All across America, small towns are flagging down the tourism industry with dowtown revitalizations. Right there on the band wagon is Thomasville, Georgia with one big difference. They have everything you’re looking for and more to come.
While most small towns have painted a block or two of their downtowns with the hopes you’ll come paint their town red, Thomasville has block after block of shopping, dining, and historical sites. The revitalized area covers not just a few blocks, but a few streets. In fact, streets that are still paved with the original brick roads.
Led by the best tour guide around, original Thomasville resident, Liz Williams. No joke, walking downtown we stopped to chat with her old high school music teacher that we bumped into along the way. It’s okay, I can say exactly who she is because she’s a pillar of her community that’s going to be one of our For the Hell of It Friday guests discussing her charity work in Thomasville. I just jumped the gun on the introductions.
The next day, Liz picked me up for lunch. All this chauffeuring me around for food was starting to soften me up (literally). Right on Broad Street you can walk up to the window at Billards Academy and for $2 get a hot dog and a Coca Cola classic in a real bottle! Sitting on one of the tables outside is where we encountered Liz’s old music teacher.
In search of something sweet, we wandered across the street to the local bookshop (in Thomasville, everything is enchantingly adorable), The Bookshelf. After attempting to devour every title, I attempted to decipher which of the truffles to devour first. The options seemed endless for both booms and sweets.
That evening, we ventured to Sweet Grass for wine and charchuterie. Just making up for that missed opportunity in Saxapahaw! Zach answered our questions bringing us a delightful board and Phil was enlightening. I get it, Sweet Grass is based there. The family is strongly entwined with the town, the streets in Liz’s neighborhood are even named after the daughters. The cheese is obviously local. The meats and most of the other menu items are not, at least that was the impression I was given. That impression was later confirmed by me asking of every item put in front of us “is this local?” The cheese is, the honey is, the pecans are, but not really anything else.
Georgia is an agricultural state, Thomasville is pushing their down home Southern charm; the elk and blueberry sausage from a distributor that was packaged in Illnois destroyed the experience. That sounds extremely harsh, but let me give another example of how deflating it was for me. Zach, the Assistant Manager was a wonderful host. During the discussion of how the town is growing he mentioned the microbrewery that had recently opened up. They had even recently done a tap takeover at Liam’s dos the street. Do you have any of their beers on tap? No, they only purchase through their distributor. Come on! Support local! Help out the little growing guy! Don’t worry, I’m not hiding behind a screen. I absolutely shared that sentiment.
My only other beef with the selection at Sweet Grass was the literal lack of beef…or any meats. The boards lacked meats in their mixes. Excellent cheeses, no proteins. I believe one of the boards doe have one meat. Ours only did because I asked for them. I did love me some pickles. Not pictured were the ginormous bowl of citrus olives. Definitely tart with the punch of citrus but delightful.
With events and festivals, Thomasville only seemed to lack a music venue and hotel downtown. Both I have been told are being remedied with incoming developments.
I’m available for random house or pet sitting!
It wasn’t Park Circle Pizza, but the cheesiness was delicious. Our teenage waiter also had channeled his inner Zach Morris from the hair to the shirt to the pants. If only he had completed it with a phone in a bag!
Thomasville was the perfect break before the world of Key West. Just before the Florida line and 30 minutes from Tallahasee, it surrounds you with the song of the south.