Tallahassee is the capital of Florida, located in the panhandle. From springs and rivers to museums and architecture, Tallahassee has a lot to do! While it may not be the first destination you think of for a day trip or weekend getaway, you’ll be sure to enjoy strolling through downtown, exploring nature, and learning a little more about Florida. We found it to be the perfect place to spend a quick weekend trip. Here are some of the best things to do in Tallahassee:
1. Wakulla Springs State Park
Tucked away just south of Tallahassee you’ll find this unique and historic state park. One of the main features of the park is Wakulla Spring, one of the largest and deepest springs in the world. Jump into the spring from a diving tower, or just wade in the cool refreshing 68-degree water. Take a Jungle Cruise of the spring and Wakulla River where you’ll have a chance to see wildlife including manatees, alligators and birds. Another feature of the park is the historic Lodge at Wakulla Springs, built in 1937. The lodge is an operating hotel with historic guest rooms, a beautiful lobby, and 2 restaurants.
2. Museum of Florida History
Naturally we at Florida Lives will jump on any chance to visit a museum about Florida, and the free Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee did not disappoint. The museum covers a range of topics all the way from the prehistoric era through World War II. The exhibits are very interactive, and there are a lot of great displays to hold your attention. The Museum also has an 1800s house, the Knott House Museum, that you can tour.
3. Capitol Buildings
A stop in Florida’s Capital wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Capitol Complex. There are a number of monuments and memorials around the grounds, plus beautiful architecture to admire. The inside of the Capitol Building is only open to visitors on weekdays.
4. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Maclay Gardens State Park is one of my favorite things to do in Tallahassee. The gardens are beautiful. The brick paths are surrounded by old live oaks covered in Spanish moss. It’s like a southern postcard. The reflection pool is a hidden gem in the back of the gardens. There are a number of activities to enjoy at the park like a boat ramp, beach area on Lake Hall, picnic pavilions, and trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Overall the park is a perfect place to spend a few hours while in Tallahassee.
5. Downtown Tallahassee
Downtown Tallahassee features historic buildings, parks, hotels, restaurants, and even Florida State University! We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton, which was the perfect location to walk around the downtown area. (If you visit during the off-season, i.e. summertime, the hotel is very affordable). Check out the parks and fountains, beautiful architecture, and views of the city.
6. Railroad Square Art District
For arts, entertainment, food & drink, there’s no better place than Railroad Square Art District! Enjoy galleries and local shops, live music, a bite to eat, and even a brewery! Visit any time of day for a fun vibe and a great place to hang out.
7. St. Marks Wildlife Refuge
Just a short drive south of Tallahassee you’ll find the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, home to acres of coastline and marshes, a historic lighthouse, boat launches, hiking trails, and more. You can tailor your visit to how active you’d like to be. The Florida Trail even runs through the park, where you could technically hike across the state. Make sure to go to the edge of the park and see the St. Marks Lighthouse!
8. Tallahassee Museum & Zipline
This is the second museum on the list of things to do in Tallahassee, but it’s so unique. The 52-acre Tallahassee Museum is not only a museum, but also features a natural zoo, nature trails, and a zipline obstacle course.