By  Mike Miller  Updated April 15, 2024

Chattahoochee, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Chattahoochee is in north Florida about 45 miles west of Tallahassee.  It is on US-90 and has a population of about 3,600.

When I first moved to Florida in 1960, the common term for commenting on one's sanity was "You belong in Chattahoochee".

Florida State Hospital, Chattahoochee, 1939Florida State Hospital, Chattahoochee, 1939

That's because until 1947 it was the location of Florida's only mental institution. 

The hospital was built in 1876 on the site of an old arsenal that had been used during the Seminole Wars and the Civil War.

It was originally called the Florida State Hospital for the Insane.

Florida State Hospital, Amos Building

It gained national notoriety when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the hospital had illegally detained one of its prisoners.

The case (O'Connor v. Donaldson) resulted in mental institutions all over the country revising their practices.

Today the hospital treats patients with severe mental disabilities who have been committed to the institution in a civil or forensic action.

The hospital now has a good reputation.

Home on Decatur Street, Chattahoochee, FloridaHome on Decatur Street, Chattahoochee, Florida

The population of the city of Chattahoochee is about 3,600. The hospital is an important part of the economy here, but the town is also well known for its recreational opportunities.

Chattahoochee is located on the far northern border of Florida. It touches the Georgia border and is only a few miles from the Alabama border.

The town is located where the Chattahoochee River and the Flint River come together to form the Apalachicola River.

Jones House on Main Street, Chattahoochee, FloridaJones House on Main Street, Chattahoochee, Florida

The Chattahoochee flows through Atlanta and Columbus in Georgia, and Eufala, Alabama on its way south.

The Flint flows through Albany and Bainbridge, Georgia.

The rivers come together in Lake Seminole, a lake formed by the construction of the Jim Woodruff Dam.

The dam produces hydroelectric power and includes a lock for marine traffic to navigate up and down the river systems.

Jim Woodruff Dam and Lock

From the dam, the Apalachicola River flows south nearly 100 winding miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

The City owns and operates a nice recreational vehicle resort and campground on the Apalachicola River, and the area has several motels in town and adjacent towns.

It is also only a few miles south of Three Rivers State Park and not far from Tallahassee's Lake Talquin State Park.

Old and New Victory Bridges, Apalachicola River

The Victory Bridge carries US-90 over the Apalachicola River just downstream of the Woodruff Dam.

It replaced the original Victory Bridge that was opened in 1922 and named to commemorate the Allied victory in World War One.

The bridge served until the 1960s. Parts of the bridge remain beside the new bridge.

Florida State Hospital Administration Building

The Florida State Hospital Administration Building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is one of the many historic buildings that fill this small town and its hospital that now cares for more than one thousand patients.

Recommended Chattahoochee Restaurant


10 Main Street
Chattahoochee, FL 32324
Tel: (850) 663-4031

Northside Seafood is in a small building in downtown Chattahoochee, a quiet town snuggled up against the Georgia State line on its north side and the Chattahoochee River on the west.

Northside Seafood ExteriorNorthside Seafood

This is a neat and clean restaurant that offers a large variety of seafood, including mullet.



Angus Gholson Nature Park 
Park St, Chattahoochee, FL 32324 | (850) 663-4046 
This hidden gem offers nature lovers a chance to explore the unique flora and fauna of the Florida Panhandle. Known for its rare plants and beautiful hiking trails that meander along the Apalachicola River bluffs, Angus Gholson Nature Park is an ideal spot for a peaceful walk or a picnic.

It’s our favorite place to immerse ourselves in the tranquility of nature and enjoy bird watching or photography. Public restrooms are available. 

Apalachicola River 
Chattahoochee, FL 32324  
The mighty Apalachicola River offers a plethora of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From fishing and boating to kayaking, the river provides a perfect backdrop for adventure and relaxation.

Exploring its waters gives visitors a unique perspective on the region’s ecological diversity and importance. Don’t miss the chance to experience a sunset on the river—it’s truly breathtaking. 

Jim Woodruff Dam 
Chattahoochee, FL 32324 
The Jim Woodruff Dam is not only a vital piece of infrastructure but also a point of interest for those curious about engineering marvels and local history. The dam’s role in creating Lake Seminole, providing hydroelectric power, and managing flood control is fascinating.

The nearby viewing areas offer scenic vistas of the dam and the surrounding waters, making it a great stop for a leisurely visit. If you enjoy fishing, stop at the Jim Woodruff Dam Fishing Pier at 123 Fishing Pier Road. Bathrooms are available. 

Three Rivers State Park 
7908 Three Rivers Park Rd, Sneads, FL 32460 | (850) 482-9006 
Just a stone’s throw from Chattahoochee, Three Rivers State Park is where the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers converge.

Ideal for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing, the park boasts stunning views and a tranquil environment. Whether you're looking to cast a line in the lake or simply enjoy a quiet moment in nature, this park is a haven of outdoor enjoyment. 

Downtown Chattahoochee Historic District 
Washington Street, Chattahoochee, FL 32324 
Stroll through the Downtown Chattahoochee Historic District to admire beautifully preserved buildings and landmarks that tell the story of this charming town.

The area’s architecture reflects a bygone era, offering a tangible connection to the past. Local shops and eateries provide a warm welcome to visitors, making it a lovely spot for an afternoon exploration. 
Apalachicola Arsenal Museum 
1071 Pecan Ln, Chattahoochee, FL 32324 | (850) 794-0197 
I discussed the Florida State Hospital earlier on this page. Housed in a historic building at the old Florida State Hospital, the Museum offers a peek into the complex history of one of the oldest mental health facilities in the country.

The museum's exhibits cover a broad range of topics, from medical advancements to the day-to-day life of both patients and staff over the years. It’s a thought-provoking visit that sheds light on an important aspect of Florida’s history. 

Chattahoochee Main Street River Landing Park 
269 River Landing Rd, Chattahoochee, FL 32324 
The River Landing is a peaceful spot to enjoy the natural beauty of the Apalachicola River. With picnic facilities and easy access to the water, it’s an ideal location for a family gathering or a quiet moment to reflect.

The area also hosts community events and festivals, offering a taste of local culture and camaraderie. Restrooms are available. 

Seminole State Park 
7870 State Park Dr, Donalsonville, GA 39845 | (229) 861-3137 
Across the state line about 40 miles from Chattahoochee, Seminole State Park on Lake Seminole invites visitors to enjoy a wide range of recreational activities. From boating and fishing to hiking and bird watching, the park's diverse landscapes provide a picturesque setting for outdoor adventures.

It’s a favorite among visitors looking to explore the natural and recreational opportunities that abound in the Chattahoochee area. 


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