Tallahasse Relocation Advice
July 9, 2007 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Moving to Tallahassee, FL - looking for some advice/opinions on neighborhoods, commute, and everything else.

I just found out I'll be heading south within the next month for a job a FSU (woohoo!), but as I've only been down to Tally once, I'm in desparate need for some good advice on the city.

Primarily, I'd like to know get opinions on what are the good (and bad) areas of the city to move into. I know its a university town, and I'm not averse to areas with a lot of students, but I definitely don't want to get stuck in a student ghetto or somewhere where I'm picking beer cans off the lawn. I'll be working near the southeast corner of campus (for those familiar with it, you can probably guess where), and I would *love* to be within walking distance, or at least a reasonable biking distance - but its not a dealbreaker.

Some more info on what I'm looking for: a nice rental under $1000/mo (less is better), somewhere safe and reasonably quiet. Its just me (and some cats), so schools aren't a concern.

Also, any other advice on Tallahassee, Florida, or moving in general is greatly appreciated!
posted by dicaxpuella to Travel & Transportation around Tallahassee, FL (7 answers total)
Castle Apartments is great--the same company owns a few other places in town, but Castle is the one people always rave about. They have a few different locations, as well, depending on what you're looking for. None are especially close to campus--but the places within walking distance are always packed with undergrads.

I will warn you that biking in Tally, especially near campus, is dangerous. It's not a walkable or a bikable city.

Anyway, if you have any specific questions about the area, feel free to email me (it's listed in my profile).
posted by leesh at 3:07 PM on July 9, 2007

It's hard to offer advice on Tallahassee without knowing where you're from. Have you lived in the South before? In Florida? It is a whole different kind of hot down there, which is why there is little in the way of sidewalks and bike lanes (well, that and stupid city planning).
I can't help too much with places to live, not having lived there in a number of years, but when I was there the areas right north of campus and south/southwest of campus were somewhat worse than those east, southeast and farther out.
posted by ch1x0r at 4:56 PM on July 9, 2007

I just moved from Tally a little under a year ago, and lived both out in Killearn ("the" suburbs) and on the center-west side of town. I'm pretty familiar with it. Yep, I'm a local.

A lot depends on what you're looking for. Southwood is not exactly near town, but it's fairly suburban and the commute won't kill you. Killearn is the default place that's considered "nice" but rentable, but I found it horrible and soul-sucking, and the commute will kill you. Everything within the immediate vicinity of campus is either more campuses or college students, but that's not necessarily bad.

My personal recommendation would be the San Luis area - it's full of students, but cheap enough and not like the Pensacola St. student sty. Check out the area just north of Tharpe street near High Rd., High Rd. itself, and the neighborhoods just west of San Luis drive (I used to live on Domingo Dr.). I also had a very nice 2-story 1-bed apartment on Rumba Ln for under $600/mo and loved it, minus the complete-asshole landlord, so sub-$1000 is very, very easy to hit. This area is bikeable (ignore anyone who tells you otherwise, FSU campus is fantastic for bikers, and improving constantly, and there's a thriving biking community) and the commute from the San Luis area will be about 10 minutes... plus 30 minutes to find parking. :)

The area north of Tennessee St on Macomb (called Frenchtown) is considered the "ghetto" of town, and has its seedy areas, but if you've ever lived in a city of any real size, you'll look around and wonder what the hell people are on about - it's gentrifying rapidly. Stay the hell away from Levy Ave near the Alumni Village, but don't discount the Levy Park area (which is up MLK). All told, there are very few areas of Tallahassee one needs to worry about, and so long as you stay in the general area of campus you'll be fine to bike.

I've got more - just prompt me and I can spew even more hopefully-useless drivel!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 6:24 PM on July 9, 2007

Oh, one last piece of advice - if you've got some spatial sense, Tallahassee is a laid out like a big spoked wheel. Spend some time with a map and it'll pay off... unlike Atlanta grumble grumble
posted by TheNewWazoo at 6:26 PM on July 9, 2007

I live in the Lafayette Park section and recommend it. It's quiet, close, and safe. Anything in the Northeast quadrant of town is a good bet. Also, Meyers Park is a terrific option. A bit further out but with more character than most other neighborhoods would be Indian Head. A day of driving around will orient you quickly, as well as being a good way to find a place. Many houses and duplexes only advertise through a for rent sign.
posted by mizrachi at 8:21 PM on July 9, 2007

As far as other advice is concerned, be prepared to boil. It's beyond humid and hot. And to pay up the wazoo for utilities. And to be generally underwhelmed about this city in general. But do get excited about this regions amazing natural features, such as the springs and beaches and rivers and parks all within minutes of the city. And the general congeniality of its inhabitants will not go unnotices either.
posted by mizrachi at 8:25 PM on July 9, 2007

When I lived in Tallahassee, High Road, Pensacola Street, and fraternity row around College Avenue were the student areas where you would definitely be woken by loud parties on a regular basis. Afraid the closest things to Diffenbaugh/Williams/Westcott were pretty student-heavy also.

Avoid living near either stadium if you want your front lawn to not become a parking lot on game days (unless you can be motivated to get out there early and charge people for the privilege), and taxi drivers wouldn't go down Okaloosa street at night, so you probably shouldn't live there (I, alas, did).

Central-ish areas either side of Monroe street have a lot of old Southern charm, unfortunately, a lot of the nicer ones are lobbyist and law offices now. But a few good places can still be found, depending on your budget. I'd say avoid Killearn, the traffic is insane and the houses are bog-standard suburbia where you'll need a car to survive. Closer in to town off Thomasville Road (very easy to cycle in from), before Capital Circle, there are some nice neighbourhoods. Public transport is a joke unless you live in Frenchtown and catch the Trolley.

Good luck!
posted by methylsalicylate at 2:30 AM on July 10, 2007

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