23 Insanely Captivating Things To Do In Marianna, FL

Located in Jackson county, just under the Florida –Alabama border and a brief drive west of Tallahassee, Marianna is home to a population of 6,245 as at the 2020 census. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 square miles (43.6 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.29%, are water.

Marianna is your go to place if you’re interested in miles of beautiful caves, blue springs and natural rivers all which have earned it the official nickname “City Of The Southern Charm”.

Founded in 1828 by Scottish entrepreneur Scott Beverage, who named the city after his two daughters Mary and Anna. It became the county seat of Jackson county the following year.  Having rich historical roots, Marianna is famous for being the final resting place of the Confederate Governor of Florida, John Milton, who was buried in the St. Luke’s Episcopal churchyard, Marianna and is also the site where the historic battle of Marianna took place.

No matter the taste in fun, Marianna is ready to deliver. Here are 23 fun things to do in Marianna Florida.

1. St. Marks Lighthouse

St. Marks Lighthouse, Marianna
Credit: Florida Hikes

Address: St Marks, FL, United States

St. Mark Lighthouse is located south of Tallahassee, along the Gulf coast, 106 kilometers away from Marianna.

The Lighthouse was constructed in 1831 and is the second-oldest lighthouse in Florida.

For over 150 years, the Lighthouse worked diligently to service the town during challenging weather and hurricanes. Despite falling into despair and disuse during its life, it has now been reinstated to its almost original state.

so, If you are visiting Florida on a budget, this is one of the places you should visit since it doesn’t require much money.

St Mark Lighthouse is going through reforms to enable disabled visitors to access the destination quickly.

2. Citizen’s Lodge Park

Credit: Jon C. | Google

Address: 4574 Lodge Dr, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Citizens’ Lodge Park is another amazing destination to visit in Marianna, FL. The Park is filled with forests and ponds built for the town’s locals. It features six walking trails and a fitness trail.

In addition to these features, it is often used as a venue for festivals and concerts to entertain the locals of Marianna.

Citizen’s Lodge Park’s seating capacity can accommodate up to 100 people.

3. Spanish Trail Playhouse

Spanish Trail Playhouse, Marianna
Credit: Spanish Trail Playhouse

Address: 680 2nd St, Chipley, FL 32428, United States

The Spanish Trail Playhouse was established in 1962. It is famous for its exciting musicals and local talents.

It is located at Chipley, 28 minutes from Marianna. The Playhouse, which features four primary stage production and three series events, is a well-known local theatre.

Plays like Old Lace, Arsenic, and Annie have been previously played in this theater. Every year, the Playhouse puts on a few shows held in the local high school auditorium.

Even though the show’s venue is not spectacular, there’s something personal and adorable about it.

The Spanish Trail Playhouse is controlled by a non-profit organization comprised of willing volunteers.

4. Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Florida Historic Capitol Museum, Marianna
Credit: Visit Florida

Address: 400 S Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32399, United States.

Florida Historic Capitol Museum is located in Tallahassee, which is 1 hour away from Marianna.

The space at this attraction is not ample, but it is filled with a lot of historical information.

Florida Historic Capitol Museum will provide different cultural, recreational, and historical activities. The people that man the front desks are civil and polite.

When planning your trip to Florida Historic Capitol Museum, endeavor to leave Marianna early enough so you can spend quality time at the destination.

Even kids are not left out of the fun; a scavenger hunt is organized for them in case they get bored with other activities.

5. Spring Creek Park

Spring Creek Park, Marianna
Credit: Deb S. | Google

Address: 4289 US-90, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

The creek flows from Merritt’s Mill Pond, where it opens out to the Chipola River. Spring Creek Park offers plenty of Wildlife. The Park’s trees can be used as shades to protect you from the sun. The tree also serves as a home for wildlife.

Some species found in Spring Creek Park are sweet bay, loblolly bay, swamp gum, pond cypress, green ash, and water hickory.

6. Jackson County Visitors Centre

Jackson County Visitors Centre, Marianna
Credit: Rod Nichols | Google

Address: 4318 Lafayette St, Marianna, FL 32446, USA

Another item on the bucket list of things to do in Marianna, FL, is to gain more knowledge and insight on the beautiful southern charm, and Jackson County Visitors Center provides you an opportunity to do so. Jackson County Tourist Visitors Center is situated on Lafayette Street, downtown Marianna.

This destination has a vast collection of family-friendly outdoor activities you can enjoy with your loved ones and family.

The Center is filled with travel magazines, brochures, and maps that are available and free for everyone. It  also features pictures of the town’s original settlers. The Center’s workers are knowledgeable, passionate, and helpful local volunteers.

Furthermore, the Center also offers special discounts, lodging, and coupons for cheap meals.

7. Blue Hole Spring

Address: 3345 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Up for a chilly swim, the blue hole Spring is the catch. Found in the Florida Cavern State park in Marianna, FL, it is one of the water sources that form the Chipola River.

The Spanish soldiers and missionaries crossed the Chipola bridge and the Blue Hole Spring in June 1674.  According to legend, this destination got its name due to the hole being covered with water that is so cold it will make you blue. Another theory is that the name was gotten due to the blue water.

The Blue Hole Spring is an assured beautiful tourist attraction that attracts the presence of locals and tourists who come to engage in activities like picnicking, swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the stunning view.

8. Florida Cavern State Park

Florida Cavern State Park, Marianna
Credit: Mama Bear | Google

Address: 3345 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446, USA

Situated on Caverns Road, Florida Carven State Park was opened up for public use in the year 1942. It is the only park in the state with access to dry caves and offers tours to people.

It’s no doubt that it is one of the best places to visit in Marianna, FL. It serves as a habitat for diverse ecology, which includes bats, salamanders, and cave-living blind crayfish.

The Park has stunning arrangements of soda straws, limestone stalacites, stalagmites, draperies, and flowstones and is famous for hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, and fishing.

As you go on this torchlight tour, you will come across the cave’s mazes of passageways built years ago. This site gives visitors a peep into an Underground world that may seem creepy but exciting.

The Park also houses shaded picnic spots, a visitor center, a museum, and a playground.The impressively good condition of these caves is attributed to the impressive hard work of the people working in the cave.

Since the attraction does not permit drinks, food, or bags, it has a store where you can buy souvenirs and snacks.

9. The Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail

Address: Marianna, FL, United States

One fun site you can’t afford to be missing from your checklist of fun things to do in Marianna, FL is to walk the one-and-a-half-mile Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail.This Trail enables you to access the oldest bridge in Florida, which is the historic Bellamy Bridge.

The main feature of The Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail is THE BRIDGE. It is  among the ten oldest bridges in the state. Built in 1914 on a site that used to house an old wooden bridge.

A variety of ghost stories surrounds the Bellamy Bridge. However, the most popular story that attracts visitors is the story of Elizabeth Jane, who died on May 11, 1837 and is believed to haunt the bridge in search of her dead husband, Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy so that she could be together with him again.

After the death of his wife in 1837, Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy spent 15 years trying to heal from the pain of her death, and he later died in Chattahoochee, Florida. The Trail is free to visit and is open every day of the week.

10. Southern Craft Creamery

Southern Craft Creamery, Marianna
Credit: Southern Craft Creamery

Address: 2884 Jefferson St, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

If you love ice cream,  then the Southern Craft Creamery will cap it for you, or should I say cone it for you.

It sits on Jefferson Street, Marianna. It is a popular spot frequented by locals and tourists for a good scoop of handmade ice cream.

Southern Craft Creamery has formulas it follows devotedly: using fresh and local ingredients, having a good relationship with the customers and suppliers, and offering quality ice cream at considerable prices.

The enterprise has a large base of visitors, and people who have visited the restaurant have observed that aside from its quality products, the restaurant has a welcoming and charming ambiance that will make you feel right at home.

They also offer quality coffee and several types of beverages and sweets. Southern Craft Creamery is said to have the best-handcrafted ice cream in North Florida.

11. Bear Paw Escape

Bear Paw Escape
Credit: Bear Paw Escape

Address: 2100 Bear Paw LN, Marianna, FL 32448, United States

Among the fun things to do in Marianna, FL,  going on a river trip with Bear Paw Escape is one of them.

They offer a river floating and canoeing trip along Marinna’s stunning Chipola River. These trips last between two hours and all day, depending on the type of services you require.

Visitors aged five and above can go on canoeing and kayaking trips for the entire year. All you have to do is have an expert guide to assist you with navigating.

You and your family can explore natural attractions like freshwater springs and dry caves.

Every trip includes shuttle services and tube and boat rental for the length of the trip. You are free to bring a sandwich, drinks and water speakers.

12. Panhandle Watermelon Festival

Address: 1544 N Railroad Ave, Chipley, FL 32428, United States

While in Marianna FL, don’t forget to take part in the Panhandle Watermelon Festival. Watermelon, strawberries, and citrus are popularly known as the mainstay of Florida, so of course, there’s going to be a festival about it.

The Panhandle Watermelon Festival is held in Chipley, which is 28 minutes away from Marianna. For over 60 years, Chipley has been the host of the yearly watermelon festival that attracts people from all over Florida and neighboring states such as Georgia and Alabama.

The festival features lots of delicious fresh watermelon served in different ways. It also features live entertainment, a kids’ play area, a parade, and art and crafts.

This event is free and held every June, so if you are in the region in June, make sure you attend the event.

13. Chipola College

Chipola College, Marianna
Credit: Ryan Maloney | Google

Address: 3094 Indian Cir, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Colleges are not popular places that tourists like to visit, but if you are looking for what to do in Marianna, FL, for a low price, and with less crowd, you should check out Chipola College.

Chipola College was established in 1947. Initially, it was designed as a two-year community college, but in 2003, it became a full-fledged institution with the addition of a bachelor’s degree program.

The College is the third smallest and the third oldest in Florida. It offers more than 40 programs and awards four types of diplomas.

Chipola College has two theatres for performances such as plays, live music, and classical and chamber music.

The College is famous due to a recent new art center that was finalized in 2012. The art center cost nearly 20 million dollars.

14. Historic Russ House Visitor Center

Historic Russ House Visitor Center, Marianna
Credit: Marianna Somero | Marianna

Address: 4318 Lafayette Street, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

This attraction was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. It is the official visitor center for Jackson County and was refurbished In 1910.

The house is said to be among America’s most stunning examples of Queen Anne- style and Classical Revival architecture.

The attraction is also believed to be haunted by the spirit of soldiers murdered during the Battle of Marianna in 1864 and the suicide of Joseph W. Russ. Over the years, the house has hosted an impressive amount of supernatural investigations.

A guided tour of the house is available from Monday to Friday.

15. Bradfordville Blues Club

Bradfordville Blues Club, Marianna
Credit: Tallahessee Democrat

Address: 7152 Moses Ln, Tallahassee, FL 32309, United States

If you are a big fan of the blues, a visit to the Bradfordville Blues Club seems like a fantastic way to spend your evening.

The Bradfordville Club is situated in a single-room block building surrounded by cornfields and Spanish Moss-draped oak trees.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the club is often filled with blues performances by local musicians and even national ones.

Bradfordville Club offers a feeling of nostalgia, almost like you have leaped back in time.

16. Mashawy Grill

Address:3297 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Up for a taste teasing meal? Then you can’t afford to sit this one out. Mashawy Grill is family-owned restaurant that offers fresh and top of the counter Greek- American and Mediterranean cuisines.

The restaurant’s exterior might be deceiving at first sight but don’t you worry because this southern beau  will meet and exceed your expectations.

Mashaway Grill features soft piano music and a mixture of warm and natural light, creating the perfect environment for excellent dining.

The dining room is pristine and relaxing. The restaurant staff and owner are attentive, civil, and polite.

Lunch and dinner are served seven times a week. You can get options like lamb mandi, chicken, layered eggplant moussaka, seafood meals, fillet mignon, cowboy ribeye, and yellowfin tuna steaks.

Furthermore, they offer delicious desserts and tea that complement the meals. Dining here will give you a wonderful experience.

17. Country Cottage Antiques and Florals

Country Cottage Antiques and Florals, Marianna
Credit: Gail is at 4299 Lafayette | Google

Address: 2813 FL-71, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Antique shops are known for their ability to give you feelings of nostalgia and Country Cottage Antique and Florals are no exception.

The shop is a stunning and fascinating antique shop filled with unique items ready to be bought by you; as such, visiting it is one of the best things to do in Marianna, FL and so is buying a souvenir for keepsakes.

Country Cottage Antique and Florals offer items such as Victorian-style types of furniture, wind chimes, and jewelry.

It also has a large array of quilts, beautiful antique furniture, linen, and handwork. The room of the store is filled with plenty 20th- century-vintage and antique pieces.

Also, all the rooms are designed with different themes and are full of pleasant surprises. However, the decorations are changed every season. The seasonal décor alternates between vintage and contemporary designs.

Country Cottage Antique and Florals also offer floral arrangement services and sell vases. The shop owner is polite and will provide you with the necessary assistance you need when you visit.

This shop is perfect for you if you are searching for where to buy a special present for a friend or a family member.

18. Blue Spring Recreational Park

Blue Spring Recreational Park, Marianna
Credit: David Shoen | Google

Address: 5461 Blue Springs RD, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Blue Spring Recreational Park is situated a few miles east of the town. It features a popular reservoir called Merritt’s Mill pond that is famous among swimmers and fishermen.

People who visit this park for the first time are usually surprised to discover the clear and shining Waters of Merritt’s pond because these features are only seen in the high mountain lakes in the western states.

The reservoir’s water is always refreshing regardless of the season, thanks to the natural spring. The Park also features boat docks, playgrounds, swimming areas, and volleyball courts.

This family-oriented Park also features basic amenities like outdoor showers, bathrooms, and changing rooms. You are also allowed to bring food and snacks into the Park.

19. Wharf Casual Seafood

The Wharf Casual Seafood, Marianna
Credit: Wharf Casual Seafood

Address: 4767 US-90, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

You can locate Wharf Casual Seafood on Highway 90. The restaurant is known for its considerable prices, large portions, and welcoming atmosphere.

Wharf Casual Seafood may seem like an ordinary restaurant, but the food is anything but casual.

It is also famous for its pies and fresh cakes. Their key lime pie is in undoubtedly one of the best around the block.

Their menu includes many traditional favorites, like fried fish, steamed shrimp, and fish tacos. For those with dietary restrictions, they offer a gluten-free menu as well.

Their food menu includes delicious delicacies ranging from steamed shrimp, fish tacos, to fried fish. Even people with dietary restrictions have a gluten-free menu.

Wharf Casual Seafood has seats indoors and outdoors. They also allow people to keep their pets with them outside.

20. Challenger Learning Center

Challenger Learning Center, Marianna
Credit: Ric Feld Photography

Address: 200 S Duval St, Tallahassee, FL 32301, United States

There’s nothing more exciting that learning new and fun things. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Marianna, FL, with your kids,  Challenger Learning Center  is the place for you. It’s a destinations where you can learn about science and technology in Florida.

Challenger Learning Center, situated at Duval Street in Tallahassee, 106 kilometers from Marianna is a program controlled by Florida’s A&M University engineering program. This 30,009 square feet center is designed to capture the minds of young people. It features interactive exhibits on mathematics, science and technology, and engineering.

Additionally, Challenger Learning Center has a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and a space flight simulator.

Visiting this destination with your kids will make a memorable impact on you all, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Lastly, other special programs are offered by the Challenger Learning Centre. All you have to do is to check their calendar online so you will know what to expect when you visit.

21. Merritt’s Mill Pond

Merritt’s Mill Pond, Marianna
Credit: Get Up And Go Kayaking

Address: Merritt’s Mill Pond, 4820 Highway 90 East, Marianna, FL 32446, United States

Seven natural springs constantly feed the clean and clear waters Of Merrit’s Mill Pond. This clear water is suitable for lots of water-related activities. Some popular activities include Cave diving, swimming, and fishing in the pristine waters of the pond.

This destination is a 4-mile pond that houses different types of wildlife. You can observe this wildlife as you move along the pond on a boat or a canoe.

Also, you can rent diving equipment from the cave adventurers.

The Blue Spring Recreational Area opposite the pond has designated swimming areas, picnic tables, and restrooms.

22. Marianna Civil War Battlefield

Address: 4944 Malloy Plaza E, Marianna, FL 32448, United States

History lovers will want to visit this destination. Marianna Civil War Battlefield is a walking tour that shows you the many significant sites of the Battle of Marianna.

This battle took place in September 1864 during the American civil war. It was between confederate soldiers and the union.

During this battle, more than a quarter of the male population was killed, and churches and houses built on the site were burnt to ashes.

The site is open for visitors to explore seven days a week and is a self-guided tour. You can get the self-guided tour brochures at the Historic Russ Visitor Center.

23. Beef O’Brady’s

Beef O’Brady’s, Marianna
Credit: Toast | Marianna

Address: 4944 Malloy Plaza E, Marianna, FL 32448, United States

Beef O’ Brady’s is a popular family-friendly sports bar in Marianna known for its Irish pub food and quality craft beer.

Despite being designed like a restaurant, this destination has will give you a sports bar vibe when you visit it.

Delicious meals such as beef burritos, cheesy bacon chicken breasts, and Nashville hot fried shrimp are served at Beef O’Brady’s. It also serves grilled cuisines such as southwestern chicken bowls and salmon fillets.

Other delicious foods include cheeseburgers, barbecue bacon, Buffalo chicken, boom boom shrimp, cheesy bacon pub chips, and beer-battered onion rings.

Beef O’ Brady’s is an amazing place to kick back, relax and have a nice meal while you watch the game and enjoy its excellent services.

Wrapping Up

Marianna is a stunning town with a southern charm that offers thrilling, exciting indoor and outdoor activities for Individuals, couples, and families.

Although the list of activities and attractions in Marianna, FL, is endless, the carefully selected activities listed above will guide you when you visit.

Have a fun vacation!

Also check out: Things to Do in Moline, IL: 23 Utterly Amazing Activities And Visits

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