Welcome to the grounds of Florida's Historic Chautauqua!

Group tour request

Official Site of the DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau  (850) 333-2241

Welcome to Historic DeFuniak Springs, FL

  Walk in the footsteps of presidents, first ladies, famous poets, orators, and American song writers.  This campus, built during the Victorian Era (1884),  is one of Florida's most treasured, and hidden, historic sites.  It is also one of Florida's first planned (once gated) communities comprised of plotted properties for cottages and mansions, a grand lecture hall built to resemble the U.S. Capitol, a magnificent hotel (no longer standing), a charming library, churches of various denominations and an art department.  4,000 people a day once traveled here by excursion train just to listen to such notable and prominent people as Ohio Gov. (and future president) William McKinley,  Founder of the American Red Cross Clara Barton, American Orator and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, Vice President Thomas Marshall, and Writer of Battle Hymn of the Republic Julia Ward Howe - just to name a few!


Tours

  • Self-Guided:  Complimentary printed guides with map and site descriptions are available on the historic grounds at the Walton County Heritage Museum, 1140 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, or at the DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau next store at 1162 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs.  You can also download a copy of our most recent Visitors Guide which includes the Walking Tour.  
  • Complimentary Group Tours (45-minutes to 1 hour):   Must make arrangements at least two weeks prior to your visit by completing/submitting form to the right.  10 (ten) or more in a party qualifies for group tours.  A qualified docent of the DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau will meet your group on arrival and escort the members of your party on a 45-minute tour of the grounds highlighting the most historic homes, structures and sites on the original campus grounds.  We can provide walking tours or we can board your bus/ride along with you.  We do not have transportation services.  Questions?  Call us at (850) 333-2241.
  • Extensive Tour:   In addition to a complimentary group tour of the grounds which is on the National Register of Historic Places, the DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau may be able to accommodate visits into some of the homes and structures on the campus grounds for a $5/home or structure fee.   We can arrange to tour the historic library at no additional charge and perhaps St. Agatha's Episcopal Church should a volunteer be available to open the doors to the sanctuary and to explain their church's rich history.  You will need to make arrangements for these tours through the DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau by completing and submitting the form to the right.  We will then talk to these home/structure owners and leaders to check on their availability to open their doors to you.  Please know that most of the private homes/cottages are NOT wheelchair accessible.  We will get back to you on what is available and to negotiate a tour schedule and total per person ticket price.   We can provide walking tours or we can board your bus/ride along with you.  We do not have transportation services.  Questions?  Call us at (850) 333-2241.


Below are some videos about the campus from YouTube you may enjoy.