Waycross Journals

Exploring the Swamp

A November 2005 trip to Waycross by books

Okefenokee Swamp Tours Photo, Waycross, Georgia More Photos
Quote: We had to attend a wedding in Valdosta, GA, and decided to make a weekend getaway of the trip.

Exploring the Swamp


The boat tour through Okefenokee Swamp was the highlight of our weekend. Finding a mother gator with her little ones in a gator hole was quite exciting. I didn't realize alligators could hiss, which they do as a warning not to come any closer. The US Navy put on quite a show at Jacksonville Beach the first weekend in November. Some old planes were also doing skywriting. The weather was perfect for a long walk on the beach.Quick Tips: Jacksonville, FL, is a convenient place to fly into to explore the Georgia/Florida border region. From Houston, anyway, it is pretty easy to snag a good fare.Best Way To Get Around: A car is necessary to get around this region, as it is quite rural. Rent...Read More
Holiday Inn Waycross is a small-scale hotel with meeting rooms, valet laundry, exercise room, and outdoor pool. The lobby is nicely decorated. It is two stories with exterior corridors and no elevator.Our room was a standard unit with king bed, table, chairs, and TV. The room and bathroom were clean, the furnishings fine, but nothing special. The whole place seemed a little old-fashioned. The people at the desk were friendly.You do receive a ticket for a breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, some fruit, biscuits, and the ever-present Southern grits. The food was OK. The drinks, however, were served by a waitress, necessitating leaving a tip.All in all an adequate lodging--just nothi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2006

Holiday Inn Waycross
1725 Memorial Dr.
Waycross, Georgia 31501
(912) 283-4490

The Ramada was the cheapest 3-diamond lodging in Valdosta listed in the AAA book. We got what we paid for. The motel has outside corridors and little curb appeal. The room was clean and some updating had been done, but it still seemed on the "old" side. An iron and hair dryer were available. It was too cold in November to use the outdoor pool. You could park in front of your unit.A continental breakfast was served with typical fare.When my husband checked out and handed me the bill I noticed they had charged us considerably more than our reservation stated from AAA's website. The clerk didn't know how we had gotten that rate, but she did honor it when we produced the rate confirmation...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 10, 2006

Ramada Limited
2008 West Hill Avenue
Valdosta, Georgia 31063
(229) 242-1225

The Homestead


The Homestead Photo, Waycross, Georgia
This is the best restaurant that we have just "happened upon" in a very long time. It looks like a cottage on the outside, but the interior is log. It is romantic and family-friendly at the same time. There is a fireplace in the main room. Their menu stated the cuisine is "New Southern." They have all the Southern dishes - fried chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, okra, broccoli, etc. They also had sandwiches and a Sunday dinner buffet. Portions were huge! We chose not to eat the buffet for $12 because I didn't feel that hungry. I had a turkey sandwich - very large - and sweet potato chips. They were new to me, but quite tasty. My husband had fried chicken (4 pieces) with 3 side dishes. Neither o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 15, 2006

Okefenokee Swamp Tours

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Attraction | "Okefenokee Swamp Park"

Okefenokee Swamp Tours Photo, Waycross, Georgia
Okefenokee Swamp Park, a 1600-acre wildlife sanctuary, is the northern entrance to Okefenokee Swamp. The park has a butterfly garden, boardwalks, boat tours, canoe rentals, train ride, and animal exhibits. The Swamp Creation Center has exhibits explaining the evolution of the swamp. Other centers have wildlife observation areas, including a bear observatory. At Pioneer Island, a stop on the train ride, there are outdoor museum displays of life as it was for early settlers, animals, and a country store.While the train ride is included in your ticket, the boat tours are extra. Don’t miss one of the boat tours into the swamp to see the plants and wildlife up close. We visited in Novemb...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Okefenokee Swamp Tours
5700 Us Hwy 1 8 Miles S
Waycross, Georgia 31501
(912) 283-0583

Lake Park Mill Store Plaza is the largest outlet mall in Georgia. It is actually 14 miles south of Valdosta on I-75 very near the Florida line. There are approximately 50 stores featuring designer and national brands. Among the outlets are Dansk/Lenox, Claiborne, Jodi's Accessories, Rack Room Shoes, Leggs/Hanes/Bali, and the Gap. In November there were good buys on my Christmas china at the Lenox outlet. Liz Claiborne is one of my favorite brands, and the outlet had a great selection from all the different Claiborne brands--men and women. There is a country restaurant and an ice cream shop on site. A very-nice looking RV park was also nearby--seen from the interstate. So many outlet mall...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2006