Where can I visit from Tallahassee Florida?
June 6, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

What are the best places to visit in Tallahassee Florida or surrounding area?

I'm doing an internship in Tallahassee. I'm not from anywhere close to Tallahassee (but I did bring my car) so I know nothing about the area. During the week I am mostly at work so travel is out of the question then but I do get every other Friday off (3-day weekend) so I was wondering what sorts of trips I can take in my car that are 2/3 days? I guess Miami is out of the question but where can I go to get that South Florida experience? Thanks.
posted by locussst to Travel & Transportation around Florida (7 answers total)
What do you find interesting? Also, 'South Florida' varies greatly, but Tallahassee is not it. My personal experience divides Florida (like Gaul) into three parts: from the northern border to a line from Ocala to Daytona, roughly, then to another line from Marco Island to Pompano Beach, roughly. The state is more 'Dixie' to the center portion, and less so towards the coasts.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:03 PM on June 6, 2012

Things near Tallahassee are going to be way more nature-oriented than anything South Florida-like. You can easily find hiking, tubing, kayaking, and things along those lines. You might consider Tampa as your south-Florida alternative (~4 hrs away), but it's still not going to be quite the same feel.
posted by bizzyb at 6:14 PM on June 6, 2012

Panama City Beach is only a couple of hours away. It's nothing like Miami, it's more like South Alabama, but it has its own charms.
posted by COD at 7:51 PM on June 6, 2012

Are you interested in outdoor activities? If so, I can suggest a few of my favorite places, but I don't want to give you a big list of springs and rivers and parks if that's not what you're looking for.

For other options, you could easily spend a Saturday in downtown Thomasville. It has some nice restaurants, interesting shops, and Sweet Grass Dairy which makes wonderful cheese. Also, Atlanta is only 4 to 5 hours away. I am from Tallahassee and went to college in Atlanta and I used to go back and forth for the weekend all the time.

And yeah, I agree with everyone else that you aren't going to get the South Florida experience anywhere near Tallahassee.
posted by horses, of courses at 8:32 PM on June 6, 2012

North Florida is beautiful. Here's the big list of springs and parks including info on what's at each place (swimming, tubing, etc.). I'm less familiar with Tallahassee and points west, but here are some 2-3 day trips I'd suggest that include places on that list: Manatee Springs on the way to Gainesville and then Kanapaha Gardens and perhaps the Devil's Millhopper in Gainesville; Amelia Island + Jacksonville (walk around the Landing, I guess, and it looks like you're a former English major, so hit Chamblin Bookmine and maybe the zoo); Homosassa Springs (sort of a zoo with manatees) and then on down to the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg (forget the Dalí prints on your roommate's wall in college--it's a tiny museum but neater than you think); St. Augustine (mainly the fort), then the Alligator Farm for sure, and the beaches near there (e.g. Crescent Beach) are pretty nice; and obviously there are numerous popular theme parks in Orlando, though they'll be mobbed all summer and I can't say I'm fond of anything else there.

Those ideas already include some that'll be a stretch. It's like 4-5 hours of driving to get to Tampa and Orlando. But the whole state is like a giant park, really, using that first link and a map to the beaches as your guides.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:59 PM on June 6, 2012

That area is like the antithesis of south Florida. But try it, you might like it! Do you like oysters? Apalachicola is about an hour and a half to the west of Tallahassee. It is a cute little town that has a number of historic sites and a cute little shopping/restaurant district. The Owl Cafe is outstanding. Apalachicola is well-known for its oysters. I've had a pretty good time geocaching there, too.

St. George Island is our vacation destination each year, about two hours from Tallahassee. It's a Gulf barrier island that has pretty much nothing to offer, except a gorgeous beach. There are no high-rises, and some of the houses on the island look like they've been there for 50 years. There is a great (free, as I recall) nature center on the road onto St. George Island that will tell you about the natural history of the area as well as the animals and plants present. There are boating outfitters who will rent you a pontoon boat or kayaks (perfect for the bay side of the island) and you can easily spend a day exploring the area. There is a known sea turtle habitat on St. George Island, plus a state park on the eastern side of the island. Plus, it's absolutely gorgeous: white sand beaches, clear water, usually not crowded (this is NOT where the PCB/Destin/Pensacola crowd comes to chainsmoke and drink all day). There's a number of other communities along the beach until you get to the Air Force base (when you drive toward PCB on the main highway) and they are fun to check out, like Port St. Joe and Cape San Blas. I think there's a motel on SGI, but I know for sure there's hotels in Apalachicola. But most people rent a condo at SGI. You can also camp at the state park. This is all from memory, so be sure to research it online if you decide to head out to SGI.
posted by FergieBelle at 6:22 AM on June 7, 2012

My parents live in Tallahassee. We've enjoyed weekend trips to Rosemary Beach, St. George Island, Panama City, and Port St. Joe, as well as Tampa.

One of my very favorite places to go around there (might be for a weekend afternoon, not a whole weekend, though) is to go to Wakulla Springs. They filmed the old Tarzan movies there, and you can take a boat tour of the springs and see a million manatees and gators.

Also, I know it looks close on a map, but Tallahassee is nothing like south Florida, and it's a loooong drive to get down there (Miami, for instance, is eight hours away from Tallahassee). It's much more Georgia than Key West. If you approach north Florida on its own terms, you can find stuff to enjoy, but if you want it to be south Florida you may end up disappointed.
posted by zoetrope at 8:57 AM on June 7, 2012

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