WASHINGTON COUNTY - About 40 visitors hailing from an assortment of northern states boarded a charter bus Thursday to tour Washington County as part of the annual Snowbird Tour hosted by Washington County Tourist Development Council (TDC).

The TDC holds the event to help get the word out to those visiting in neighboring coastal counties that Florida’s beauty lies in more than just its beaches.

“The Snowbird Tours are important because we bus people over from Ft. Walton and Destin in an effort to let them see what Washington County has to offer,” said TDC Executive Director Heather Lopez. “As a result, many come back on their own, or we’ve had visitors who heard about our county. What we have to offer is completely different than what they get in other places. Visitors love our history and our nature.”

This year’s trip featured four stops at Maphis Tree Farm and Nursery in Chipley, Falling Waters State Park, Washington County Historical Museum, and Three Oaks Winery in Vernon.

Visitors also stopped at Chipley restaurant, Bailey's Surf & Turf, where they ate lunch and enjoyed a presentation from local historian, Dale Cox.