Discover The Most Beautiful Small Town In Florida: DeFuniak Springs

Nestled in the heart of Northwest Florida, DeFuniak Springs stands as a beacon of historical beauty and Victorian charm. Named the most beautiful small town in Florida by MSN Insider, this panhandle gem is a treasure trove of history, architecture, and natural beauty.

Historical Significance

DeFuniak Springs’ roots trace back to the 19th century when it was founded as a resort destination for railroad travelers. The town quickly became a hub for influential figures, including presidents, writers, musicians, poets, and astronauts, weaving a rich tapestry of American history within its bounds​​.

The town played a pivotal role in the rise of the Chautauqua Movement. Originating in 1885, the Florida Chautauqua Assembly attracted thousands of visitors, contributing significantly to the cultural and educational landscape of the area. The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, constructed in 1909, was a cornerstone of this movement, although its auditorium was later destroyed by Hurricane Eloise in 1975​​.

Architectural and Natural Marvels

The DeFuniak Springs Historic District is a designated U.S. Historic District, containing 172 historic buildings and objects, showcasing late 19th and early 20th-century American movements and Victorian architectural styles​​. Visitors can explore the Walton County Library, the oldest in the state, retaining much of its original Victorian charm​​.

A natural highlight of the town is Lake DeFuniak, one of the few naturally occurring, almost perfectly round lakes globally. This lake is not just a geographic marvel but also a popular spot for picnicking, walking, recreational activities, and community events​​​​.

Cultural Richness

DeFuniak Springs is more than its historic buildings and natural beauty. It’s a living, breathing community steeped in culture and tradition. Visitors can immerse themselves in various events like the revived Florida Chautauqua Assembly, Christmas Reflections, Gras Fest, Lake Fest, the biennial Quilt Show, and the Marvel of Flight Fly-In and Expo​​.


DeFuniak Springs’ allure lies in its ability to transport visitors back in time while offering a vibrant, culturally rich experience. Its preservation of historical sites, coupled with the serene beauty of Lake DeFuniak and a bustling community life, makes it an undeniable jewel in Florida’s crown. Whether you’re a history buff, architecture enthusiast, or just looking for a picturesque escape, DeFuniak Springs promises an experience like no other.