DeFuniak Springs was recently named the Best Small Town in Florida by MSN's Insider Online.
According to a press release from Main Street DeFuniak Springs, Insider scanned the nation spotlighting unique towns in each state. The group looked for rural areas that offered a variety of activities for locals and visors alike.
"This designation is a great honor and one we strive to live up to year after year," said Jay Evans, Main Street DeFuniak Springs executive director, in the release. "Being named the Best Small Town in Florida is a testament to our heritage and culture of being a traditional southern town."
Mayor Bob Campbell said that while there were other historic cities in the state, DeFuniak Springs offered a unique history, hosted a convenient location and was full of citizens who are passionate about their community.
"(DeFuniak) was, I think, the first planned community in the whole state of Florida," Campbell said.
He said there were many things planned for the city's future, and that officials were looking to expand on the founder's original spirit of entrepreneurship.
"We're beginning to restore some festivals and things of that nature which people love to come to," Campbell said. "The city has to do with some of that, but a lot of it is totally volunteers from other organizations. That's the real secret ... citizens and volunteers that are willing to step up."
Other nominated towns included North Carolina's Blowing Rock, Washington's Port Townsend and Eufaula, Alabama, the release said.
Evans added in the release that aspects including hospitality and tradition were key principles of DeFuniak, and that guests are always welcome to visit the Walton County community.
"We begin our year with the annual Chautauqua Assembly, celebrating our history of arts and education, and end the year with our Christmas Reflections festival of lights," Evans said. "Throughout the year we celebrate who we are — a small southern town with open arms."
For more information on DeFuniak Springs and the other towns recognized by MSN's Insider Online, visit www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/heres-the-best-small-town-in-every-state/ss-BBRsUUu?li=BBnbklE#image=10.