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located near the town of marianna is florida caverns state park. florida caverns is the largest cave in florida. the cave has a beautiful collection of stalactites, stalagmites. flowstone, and rimstone pools. also you can see the hidden river. this is a small creek that flows underground and reemergers to the surface in two places in the park. the park has an interesting history. the area around marianna was originally settled by native americans over a thousand years ago. the cave was used for burials and as a shelter. the first european to visit the cave was friar barreda in 1693. during the seminole war indians would hide in the cave to escape andrew jackson's troops. during the civil war southern refugess would hide from union troops in the cave. the visitor center was built in 1936 as a CCC project. the park also offers camping, canoeing, hiking, and horseback riding. a very interesting place to visit when in northwest florida.
Updated Jun 18, 2011
Address: 3345 caverns road
Did you know, there are actual PUBLIC caves in the state of Florida ? Real ones, not created by Disney ?
I discovered these caves by accident, I was driving aimelesly in the northern parts of the state, just enjoying the scenery, when all of the sudden I saw a sign: "Florida caverns". It took a while to sink in, but than I decided to investigate. Caverns in Florida ??
Yes, and they are real cool too. And most defenitely worth a visit. From the parking it is a 5 minute walk to the booth. After buying a ticket you are molded into a group and taken on a 3/4 hour tour.
I am unfamiliar with US caves in general, but as European I have seen formations I have never seen before in any other cave. Beware of temperature drops, and stairs... Lots of stairs.
See more pictures in the travelogue
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 3345 Caverns Road, Marianna, FL 32446
Phone: (850) 482-9598
I'm kind of a cave/cavern buff, and I drove a few hours, traveling alone out of the way in the Florida Panhandle to visit Florida Caverns State Park and tour the suposedly beautful large caves. It was kind of late in the day on a weekday and not too crowded. No one else was at the gift shop. As I checked in I found out there was a 4:00 pm tour, I thought " great I made it, this will be worth it !" unfortunately no one else was there and the gift shop manager said I cannot get a tour unless another person shows up. We waited 20. min and no one did- how disappointing. I told him how far I drove, etc. and how badly I wanted to see the cave, but I guess its' for safety reasons, rules are rules, etc. Sometimes I like being single and setting my own itinerary, but this is one of the disadvantages, getting shut out of some places as so much is geared for couples these days. At least I got to watch a video presentation about the caverns, and see the little wildlife museum here. Walked on a trail a bit, supposedly rattlesnakes are abundant here.
Written Jul 20, 2008
Address: 3345 Caverns Road, Marianna, FL.
pictured next to the jackson county courthouse is a memorial to the confederate solders killed and wounded in the battle of marianna on sept 27th 1864. check out the website for more information on this historic battle.
Written Nov 21, 2007
Address: lafayette street (US90).
downtown marianna has a beautiful collection of antibellum homes. the marianna chamber of commerce is located in the russ house on lafayette street (US90) there you can get a map for a self guided tour of marianna's historic homes.
Updated Nov 21, 2007
The staff here do an excellent job doing things the way Dave Thomas wanted them to. Fresh, hot, quality food served the way you want it and done quickly.
Favorite Dish: Double-no cheese! And the CHILI!!!!
Written Mar 5, 2003
Address: Lafayette Ave
People in this area are pretty much "Can do" people. This is due to the service side being such poor quality. From home repairs(Plumbing repair, electricla repair, pool services, yard care, roofing-just look up in any business and see the ceiling tile stains) to just plain shopping-the service is poor at best.
So, most folks learn to do things themselves.
Written Aug 13, 2003