Florida’s state capital is the kind of destination that can suit anyone. With an array of fun things to do in Tallahassee, you’re bound to find an activity just for you. This is definitely a destination that provides variety!
Florida is well-known for its incredible natural beauty – something that is clearly seen throughout the state. Tallahassee is surrounded by some of the most magnificent outdoor attractions in the area. With loads of rivers, parks, and reserves, you could have a truly amazing outdoor holiday when visiting this location.
However, Tallahassee is still a perfect choice for indoor fun. From museums to top restaurants, you can find plenty of activities to be enjoyed!
For a well-planned trip, here is our complete guide on the best things to do in Tallahassee, FL. We are sure it will lead to an unforgettable experience!
Table of Contents
- Top Things to Do in Tallahassee
- Unusual Things to Do in Tallahassee
- Things to Do in Tallahassee at Night
- Where to Stay in Tallahassee
- Romantic Things to Do in Tallahassee
- Best Free Things to Do in Tallahassee
- Tallahassee Packing List
- Best Things to Do in Tallahassee With Kids
- Other Unmissable Things to Do in Tallahassee
- Day Trips From Tallahassee
- 3 Day Tallahassee Itinerary
- Final Thoughts on Things to Do Tallahassee
Top Things to Do in Tallahassee
You’re backpacking the USA and wanted to visit Tallahassee? Looking for the most essential things to do in Tallahassee? Here are our top picks for anyone visiting this city!
One of the most unmissable things to do in Tallahassee has got to be exploring the historic downtown area on foot. This is the real heart and soul of the city – and there are many fantastic landmarks and monuments within easy reach of each other.
A particular area of interest here is in the black heritage of the city. If you’re looking to learn more about the history of the area, an interesting downtown walking tour can be taken to expand your knowledge. You will get to see some of the more historic buildings, statues, and monuments around the city – leaving you feeling truly enriched.
2. Immerse Yourself in Nature at the Tallahassee Museum
The Tallahassee Museum is one of the most diverse learning institutions around! This is certainly not your regular museum, as it spans a 52-acre location.
The point of the Tallahassee Museum is to educate visitors on the cultural and natural history of the area. Through this, the museum features many revolving exhibits, a nature trail, wildlife, a lakeside location, and even zipline tours!
This is the perfect place to learn about the unique Florida landscape surrounding the city. Visiting the museum is definitely one of the best outdoor things to do in Tallahassee!
- Cascades Park
- Florida Historic Capitol Museum
- Loads of fantastic restaurants and bars
3. Soak Up History at the Florida Historic State Capitol Museum
Built in 1845, this is certainly one of the more notable historic Tallahassee attractions. If you are interested in learning about the political history of the city, then this is the place to go!
There is the option to take a tour of the entire Florida Historic State Capitol Museum. Highlights of this tour include the governor’s office, the supreme court, the House of Representatives, and all kinds of interesting items on display! There are also some quality exhibits on the city’s history on display for your perusing pleasure.
4. Admire Lake Ella at the Fred Drake Park
Lake Ella is a 12-acre beauty found in Tallahassee. Locals love this lake due to its natural splendor, as well as its important role in preventing floods in the city. While visiting the area, you may note that Tallahassee locals are very proud of this lake – something that has become a pretty iconic feature of the city.
Lake Ella is found in the Fred Drake Park and offers the ideal escape from city life. Visit for a jog, a picnic, or just a breath of fresh air under the trees – making it a great change of pace should you want to get your heart rate up! This is one of the best Tallahassee activities for those that love the outdoors too.
5. Visit the Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
Florida has a pretty interesting natural landscape, and this state park offers one of the best insights into this. The Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park is one of the most important of its kind in Florida.
The park features seven earthwork mounds, a public plaza, and different village residences. For those interested in learning about the ancient history of the area, this is one of the best places to visit!
6. Enjoy the Outdoors at Cascades Park
Cascades Park is a 24-acre park that can be found running along the St. Augustine Branch stream. This park features loads of fun things to enjoy for all ages! From playparks to walkways and waterfalls, this is the perfect place to visit on a sunny day.
If you are looking for Tallahassee things to do, then a visit to Cascades Park should definitely feature on your list.
Unusual Things to Do in Tallahassee
If you are looking for some unique things to do in Tallahassee, then there are plenty of options. This city has activities to cover all interests.
7. Experience the Past at Mission San Luis de Apalachee
Built during 1633, this Spanish Franciscan mission can be found in the old Apalachee Province. The entire village has been restored to its former glory, allowing you to experience what life was like here long ago.
There are tours available of the US national landmark, covering all kinds of awesome artifacts and displays. This is one of the best things to do in Tallahassee, Florida, for avid history fans.
There are a number of ways that you can see the downtown area of Tallahassee, but a scavenger hunt has got to be one of the best! This is a really fun way of stopping by the most important sights and landmarks around the area while finding clues along the way!
You can enjoy the scavenger hunt using your smartphone, and being your own guide. This is definitely a fun way to explore Tallahassee.
9. Check Out the Tallahassee Automobile Museum
If you are interested in cars, then this is one of the best attractions to visit. The Tallahassee Automobile Museum features all kinds of amazing cars and Americana from over the ages. This is one of the best museums of its kind – something that can only really be enjoyed in Tallahassee!
This museum combines history with technology in order to create a uniquely interesting space. Even if you are not a car fanatic, it is well worth checking out the various rare collectibles on exhibit here.
Safety in Tallahassee
Tallahassee may be the state capital, but it has a real small-town feel to it. This means that the city is relatively quiet and safe all-round. Tallahassee has a large student population, with the city focusing quite a lot on safety for this reason.
As with any US city, there is always the possibility of crime. This is why getting travel insurance is always a good idea. However, Tallahassee is definitely considered a safe place to visit. Read our tips for traveling safely before you fly and always get travel insurance. Check out our roundup of the best travel insurance.
Things to Do in Tallahassee at Night
Tallahassee is a beautiful place to be during the day, but there is still plenty of fun to be had at night! Here are some great activities in the city to enjoy after hours.
10. Indulge in Cocktails and Live Music
One of the best ways to spend a night out in Tallahassee would be through great drinks and music! The downtown area has loads of excellent bars and restaurants that are centered around this. You can easily navigate this area by foot, stopping in at some of the best destinations in the city.
Some of our favorite spots would be the Bradfordville Blues Club, Fifth and Thomas, and The Fox & Stag.
11. Karaoke and Oysters
This may sound like an unusual combination, but it is one of the best things to do in downtown Tallahassee. Birds Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack is a popular spot in the city – offering patrons delicious oysters and well-crafted drinks.
The main drawcard here is the karaoke though! This always attracts a crowd, and it promises to be loads of fun for everyone.
12. Wander Around the Railroad Square Art Park
The Railroad Square Art Park has been a cultural and artistic hub in Tallahassee since the 1970s. This former lumberyard features all sorts of interesting little shops and artists studios. Beyond this, there are also some great food and drink options, including the popular Proof Brewing Co.
Visiting the Railroad Square Art Park is one of the best artsy things to do in Tallahassee. Enjoy local crafts and a vibrant atmosphere at this cool hangout!
Where to Stay in Tallahassee
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Tallahassee. And if you’re heading somewhere else after your visit, maybe you should have a look at the top road trip destinations Florida has to offer.
Best Airbnb in Tallahassee – Downtown Contemporary Getaway
This entire apartment based in the downtown area is the ultimate hub for your Tallahassee stay! You get modern finishes, a seriously comfortable bedroom, and a fully kitted out kitchen. Located in a really convenient area, you will be within easy reach of most major attractions too.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Tallahassee – Aloft Tallahassee Downtown
Centrally located in the downtown area, this awesome hotel has everything you would need for an unforgettable stay! With an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, on-site mini-market, and a 24-hour reception, all your needs are covered. The rooms are also really comfortable and well serviced.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Romantic Things to Do in Tallahassee
Looking for the best things to do in Tallahassee for couples? This city has plenty of great romantic destinations! Here are some top picks.
13. Enjoy the Alfred B.Maclay Gardens State Park
This is one of the most beautiful and romantic spaces in Tallahassee! The Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is an 1176-acre botanical garden and historic site. The park features all kinds of magnificent plants and floral architecture.
Whether you spend an afternoon walking through the garden paths, or take a picnic, you will be sure to have an unforgettable romantic experience.
14. Ride the Chipola River
This romantic activity is also one of the more adventurous things to do in Tallahassee. The Chipola River is found about an hour outside of the city, and it boasts some fantastic river rides!
You can choose to tube or canoe your way down the river. This is loads of fun for couples! You will get to see some of the most magnificent Florida scenery and landscapes during your river ride too.
Always Be Insured
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Best Free Things to Do in Tallahassee
No need to worry if you are looking to do things in Tallahassee on a budget! Here are some excellent free activities around the city.
15. Enjoy the Beach at Alligator Point
Not many people think of going to the beach when visiting Tallahassee. However, this is always going to be a popular activity in Florida! Alligator Point can be found just outside of the city. It allows for a total sense of peace, calm, and quiet.
Visiting here is one of the more non-touristy things to do in Tallahassee, so don’t expect crowds! With white sands and inviting waters, this is a great way to spend a sunny day in Tallahassee.
16. Discover the Fascinating River Sinks
If a beach day isn’t appealing, then be sure to check out the unique river sinks of Tallahassee! These interesting natural wonders of Florida are great rewards for any hikers to find. Make sure to find one of the sinks that are perfect for swimming in.
Some popular sinks include the Leon sinks geological area and the Sister Sink. This is a brilliant way to enjoy the outdoors in Tallahassee.
Tallahassee Packing List
1. Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!
2. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
3. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.
4. Camera or Cell Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Tallahassee is a picturesque destination! Get perfect shots from your phone using clip-on-lenses with wide-angle, close-up and optical zoom. With the ability to turn travel pictures from basic to professional, this universal lens sits neatly over any phone camera and comes with a durable, travel-friendly case!
5. International Adapter: Tallahassee outlets accommodate typical US two-pronged plugs, but for electronics that have three prongs or if your plugs are of a different variety, you’ll need an adapter. Save yourself the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much than planning ahead by buying one online.
Best Things to Do in Tallahassee With Kids
If you are travelling to Tallahassee with children, there are all kinds of activities that they can enjoy too! Keep reading for some of the best things to do in Tallahassee with kids.
17. Pay a Visit to the Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Center is one of the most fun ways to learn about the world! The center features an IMAX cinema, a science center, and a planetarium. This allows for fun, entertainment, and plenty of learning!
Both adults and kids can enjoy this fascinating attraction. The displays are very hands-on, and they all encourage stimulation and interaction. This makes it a fun place to please your kids while parents can enjoy the entertaining features as well!
18. Get Your Sweet Fix at Lofty Pursuits
Lofty Pursuits is an absolute Tallahassee gem! This artisanal ice cream and candy shop is the ultimate destination for anybody with a sweet tooth. Of course, kids will love visiting too!
At the Lofty Pursuits, there is a counter where you can watch old-school candy being made the traditional way. This is really quite fascinating! Beyond this, there are all kinds of interesting flavor combinations and creations on offer for your tasting pleasure.
Other Unmissable Things to Do in Tallahassee
Looking for more ways to spend your time in this exciting city? Here are some more awesome attractions in Tallahassee, FL.
19. Witness Nature at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Established all the way back in 1931, this is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the US. Originally established as a wintering ground for migratory birds, this 68000-acre area offers pure, unspoiled natural beauty.
The wildlife refuge is one of the best places to spend a day around Tallahassee. You can admire the pristine landscape, as well as spot some of the local wildlife that the area is so well known for! If you love nature, then this is a must!
20. Experience the Goodwood Museum and Gardens
For those that are interested in what life used to be like, the Goodwood Museum and Gardens offers the perfect insight! This grand house dates back 180 years, but it is still incredibly well maintained.
You can walk through this stunning old house and gardens to get a taste of the past. If you aren’t interested in the historical value of the place, the sheer beauty of the landscaped grounds is still worth visiting!
21. Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
This Florida state park covers a 16-mile stretch of converted railway tracks. Visitors can cycle or walk along these tracks from Tallahassee to the Gulf of Mexico.
This recreational railroad trail offers a total escape from the city. Visitors can enjoy the natural serenity and abundance of scenic beauty around them. From horseback riding to jogging or skating, plenty of activities can be enjoyed here! You can also appreciate the historical value of what was once an important and busy railroad.
22. Enjoy Learning at the Museum of Florida History
Seeing as you are in the state capital, you may as well learn about the interesting history of Florida! The Museum of Florida History has a variety of engaging displays and exhibitions covering the many ages that the area has seen.
Admire ancient artifacts, civil war memorabilia, and prehistoric objects all under one roof! Tallahassee certainly has some quality museums, and this has got to be one of the best!
Day Trips From Tallahassee
Located in the Florida panhandle, Tallahassee is the perfectly positioned base to explore more of the state from. Here are some great day trip options from the city.
Apalachicola is a small fishing town in northern Florida. It can be easily reached from Tallahassee, providing a refreshing change of scenery. While there is so much to enjoy in the town, you can also explore the incredible native forests surrounding the town.
The Apalachicola National Forest runs between Tallahassee and the fishing town. This is a hotspot for hikers, wildlife, and nature lovers. If you are driving up, consider making a pit stop along the way to appreciate the landscape.
When in Apalachicola, be sure to visit the beach, indulge in some seafood, and maybe try your hand at fishing! This is a great place for those wanting to learn more about what the state of Florida has to offer.
Panama City is the ideal beach location within reach of Tallahassee! You can enjoy the pearly white beaches, seaside activities, as well as a vibrant city. A day trip to Panama City gives you enough time to enjoy some watersports and soak up the Florida sun!
There is even a fun amusement park on the waterfront that is perfect for families! This is a particularly popular area of the city to explore. From kayaking to riding jet skis, diving, fishing, or catching a tan, Panama City will be sure to provide the perfect day trip!
3 Day Tallahassee Itinerary
Looking for things to do in Tallahassee this weekend? Three days can be the perfect amount of time to spend in the city. Here is a suggestion of how you could plan your Tallahassee itinerary.
Day 1 – Exploring Downtown
The downtown area of Tallahassee is full of monuments and fun attractions. This area is pretty easy to navigate on foot, and is where you will spend the bulk of your first day.
Start the day off exploring the sites of this historic district. You can stop off at the Historic State Capitol Museum for some learning. Spend some time outside in Cascade park, before heading to the interesting Challenger Learning Center.
You can then visit the Fred Drake Park to admire Lake Ella. End off your day by visiting the Railroad Square Art Park for some quality food, drinks, and artistic goods.
Day 2 – Getting Outdoors
Start your second day off at the amazing Tallahassee Museum. This place is loaded with activities, so you could spend a long time here. Once finished, consider heading over to the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park to enjoy some natural beauty and serenity.
After this, you could visit the Goodwood Museum and Gardens. End your day off with some karaoke and oysters at Birds Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack.
Day 3 – Exploring More of the Area
Tallahassee is a brilliant destination in itself, but there are some amazing places to see surrounding the city. We would recommend starting off your third day by taking a trip down the Chipola River. You could also hike to the fascinating river sinks, or visit the nearby beach Alligator Point.
Spend the afternoon walking along the historic railroad state trail. End the day off at one of the many amazing restaurants or bars found in the downtown area.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do Tallahassee
Tallahassee is a phenomenal city that all kinds of visitors can enjoy! There are so many outdoor attractions around here that really appeal to the nature lover. From impressive state parks to rivers, beaches, and surrounding forests, you can spend a great deal of time outdoors.
However, there are also loads of things to do indoors around Tallahassee. The city has many world-class museums, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
This may be the capital of Florida, but it has a real small-town feel and a laid back charm. Tallahassee is an exciting destination that everybody can enjoy!
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A self-proclaimed travel-yoga-freak, Mathilde Magnier is French, raised in Brussels, and spent most of her adulthood in Sydney. Prior to working for The Broke Backpacker, Mathilde was working in the tech industry for a few years. She plans to spend most of 2020 balancing wellness and la Vida Loca in Central and South America.
You can connect and follow her journey on Instagram!