Around 1685, an acorn began to grow in Thomasville, eventually becoming a sprawling tree with a limb span of more than 165 feet and a point of pride for local residents. Like its cherished landmark The Big Oak, this Georgia town has undergone quite the transformation over the years, blossoming into an ideal spot for families to call home.

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This small town has a robust history and a big personality, exemplified by its more than 100 years of holding the Rose Show and festival, which features a parade, artisan market, antique car show and more. The festival, plus the 1,500 rose bushes that bloom annually in the Thomasville Rose Garden, led Thomasville to be officially dubbed “Rose City” by the state in 2016. Restaurants, boutiques and local businesses like the indie bookstore The Bookshelf and The Scoop Deli fill downtown, where kids and adults alike will love embarking on a scavenger hunt for Thomasville’s “lost quail”: 18 handmade bronze statues of the bird scattered around town. You can spend hours browsing the Jack Hadley Black History Museum, which has thousands of African American artifacts spanning centuries, and touring the unusually asymmetrical Lapham-Patterson House, a Victorian mansion with 19 rooms.

Four people enjoying a meal outside in Thomasville
City of Thomasville

Located on the state’s border with Florida, Thomasville is both incredibly appealing and remarkably affordable, with a median home price of just under $300,000. And soon, it will have even more to offer residents: The city is just over halfway through its Thomasville Blueprint 2028 plan, which was adopted in 2018 to help revitalize grow the downtown — in part, by including transforming parking lots into an amphitheater — and develop eight walkable centers in nearby areas.