Known around the world for sweet onions, Vidalia is full of local flavor – and we don’t just mean on the dinner plate.
Discover Vidalia and the area and see for yourself!
Make your first stop the Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau, located within the same building as the Vidalia Onion Museum. From Highway 280, turn onto Commerce Way, between Southeastern Technical College and the Toombs-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. We are the second building on the right.
Our friendly staff will tell you everything you want to know about accommodations, activities, attractions, dining, and shopping. Also, check our events page for a calendar of local happenings.
A Little Bit of History…
Vidalia was incorporated on January 1, 1890. It is the largest city in Toombs County, but it is not the county seat. Although some suggest Vidalia may have been named “via dalia” (“road of dahlias”), it may have been named— like Vidalia, Louisiana — in honor of Don José Vidal, a Spanish aristocrat.
Like many towns in the area, Vidalia grew up around a rail yard that served farmers in the area who grew crops like pecans and tobacco. The Vidalia Onions were not an important crop until much later.
From 1952-1956, Vidalia was home to the Vidalia Indians, a Class D minor league baseball affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Vidalia played in the Georgia State League and won the 1953 League Championship.
In the 1950s, Piggly Wiggly grocery stores opened a distribution center in Vidalia, bringing with it jobs as well as railroad business. At that time, Vidalia served as an interchange junction between the Central of Georgia and the Georgia and Florida railroad lines. For this, a large seven track yard was constructed, as well as a sizable engine servicing facility and interchange yard. The latter, smaller interchange yard is still in use to some degree by the Georgia Central railroad, while the larger yard was removed sometime in the 1970s.
Vidalia is best known for its “sweet” onions. The Vidalia onion was first produced around 1931 when a farmer named Mose Coleman discovered that the onions he produced were sweeter than other onions. Other farmers started growing the same crop, and in the 1940s the Vidalia onion became an item sold to tourists.
Vidalia onion growers have protected their brand, and today all onions labelled Vidalia must be grown in one of thirteen different counties in Georgia or in specific portions of seven other counties. Because of their taste and reputation, they are able to command an increased price in the marketplace.
In 1990, the Vidalia onion was named as the official vegetable of the state of Georgia.
The Visit Vidalia Team
Alexa has lived in Vidalia since 1994. While being a stay-at-home mom for about 16 years, she was involved in numerous community and school-related volunteer efforts here in Vidalia, including serving on the Vidalia Onion Festival Committee for 6 years. Alexa has an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics and a Master’s Degree from the University of Georgia in Housing and Consumer Economics with an emphasis in Historic Preservation. She was the Interim Tourism Director twice for the City of Vidalia before the Vidalia Area Convention & Visitors Bureau was formed. She served as the Lyons Main Street Director 5 1/2 years before coming back to Vidalia in December of 2014 as the Executive Director of Vidalia’s Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Alexa grew up in Crisp County/Cordele, Georgia. Her mother is a native of Crisp County and her father was born in Cedar Crossing. She’s married to Kevin Britton, Manager of the Vidalia Regional Airport and a local pilot.