Romantic Date Ideas in Southern Georgia
Valentine’s Day is portrayed in movies as a day that is planned months in advance with every detail accounted for. In reality, the holiday and any plans for it get sidelined by the daily responsibilities and obligations. The only thing that reminds you that the day is coming up is the obnoxious amounts of candy hearts at the grocery store. By that time Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. Just about the only thing you can think to do is schedule a reservation at your favorite restaurant, and that’s assuming they will take your last-minute request. When you live in an area with as much history and natural beauty as we do, there are plenty of better things to do. The whimsical wildlife and storybook streets of the region are begging to be explored. Surprise your significant other this Valentine’s Day with one of the best date ideas Southern Georgia has to offer.
The Studio | Darien
The city of Darien is a romantic getaway in itself with its small-town setting and gorgeous waterfront, but we will focus on one of its best date spots. The Studio is a locally owned art shop that does more than house exhibits. They host yoga classes during the day and painting classes on the weekends. A famous couples event is the Sip and Paint night which has participants paint pictures while savoring an exceptional vintage. The themes of the classes are constantly changing, and some require reservations. If you and your spouse have an intimate love language, I recommend you to check out The Studio’s event calendar.
The St. Marys Waterfront | St. Marys
Some couples prefer a more social atmosphere or go out with a group for Valentine’s Day. The waterfront located on the southern reach of downtown St. Marys has enough attractions for everyone to enjoy. Besides the stunning coastal views, the area boasts some of the best restaurants in Camden County. Since 1926, Seagle’s Restaurant has served up the most delicious seafood on the coast. Brackish Beer Co. is Georgia’s first microbrewery and hosts local music artists every weekend. If you come early enough in the day, you might catch a ferry to Cumberland Island. With so much to do, the downtown is a must-visit date spot in the region.
Jesup Drive-In | Jesup
Those hunting for an intimate date night with nostalgic flair look no further than the Jesup Drive-in. The theater has entertained audiences since the 1940s and is one of only a few drive-ins remaining in the country. They don’t show obscure movies either. Current blockbusters are constantly in rotation, with dates and times available on their website. The theater is open Thursday through Sunday. Tickets and food can be ordered in advance.
Okefenokee Adventures | Folkston
Couples who live an active lifestyle need to visit Okefenokee Adventures. Located off of 121 near Folkston, GA, the refuge is Charlton County’s premier outdoor attraction. Rentals are available year-round and allow you to explore the Swamp on your terms. Rent bikes to explore the 7.5 miles of Swamp Island Drive inside the refuge or take to the water in one of their tandem kayaks. Experience a magical sunset to end your day by booking one of their Sunset Prairie Guided Tours. The weather in South Georgia doesn’t get much better than this time of year, so Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to visit them.
Laura S. Walker State Park | Waycross
While Okefenokee Adventures is an excellent place for those who enjoy physical activity, some would rather kick back and relax while enjoying the area’s natural beauty. Laura S. Walker State Park is a hidden oasis on the outskirts of Waycross just waiting to be discovered. The park contains cabins on a picturesque lakefront while also offering plenty of amenities for those not staying on the property. Moderate hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and a stunning par 72 golf course await all those who visit after your adventure head into downtown Waycross to explore local restaurants and small businesses.
Fifth Day Farm | Valdosta
The animal rescue that started as a cuddly hobby turned into a family business for the Hendley’s and quickly became a favorite attraction in Valdosta. Fifth Day Farm is a four-acre plot that holds everything from goats and turkeys to pigs and llamas. The family-owned petting zoo is open to the public during certain times of the year and even offers bi-weekly goat yoga classes. So take an afternoon to get back to nature with your significant other by visiting them. Information about their yoga classes and other services can be found on the Fifth Day Farm website.
Newell Lodge | Folkston
A fairy tale experience by any metric, the Newell Lodge showcases the best of what Southern Georgia has to offer. Residing on the outskirts of the Okefenokee, visitors can take advantage of the isolation by camping, relaxing, and stargazing into the vast rural sky. Learn to horse ride in the afternoon and sit down at a family-owned restaurant in the evening, all without leaving the estate. Reservations are required to stay on property, but it is well worth the investment.
Horse Creek Winery | Sparks
Located north of Valdosta, the city of Sparks contains the vast vineyards of Horse Creek Winery. The company has been a pioneer of Southern Georgia wine since 2008, using the region’s traditions as inspiration for their flavors. Visiting the property is a splendid experience, with over 40 acres of crops and an in-house bistro. Wine tastings are offered every day of the week and don’t require reservations.
Merck Farms | Kingsland
Most locals resent the weather of the winter months. While the daily cold may be unpopular, it generates the most delicious produce. Merck Farms allows guests to walk the fields and pick their delectable bounties. An afternoon traversing the property is nothing short of magical. A U-Pick experience is a layback, at your pace date idea for those who want a take some time to smell the roses (or strawberries).
BONUS: Pinball Palace | Brunswick
While it may not be labeled “romantic”, Pinball Palace cashes on the same nostalgic feel as the Jessup Drive-In. The building’s plain exterior couldn’t be more different from the business inside. The moment you open the doors, you are greeted with the haze of neon lights and the sound of thumping bumpers. Every room is packed with pinball machines and arcade cabinets, winding like a maze with something new around every corner. An old-school arcade is the perfect out-of-the-box date night for those looking for something a little unconventional.