Tallahassee, Carless Tallahassee
September 12, 2014 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Hello! I have to go to Tallahassee for a weekend event in November. I don't drive. Help me have a fun time!

Questions:

1. What's a cool hood to stay in? Downtown? By the University? The event is at Oven Park but I'd like to stay somewhere that I can walk to restaurants/coffeeshops/bars from.

2. How hard is it to get around with public transit? How pricey are cab rides? Is there lyft/uber?

3. I can totally add extra days for fun to my trip, but what nearby would fit that criteria without a vehicle? Going to the (somewhat far) beach would be fun, but otherwise I like museums, art, and weird atlas obscura type stuff.

4. I would like to get to all 50 states and I only have a few left--nearby GA and AL being two of them. It seems like the Amtrak station is closed in Tallahassee (?)--any other suggestions on getting to these places?


I am trying to give Tallahassee a chance but so far no one I have asked has anything positive to say. That's a bummer! I'd like to like it!
posted by jennybento to Travel & Transportation around Tallahassee, FL (10 answers total)
 
also i love tours of things, though I am not super into nature or american history (sorry, plantations)
posted by jennybento at 1:06 PM on September 12, 2014


Dorothy B. Oven Park is near Midtown, which is the 20/30-something professional neighborhood. It's really blossomed in recent years, and is really excellent for walking around, so long as you stay in the area. Lots of quirky shops, bars, awesome restaurants (KOOL BEANZ).

The University area/Collegetown/Gaines Street is what would be considered the city's "downtown walkable area" and it is also new and shiny. November is also prime football season, so if you're coming on a home game weekend, you're not going to want to set foot near the west side of the city at all. This neighborhood is right between Downtown and the Universities, hence the name.

Uber has just come to Tallahassee, but because it is brand-freaking-new, there's not much selection and wait times are plentiful.

Tallahassee kind of sucks without a car. I should know, I live here. You can get to some of the touristy things on the bus, but the weekend hours are pretty sucky. Since you don't drive, it's going to be tricky. Taxis are expensive, and have to be called in advance. It's rough.

Thomasville is lovely, but also 45 minutes away. Basically. I like this city a lot. But all of the really awesome stuff (St. Marks, the beach, Thomasville, Monticello, etc. etc. etc.) are nearly impossible to get to without a car.
posted by PearlRose at 1:28 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


this is helpful! sounds like I should stay in Midtown. As a former resident of a big ten college town I know of what you speak about football. :)
posted by jennybento at 1:47 PM on September 12, 2014


A weekend is a pretty short time to be in Tallahassee and really get a sense of the place, but I hope you enjoy your stay there. It's not a terribly exciting place - lacking the vibe of Portland or Asheville, or the activities of Reno - but it has its charms.

"Midtown" Tallahassee is probably the most walkable area, though I don't want to set your expectations too high here. The only hotel I'm aware of (I was a resident, never a tourist) that might be near enough is the Doubletree, but there may well be more. Unless you really enjoy walking for miles, getting from "midtown" to any college-y area will be quite difficult.

Public transit in Tallahassee is basically nonexistent. I seem to recall the FSU student-oriented lines being free, but I wouldn't depend on it. Uber is new to the city since I last visited a few weeks ago. Hopefully its shine will have worn off by November and it'll be easier to use than PearlRose's report.

If you can add days but not a car, I'll respectfully recommend that you spend your extra fun days in New York City. :) The whole of the southeast basically requires a car. You're right that the Amtrak station is closed. The line running from NOLA to Jacksonville was shuttered after Katrina. You could take a Greyhound bus, which is its own sort of adventure, but the destinations will be limited.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 2:13 PM on September 12, 2014


Oh also. Fair warning: Oven Park is not a walkable destination. There are sidewalks along Thomasville Road, but it's a long way from anywhere, being situated sort of in between smears of commercial area and in the middle of a residential district.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 2:15 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to stay more than the weekend, I just wouldn't stay more unless I know there's something more to do!

I have no interest in going to college-y areas--I am in my mid-thirties if that helps.

I'll be flying IN from NYC! I was considering a bus to like, St. Pete or Tampa or some other city which seems better at advertising its museums! :)

That's helpful re: park instructions.
posted by jennybento at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2014


It would take you four hours each way to get from Tallahassee to the Tampa/St. Pete area, so you wouldn't have much time to do anything if you are only going to be there for the weekend.
posted by misha at 9:38 PM on September 12, 2014


If you want to visit all 50 states(I'm not from Tallahassee nor have I ever been).

Megabus(megabus.com) or greyhound could get from Tallahassee to you Alabama(Mobile) in four hours. Megabus also goes to New Orleans from Tallahassee(six hours from Tallahassee) and Mobile(Mobile is on the way to New Orleans both on I-10). Greyhound also goes direct from Tallahassee to Atlanta(its far 4-6 hours). From Tallahassee you could go on megabus/greyhound from Mobile to Atlanta, Georgia or other parts of Alabama. Greyhound also goes to Savannah, Georgia from Tallahassee, but requires one to switch buses(is 4-5 hours away)

Speaking of Thomasville, Georgia; Greyhound has bus service Tallahassee to Thomasville leaving at 1:15PM and departing Thomasville at 9:40PM.

Destin is two hours away from Tallahassee and supposed to be nice a beach town never been, but hard to get to via public transit. St Augstine is supposed to a nice town as well.

There seems be enough to do Tallahassee to make it work travel wise(although I would keep expectations low/reasonable however) (http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Tallahassee) seems to have plenty of museums(including a Magnet Lab that might offer tours) and florida museum of natural history that is open on weekends(http://www.museumoffloridahistory.com/visit/), and Florida Wildlife Museums(http://tallahasseemuseum.org/). Unfortunately the Florida State Capitol is closed on weekends, but offers free tours during the week(http://www.myfloridacapitol.com/tours/index.php). Here's are the weekend Tallahassee bus routes http://www.talgov.com/starmetro/starmetro-routes.aspx#sat.
posted by basketballandinternet at 11:05 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


These are all reasonable suggestions, but the big problem is getting to or around these places. Destin in November would be a ghost town; Thomasville without a car is unworkable (I'm not even sure if the Greyhound station is anywhere near the downtown strip). Getting to any of the Tallahassee museums or sites (the Jr Musem, the MagLab, etc) without a car would be quite difficult and would probably result in a lot of waiting. Though to be fair, it might be possible to hire a taxi for a day.

I really wish I had more positive input, but Tallahassee is southern sprawl-y in the very worst way. There's an urbanization movement being driven by young professionals, akin to what's happening in most cities, but it's exceedingly slow to catch on.

I would recommend seeing what's on the schedule at Ruby Diamond for a night out. Railroad Square is kind of the default spot for artsy things, and I'm told that First Friday is a good time. Neither is particularly near "midtown", but are still within Tallahassee's core.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:59 PM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Again, I can't reiterate enough, I'm willing to spend as much time as possible, not just a weekend. I will spend only a weekend if there's nothing to go to, but I could also spend like, 2 weeks if stuff is awesome.

Thanks for the links and the REAL TALK. :)
posted by jennybento at 9:32 AM on September 15, 2014


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