By Gary McKechnie

One of Florida’s finest road trips is along Highway 90 in Northwestern Florida. Because the road predates the parallel I-10 by decades, it rolls through a lot of Old Florida towns.

One that always catches my eye is DeFuniak Springs, 80 miles east of Pensacola. 

DeFuniak Springs first gained recognition in the 1880s as a gathering place for Chautauqua programs -- the spiritual, social, and educational camps that were started in New York.

Not only does this town reflect a look many of us remember as Old Florida, it has a wonderful old library, the retro Hotel DeFuniak, the Chautauqua Winery and a lovely collection of Victorian homes that encircle a nearly symmetrical spring-fed lake -- one of only two such naturally circular bodies of water in the world. (You'll have to head to Switzerland to see the other one.) 

Head to Northwest Florida to see DeLightful DeFuniak Springs.

(For more information, visit the city's website at