Blake Walsh

15 Best Things To Do in Waycross, GA

  • Published 2023/02/28

Waycross is the county seat of Ware County, Georgia, and its only city.

Waycross was incorporated under its present name on March 3, 1874.

It’s a small city that spans a total of 11.70 square miles.

The city is the northern gateway to Okefenokee Swamp, a National Wildlife Refuge covering 450,000 acres and home to a unique ecosystem.

In addition to its beautiful scenery, it also features several parks, museums, and recreational centers.

Here are the best things to do in Waycross, Georgia:

Explore Laura S. Walker State Park

Trunk of a tree at Laura S. Walker State Park

C Belt /

The Laura S. Walker State Park covers 626 acres of countryside.

The park is named after Laura S. Walker, a Georgian author, educator, civic leader, and naturalist who lived close to Hoboken and the Okefenokee Swamp.

This park is close to the northern border of the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp.

It is home to various unique animals and plants, such as alligators and carnivorous pitcher plants.

This southeast Georgia gem is home to a tranquil lake, a network of trails, and natural communities perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Landscape of Laura S. Walker State Park

muffinn from Worcester, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park has a championship golf course with 18 holes, a pro shop, and a lake that spans 120 acres.

Getting to the lake is not a problem since you can rent bikes and kayaks.

Bring your friends for swimming, fishing, or boating in the lake.

Laura S. Walker State Park is located at Laura Walker Rd, Waycross, Georgia.

Fitness zone at Laura S. Walker State Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Relax with Friends at the Dixon Memorial Wildlife Management Area

Dixon Memorial Wildlife Management Area is a fantastic option for those who wish to connect with nature while seeing various animal species.

The Georgia Forestry Commission maintains the Dixon Memorial Wildlife Management Area, which consists of 36,100 acres of state-owned land.

Half of the land area of the WMA is made up of upland pine forests, while the other half is cypress-gum wetlands and creek drainage.

It’s also a fantastic destination for avid hunters.

Hunting for deer, bear, turkey, small game, and dove is allowed.

The Dixon Wildlife Management Area is also home to a shooting range with a 100- and 25-yard target area.

Spend a few relaxing hours shooting with friends while taking in the beautiful scenery of the nature preserve.

The Dixon Memorial WMA is located at Check Station Road Waycross, Georgia.

See the Trains at the Waycross Historic Rail Depot

Relax in the sun and watch trains go by outside the Waycross Historic Rail Depot.

These trains make their way to and from the closest of CSX’s nine classification yards.

The historic Union Station in Waycross is one of the state’s largest surviving train stations.

The visitor center is in the historic train depot and provides free maps, brochures, and information about the city’s many exciting attractions.

Plant Avenue, on which the terminal is located, was named for Henry Bradley Plant, a significant figure in the development of railroads in the South.

Start your historic downtown walking tour at the historic rail depot.

Walking tour brochures are available at numerous points across downtown.

Get a glimpse of stucco finishes, styled gables, and clay tile roofs of many of Waycross’ historic structures.

The Waycross Historic Rail Depot visitor center is at Plant Avenue, Rail Observation Center, Suite A, Waycross, Georgia.

Visit “Stuckie” at Southern Forest World

If you want to learn more about the pine forests and wood industry in south Georgia, check out Southern Forest World.

It is packed with unique attractions and activities.

In this museum, you can learn about Georgia’s innovative forest management practices and see firsthand how the state has sustainably increased its timber supply.

Southern Forest World has a tiny gift shop, a spiral staircase leading up to the second floor, and a variety of exhibitions like a talking tree and an indoor forest.

One of the museum’s most exciting curiosities is “Stuckie,” a hound dog mummified after getting trapped inside a hollow tree in the 1960s.

Wild animals from various regions of the South are displayed in multiple taxidermy exhibits.

Bertha, your fantastic tour guide, will show you the rest of the museum.

A tree’s inner rings are also displayed; the tree lived from 1583 to 1969.

Southern Forest World is located at 1300 Bailey St, Waycross, Georgia.

Watch Local Games at Trembling Earth Sports Complex

The 123-acre Trembling Earth Complex is a focal point for Waycross’s athletic legacy.

The Trembling Earth Complex is the hub for youth and adult outdoor activities.

This modern sports facility includes first-rate ballfields, buildings, and playground areas.

This sports complex comprises three adjacent complexes conveniently located within a few minutes from the main one.

This sports haven is ideal for hosting massive competitions, holding practices, and having fun on the playgrounds.

There are also 12 tournament-quality baseball/softball/football/soccer fields to choose from.

The Ware County Parks and Recreation Department maintains the facility.

In addition to their playing fields, there are also multiple pavilions, snack stands, restrooms, and paved trails at the recreation center.

The Trembling Earth Complex is located at Cecil, Brown Dr, Waycross, Georgia.

Take a Swim at Bailey Street Park

Signage of  Bailey Street Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bailey Street Park in Waycross is a popular hangout for locals and guests.

Locals and visitors go to Bailey Street Park to enjoy the refreshing swimming pool and open grassy areas.

A mural representing a tropical oasis was added as part of a public art project.

The pool is a collaboration with the YMCA of Waycross, Georgia.

Kids play area at  Bailey Street Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They oversee daily operations and provide free swimming instruction to up to seventy-five people.

Bring your friends along for a swim or enjoy the green open areas.

Bailey Street Park is located at Bailey St, Waycross, Georgia.

View of  Bailey Street Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy a Picnic at Mary Street Park

Mary Street Park is an ideal location for a family get-together.

Mary Street Park is located at McDonald St. & Mary St., Waycross, Georgia.

The park features a playground, a splash pad, and a covered picnic area that can accommodate various events.

Kids will have a blast playing in the park’s well-maintained playgrounds and facilities.

During the rainy months, you can watch frogs and fish in the creek that runs through the park.

However, exercise caution because your children can quickly tumble down the slope and into the creek without you knowing.

Huge pavilions with modern conveniences like power outlets and barbecue grills are available for group picnics.

Relax on one of the park’s many benches while taking in the scenic vistas.

Your kids will love the newly built splash pad.

Visit C.C. McCray City Auditorium

The C.C. McCray City Auditorium is a historic structure that serves as a multi-purpose venue for various events.

Initially constructed in 1937 with support from the Waycross Chapter of the Lions Club and funding from WPA projects, the City Auditorium has since undergone several renovations.

The historic structure at the intersection of Pendleton and Oak Streets has been given a thorough makeover as part of the city’s SPLOST initiatives in 2008.

This location is perfect for business and social functions like meetings, conventions, parties, dances, reunions, and weddings.

In addition, it is an excellent venue for spectacular events like the Run N Chase annual fashion show.

Participate in numerous programs at the historic auditorium or admire its historic architecture.

The C.C. McCray City Auditorium is at Pendleton St, Waycross, Georgia.

Play a Round of Golf at the Lakes Golf Course

Steve Burnes designed the Lakes Golf Course, which uses native sand in the bunkers and waste areas.

Its greens are relatively quick, and the fairways are well-kept.

The golf course was recognized as the Best New Site of the Year by “Hook A Kid On Golf” in 2011.

In 2009, Golf Digest hailed it as the Best Municipal Golf Course in Georgia.

It is not uncommon to see many native ducks on the water or flying overhead.

It is near Okefenokee Swamp and is well-known for its excellent course conditions and pleasant weather.

The Lakes Golf Course is at Laura Walker Rd, Waycross, Georgia.

Watch Local Races at Waycross Motor Speedway

Come to Waycross Motor Speedway and satisfy your need for speed.

Waycross Motor Speedway is a racetrack in Waycross, Georgia.

It is an excellent venue for catching some exciting dirt track races in the heart of South Georgia.

Locals and visitors alike flock to Waycross to see high-octane racing.

This dirt/clay track is half a mile long and hosts regular races.

Don’t forget to wear protective eyewear and a cap, and be ready to get dirty.

The racetrack is a fun, inexpensive, and family-friendly destination when you visit Waycross.

It is located at Knight Ave, Waycross, Georgia.

Explore the Okefenokee Swamp Park

Wooden bridge at Okefenokee Swamp Park

J K Laws /

Okefenokee Swamp Park is a day-only attraction that provides various outdoor activities such as boat tours, trails, canoeing, reptile shows, and a 90-foot observation tower.

Okefenokee Swamp Park is a vast expanse of forest, lakes, islands, lakes, jungles, and prairies located mainly in Dixon Memorial State Forest south of Waycross, Georgia.

Its lily-lined waterways and tranquil waters reflect the forest’s breathtaking canopy, creating a unique and unforgettable landscape.

Millions of people have visited Okefenokee Swamp Park (OSP) since it opened its doors nearly 75 years ago.

Lily Pond at Okefenokee Swamp Park

Johnnie Laws /

Visiting Okefenokee Swamp Park is an unforgettable experience for the entire family.

The swamp, which covers about 500,000 acres, is beautiful and transports you to another world.

Try all the activities, including the boat tour, train, and nature show.

The boat tour is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the region’s past.

Visit this fantastic park at Okefenokee Swamp Park Rd, Waycross, Georgia.

Trail at Okefenokee Swamp Park

J K Laws /

Take a Stroll around Doughboy Park

Located in the heart of Waycross, Doughboy Park is a little triangular park bounded by Plant Avenue and Mary and Lott streets.

The park features a life-size replica of Viquesney’s “Spirit of the American Doughboy” sculpture outfitted with military uniforms and equipment.

This memorial statue was created to pay tribute soldiers who served and died in World War I.

Doughboy Park is an excellent spot to relax and take in the scenery.

The park is right next to the train tracks, making it an ideal location for train watchers.

It also houses a memorial honoring those who served in other wars.

Explore Okefenokee Heritage Center

Twenty acres of picturesque pine forests is the backdrop for the Okefenokee Heritage Center, a museum devoted to the region’s art and history.

The Okefenokee Heritage Center was founded in 1975 to conserve the cultural history of the Okefenokee region and its inhabitants for future generations.

Check out an entire train consisting of a 1912 Baldwin steam locomotive, a baggage car, a mail vehicle, a passenger car, and a caboose.

It also includes exhibits such as Founder’s Hall, Sacred Harp, Waycross Journal Herald, Fine Art, and Gram Parsons Exhibitions of fine art by local artists.

Additional displays highlight the region’s African-American history, early settlers, and Native Americans.

Understand the region’s past and its pioneers’ role in shaping the present.

The heritage center is located at N Augusta Ave, Waycross, Georgia.

Go Camping at Hillbilly Fish Camp/RV Park

Hillbilly Fish Camp/RV Park is a hidden gem in Waycross with beautiful facilities, a scenic location, and friendly staff.

In addition to 30 and 50-amp service, they have hookups for water and sewer for RVs.

Visit their stunning 20-acre lake and 50-acre campground.

Spend the day relaxing in the shade of the trees or casting your line.

The Satilla River is conveniently located nearby and is an excellent destination for nature lovers.

Relax as you pedal along the river’s sandy banks and stop for a meal and a swim to cool off.

Hillbilly Fish Camp is also a great place to stay temporarily if you are a traveling worker.

If you have any camping needs, the friendly staff will help you.

The RV park is located at Jamestown Rd, Waycross, Georgia.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the View at Okefenokee Country Club Golf Course

The Okefenokee Country Club course is a difficult but balanced test of your golfing skill.

Located in the scenic area around the Satilla River, the Okefenokee Country Club golf course blends in with the surrounding hills and vegetation.

The course accommodates golfers of varying skill levels with four different tee boxes.

Players looking for a challenge should take the time to carefully plan out their shots before attempting a round on the course.

While building the course, every effort was made to preserve the surrounding landscape.

This made it possible to create a layout where each hole was distinct from the others.

In addition to several tiny ponds, the Okefenokee Country Club golf course features over eighty bunkers.

It is located at S River Oaks Dr, Blackshear, Georgia, 11 minutes from Waycross.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that Waycross will leave an impression on visitors.

You can enjoy its natural attractions, cultural institutions, and golf courses.

It is the perfect place to experience genuine Southern hospitality.

Enjoy the best things to do in Waycross, Georgia!

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