- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Nestled along I-10 just under the Florida-Alabama border and a brief drive west of Tallahassee, Marianna is called "The City of Southern Charm." And even a brief stroll through its quaint, country-in-town downtown substantiates that title. Look for the triangulated courthouse park, with its gazebo, and the nearby obelisk marking the Civil War Battle of Marianna. Stop by the Russ House & Visitor Center, a Classical Revival/Queen Anne home built in the 1890s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Eco-tourism is a burgeoning business in Jackson County, thanks to its abundant natural beauty, miles of spring-fed rivers, lakes and ponds, and paddling trails that draw kayak, canoe and paddle board enthusiasts to explore the Chipola River. When you visit Marianna, you also must see Florida Caverns State Park, the state's only dry caverns along a quarter-mile trail. In addition, the largest dam in Florida backs up big Lake Seminole and gives rise to Three Rivers State Park. The Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail leads to the oldest bridge of its type in Florida, the focal point for one of the area's best-known ghost stories.