DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - DeFuniak Springs draws the attention of both locals and tourists.
Some locals believe DeFuniak Springs will continue to grow. (WJHG/WECP)
One thing that draws people to DeFuniak Springs this time of year is the display of more than six million Christmas lights in the historic district. But local businesses are getting attention year-round.
Business is booming in downtown DeFuniak Springs. Up and down Baldwin Avenue, new businesses are opening up, hoping to attract a unique type of tourists.
"A lot of people, like me, like to travel around the country, travel to Colonial Williamsburgh, the U.S. capitol in Washington D.C., for the sake of its history," Chris Mitchell with the city of DeFuniak Springs said.
"Heritage tourists" say they come to DeFuniak Springs because of its history.
"It's like they're stepping back in time to come out for dinner."
Chef Ernie at Cafe Nola says the area has potential to grow even more.
"Growing tremendously, new businesses coming in, we have a new bakery, a new gelato shop, we're here, and I can see in the next few years this whole area is going to blossom into a destination location," he said.
Locals are also benefiting from the new businesses.
"Shopping local helps fund so many different things in the community, it increases your tax revenue, it helps the business owners like myself survive in a big box world," Amanda Bierbaum, owner of Soiree, said. "You can find things in small business that you can't find anywhere else."
As we get into the height of the Christmas season, local businesses are also benefiting from things like the Mistletoe Market, which is in downtown DeFuniak Springs.
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