Chipley, Florida, is a city with a small town and country atmosphere and is the county seat of Washington County.
The city initially went by the name "Orange."
In 1882, it changed its name to Chipley in honor of William Dudley Chipley, Florida state senator and head of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad.
Chipley is about an hour away from Panama City Beach, a suitable location for a quick beach trip with family or friends.
The city’s simplicity and friendly atmosphere make it a great place to live or visit.
Learn more about its charm with this list of the best things to do in Chipley, Florida.
Tour the State’s Highest Waterfall at Falling Waters State Park
TheFalling Waters State Park is home to Florida's highest waterfall, located on State Park Road.
Developed in 1963 on a limestone base over an elevation of 322 feet, Falling Waters State Park developed natural landscapes due to geographical dissolution, causing natural bridges, sinkholes, springs, and the park’s waterfall.
The 70-foot waterfall, whose flow depends on rainfall, cascades over a cliff that falls 100 feet to the bottom of a sinkhole, known as the Falling Waters Sink.
The park’s trails provide many opportunities to see habitats and natural wildlife.
The Sink Hole Trail is an elevated boardwalk that loops around many sinkholes in the park, including the Falling Waters Sink, leading to a breathtaking waterfall view.
The Wiregrass Trail lets you pass through wiregrass in upland pine forests, offering a view of natural habitats and the stream that feeds the waterfall.
The park features other amenities for day and overnight stays, such as picnic areas, pavilions, a playground, a 3-acre lake for swimming and fishing, and campgrounds.
Falling Waters State Park is a sight worth seeing and will give you a wonderful outdoor experience.
Encounter Wolves at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve
Who would think a friendly encounter with wolves is possible?
This possibility comes true at Seacrest Wolf Preserve, where guests come face to face with these fantastic creatures in a safe and caring environment.
Seacrest Wolf Preserve is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to wolf and wildlife conservation.
Located on Bonnett Pond Road, the preserve began as a tiny rescue effort in 1999.
Wayne and Cynthia Watkins founded the facility.
The efforts developed into a big educational preserve with more than 20 wolves (Gray Wolves, Arctic-Type Wolves, and British Columbian Wolves) and various small native species such as coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and skunks.
The preserve offers private VIP tours, school/group educational tours, professional photography sessions, offsite educational programs, and the Adopt A Wolf program.
This program aims to help the Seacrest Wolves obtain high-quality food, enrichment, and veterinary care through adoption donations.
This unforgettable experience will take you on a journey through enclosures and natural habitats, allow you to be a part of the pack, and even witness the wolves howl in person.
The preserve implements strict rules and dress code to ensure the safety of the Seacrest Wolves and the comfort of all guests on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with these incredible animals.
Go Off-Roading at the Swamp Offroad Park
Play with your off-road vehicles at the Swamp Offroad Park!
Swamp Offroad Park started more than seven years ago from the efforts of the father and son duo Pop and Bode.
The park is south of Chipley on Mobile Swamp Road.
However, it is closer to the towns of Wausau and Sunny Hills.
You can enjoy this family-friendly park, which offers many trails for drivers of every skill level.
The trails range from dry trails, and muddy pits, to hill climbs.
Take your Jeeps, ATVs, dirt bikes, dune buggies, and rock crawlers out for a fun-filled day in the mud!
A food shack is also available at the park to serve guests a wide selection of food, snacks, and drinks.
Interact with Alligators at the Orange Hill Gator Farm
Alligators are nothing new in Florida.
Orange Hill Gator Farm, located on Orange Hill Road, allows visitors to see alligators and even feed them!
It takes a brave heart to feed gators, but Orange Hill Gator Farm maintains a safe environment.
This family-friendly farm is a wildlife sanctuary that provides private tours and hands-on experience with alligators and other animals, including lizards, turtles, pygmy goats, tortoises, rabbits, potbelly pigs, coyotes, and more.
Orange Hill Gator Farm wants to educate people about the importance of alligators in the ecosystem.
The more people know about these creatures, the less scary they become.
The farm is more than just a popular petting zoo attraction; it acts as a preserve for alligators and rescues those that have wandered into human-populated areas.
Swim at Boat Lake Swimming Park
The Sunny Hills Civic Association owns Boat Lake Swimming Park, located on Galiano Court, Chipley.
It is a 44-acre swimming park open to the public, overlooking beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of Boat Lake.
The park features 20 picnic tables, 16 barbecue grills, swings, monkey bars, a slide, a 20 x 25 pavilion, horseshoe pits, beach volleyball, restrooms, showers, and a snack house.
Rustic live oak trees scatter across the area providing shade from the sun.
Book the pavilion for any event, including parties, weddings, and family reunions.
Boat Lake Swimming Park is a great place to unwind during hot summer days.
It's also fine in other seasons, except during rough weather.
Shop Antique Pieces at T&B Hidden Treasures
T&B Hidden Treasures is the place to be if you fancy antiques, relics, and collectible items.
Established in 2011, T&B Hidden Treasures is along Jackson Avenue and has a variety of exciting pieces that will catch your eye.
Step back as you rummage through antique furniture, jewelry, artwork, toys, vinyl records, etc.
You can also enjoy services such as booth rentals and appraisals with the help of their knowledgeable professionals.
Trusted antique dealers with over 40 years of experience own this antique store.
T&B Hidden Treasures is a hidden little gem that will give you excellent deals and a pleasant shopping experience.
Visit the Washington County Historical Society
The Washington County Historical Society is a place for persons interested in history.
Established in 1985, the Washington County Historical Society is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to promote the preservation of the county’s history.
The collection has grown over time as the people of Washington County give more historical artifacts.
In 1996, the society conducted a grand opening at the museum and began allowing the public to visit.
The society maintains museum exhibits, accepts school tours, performs historical research, participates in outreach programs, and offers educational classes.
The society’s members feel that conserving the rich history of the Florida panhandle's heartland is critical for the present and future generations.
Watch a Play at Spanish Trail Playhouse
The Spanish Trail Playhouse, located on 2nd Street, has produced high-quality theatrical productions for over a decade.
Artist series and concerts play in addition to large-scale musicals such as Oklahoma and Beauty and the Beast.
The Spanish Trail Playhouse first opened its doors in 1962.
Ann Jensen and three others fulfilled their vision of bringing live theater to the small city of Chipley, Florida.
However, the curtains closed in 1968 with The Sound of Music as their final performance.
New beginnings under new leadership started in 2006.
The theater reopened in 2008 with a three-day production of Steel Magnolias.
The playhouse staged "A Stroll Down Broadway" in April 2009, its first musical in almost 40 years.
The Spanish Trail Playhouse offers plays and musicals for guests to enjoy and establishes a community where people can learn, develop skills, and improve social interaction through volunteering, scholarships, a summer camp, and auditions.
Ride a Horse at Sunshine Riding Trails
A family-owned business on Rolling Pines Road offers trail rides with their beautiful Tennessee Walking horses across 10,000 acres of wooded woodlands and sandhills.
These horses are unique because they are less bouncy and provide a smoother ride, making them ideal for riders with little or no experience.
Horses are matched to riders based on their skill level, so your ride can be as relaxing or exciting as you prefer!
Rides can take anywhere from one to four hours and are best done in the mornings and evenings when temperatures are colder.
Besides guided trail rides, other services are basic riding lessons, summer day camp, and overnight camping.
Buy Local at the Farmers Markets
Chipley and nearby areas have several farmers' markets where you can shop local produce and other specialty products.
The Chipley Farmers Market, located on 7th Street, serves fresh vegetables and fruits from local farmers weekly.
Days and hours change with the seasons.
The summer season lasts from May through August, while the fall season lasts from October through November.
This market provides a welcoming atmosphere where you may meet your neighbors and discover some Downtown Chipley culture.
Another farmers market to visit is the Main Street Market on Jackson Avenue, selling fresh fruits, melons, citrus, vegetables, and a quarterly fresh frozen fruit and vegetables.
The market sells goods from the family farm, but it believes it’s crucial to create a market for products from other local farmers.
Drop by the Woman’s Club of Chipley
See a part of Chipley’s history through the Woman's Club of Chipley, a historic woman's club located on Fifth Street along Chipley’s old city hall.
The club has come a long way, marking its 100th year in 2021.
Fifty-five women founded the club in 1921.
The group chose the Killarney Rose as the club flower, white and green as club colors.
Likewise, their club motto is “From each according to her ability; To each according to her need.”
Thomas Langston, the builder of many early homes in Chipley, designed the clubhouse in 1931.
The club’s ongoing project from the 1930s to the present time is the public library's establishment, funding, and support.
The club has participated in several community works involving children, the sick, and beautification projects across the community through the years.
The National Register of Historic Places recognized the Woman’s Club of Chipley in 1997.
Go Camping at White Oak Landing
White Oak Landing is a boat launch and camping area on Porter Pond Road south of Porter Lake.
White Oak Boat Landing is a centuries-old camping site revealed by recovered ceramic pieces.
The District replanted degraded areas and built a designated boat ramp to rehabilitate the shoreline and aquatic ecology.
Porter Lake’s boat launch is perfect for canoes and kayaks, and the lake provides a great fishing spot for bream, bass, and crappie.
The grounds have picnic tables, pedestal grills, fire rings, a pavilion, and a portable toilet.
Three camping slots are only available and require reservations, with up to eight people per slot.
Although RV camping is allowed, there are no power, water, or waste disposal hookups.
Day-use is permitted from sunrise to sunset on designated day areas of the camp.
Taste Southern Cooking at Moody’s Farmhouse
This lovely little family restaurant on Washington Street serves some of the greatest classic southern cooking and is well worth the extra country mile.
Moody's Farmhouse starts the day with an old-fashioned breakfast with biscuits & gravy, eggs, ham, and bacon served with a classic cup of coffee.
Moody’s serves delicious fried chicken daily with an alternate selection of dishes such as pork chop, meatloaf, shrimp, and more for lunch.
What would the main dish be without the sides?
Side dishes vary daily, such as fried okra, collard greens, cream corn, squash casserole, etc.
Craving classic American comfort food?
Moody’s Farmhouse has you covered as they also serve burgers, chicken wings, sandwiches, and salads.
If you’re traveling south along Highway 77, stop by Moody’s Farmhouse to satisfy your tastebuds with southern food and experience southern hospitality.
Go on a Family’s Day Out at Jim Trawick Park
Looking for a multi-activity outdoor facility for your and your family's ultimate fun?
Then, don't forget to stop by Jim Trawick Park.
This park, once called Pals Park, features a combination of sports courts, including several baseball diamonds and a soccer field.
If you're a fan of tennis, you'll find there's a tennis court you can use while on your visit there.
Jim Trawick Park is also a household name for various community events, like South Florida Country Music and the Panhandle Watermelon Festival.
You can find this all-around park on North Rail Road Avenue.
Breathe in the Sights and Sounds of Nature at Blue Lake Earl Gilbert Landing
Located along Florida Route 77, Blue Lake Earl Gilbert Landing is one of the hidden gems of Chipley.
Known for its fishing spots and duck visitors, this site has been a hit among those wanting to connect with nature.
It runs along Blue Lake, offering wide-open vistas of the Chipley skyline and the occasional air fowl.
Its trails are also ideal for some recreational hiking here and there.
Get your privacy and solitude at Blue Lake Earl Gilbert Landing.
View Plants and Wildlife at Fitzhugh Carter Tract
If you want a bit of wildlife surprise for your vacation in Chipley, you might want to add Fitzhugh Carter Tract to your itinerary.
This nature preserve also goes by the name Sand Hill Lakes Mitigation Bank.
Mainly a wildlife refuge, this site offers seasonal hunting opportunities.
The dense vegetation you can find within this attraction is home to a variety of wildlife.
Other things you can do while on this site include boating, fishing, and hiking.
And after a long day of exploration and nature trekking, you can find a spot in the tract's picnic areas for a quick snack break.
Fitzhugh Carter Tract is on Chain Lake Road.
Learn to Hunt Quails at Hard Labor Creek Hunting Plantation
In Chipley, the outdoor recreation opportunities are endless.
While other state parks ensure your laid-back relaxation, Hard Labor Creek Hunting Plantation offers something more.
This Florida Panhandle preserves specializes in bobwhite quail hunting.
Spanning 3,000 acres, this site was once famous for its turpentine production.
But the open pines offered more for its inhabitants and workers during quail hunting season.
Thus, Hard Labor Creek Hunting Plantation transformed into a hunting site that welcomed visitors both familiar and new to the sport.
Hunting guides are available to lend you a helping hand as you navigate the plantation.
Get in touch with your adventurous side with a trip to this one-of-a-kind plantation on Clayton Road.
View the Car Show at the Panhandle Watermelon Festival
If you're planning a trip to Chipley, it's vital that you include the Panhandle Watermelon Festival in your list of must-experience events.
This annual event details the place's appreciation for watermelons.
Its first celebration was in 1956.
Over time, the festival's meaning changed, becoming one of the most famous free events in all of Washington County.
Its program schedule includes a parade, a car show, and a hot trot.
There's also a watermelon auction and a great lineup of artists and bands ready to rock your night away.
Jim Trawick Park on North Railroad Avenue and Ag Center on West Jackson Avenue both host the Panhandle Watermelon Festival.
Other Things to Do Nearby
See the Possum Monument
One of the most unusual memorials you’ll ever see is about a 14-minute drive from Chipley, the tiny town of Wausau.
The Possum Monument is a 12-foot monument unveiled to the public in 1982 to celebrate the North American possums, the town’s local hero.
The possums became people’s source of food and fur during challenging times like the Great Depression.
Wausau proclaimed itself the “Possum Capital of the World” because possums outnumber humans.
The town is also home to the Possum Festival and the Possum Palace's local business.
Explore Florida Caverns State Park
You don't want to miss the Florida Caverns State Park when you’re in Chipley or other nearby areas in the Florida Panhandle.
Florida Caverns State Park is only a 30-minute drive to Marianna, east of Chipley.
The park, opened in the 1930s, offers visitors a rare chance to see one of Florida's most stunning geological formations.
Situated along the Chipola River, you can observe over 30 million years old limestone formations.
It is Florida's only state park where visitors can take a guided tour of a vast cave system.
You can also check out beautiful cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, and flowstone.
Florida Caverns State Park offers cave tours and campgrounds, multi-use trails, Chipola River access for small vessels, picnic pavilions, and a swimming area!
Chipley offers a laid-back, country feel, making it a fantastic destination if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You won't find many city conveniences such as shopping outlets, arcades, and movies.
However, you’ll be surprised by the many things you can do in this quaint city.
Chipley is a kid-friendly tourist destination that even adults will enjoy, surrounded by nature preserves, parks, and historical sites.