Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Fort Valley, GA

  • Published 2022/09/22

Founded in the 1820s, the city of Fort Valley, Georgia, stood at the intersection of two Indian trails.

It served as a Native American trading post.

North Carolina natives James Everett and Matthew Dorsey, Peter Greene, and the Wiggins brothers William and Allen set up the trading post.

The same post served as a starting point for Fort Valley to thrive, eventually becoming a popular area when they built the railroad.

Today, the city has retained much of its simple appearance, but with thriving businesses and must-see tourist attractions.

Here are the best things to do in Fort Valley, Georgia:

Swing by Lane Southern Orchards

Fruit picking at Lane Southern Orchards

Larry Porges /

It’s only fitting that you get a handful of peaches while in Fort Valley.

There’s no better place to get them than Lane Southern Orchards on Lane Rd.

Since 1908, Lane Southern Orchards has provided the people of Fort Valley with nothing short of premium-quality produce.

Explore 11,000 acres of peach orchards and pecan groves, and have a scoop of peach ice cream by the front porch.

The best part is that no matter the season, there’s always a reason to visit Lane Southern Orchards.

Aside from strolling through the farm, you’ll also explore the indoor roadside market and the PeachTree Cafe, featuring delectable dishes and fresh farm fixings.

Before you leave, get enough jars of peach goods because they make a great souvenir (and snack!).

Spend a Relaxing Day at South Peach Park

Fort Valley offers visitors a relaxing atmosphere similar to the countryside, making it a great place to go if you’re looking to drown out the sound of bustling streets.

Although you can do that almost anywhere, South Peach Park along Murray Rd is still a favorite spot in Fort Valley for relaxation.

Spend an entire day reading your favorite book under the cool shade of a large tree, or lie in the cool grass and nap.

Another great thing about South Peach Park is its abundant blueberries, pecans, and chestnuts, all available for public picking.

You can also enjoy the park’s other facilities, such as sports fields, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, and walking tracks.

Grab a Bite of Peachy Creations at Pearson Farm

The city of Fort Valley is famous for its local peaches, and it would be a shame not to swing by Pearson Farm to grab a bite of peach-based dishes.

Located along Zenith Mill Rd, Pearson Farm has operated since 1885, also known for its great pecan groves.

Five generations of the Pearson family have cared for the farm, passing down age-old recipes and farming techniques.

Once you get to the farm, you can also enjoy hearty snacks at Mary Pearson’s Kitchen, such as pound cakes, cinnamon crumble cakes, Georgia peach pound cakes, and homemade pies like chocolate and custard pecan.

Bring peach gift boxes or pecan gift tins to commemorate your trip to Pearson Farm.

Join the Georgia Peach Festival

One thing you shouldn’t miss when visiting Fort Valley is the annual Georgia Peach Festival on Oakland Heights Pkwy.

The festival celebrates the sweet Georgia peach and local farmers through music, entertainment, and great food.

The Georgia Peach Festival grew highly successful over the years.

People even say that it rivals the festivities of Mardi Gras and California’s Rose Festival.

The event is also the only state-sanctioned festival.

Expect a week’s worth of fun, celebrations, and loads of memories that will last a lifetime, at the festival.

Learn about Fort Valley’s Railroad Heritage

As you reach Fort Valley’s Main Street, you’ll see an old switching station and a passenger depot.

These facilities are only some of the remaining establishments that tell the story of Fort Valley’s railroad heritage.

During its early years, Fort Valley swarmed with visitors thanks to the convenience of the railway system.

The trains passing through also played an important role in shipping peaches to the northern markets.

Today, you’ll see the freight terminal and switching station standing the same way they did before, except for a few minor renovations and the passenger depot.

The freight depot also sports an early Postbellum American railroad style, only one of the ten depots in Georgia built that way.

Fort Valley’s Railroad Heritage will give you an entertaining history lesson!

Set up Camp at the Ponderosa Campgrounds

Fort Valley is arguably one of the most peaceful cities in Georgia, so it’s safe to say that setting up camp is a must there.

Ponderosa Campground on Hwy 96 offers visitors the chance to enjoy the great outdoors while revealing Fort Valley’s most scenic views.

The family-owned RV park has everything you could need, from WiFi connections and laundry facilities, electricity and water stations.

Enjoy barbecue nights and munch on some s’mores by the campfire as you wait for the stars to come out.

Ponderosa Campgrounds is also a pet-friendly area, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your furry friends behind to go on your trip.

Wander Pineola Farms

Relax your mind and go on a therapeutic walk around Fort Valley’s Pineola Farms along Taylors Mill Rd.

Established in 1865, Pineola Farms sits on a 12-acre pecan orchard where an old four-room home still stands.

You’ll feel a wave of calming vibes as you explore the farm, giving you a glimpse of life in a southern city like Fort Valley.

Walk around the dogtrot center-hall type home, and check out the vintage styling of the interior.

Then, look at the wrap-around porches that seal the establishment, signs of a Southern-style home.

Next, make your way to the gardens and marvel at the picturesque camellias, azaleas, nandina, English dogwood, and more.

Check Out the Massee Lane Gardens

A fish pond at Massee Lane Gardens

Bill Golladay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An entire garden filled with blooming flowers is always a sight to behold.

In Fort Valley, you can marvel at this colorful view at Massee Lane Gardens.

Located along Massee Lane, the botanical garden houses over 1,000 varieties of Camellias, blooming since the 1930s.

Camellias only bloom during certain months, but that’s not going to be an issue when you visit this Fort Valley attraction because there are other things to see.

A beautiful flower at Massee Lane Gardens

Bill Golladay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You might see myriad hydrangeas and Satsuki azaleas during your visit or even an entire area of hydrangeas.

Massee Lane Gardens started as the private garden of David C. Strother until it expanded.

Then, he donated the property to the American Camellia Society.

Camellia flower at Massee Lane Gardens

Bill Golladay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Book Tee Time at Pine Needles Country Club

Don’t miss the chance to practice your swings and book tee time in Fort Valley’s own Pine Needles Country Club.

Located along Country Club Road, this Fort Valley attraction is famous for its nine-hole semi-private golf course.

Go driving and get front row seats to beautiful rolling hills and spectacular overlooking views.

Rates at the Pine Needles Country Club already include the golf carts.

If you want more exercise, feel free to walk along the paved pathways leading to your next obstacle.

Pine Needles Country Club usually opens daily from morning to early evening.

Fill Up on Great Food at Nu-Way Weiners

Exploring the streets of Fort Valley can get pretty tiring, and there’s no better way to recharge than filling up on great food.

Make your way to Nu-Way Weiners on US-341, a Fort Valley favorite famed for its chili dogs and delectable breakfast platters.

In 1916, James Mallis first opened Nu-Way Weiners in Macon, Georgia.

Since then, the local fast food restaurant has served 200 million wieners, featuring its authentic chili sauce.

While you’re there, try out the Mega Burger served using only the finest ingredients.

You can also grab a bite of the restaurant’s breakfast platters or toasted sandwiches.

Whip Out Your Hunting Gear at Beaux Eden Plantation

Check out Fort Valley’s hunting paradise, known as the Beaux Eden Plantation on Suber Rd.

Established in 2002, hunting grounds in Fort Valley cover a total of 1,400 acres of land.

Take out your hunting gear, and stay laser-focused as you try to take down giant deer and quails.

Otherwise, cast a line to catch some bass.

After a day out in the woods, head to Beaux Eden Plantation’s 9,500-square-foot lodge to get some much-needed relaxation.

Enjoy a plate of southern-style cooking, and spend some time exploring the area with your family and friends.

Enjoy a Cup of Fresh Brews at the Railroad Cafe

Exploring Fort Valley’s streets will take more than half a day, so load up on some caffeine before you begin your tour.

Fortunately, the Railroad Cafe is only along Lowe Street, so you can stop by the restaurant and grab some food and coffee.

Indulge in some Fort Valley favorites like Sun-shiner, Garden Pass, and Hogger breakfast wraps, or have a plate of the classic grilled toast sandwich.

If you’re looking for something more savory, you might want to try their deli express sandwiches and quesadillas.

Don’t forget to order a cup of coffee or Fort Valley’s own Peach Tea at the Railroad Cafe.

Buy Local Produce from the Farmers Market

The city of Fort Valley offers locals fresh fruits and vegetables.

It’s only fitting that you swing by the Farmers Market to get a hold of the city’s local produce.

The Farmers Market usually opens every Friday on Main Street, giving Fort Valley guests the chance to buy fresh products from local farmers.

Besides fruits and vegetables, you’ll also see a variety of plants and flowers, homemade baked goods, and other “Georgia-Made, Georgia-Grown” products.

If you’re planning to stay in Fort Valley for a while, you might even want to set up your own space and sell your products.

Before you do, make sure you’ve submitted your application, as they give out slots on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn about the Origins of the Yellow School Bus at Blue Bird South Co.

Those big yellow school buses have gone down the streets for the longest time, but did you know that they all started in Fort Valley?

Blue Bird South Co., now known as the Blue Bird Corporation, stands along US-341 in Fort Valley.

The company manufactured the first Blue Bird School bus, an iconic mode of transportation that has also reached other states.

Although the company has expanded into various regions, its headquarters are still in Fort Valley, commemorating its humble beginnings.

Blue Bird engineers also thought of using yellow for their school buses.

Catch Live Performances at the Austin Theater

Exterior of Austin Theater

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t possibly leave Fort Valley without catching a live performance from the Austin Theater on E Main Street.

Get ready to witness Fort Valley talents showcasing their skills in the form of art shows, musicals, plays, and more.

Besides being a beacon of entertainment, the Austin Theater holds a rich history that residents try to preserve.

The theater opened its doors to the public in 1917 as Slappey’s Opera House.

Two years earlier, the peach farmer George Hiley Slappey bought the building.

After a while, Slappey named the building after his friend Samuel Austin.

For its debut performance, the theater staged the play “Peg O’ My Heart.”

In 2007, the city rehabilitated and restored the Austin Theater to its original functions.

Final Thoughts

Fort Valley makes a great tourist destination thanks to its modest appearance and country-like atmosphere.

Despite looking simple, this city offers a bunch of things to explore.

If you ever want to start your new adventure, stick to this list of the best things to do in Fort Valley, Georgia.

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