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Cordele, Georgia is known as the Watermelon Capital of the world. The watermelons grown here are said to be the sweetest found anywhere.  During the summer, Cordele celebrates the watermelon harvest with the annual Watermelon Days Festival.

Cordele is also known as the home of Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club. This resort located in the midst of Georgia Veterans State Park's whispering pines is a popular Southwest Georgia conference center, upscale lodging and dining site, and a heavily visited camping site. In addition to first class golf, this resort also features a marina where guests can rent watercraft for exploring Lake Blackshear or engaging in other water sports and activities. The Lady Liberty, a 50 passenger state-of -the-art event boat, is available for private function.

Cordele is part of the Andersonville Trail that runs from I-75 to the Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville, GA. The trail route runs along Highway 280 from Cordele to Americus, Georgia.  From Americus, the trail follows Highway 49 to Andersonville.

The SAM Shortline excursion train is based in Cordele. This train runs along Highway 280 from Cordele to Plains, with sightseeing stops at points of interest along the way. Special runs of the excursion occur during special events in Southwest Georgia such as the Watermelon Festival, the Plains Peanut Festival, and the annual Dogwood Days Antique Show and Sale. The Cordele depot for the SAM shortline is located at 105 East 9th Avenue.