10 Things to do in Tallahassee, Florida | 2024 Guide

When people think of Florida, they usually think of parties at Miami Beach or theme parks in Orlando. But head up to the panhandle in North Florida, and you’ll find a city that’s exciting and different in its own way.

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This is Tallahassee! The state capital is scenic and lively, with a rich history and a vibrant, youthful presence. 

Florida’s Capital City has a lot to offer, with 2 major universities, 15 museums, 24 art galleries, and 700 miles of trails all within the Tallahassee area. Surprisingly, there’s quite a lot you can do in this small town, whether you’re a student, a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie. 

For us, the appeal was the greater outdoors – an opportunity to spend time in nature and explore one of Tallahassee’s biggest drawcards – the trails!

Keep reading to find out what we got up to while in Tallahassee and what surprised us the most about out time there!

How to Get to Tallahassee

By Plane

Tallahassee is a popular destination for domestic travellers within the US, but the city hasn’t hit its stride yet with the international audience. Unfortunately, there are no direct international flights to Tallahassee. If you are planning to arrive in Tallahassee from abroad, you’ll need to go over to another US destination first. 

Within the US, you can only fly into Tallahassee Airport (TLH) via the following routes and airlines: 

  • American Airlines: Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, and Washington, DC
  • Delta: Atlanta
  • Silver Airways: Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, West Palm Beach 
  • JetBlue: Fort Lauderdale

By Car

By road, Tallahassee is well-connected to several major cities nearby. I-10 connects Tallahassee to I-75, which runs through Florida, South Georgia, and beyond. 

Tallahassee is located 2-4 hours by car from a number of key destinations within the US, including the following:

  • Jacksonville, Florida: 2.5-hour drive covering 267.15 km (166 mi)
  • Orlando, Florida: 4-hour dive covering 416.82km (259 mi)
  • Tampa, Florida: 4-hour drive covering 444.18km (276 mi)
  • Savannah, Georgia: 4.5-hour drive covering 486.02km (302 mi)
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 4.5-hour drive covering 240.04km (261 mi)
Downtown Tallahassee street signs
Downtown Tallahassee street signs

Best Time to Visit Tallahassee 

They say there’s no bad time to visit Tallahassee, and we certainly felt that during our visit. For one, the weather doesn’t reach any extremes. It gets nice and warm in the summer, from 21 to 32°C (70 to 90°F), with temperatures in the winter ranging from 4 to 18°C (40 to 65°F).

January until May is known as the peak blooming season. If you want to visit the many parks and gardens at their peak, plan a trip at the start of the year. In the spring, the city celebrates its Springtime Tallahassee Music Festival with a big grand parade, colourful floats, marching bands, live music performances, and more. But unlike its Florida panhandle neighbours, Tallahassee doesn’t get too busy during spring break.

Since it is a college town, expect crowds during football weekends, homecoming, and graduation season. For Florida State University and Florida A&M University, graduation typically happens around April or May, so accommodations are likely to fill up fast during this time of year.

Tallahassee gets quiet towards August and September, which is great for a cool and peaceful trip. Things pick up again right in time for Halloween in October, the Winter Festival in December, as well as Christmas and New Year festivities.

Things to Do in Tallahassee

Our time in Tallahassee was short but sweet. In just 2 days in the city, we covered a lot of ground. We focused on exploring the trails, getting out on the waterways and sampling some of the city’s top foodie spots!

Here is what we recommend you do in Tallahassee during your visit!

Visit Cascades Park

This sprawling 24-acre green space, also known as Tallahassee’s Central Park, showcases the city’s natural beauty and history. Many historical markers can be found throughout the park, like the Prime Meridian Marker, which is the starting point for all land surveys in Florida, the Smokey Hollow Commemoration, and the Korean War Memorial.

There are 2.3 miles of paved trails that can be explored by walking, hiking, or biking. All of them are well-maintained and suitable for kids and pets. Other impressive park amenities include a state-of-the-art amphitheatre, a play area for kids, an interactive water fountain, picnic spots, and more. 

We found Cascades Park to be a popular spot with locals for evening walks, catch-ups with friends, or after-work cocktails overlooking the park. 

Cascades Park, things to do in tallahassee
Cascades Park

Go for Happy Hour at Charlie Park 

In our opinion, there is no better place to enjoy the scenery around Cascades Park than to enjoy its landscapes from above – while enjoying happy hour at Charlie Park. This popular restaurant and bar overlooks Cascades Park and is known as Tallahassee’s top rooftop bar

It’s a great spot to enjoy beer, wine, or cocktails with tapas-style shareable plates and a great view of Cascades Park. Don’t miss a chance to try some of their creative cocktails, like The Charlie, Ooh-Mami and Spring Thyme. The lamb appetizer and duck fried fries were on point as well.

things to do in tallahassee
Drinks served at Charlie Park, Tallahassee, Florida
where to eat in Tallahassee florida
Lamb appetizer and duck fries at Charlie Park, Tallahassee, Florida

Bike the St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

This converted railway is the first paved rail-trail developed in Florida. It spans 16 miles and is used for running, walking, bicycling, and skating. It is particularly popular with locals on weekends.

The trail starts just south of Florida State University and continues all the way to the coastal community of St. Marks, which is home to the 68,000-acre St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the country and a great spot for bird-watching.

St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

Hit the Capital City to the Sea Trail

Looking for a long trail? You’ll be happy to know that the St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail continues farther south, connecting Tallahassee to Woodville, Wakulla Station, Sopchoppy, Mashes Sands, St. Marks, Panacea, and the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

The trail system, known as the Capital City to the Sea Trail, spans a total of 114 miles and includes the Capital Cascades Trail, Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, Ochlockonee Bay Bike Trail, Coastal Trail, and the Georgia, Florida & Alabama Trail.

Explore the Capital Cascades Trail

Want something a little more manageable? The Capital Cascades Trail, a 2.7-mile trail located south of downtown Tallahassee, offers a good option for a short bike ride, run, or stroll in the city.

As mentioned before, the Capital Cascades Trail is also part of the Capital City to the Sea Trail but offers a great way to get out in nature right in the heart of the city. 

This trail starts from the northern end of Tallahassee-St. Marks Trail cuts through Cascades Park and ends at E. Tennessee Street.

Cascade Park view from above, things to do in tallahassee
Cascade Park view from above

Check out Tom Brown Park

Stop by this large recreational park for a variety of outdoor activities. It has the #1 disc golf course in the state, as well as several baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, a BMX track, a mountain bike trail, nature trails, and picnic areas.

Stroll Around Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Hundreds of azaleas, camellias, and other flora and fauna are beautifully displayed at the Maclay Gardens State Park, best explored from January to April. Apart from several garden sections such as the secret garden, reflection pool, and wall garden, there are also areas for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking.

The park is just another beautiful green space for a stroll in the city!

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Lizard spotted at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Lizard spotted at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Take a Riverboat Tour at Wakulla Springs

The riverboat tour is one of the most popular activities in the Tallahassee area. Hop on a Wakulla Springs Boat Tour and embark on a 2-mile loop downstream and back to see all sorts of river wildlife. The boat ride lasts about 45-55 minutes, with a knowledgeable ranger as your guide. Popular sightings include wading birds, alligators, and manatees, which we were lucky to spot during our visit. 

The waterfront visitor centre opens at 9:40am daily. Note that the schedule for boat rides changes depending on demand, but the last boat always departs at 4:30pm. Tickets are available upon reservation and cost USD $8 for adults and USD $5 for children aged 3 to 12. Children under 3 ride for free. 

Riverboat Tour at Wakulla Springs
Riverboat Tour at Wakulla Springs, Tallahassee, Florida
Wakulla Springs boat
Wakulla Springs boat

Visit the Railroad Square Art District

This square is a must-visit for all art lovers. Previously a WWII-era industrial warehouse park, it’s since been transformed into an urban core local art district. The Railroad Square Art Park has 10 acres of more than 70 shops, galleries, and small local businesses. It’s quite an interesting place to wander around. You’ll also find vintage shops, thrift stores, a theatre, a pinball arcade, and other specialty storefronts. 

If you can, drop by in time for Railroad Square’s First Friday Monthly Festival. It’s a lively celebration with open galleries, live music, and lots of good food.

Spend a few hours at a Museum

While we chose to spend most of our time in Tallahassee outdoors, we couldn’t omit a sneak peak into Tallahassee’s selection of noteworthy museums – a perfect option for a rainy day. 

Tallahassee Museum

The Tallahassee Museum covers the history and culture of the Florida panhandle. There are historic reconstructed buildings from the 19th century, extensive natural history displays, and even nature trails, boardwalks, and a zipline course.

Tallahassee Automobile Museum 

The Tallahassee Automobile Museum is an interesting stop for car enthusiasts. Here, you can find hundreds of cars throughout history, from Abraham Lincoln’s horse-drawn hearse to the famous Batmobiles from Batman Forever and Batman Returns. 

Florida Historic Capitol Museum 

Did you know that Tallahassee has the third tallest capitol building in the US? Drop by and see the capitol restored to its 1902 appearance. There are also self-guided tours that take guests through exhibits highlighting the history of the civil rights movement in Florida.

Mission San Luis

Mission San Luis is the only reconstructed Spanish mission in Florida. It’s a living history museum that shares stories of former Apalachee and Spanish Residents. The exhibit gallery transports you back to the 17th century with replicated archaeological profiles, a 3D topographic site map, and decades-old artifacts. 

Park Ave. Historic Chain of Parks

For a historical trip outdoors, visit Tallahassee’s oldest continuous green space at Park Ave. It’s a chain of seven parks that encompasses historic homes, cemeteries, and native flora and fauna in downtown Tallahassee. Throughout history, the Chain of Parks has been the site of numerous public activities making it a huge part of Tallahassee community life.

Park in Tallahassee, Florida
Park in Tallahassee, Florida

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Where to Stay in Tallahassee

Hotel Indigo 

During our time in Tallahassee, we stayed at Hotel Indigo, located right at the heart of college town and within Tallahassee’s entertainment district. The stylish boutique hotel is only minutes away from the state capitol building and Florida State University’s sports field and a 20-minute drive from the airport.

The rooms are modern and spacious, with separate living and sleeping spaces. Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and Keurig coffee makers are all included. Select suites have views of the sports complex, private balconies, and wet bars and/or living areas.

As for amenities, there’s a casual restaurant on-site that serves delicious meals and hand-crafted cocktails and a fitness centre if you’d like to work out.

Room in Hotel Indigo
Room in Hotel Indigo

Where to Eat: Best Restaurants in Tallahassee

Quality and creativity of food and drink options was by far the biggest surprise during our time in Tallahassee. There are a lot of options, ranging from casual food trucks at Lake Ella to hip rooftop bars downtown. Here are some of our favourites:

Argonaut Coffee 

Specialty coffee, local baked goods, and homemade breakfast and lunch menus are on offer at this popular downtown coffee shop. The coffee was excellent, and we also enjoyed their matcha latte and protein smoothies.


It might look unassuming from the outside, but inside, Sage offers an intimate and special setting. The restaurant serves New American cuisine using French-inspired techniques. It’s the perfect spot for date night! Be sure to try their escargots and fried oysters.

Kool Beanz Café

A quirky and homey neighbourhood café, Kool Beanz serves not-your-average dishes in a casual atmosphere. They have great salads, interesting starters, and delicious entrees. The Ocra fries were a nice surprise, we also enjoyed the crab cakes, duck and lamb dishes. 

Black Radish

This restaurant is plant-forward and vegetable-focused but also offers a couple of great meat dishes. Their claim to fame is handmade pasta, natural wines, and craft cocktails. If you are visiting for the first time, take advantage of the small plates and try a mix of 3-4 appetizers! 

Bar 1903

For cocktails mixed with a bit of history, head to Bar 103 at Walker Library. The building itself is over 100 years old, and the cocktail menu spans 160 years. It’s an intimate and charming bar that seats only 36. Make reservations ahead for a uniquely Tallahassee cocktail experience.

USA Florida Tallahassee Black Radish restaurant food 6704841
Our meal at Black Radish Restaurant
Salad and steak at Sage Restaurant
Salad and steak at Sage Restaurant
Max browsing the menu at Charlie Park
Max browsing the menu at Charlie Park

The Bottom Line

There’s definitely more to Tallahassee than meets the eye. While not as fast-paced as the more popular destinations in Florida, the city has its own Southern charm. You’ll find a number of fun things to do in town, whether you’re there for a quick day trip or kicking off your Florida vacation.


Disclaimer: Our visit to Tallahassee was organized courtesy of Visit Tallahassee and Visit Florida. But as always, all opinions in this article are our own, no matter who is footing the bill. 

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