From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Tallahassee is the capital city of Florida, making it home to numerous important attractions, such as the Florida State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Florida Governor's Mansion. The city also borders the northern end of the Apalachicola National Forest, meaning that you don’t have to travel far to spend time in the great outdoors, among nature.
With its long summers and short, mild winters, it comes as no surprise that Tallahassee is a popular place to live and visit. Along with its multiple state parks and recreation areas, the city also offers award-winning restaurants, intriguing museums and art galleries, and so much more.
Ready to discover the best of Tallahassee, Florida? Let’s get started!
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors to enjoy a spot of fishing, hiking, camping, picnicking, or more, then you’re in luck. With plenty of state parks and national parks within the region, you don’t have to travel far to get your nature fix.
The Wakulla Springs State Park is a popular destination within the region, especially as it’s the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring rimmed by an ancient cypress swamp. Among the sapphire water live manatees, alligators, and other marine life that you can view from the diving platform or a riverboat. Other activities include hiking, bicycling, snorkeling, horseback riding, and more.
If you’re looking for one of the most picturesque scenic areas along North Florida’s Gulf Coast, then look no further than Bald Point State Park. Covering over 4,000 acres, you’ll find two Apalachee Bay beaches for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing, as well as facilities such as a fishing dock and picnic pavilions.
Just a 15-minute drive from the city center will take you to the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. Described as a “masterpiece of floral architecture and rich history”, this state park is well worth the visit. With its reflection pool, walled gardens, and hundreds of camellias and azaleas, you’ll feel like you’ve entered into a scene from The Secret Garden.
Around an hour’s drive south of the city is Ochlockonee River State Park, which (you guessed it) is named after its location on the Ochlockonee River. The park is also home to one of the best-preserved longleaf pine forests left in the world. Here, you can enjoy recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, star gazing, hiking, and so much more.
We mentioned earlier that the city borders the Apalachicola National Forest, so it would be a waste not to factor-in a visit to this amazing place! It’s the largest forest in Florida, with an abundance of freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, and natural springs. Plus, be sure to visit Leon Sinks, an unusual geological area of caverns and sinkholes.
Whether you’re after a quick round-trip or a day-long hike, Tallahassee has a variety of hiking and walking trails to satisfy your every need. Just don’t forget to pack some water, sunscreen, and a snack, of course!
The Lafayette Heritage Trail is located near the city and is a 11.1 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail rated as moderate. For a large portion of the trail, you pass by the scenic Piney Z Lake, offering beautiful views. The trail also connects Tom Brown Park and Lafayette Heritage Park, so you can stop at either to enjoy additional recreational activities, if you choose.
Located along Tallahassee’s eastern border is one of the most unique greenway and open spaces in North Florida: the Miccosukee Greenway. It offers diverse scenery and is great for all skill levels. You can access the Greenway via four trailheads—two on Miccosukee Road, one on Fleischman Road and one on Crump Road.
Tallahassee is home to a vibrant and thriving dining scene, offering exquisitely prepared meals and award-winning service. Here are just some of our favorite picks!
Backwoods Crossing takes Farm-to-Table to the next level! Not only do they source local fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, and wine from their local producers, but they’re also growing their own. There’s live music every Thursday and menu favorites such as stuffed crab balls, seared tuna, and pulled pork sliders.
Midtown Caboose is a laid-back, railway-themed joint known for their eclectic sandwiches and burgers. They also offer a multitude of vegetarian and vegan options, however, to ensure everyone is catered for. Don’t miss their Quilted Piggy sandwich, Magnum PI wrap, or unique S’more Than Words burger.
At 101 Restaurant, “big city style meets southern hospitality”. Along with the scrumptious food, you’ll never feel bored here, as every night is jam-packed with entertainment including live music. Throwing an event in Tallahassee? The restaurant also have a popular catering option, providing their favorite menu items on a large-scale!
Jim & Milt’s BBQ is a mainstay in the city and has been in operation here since 1968! As you can guess, they’ve got a passion for barbeque, with locals and travelers particularly enjoying their ribs, which are smoked to perfection in their signature rub, as well as their 89 cent wings, and their seriously good J & M Cheeseburger.
At Cypress Restaurant and Bar, you can expect a sophisticated Southern regional-style restaurant located in a casual, metropolitan setting. The popular menu features chef-cut aged meats, local produce, and fresh seafood, among many others. There are also vegetarian options, so no one has to miss out!
After filling up on delicious food and enjoying all that the hiking trails and state parks have to offer, you may be wondering: “what’s next?” Well, when it comes to Tallahassee’s attractions and activities, you’re only just getting started. Here are some of the most fun things on offer in and around the city!
If you and your family are looking for a way to pass the day, look no further than these fun activities!
It has been voted as Tallahassee's #1 Edutainment Destination and is home to the biggest IMAX screen in town, as well as a planetarium. But what really makes the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee special is the fact that it is in memory of the tragic Challenger shuttle. Your kids will love the space mission simulator, as well as the hands-on and minds-on learning labs, demos, and camps.
Cascades Park is a great place to spend a day with the family, as it brings together arts, entertainment, education, history, and wellness, all in the one place. There’s a state-of-the-art amphitheater, interactive water fountain, children's play area, Smokey Hollow Commemoration, and miles of multi-use trails to enjoy.
What should you do in Tallahassee once the sun goes down? We’re glad you asked! Here are our suggested night-time attractions.
Hidden in a rural part of Tallahassee is the Bradfordville Blues Club, which is an experience like no other. It’s open on Friday and Saturday nights and offers a good selection of ice-cold bottled beers and wine, not to mention the very best in blues music. Nicknamed “the juke joint under the stars”, it’s certainly a night out you won’t want to miss.
At Hangar 38, you can let the good times roll – literally! It’s an entertainment center made up of 1/3 bowling, 1/3 monster game room, and 1/3 restaurant offering some of the best food Tallahassee has to offer. They’re open until late, so you can game until your heart is content!
Looking to save a dollar or two during your Tallahassee excursion? There are plenty of activities and attractions that can be visited on a budget, helping you to get the most out of your time spent in the city.
For less than $12 per person, you can enjoy everything the Tallahassee Museum has to offer, and it’s a lot! The museum is set among 52 breathtaking acres, showcasing living exhibits of native wildlife, nature trails, historic exhibits and zip line and aerial adventure courses. It’s also home to fourteen historic buildings that immerse visitors in 19th-century experiences and allow them to discover the history and lifestyles of southern communities.
Originally built in 1633, the Mission San Luis was part of Spain's effort to colonize the Florida Peninsula and to convert the Timucuan and Apalachee Indians to Christianity. These days, it operates as a national landmark to teach visitors about its past. The website explains: “Hear the ring of the blacksmith's hammer, smell traditional foods being cooked over an open fire, and walk the plaza where the Apalachees played their traditional ball games.”
Whether you want a fun way to waste away a Sunday afternoon or a date idea that won’t break the budget – here are our most recommended things to do in Tallahassee that won’t cost you a cent.
At the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, you can experience the people and events that have shaped today’s Florida through photographs, recordings, and audio-visual displays. There are more than 250 artifacts in 21 rooms, all of which you can view through self-guided or group tours.
As one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the United States, St Marks National Wildlife Refuge has a lot to offer visitors. Along with its diverse range of plant and animal life, it’s also home to the St. Marks Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Florida. Wildlife viewing is popular here, as is fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and more.
By now, you’ve probably been on your feet all day exploring the sights and delights that Tallahassee has to offer. If you’re craving some rest and relaxation, or even a bit of pampering, these are two of the best spas in the region.
Need to find a place where you can heal from within, take time for self-care, and find your center? Axios is described as an urban sanctuary, offering massage therapy, Halotherapy (dry salt), facials, body treatments, waxing and a handmade, organic skin care line. Plus, they have a healthy juice bar on-site!
Millennium at Midtown is more than just a spa. Along with massage therapy, they also offer services such as hair cuts and styling, artificial nails, manicures, pedicures, skincare, and so much more. It’s a one-stop-shop to treating yourself, especially after a long day exploring the city.
If rejuvenation for you is less about deep relaxation and more about sweating it out, then you’re in luck. Tallahassee is home to some of the highest-rated gyms and yoga studios within the region.
Located in the city is the Premier Health and Fitness Center, which provides unmatched service, innovative fitness programs, wellness treatments, and guided nutrition designed to help you do your personal best. The provide classes in Pilates, cycle, HIIT, pool aerobics, and so much more.
Rising Om Yoga is dedicated to helping you reduce your anxiety, heal and prevent injuries, and restore your energy. They offer classes in hot yoga flow, hot pilates, core sculpt, Yin yoga, and anything else you need to manage daily stress so you can begin living with “ease and joy”. Look out for special classes too, such as an introduction to astrology!
Looking to fulfill your wanderlust by heading outside of the region for a day? You could spend decades within Tallahassee without barely scratching the surface of all there is to do in this large city, but consider these day trips next time you fancy a new adventure.
Around an hour-and-ten-minutes’ drive east from the city will take you to Madison Blue Spring State Park, which is home to one of the most stunning springs in Florida. This dazzling blue spring is a popular swimming spot during the warmer months, as well as a cave diving destination. Other recreational activities at this picturesque state park include hiking, fishing, tubing, paddling, and more.
Over an hour-and-a-half-drive from the city is St. George Island, one of the top beach destinations in the country. Here, you can enjoy mile after mile of unspoiled coastline, not to mention some of the most scenic views you’ll ever find. On one end of the island, there’s the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, while the other tip is home to Cape St George Island State Reserve. Both offer plenty of water activities, as well as hiking, wildlife viewing, bicycling, and more. Don’t miss the St. George Island Lighthouse too - it’s a great photo opportunity!
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Tallahassee that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Tallahassee? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.