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15 Fun & Best Things To Do In Marianna (Florida)

Marianna is a city in Jackson County, Florida, the United States, known as ” The city of southern Charm.”

The city truly lives up to its moniker with its amazing vibes and beautifully restored architecture from earlier centuries.

Although it only has a population of slightly more than 9,000 people, it has grown by 50% in the last decade.

Besides, the city is also known as the gateway to the state’s only park with direct access to underground systems of Florida Caverns State Park that offers visitors a rarity in the state, a chance to explore stunning caves.

The caverns are home to a diverse ecology, including cave-dwelling blind crayfish, bats, and salamanders.

Let’s explore the most lovely things to do in Marianna.

Things To Do In Marianna Florida

1. Blue Springs Recreational Park, Marianna

Things to do in Marianna

Photo: Blue Springs Recreational Park

Are you in Marianna and you want a perfect place to go on a hot day? Blue Springs is the ideal place to go, with cool water and easy access.

Blue Springs recreational park is about a five-mile drive east of Marianna.

The Park is also centered on the beautiful Jackson Blue Springs.

The spring, which is designated as a First Magnitude Spring of Florida, gives water to Merritt’s Millpond. Also, the Merritt’s Mill Pond is a favorite fishing and swimming spot.

Besides the specified swimming places, there are volleyball courts, boat docks, and a playground.

With just a $4 per head entry fee, you can explore many things here.

With county permits, you can enjoy exceptional opportunities for open-water scuba diving.

You will also enjoy cave diving in the park throughout the year.

Similarly, you will witness uncommon species such as Dougherty Plain cave crawfish within the spring’s underwater cave complex.

You can also rent a boat and go around the waters in the area.

Besides the whole fun, you will also have access to basic amenities.

These include things like bathrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, etc.

More so, you can bring your food and drinks and stay for the entire day in the park.

With a unique natural spring in an underwater cave, breathing taking place to swim in natural, freezing crystal clear waters.

You can spend many hours here, and you wouldn’t even know.

It is always thrilling, and if you are in Marianna, this is a great place to visit with friends and family.

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

2. Mashawy Grill

Things to do in Marianna

Photo: Mashawy Grill

If you need somewhere to get a high-quality delectable meal in Marianna, Mashawy is the go-to place.

Mashawy is a delectable Greek-American fusion restaurant that serves high-quality, fresh Mediterranean meals.

They serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The outside of this restaurant is deceiving, but don’t let that stop you. This place will not disappoint you.

In short, this is one of the best restaurants in Marianna.

Soft piano music and a warm mix of natural and ambient light provide the perfect backdrop for the incredible dining experience that awaits.

In addition, the cozy dining area is appointed by clean white tablecloths comfortable seating.

There are also subtle table pieces that add wonderfully to the sophisticated yet casual feel.

The family-owned fine-dining establishment serves big quantities at low costs.

It is an excellent alternative for foodies on a budget.

Moreso, their food is EXQUISITE.

This loving family that owns Mashawy brings meals with authentic recipes directly from their own dinner table to yours.

Throughout the week, diners can taste layered eggplant moussaka, chicken, or lamb mandi.

You will also enjoy artisanal steaks and seafood meals, including filet mignon, cowboy ribeye, and yellowfin tuna steaks.

Their unique offerings, like Moussaka, Moshakal, and Glabah, are excellent examples of Mediterranean cuisine. It provides an exciting escape from the standard fare found in many nearby restaurants.

They also have excellent desserts and tea that tops off the food. In addition, the owners are wonderfully welcoming to all of their guests.

Similarly, the owners take the time to stop by each table.

They make sure that your dining experience is perfect, really adding to the atmosphere and service.

The incredible service and amazing food make Mashawy the best restaurant in Marianna.

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

3. Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna

Things to do in Marianna

Photo: Florida State Parks

Florida Caverns State Park, located on Caverns Road in Marianna, is the only state park in Florida with access to limestone caves.

It opened to the public in 1942 and, as a result, is one of the state’s most distinctive attractions.

The park is home to a diverse ecology that includes cave-dwelling blind crayfish, bats, and salamanders.

A visitor center and museum, covered picnic spots, and a playground are among the park’s features.

The Caverns offer visitors a rarity in the state, a chance to explore stunning caves.

While moving between the large underground rooms, one can observe the many chisel marks made by 1930s-era Civilian Conservation Corps workers.

The good condition of these caves is also the result of the hard work of these civilian workers.

Dozens of men worked grueling hours to dig out the caves so visitors could stand upright during the tour.

Flashlight tours explore the cave’s network of corridors that have evolved over eons, providing tourists with a unique view into the scary and fascinating subterranean world.

The park’s caves have unique stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone formations, which can be explored as part of guided flashlight cave excursions throughout the day.

Camping, boating, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding are all popular visitor activities.

In addition, there’s a store to purchase snacks and souvenirs.

You cannot take bags, drinks, or food. There’s power and lights in the caverns.

The climate is cool and would not feel closed in.

Moreso, if you are claustrophobic, don’t worry, there are a few low points where you have to duck to get through, but it isn’t closed in.

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

4. Chipola College

Things to do in Marianna

Photo: BusinessYab

How about a visit to one of the oldest and smallest colleges in Florida?

Chipola College is the third oldest and the third smallest college in the Florida College System. Established in 1947.

If you are on a budget and you also wish to avoid the crowds, then this is a really good place to be.

Chipola offers over 40 programs and awards four types of diplomas.

Travelers typically ignore college and university campuses, but they’re significant destinations for tourists.

The college was primarily a two-year community college for most of its existence.

It became a full-fledged institution with the addition of bachelor’s degree programs in 2003.

Throughout the year, the center’s two theaters showcase a variety of acts.

The acts you will enjoy include live music, dramatic plays, and even classical and chamber music.

The main campus in Marianna has such a town feeling, and you will love it.

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

5. Southern Craft Creamery

Things to do in Marianna

Photo: Southern Craft Creamery

Southern Craft Creamery, located on Jefferson Street in Marianna, is the town’s go-to spot for handcrafted ice cream like you won’t find anywhere else.

The Creamery has the best ice cream in North Florida.

The unique flavors are rich, and the waffle cones are absolutely amazing and well worth it.

Milk for the ice cream comes from local cows.

There are great flavors with flavor combinations you likely won’t find at the big chains.

The iced creams are never too sugary; they let the flavors shine.

The prices are great, and the staffs are always friendly.

Some ways they have managed to be the best is by using fresh, local ingredients.

Furthermore, they maintain this standard by cultivating long-term connections with suppliers and customers.

They also serve excellent coffee and a range of other beverages and desserts.

In addition to their excellent services, the restaurant provides a pleasant atmosphere suitable for unwinding with fine food and companions.

The most amazing part of the creamery is the staff and my experience.

If you are in Marianna, stop by and check them out.

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

6. Country Cottage Antiques and Florals, Marianna

Country Cottage Antiques and Florals, Marianna

Facebook / Country Cottage Antiques

If you’re looking for the apron your grandmother wore while baking cupcakes, look here.

If you also want to experience some real good nostalgia, then this is also the right place.

Country Cottage Antiques and Florals is a delightful local antique shop in Marianna.

The shop features one-of-a-kind home furniture and decor that the proprietors have meticulously cultivated.

There is everything you could dream of here, from Victorian-style furniture to jewelry to wind chimes to paintings and more!

This shop also has a large assortment of historic quilts, linens, and handwork, as well as stunning refined antique furniture.

The store’s rooms are lined with so much, including numerous vintage and antique, which are 19th and 20th-century pieces.

In addition, each room is a different theme and holds a treasure trove of surprises.

Although Seasonally, the decor is changed out, alternating between modern and vintage treasures.

Floral arrangements, as well as fake floral arrangements and vases, are available at the shop to meet all tastes and needs.

Don’t miss this gem if you enjoy browsing thrift stores and enjoying nostalgic strolls down memory lane.

You will find the owner, Gail Brown, inside. Gail is really helpful without being obnoxious.

In short, if you are looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for someone you care about, look no further!

It’s a great shopping experience all around – great items, outstanding prices, and helpful, kind, and caring staff!

Don’t miss this place while in Marianna.

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

Want to explore more cities in Florida? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in Tampa, Stuart, Destin, Siesta Key, and Clermont!

7. The Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail

Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail

James / Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to walk one of the most hauntingly beautiful trails?

The Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail is a one-half mile long multi-use trail near Marianna.

The trail offers access to Florida’s oldest bridge, the historic Bellamy Bridge.

The highlight of the trail is the historic bridge itself.

Built in 1914, it is also the centerpiece of what one recent film has proclaimed the “most haunted spot in Florida.”

Several ghost legends revolve around the bridge.

The story that brings most visitors to the bridge, however, is the fabulous tale of Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, the “Ghost of Bellamy Bridge.”

She died in 1837 and is said to still haunt the bridge area in pursuit of her beloved husband, Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy.

For the next 15 years of his life, Samuel struggled to heal from the death of his wife, and he died in neighboring Chattahoochee, Florida.

Since then, Elizabeth’s ghost is said to have wandered the area around the bridge.

It is said that she is looking for her husband’s spirit to join him in his ultimate resting place.

Only a mile to the haunted bridge and back, this trail is largely shaded and takes you through some swamp-like land!

Additionally, if you go on a rainy day, walk carefully as it tends to be a lot of slippery mud and puddles of water you have to climb around.

The haunted bridge at the end of this trail is such an interesting historical site.

Although the bridge may be seen from the road, but nothing beats up-close experience.

You will also see some of the state’s most magnificent landscapes along the Chipola River.

Address: Marianna, FL, United States

8. Spanish Trail Playhouse

Spanish Trail Playhouse

Photo: Spanish Trail Playhouse

With 4 main stage productions and 3 artist series events, Spanish Trail Playhouse in Chipley is a prominent community theater.

The Spanish Trail Playhouse started in 1962 and is recognized for its local talent and exciting musicals.

Classics such as Annie and Arsenic and Old Lace have previously been featured in their presentations.

The playhouse only puts on a few shows a year, and they all take place at the local high school auditorium.

Although it may not appear to be a particularly stunning setting, most guests find something endearing and intimate about it.

Lastly, it is maintained by a non-profit organization made up entirely of volunteers.

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

9. Jackson County Visitors Center

Jackson County Visitors Center

Photo: Mapio

If you need a great place to learn about the history and current events in the county, then this is your go-to place

The Jackson County Tourists Center is located on Lafayette Street, downtown Marianna.

It is a fantastic location to start for new visitors who are unfamiliar with the area.

With an extensive collection of outdoor recreation areas and family-friendly activities, visitors can find a range of activities to do by visiting this place.

The center is packed with maps, brochures, and travel magazines, all of which are available for free.

In addition, many of them are chock-full of special discounts and coupons for inexpensive meals, services, and lodging.

There are also nice displays of the people who created the town. The photos are a great way to orient yourself to the present day.

It’s free to visit, and it’s staffed by helpful, passionate, and knowledgeable local volunteers.

They are hands-down the most essential resources for anyone who isn’t sure what to do with their time while in the area.

Since the center is just off Hwy. 50 and close to downtown Marianna, it’s pretty convenient as well.

Address: 100 N Broadway St #1706, Seymour, IN 47274, United States

10. Beef O’Brady’s, Marianna

Beef O'Brady's, Marianna

Photo: Mellisa Blok

Beef O’Brady’s is a prominent sport bar business noted for its great draft beer selections and family-friendly Irish pub food.

Although set up like a restaurant, this place has a sport bar feel. Lots of TV monitors throughout.

Hearty classic entrees such as Nashville hot fried shrimp, cheesy bacon chicken breasts, and beef burritos are available.

Bacon is crisp, and toppings are generous and delicious! Curly fries are good too.

There are also grilled dishes such as salmon filets and Southwestern chicken bowls.

Besides the grilled dishes, wraps and burgers, ranging from buffalo chicken wraps to barbecue bacon cheeseburgers, are also popular.

Beer-battered onion rings, boom boom shrimp, and cheesy bacon pub chips are all crowd-pleasers.

In short, it is a great place to grab a beer and get some good food, even outside of Marianna.

With great vibes and excellent services, you will enjoy every bit of this place.

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

11. Marianna Civil War Battlefield

Marianna Civil War Battlefield

Photo: Blox Images

This place is a little known gem for Civil War buffs

Marianna Civil War Battlefield protects the historic site of the Battle of Marianna in September 1864.

The battle is a pivotal battle between Union and Confederate soldiers

It is a walking tour that takes you past and through many important sites of the Battle of Marianna.

During the conflict, more than a quarter of Marianna’s male population were killed.

Church and home on the site were also burned to the ground.

Be sure to visit the Visitor Center first, where the walking tour begins, and get a map/brochure of the tour.

Follow the map and you will see markers, monuments, antebellum homes, bullet-scarred tombstones

You will also see the church that is remembered as “Florida’s Alamo.”

This was a small battle, but it is really interesting. You will also learn about its significance in Civil War history.

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

12. Wharf Casual Seafood Marianna

Wharf Casual Seafood Marianna

Photo: Wharf Casual Seafood

How about some seafood to complement your overall experience in Marianna?

Wharf Casual Seafood, located on Highway 90 near Marianna, is noted for its welcoming ambiance, generous portion sizes, and affordable prices.

This place might be casual, but the food is not.

Wharf is noted for its fresh cakes and pies. There’s also a notion that their key lime pie is the best in the neighborhood, besides its savory menu options.

The shrimp and grits are so good.

Grits are also super flavorful and they put their own twist with the feta and sauce they use.

Similarly, the tacos taste fresh and are flavorful.

Check out the hush puppies. It is so good; they have just a tad of sweetness, crispy on the outside, tender & cooked all the way through.

Don’t forget to take the excellent cocktail.

The price point is good. It’s a counter-service type place so easy to walk in, order, and sit down.

Finally, they also have a gluten-free menu for individuals with dietary concerns.

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

13. Bear Paw Escape, Marianna

Bear Paw Escape, Marianna

Photo: Facebook / Bear Paw Escape

When you want to spend the day floating down the river in Marianna and you are a nature freak. This Place is the spot to go.

Bear Paw Escape provides full-service river float and canoeing adventures.

Throughout the year, visitors ages five and up can take part in kayaking and canoeing tours led by qualified tour guides.

Trips are available for both novice and experienced boaters

They also explore local natural treasures such as dry caves and freshwater springs.

Regular, Cadillac, and Wow Max tubes of various forms and sizes are also available for inner tube rides.

Be sure to wear some type of shoe that won’t fall off.

There are a few shallow spots where you will need to stand and walk.

There are no fast rapids!! Mostly calm, but enough current to move except the real shallow places.

However, you can bring sandwiches, drinks, water speakers and friends.

The transfer service and boat or tube rental for the length of the trip are included in all trips.

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

Planning a road trip outside of Marianna? Check out the list of things to do in Alachua, Fort Myers,  Davenport, Gainesville, and Apopka!

14. Panhandle Watermelon Festival

Panhandle Watermelon Festival

Photo: Grayson Jarvis

Some unusual for a vacation while in Marianna? This watermelon festival is the way to go if you happen to visit Marianna during the mid year.

Watermelons, along with citrus and strawberries, have historically been a mainstay of Florida’s fruit production.

Chipley, a small community west of Marianna on Route 90, is worth a visit.

It has hosted an annual watermelon festival for over six decades

As a result, the festival attracts tourists from all around the state.

The festival also attracts tourists from neighboring states like Alabama and Georgia as well.

To get there, you have to follow the signs to the festival. It’s nice!

There are a lot of carnival things, lots of stands, music, and watermelon.

The Panhandle Watermelon Festival includes an abundance of fresh, delicious melon prepared in a variety of ways.

In addition, live entertainment, arts and crafts, a kid’s play zone, and even a parade are all available.

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

15. Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Photo: Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Are you a history buff and do you want a great place to spend a hot or rainy afternoon? Florida Historic Capitol Museum is one such place.

This is a really great place for those who care about history, but who don’t care about history, right?

The museum, located in Tallahassee, contains a lot of information in a not-so-big space.

Tallahassee is the capital of Florida, and despite being roughly an hour’s drive from Marianna.

It’s one of those worthwhile places that provides guests with a variety of historical, cultural, and recreational activities.

On South Monroe Street, you’ll find the Florida Historic Capitol Museum.

Stepping in, the people at the front desk are very nice and helpful.

In addition, the important rooms are all restored to how they would look in the early 1900s.

However, be sure to plan for at least 2 hours to be here, otherwise, you likely won’t be able to read everything in time.

There’s a lot about Florida’s history and the history of the actual building.

There’s also a scavenger hunt for kids, which is wonderful as they’re likely to be too restless to care about other stuff.

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

Start planning your trip to Marianna, Florida

From the foods to the parks, to diverse ecological systems, Marianna is such an amazing place to be.

Marianna is a city of southern Charm truly

You will really have a filled day if you visit and if you haven’t visited, we recommend having a taste of this place.

Safe Travel.