Tallahassee, the capital of the Sunshine State, is a regional trade and agriculture hub, as well as a vibrant college town. Considered the showpiece of the Florida Panhandle—a stretch of land that spans 200 miles along the northwestern region of the state—Tallahassee offers attractions such as well-preserved historical sites, plenty of outdoor recreation and access to sports, nightlife and shopping.
Explore state history at the Capitol Complex in downtown Tallahassee. For a “before and after” look, first view the Historical Capitol, topped with a dome and cupola and restored to its 1902 state. The vintage building holds a two-floor exhibit area joined by a grand staircase, which stands in sharp contrast to the “extreme makeover” modern skyscraper that houses the New Capitol next door. Other things to do at the Tallahassee Capitol Complex include touring the Florida Supreme Court, styled in a mix of Greek Revival and Jeffersonian architecture, and the Florida Governor’s Mansion, a Georgian manor built in the fashion of the grand plantation homes.
Nearby, the Museum of Florida History documents the layered evolution of the state. Changing exhibits have examined topics ranging from Seminole native culture to the representation of Florida in modern-day artifacts.
Visitors to Tallahassee can explore the diverse natural surroundings of the area, including a 78-mile network of canopy roads around the city. Compact, curvy and draped with moss-covered trees—live oaks, hickory and pines among them—each of the nine canopy roads of Tallahassee splays in a different direction, offering a distinct landscape to intrepid travelers.
Outdoor attractions in Tallahassee range from paddling down a tree-draped river to biking in a downtown park. Popular tourist destinations include the Tallahassee Museum, a 52-acre natural campus where visitors can identify plants and observe wildlife, including alligators and panthers, from an elevated wood foot path. Tallahassee Tree to Tree Adventures, located at the museum, offers visitors the chance to zipline through a variety of rugged natural settings.
Tallahassee’s strong sports scene is powered by the academic institutions in the city’s midst, notably the football teams of Florida State University and Florida A and M University. The Seminoles of Florida State and Rattlers of Florida A and M play to packed crowds at local stadiums. Each fall, football fans head downtown to Adams Street Commons on Friday nights for Downtown GetDown, a lively rally in support of the formidable teams.
The city manages a busy calendar of festivals, holiday celebrations and other year-round things to do. Downtown Tallahassee is home to a seasonal open-air market held on Saturdays in Ponce de Leon Park. Vendors sell items ranging from plants and organic produce to arts and crafts. The Downtown Market is enhanced by live music and author readings. On the first Friday of each month, crowds of locals and visitors head to the First Friday Gallery Hop at Railroad Square, a former lumber yard in downtown Tallahassee that is now home to over 50 eclectic shops, galleries and art studios.