the Florida state line, this south Georgia gem was the end of the line for the railroad. The town served as a winter escape wealthy northerners who were looking for respite from the harsh winters. Bringing their money with them, soon grand hotels and winter cottages (Victorian homes) went up, but eventually the rail lines would make their way into Florida, opening up the state for travel; and thus, the stately homes that were built in Thomasville were left behind.
And today, much of that past is preserved for you to explore and enjoy.
“Thomasville stands out today because of the hard work citizens have done throughout the years to preserve out history and heritage,” comments Megan Young, tourism coordinator with Historic Thomasville. “Broad Street is still paved with bricks, and our downtown buildings still have the beautiful architecture of the 1800s.”
If you are thinking about spending a weekend (48 hours) in Thomasville, there are certain places and things to do that will give you the full experience of the town. Young suggests the following:

  • Thomas County Museum of History: “You can tour five historic buildings and learn about Thomasville’s rich past as the 'Winter Resort of the South,'” she says. “You can learn how Thomas County’s antebellum cotton plantations were transformed into hunting and sporting retreats.”
  • Downtown: Young calls it “a shoppers dream come true.” Here, you'll find dozens of retail shops, antiques, specialty stores and restaurants. “Our award-winning Main Street Program has spurred the rehabilitation of a number of downtown buildings and has been a catalyst for hundreds of new businesses.”
  • Pebble Hill Plantation: “It's a prime example of a 20th century shooting and sporting plantation.” Pebble Hill offers self-guided tours of the grounds and guided tours of the Main House. Rich in art & history, the house is filled with antiques, horse & hound paintings, a collection of Audubon prints, and a wealthy of sporting art.

And you can't forget about the Big Oak.
“It's a staple in the community, and a favorite among visitors and locals alike,” comments Young.
The massive and impressive 329-year old southern live oak tree stands 68 feet tall with a trunk circumference of 26.5 feet. It was said that President Eisenhower was so taken with the Big Oak that he personally photographed it during one of his visits to Thomasville. You can  have your photo taken in front of the tree as well. According to Young, simply dial 229-236-0053 on your cell phone, then stand beside the white sign in front of the tree and look for the white camera on the telephone pole across the street. Once the photos has been snapped you can look for your picture online at bigaok.rose.net .
Plan to be in Thomasville around April 21-14? You definitely don't want to miss the 90th annual Thomasville Rose Show and Festival. It's a weekend of roses and fun for the entire family.
“The celebration kicks off on Thursday evening with our Rose Bud parade, featuring hundreds of local children,” says Young.  “The actual Rose Show, which kicks off on Friday afternoon, brings in roses from all of the country which are shown in an air conditioned white tent throughout the weekend. The Rose Parade  is followed by the Street Dance Friday evening,  an event that has everyone from 8 to 80 dancing in the streets. Art in the Park on Saturday showcases all kinds of arts and crafts and food vendors for everyone to enjoy.”

 


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