Main Street DeFuniak Springs
Founded in the 1880’s along the Pensacola and Atlantic Line, DeFuniak Springs was born on the shores of our perfectly round, spring-fed lake. An oasis of intrigue, DeFuniak Springs served as the ideal spot for a new resort town, and the combination of our access and our climate made it an ideal location for one of America’s earliest cultural movements, the Chautauqua. Explore the original campus of the Florida Chautauqua along our beautiful Lake Yard, discover the purity of the Hall of Brotherhood and soak in the history of our grand Victorian homes, school, library, churches and historic hospital, all surrounding this natural Lake DeFuniak.
As a community, we were founded on the four pillars of the Chautauqua Movement – Arts, Education, Recreation and Spirituality. Learning and teaching have always been a part of who we are. One of the first planned communities in Florida, we provide the authentic inspiration for the popularity of New Urbanism. Our oratory of yesteryear laid the foundations for today’s TedTalks. Over 130 years later, our values still permeate the activity and experiences of DeFuniak Springs.
Everyday life includes paddle-boarding on our lakes, discovering delicious food in a historic setting, enjoying local artisans at our Downtown Arts Night, learning and growing through our amazing schools and attending a keynote talk at the annual Chautauqua Assembly. Like our natural lake, life in DeFuniak Springs is well-rounded.
DeFuniak Springs is in the heart of the panhandle, but we aren’t Old Florida. We are the seat of a coastal county, but we aren’t a beach town. Instead, our heritage and culture lay the foundation of our character as a True Southern Town; defined by hospitality, tradition, community, and warmth. In DeFuniak Springs, lifelong friends meet at the local diner to start the day. Grandparents cheer on the grandkids at little league games. Residents enjoy the cool summer breezes from their local porches overlooking the Lake Yard. And children can buy candy at the downtown general store. For visitors, DeFuniak Springs reminds them of everything they grew up with, and beckons them to call this town home. We are the original Urbanism, yet we are still an escape from the hustle of the big city, and the sunburn of the sandy beaches.
Downtown DeFuniak Springs is the new campus to share and learn, and Main Street is the center of culture, recreation, commerce and living. You can debate the news of the day at the Opinion Place while your car is plugged in at the Tesla Supercharging Station. The Smithsonian is bringing their Museums on Main Street to downtown, highlighting the culture of DeFuniak Springs as an original rural community. A movement is building in DeFuniak Springs, as new business and investments are changing the face of downtown. The seeds of vibrancy and energy hearken back to the four pillars on which our community was founded. We invite you to discover for yourself all DeFuniak Springs has to offer.