Oh Tallahassee, how you surprised me with your amazing placing to visit and amazing dining experiences. Home to Florida State University and the capital city of Florida, there’s a lot to be said for this interesting town. The vibe is very small town but with an artsy flare. Seems like everywhere I looked, there was art to be found. Many of the sides of the building there had the most amazing paintings and there was so much to look at. It satisfied the artsy side of me so much to just be a part of this thriving city for a couple days.
Not only was the art scene amazing but this town hosts some pretty cool history as well. But I’ll wait to share more about that on further down. My husband and I enjoyed spending the weekend in this town (we were past due for a trip without our kids) but quickly realized how kid-friendly this town is. There’s so much to absorb (and EAT!) in Tallahassee, our kids would have loved it just as much as we did.
So without further ado, I give you my top 9 reasons why you need to add Tallahassee to your list of places to visit!
9. GoodWood Museum and Gardens is like stepping back in time
Known for it’s immaculate main House and outdoor gardens, GoodWood was like stepping back into another era with it’s amazing collection of items that are native to the GoodWood home. We were given a character tour and told about the 5 families who lived there. I was amazed at how well preserved the items were. And this isn’t one of those museums where everything is roped off and you have to stay on a certain path. No, we were free to roam the rooms and get on eye level with old photographs, baby dolls, books, suitcases. You name it, we were able to get right up to it and really get a good look at it. One of my favorite things to see was the childhood drawings on the wall behind the door. Almost eerie but still so neat to imagine this home being used just like our homes today. Another interesting aspect of the GoodWood plantation was the outdoor spaces and wedding venue. There was a wedding and reception happening while we were there and it was breathtaking to just be a fly on the wall so-to-speak. The gorgeousness of GoodWood plus the gorgeousness of a beautiful wedding, it was so serene to see!
8. Tallahassee is home is some of the finest eating EVER!
You can’t go to Tallahassee without eating at their local eateries. Here’s my top list of places to eat and some tips:
- Kool Beanz – get the fried green tomatoes with guac – BEST guac I’ve ever had and for those who know me, know I’m a connoisseur of all things avocado
- Maple Street Biscuit Company – hash cakes, need I say more? Plus they have a ton of interesting choices for biscuits. I ordered the BLT biscuit and it was everything.
- The Edison – you’ll just feel cooler eating here. It’s hip and such an interesting place to eat. It’s a restored powerhouse and there’s lights EVERYWHERE. Plus the food was top notch.
- Sage Restaurant – this was a good treat for my husband and I. Although there were plenty of kids there, I felt like this was a great date night, fancy meal. Truly a treat for us. Shrimp and Scallops were amazing and candlelit dining is always a good idea!
- Canopy Roads Cafe – such a good stop for breakfast. Omelets here are a must. Feels very local and inviting. Truly felt at home here.
- Lofty Pursuits – this ice cream shop has an old timey feel with some interesting ice cream flavors. Yes, they have your standard flavors but also a wide variety of flavors you won’t see many other places. And I should know, I had 6 ice cream cones while there. Also, they make their own candy in house so what a fun treat for the kiddos than to get some ice cream while watching someone make candy. Neat!
7. The ALoft Hotel feels more like a hip apartment than a Hotel
Pet friendly and super chic, The ALoft was such a treat to stay at. We loved the modern vibe and felt completely different than other hotels we’ve stayed in before. There’s even a pet adoption area in their lobby where they take in rescue dogs! I’m an animal-lover so I thought this really set this hotel apart from any other I’ve been to! Plus, live music in the lobby was a neat addition. Lots of locals stop in just to sit and listen to the music at night.
6. The Spring House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is amazing to see in real life
In college, I had several design classes where I learned about the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. His work has always interested me so when I heard there was a house designed by him in Tallahassee, I knew I had to visit it. Ms. Byrd gave us a wonderful tour of the outside and inside of this peaceful place. Her family is the original owner of the house and she currently resides there. The main thing I noticed while visiting there is how peaceful it was. I would dare say, it’s the most peaceful house I’ve ever visited! The natural stream in the backyard and that massive canopy tree really give this house a warm feel. Frank Lloyd Wright told the homeowners before designing the home to “find your ground” and he would then design their home. I think those are some pretty powerful words! And a house he did design! Plans are in the works to restore this house and finish the design that FLW had originally planned. Getting to see the original house plan from FLW was amazing to me since I studied him in college several years ago.
5. Art is EVERYWHERE!
I’ve never been in a town where practically everything was covered in artwork. It was such a treat for me since I’m a creative/artsy person. Buildings, statutes, literally everywhere I looked, there was art to be found. We just so happened to be in Tallahassee during “First Friday” which is where the first Friday of every month on Railroad Street, the food trucks gather and shops open their doors and lots of things to do and see arrive all in one spot. It was rainy while we were there but that didn’t stop us from having a blast walking from shop to shop and checking out the local artist scene. I loved how they had their shops in a warehouse and if they were open, their garage door was up and you could go inside. Genius!
4. Nature is everywhere in the city
Known as canopy roads, there were so many roads that were lined with a tunnel of these amazing trees. I kept telling my husband that even though this is a city, it felt like we were in the country because it’s so green here. These gorgeous canopy trees are everywhere!
3. Stopping by Proof Brewing Co is a must!
I’ll admit my husband and I are not beer drinkers but I can still appreciate this place so much for their fun atmosphere and tour of their brewing process. You can literally watch them brew their beer while sitting at their bar. We were given a top notch tour of their brewing process by Alan Truesdell and next time we’re in Tallahassee, I’m sure we’ll stop by and say hi to him. So friendly and welcoming, this place has a very small town feel. Very family friendly with their amazing outdoor space. There were kids there while we were there and it wasn’t a big deal. Definitely NOT a stereotypical “bar”. It’s a place you want to go to and just chill and enjoy a good conversion with someone. I was highly impressed! Plus their branding is on-point which is something I look for and appreciate. Even their cans all have different sayings on the bottom where they are date stamped. How fun is that?!
2. LeMonye Center for the Visual Arts offers amazing classes
Stained glass class. Say that 5 times fast. Ha! This miiiight have been my favorite part from our trip to Tallahassee. I’m an art nerd so any chance at learning a new skill is a good time to me. My husband and I knew NOTHING about stained class and after one class, it’s something I’m going to try again sometime soon. Our teacher was amazing and no stuffy classroom here – we were in a beautiful home surrounded by beautiful paintings on the wall and amazing sculptures within a few feet. Like I said before, the art scene is strong here in Tallahassee and this place just made me fall in love with Tallahassee even more.
1. History is thick here and there’s so much to learn!
Tallahassee is home to Mission San Luis which is an amazing museum set on the actual land where Apalachee Indians and Spanish lived in harmony for many years. The shear amount of artifacts preserved from here amazed me. Currently, they have rebuilt some of the main buildings that were here many years ago. Hearing the stories and the history of this place is definitely a must when visiting Tallahassee. They often hold workshops in candlemaking, blacksmithing, and rope/cord making along with special events throughout the year such as their Blessing of the Animals and 17th-Century Military Muster event. Definitely add this place to your must visit list and enjoy the history and culture from Tallahassee’s past.
So much to see and do in this town, I am so glad we had the opportunity to visit Tallahassee. Add this place to your list and enjoy the small town feel in a city that has beautiful natural scenery and art that’s top notch. You can’t beat the vibe in Tallahassee! If you’re planning on visiting the Sunshine State, make sure you plan to spend at least a couple days in Tallahassee and enjoy all the culture and fabulous eateries this town has to offer.
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