Visit the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, take a step back in time at the historic Goodwood Museum and Gardens, have a romantic dinner, visit a nearby beach or listen to live music at the Bradfordville Blues Club on your weekend getaway.
If you are looking for outdoor activities, stroll through the manicure gardens at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, see unique wildlife at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and play a round of golf at the Southwood Golf Club. Best Things to Do in Tallahassee, FL with kids include the Challenger Learning Center and the Tallahassee Automobile Museum.
1. Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science
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Located on Museum Drive, the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science is one of the top Tallahassee attractions that consists of an environmental science center, several historic buildings, and a natural habitat zoo. The museum’s goal is to educate people about the cultural and natural history of the Beg Bend area in which the city of Tallahassee is situated.
There are several exhibits, and one of the most popular is Big Ben Farm. This exhibit shows visitors what rural life was like in northern Florida in the 1800s; visitors see farm buildings with animals, houses, gardens, and a gristmill.
Wildlife Florida allows visitors to see many animals like bears, bobcats, and deer, as well as the endangered Florida panther and red wolves. The museum also has Animal Encounters, a program in which staff members show and teach children about one of the museum’s animals. Dine at these Tallahassee restaurants on vacation.
3945 Museum Drive, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-575-8684
2. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
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Located on Thomasville Road, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is a botanical garden and a historic site as well as a Florida State Park. Consisting of 1,176 acres, the gardens are a U.S. Historic District called the Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District.
The area contains 18 historic buildings and four other structures, of interest. Established in 1823, the park is famous for its azaleas and camellias, but it is also known for its substantial number of trees like cypresses, dogwoods, Japanese maples, and many more. The Native Plant Arboretum, on the other hand, showcases Eastern red columbine, English dogwood, Florida flame azaleas, and more.
Bird watching, bicycling, canoeing, fishing, and hiking are some of the popular activities in which you can partake in the gardens. Beaches near Tallahassee are relaxing.
3540 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-487-4556
3. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
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Established in 1931, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the nation and one of the best things to do in Tallahassee FL. Its 68,000 acres consist of a variety of coastal environments typical of the Gulf of Mexico, including estuaries, islands, marshes, and tidal creeks. There are several interesting structures in the refuge like St. Marks Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Florida.
The refuge serves as a wintering area for many migratory birds, and it is the home of many animals like alligators, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, and many more. The refuge is also a popular place for fishing, and there is even a boat ramp close to the lighthouse. There are also many trails for hikers and cyclists, and photographers and painters frequently come to capture the beauty of the refuge. Browse our things to do in Florida guide for more ideas.
4. Challenger Learning Center
© Challenger Learning Center
Located on South Duval Street, the Challenger Learning Cente is the K-12 outreach program of the Florida A&M University - Florida State University College Engineering. The 32,000 square-foot center focuses on promoting interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and is a fun thing to do in Tallahassee, Florida.
The center has an IMAX 3D Theater, a Space Mission Simulator, and the Downtown Digital Dome Theatre & Planetarium. There are many hands-on exhibits and programs for children including camps, kids’ free day, scouting merit badges, free “Sky Guy” Planetarium shows, and the Saturday Public Mission, where children have an opportunity to be part of a NASA space mission using the center’s Space Mission Simulator. Read about the best Florida weekend getaways for a relaxing vacation.
200 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-645-7827
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5. Tallahassee Antique Car Museum
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The Tallahassee Automobile Museum is a car-themed museum located on Mahan Drive. Opened in 1996, the museum showcases collections that consist of donated items. The museum moved into its newest facility in 2007. The main building contains 100,000 square feet and exhibits mostly American-made cars as well as items that represent and celebrate American culture.
The collection includes more than 140 automobiles, the funeral hearse of Abraham Lincoln, and three Batmobiles. Other items of interest include the museum’s collection of Case knives, an antique cash register, several unique North American artifacts, and many more. The museum has several banquet rooms that can be rented for corporate meetings and private functions like parties.
6800 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-942-0137
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6. Mission San Luis de Apalachee
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Located on West Tennessee Street, Mission San Luis de Apalachee is a historic site located west of downtown Tallahassee. Built in 1633, it was a Spanish Franciscan mission in the settlement of the Anhaica capital of the Apalachee Province. The buildings were destroyed, but several have been reconstructed, including the church, the convent, a typical Spanish house, the fort, the blockhouse, and a few others.
The mission was designated as a U.S. National Landmark in 1960. Guests can visit buildings, look at 300-year-old artifacts, and discover what past life was like in the mission. Florida day trips offer a great way to explore nearby.
2100 West Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-245-6406
7. Florida Historic Capitol Museum
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Located on South Monroe Street, the Florida Historic Capitol Museum emphasizes political artifacts, interactive exhibits, and photographs. The museum is housed in the iconic 1845 Historic Capital Building that was restored to its 1902 appearance between 1978 and 1982. When the new capitol was built, the Historic Capitol was slated for destruction but the citizens worked together to save it.
Restored parts of the building include the Governor’s office, The House of Representative, and the Supreme Court. Visitors of the museum learn about the events and individuals who helped to shape Florida. In addition to exhibits, there are audiovisual displays, interactive multimedia, and recordings. There are more than 250 artifacts housed in the 21 rooms of the museum.
400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-487-1902
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8. Goodwood Museum and Gardens
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The Goodwood Museum & Gardens is an exciting destination that features a grand 1830s plantation house sitting on 16 acres of landscaped lawns and gardens with old majestic oaks and outbuildings. One of the best examples of antebellum architecture, the plantation house contains its original art, glass, furniture, porcelain, textiles, and more.
The plantation house is also known for its early fresco ceilings, an especially beautiful feature of the house. The rooms are decorated to show visitors what the house would have looked like around the time of World War I. Guided tours are offered Tuesday to Saturday. Various parts of the museum and gardens can be rented for special events, including the Carriage House Conference Center, the Jubilee Cottage, and the Laundry Cottage.
1600 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-877-4202
9. Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park
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Located just north of downtown Tallahassee, the Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park is a free attraction that consists of 12-acre Lake Ella and 6.5-acre Fred Drake Park. In the past, it was used for cattle, but today it contains three fountains, picnic shelters, a paved walking trail that encircles the lake, and a site for community events like astronomy and exercise.
Visitors can enjoy the trail by taking part in activities such as walking, roller-skating, or skateboarding. Wildlife such as ducks, geese, pigeons, and turtles live at the tranquil lake. The old cottages dating from 1925 were originally used for honeymoon rooms, but local business owners have since opened shops and cafes there.
South Lake Ella Drive, Tallahassee, FL, Phone: 850-891-6860
10. St. Marks Lighthouse
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St. Marks Lighthouse is located in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Built in 1831, St. Marks Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in Florida and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. In the years following its construction, the lighthouse has been threatened by wars and natural disasters.
During the Second Seminole Indian War in 1835, the keeper of the lighthouse asked for troops and a boat, but fortunately, the Seminoles did not attack the lighthouse. In 1842, the lighthouse relocated due to problems with erosion. It survived numerous storms including some very destructive hurricanes. The lighthouse also came under threat during the Civil War, but fortunately, it survived.
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11. Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
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The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail is Florida’s first state rail-trail, and it follows the abandoned railway that led from Tallahassee to St. Marks. The trail is 16 miles long and begins at Capital Circle Southeast and ends at the coastal city of St. Marks. The railroad operated from 1836 to 1983, longer than any other railroad in Florida.
The scenic trail is paved, and bicyclists, runners, inline skaters, and walkers frequently take advantage of its picturesque views. Visitors can hike or cycle up the Munson Hills Trail, and children can enjoy themselves at the Felburn Foundation Boundless Playground. At the end of the trail, you can find several restaurants and shops. Find it on the map
3600 Indian Mounds Road, Tallahassee, Florida, Phone: 850-922-6007
12. Knott House Museum
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George Proctor built the Knott House Museum in 1834 on East Park Avenue. The house temporarily served as Union headquarters in 1865, and it was on the front steps of the Knott House that Abraham Lincoln read the famous Emancipation Proclamation.
After, the historic house served as the home of several families like William Knott and his wife, Luella, before it was given to the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board. The museum was opened to the public in 1992 after an extensive restoration to show what the house looked like in 1928. In 1997, the Museum of Florida History began to administer the museum. Guided tours are given from Wednesday to Saturday.
301 East Park Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida, Phone: 850-922-2459
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13. SouthWood Golf Club
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Located on Grove Park Drive, the Southwood Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in Florida. Fred Couples and Gene Bates designed the course, and the St. Joe Company created it. Southwood is a public golf course set in pastureland with rolling hills and oak trees covered in Spanish moss.
The Golf Club accepts public reservations and group reservations for teatime. The Southwood Clubhouse hosts special events like corporate meetings and private functions like holiday dinners. The Southwood Room in the Clubhouse is used for smaller more intimate functions. Built in 1865, the recently restored SouthWood House sits among flowering trees and oaks. It can be rented for weddings, corporate parties, and holiday gatherings.
3750 Grove Park Drive, Tallahassee, Florida, Phone: 850-942-4653
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14. Museum of Florida History
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Learn all about the Sunshine State in the innovative Museum of Florida History. Established in 1977, the official state museum has been teaching children and adults alike about Florida’s rich history and development. Appreciate their heritage through award-winning exhibits, innovative educational programs, and impressive artifact collection. The Museum Exhibits Gallery showcases thousands of artifacts related to Florida’s history— all the way from the prehistoric era to the 20th century— including Florida’s World War II Living Memorial. The nearby Knott House Museum, which was built in 1843 and beautifully restored, shows visitors what Floriadian life was like in the 1930’s. A walk through the museum’s halls is sure to give every guest a deeper appreciation for the well-beloved state of Florida.
500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, Phone: 850-245-6400
15. Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
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The Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park is located in northern Tallahassee on the south shore of Lake Jackson. One of the most important archaeological sites in Florida, the Lake Jackson Mounds were the center of the Fort Walton Culture, which thrived between 1050 and 1500 AD. The area includes four earthwork mounds, many village residences, and a public plaza.
Only two of the four mounds are open to the public. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the area has been managed by the Florida State Park system since 1966. There are two trails, which pass by a plantation, a gristmill from the 1800s, and landscapes with native plants and trees.
Lake Jackson, Tallahassee, Florida, Phone: 850-922-6007
16. Lake Talquin State Forest
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The Lake Talquin State Forest is a 17,491-acre state forest located on Geddie Road near Tallahassee. If you are looking for romantic things to do outdoors, be sure to visit this magical place during your travels. The forest is made up of ten tracts of land, most of which lie along the Ochlockonee river and Lake Talquin. Florida Forest Service has managed Lake Talquin State Forest since 1977.
It is a multi-use park that shares recreation with environment and resource needs. The focus is on the balance of outdoor recreation and habitat restoration and reforestation. The forest consists of many kinds of trees like hickory, maple, and oak, and animals such as bobcat, deer, and turkey. Some of the activities include bicycling, camping, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and much more.
17. Cascades Park
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll amongst nature or an exciting, activity-filled afternoon, the 24-acre Cascades Park is a great place to visit. Aside from several walking trails, some of the park's attractions include the Capital City Amphitheater which regularly hosts local and regional acts, a playground filled with 73 water jets, another playscape with several smaller attractions, and the picturesque events place known as The Parkview at Cascades. The park also serves as a means to learn more about Tallahassee with several historical landmarks including the Smokey Hollow Commemoration, Korean War Memorial, and Prime Meridian Marker. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Visitors are welcome to bring in pets given they stay on leash.
1201 Myers Park Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
18. Railroad Square Art District
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The Railroad Square Art District is likely one of the liveliest and most creative places to visit in Tallahassee. Once a warehouse district, local artists and entrepreneurs are now able to showcase their work through dozens of art galleries and shops. You can find everything from art to vintage clothing, along with activity spaces such as a vintage pinball arcade and even an indoor rock-climbing gym. Even a simple walk through this creative hub is an experience in itself with the colorful buildings, outdoor murals, and buzzing atmosphere. The food scene is equally exciting with several unique dining and beverage options. The Crumbox Gastgarden is an eclectic cafe built from an authentic railroad caboose, and the Railroad Square Craft House serves crowd-pleasing pub food and craft beer.
602 McDonnell Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32310, Phone: 850-224-1308
19. Things to Do in Tallahassee, FL: The Grove Museum
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Learn about one of the most crucial periods in American history by visiting The Grove Museum. Through its preservation of the Call-Collins House, a house built by enslaved craftspeople, the museum is able to engage its visitors in an important dialogue about slavery and civil rights. Commonly recognized as the best-preserved antebellum residence in Florida, the Call-Collins House and its surrounding acreage received an award-winning rehabilitation led by the Florida Department of State and opened as The Grove Museum in 2017. After viewing the nationally listed historic home, visitors may stroll the grounds and view the diverse plant and wildlife. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday and offers guided group tours along with educational programs. General admission is free.
902 N. Monroe, Tallahassee, Florida 32303, Phone: 850-245-6100
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20. Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
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Take a visit to this historical state park which once held Florida’s second largest civil war battle. Guided tours are available along with annual reenactments of the 1865 battle where Confederate Militia defended Natural Bridge. The park seamlessly showcases Florida’s history along with its nature as it houses other unique attractions such as the St. Marks River, river sinkholes, and natural springs. Visitors are welcome to hike the beautiful woodlands, as well as picnic in the pavilion, and go freshwater fishing. The waters are filled with species like the Florida black bass, catfish, bream, crappie, and striper. The park is open daily from 8 in the morning until sundown.
7502 Natural Bridge Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32305, Phone: 850-487-7980
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21. Lichgate on High Road
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A visit to Lichgate on High Road is like stepping into a fairytale story. Named after the gates of medieval England, Lichgate is an otherworldly cottage surrounded by three acres of green space. The land was bought by the late Laura Jepsen, an English professor from Florida State University, in 1956 after touring the grounds and finding a majestic live oak tree that dates back to the days of Shakespeare. Inspired by childhood stories and medieval English Tudor cottages, she built her own cottage to call her home. Today visitors are welcome to visit the grounds daily as a means of escape from the hustle and bustle of Tallahassee. Visitors will find butterfly, perennial, and daffodil gardens, as well as a labyrinth and the very oak tree that began everything. The cottage is also open to visitors over weekends.
1401 High Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32304, Phone: 850-383-6556
22. Letchworth Mounds State Park
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Gain a deeper appreciation for Native American heritage and culture at the Letchworth Mounds State Park. The park is home to the state’s tallest Native American ceremonial mound standing at 51 feet high. Built well over 1,000 years ago, the mound has been well protected and preserved as an artifact of the Swift Creek Culture, Native Americans who inhabited the land of Florida from 200-450AD. An interpretive trail is available for visitors to view the ceremonial mound together with other smaller mounds within the park. Guided tours are also available for groups up to 50 people. Guests are also welcome to picnic, hike through the trails, and view the surrounding wildlife which include deer, wild turkey, ospreys, and bald eagles.
4500 Sunray Road South, Tallahassee, Florida 32309, Phone: 850-487-7989
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23. Proof Brewing Company
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Passion and innovation are palpable at the Proof Brewing Company. Founded in 2012 and known as the first craft production brewery in Tallahassee, they’ve mastered the art of artisanal brewing as they produce flavorful, exciting, and creative beers. The company is an industry leader in its own right receiving several awards from Hunaphu’s Day, World Beer Cup, and Wine Enthusiast among others. Stop by their 20-barrel brewery Wednesday to Sunday where they also have an intimate tasting room and outdoor beer garden. They serve their house draft beers along with hand-crafted cocktails, wine, and seasonal Southern cuisine. Online orders are also available for curbside pickup.
1320 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, Phone: 850-577-0517
24. Kool Beanz Cafe
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This colorful, vibrant cafe is sure to put a smile on every customer’s face with their award-winning team and deliciously diverse menu. Start your meal with any of their enticing appetizers like the smoky corn crab cakes or jerk pork and mango quesadillas. Easy going and well-beloved by the local community, Kool Beanz Cafe has been featured countless times in the press and earned Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Highlights from their selection of entrees include the Cuban-spiced pork chops with mango habanero salsa, the Tuscan style lamb, and sambal chutney with wasabi mashed potatoes. Pair them with any of their selection of wines and beers. Kool Beanz Cafe is open seven days a week and does not accept reservations.
921 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32303, Phone: 850-999-1372
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