Step outside and enjoy culture, nature and history in warm Tallahassee, Florida. With museums, state parks and undeniable beautiful green spaces, this charming community is the perfect excuse to get away, relax and find something new. Dive into inspiring stories of Florida’s past and find out why this self-proclaimed pretty city is loved by so many.
With wildlife to be seen, lush gardens to wander, and a thriving downtown, Tallahassee has something for both history buffs and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re planning a short weekend getaway or staying for a week, this Florida city is a great family friendly destination to explore.
Here are 21+ things to do in Tallahassee that you and your family are going to adore.
ST. MARKS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
What better way to see Florida, than outside in nature at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the U.S., and it’s an iconic destination for migratory birds. With 43 miles to be seen and preserved, it’s imperative we conserve its wildlife and ecosystem, so future generations can appreciate this Florida miracle.
Hike, wander and discover beautiful salt marshes, tidal flats, and fresh pools during your visit. Feel the salty air in your hair and come across numerous species of wildlife. Be captivated and marvel in untouched beauty.
ST. MARKS LIGHTHOUSE
Located inside St. Marks Wildlife Refuge sits one of the oldest lighthouses in Florida, St. Marks Lighthouse! Drive a scenic, small road and discover a view straight from a postcard. St. Marks Lighthouse has withstood numerous storms and even served during the Civil War.
This lighthouse really is a standing beacon of light for the history of Tallahassee, FL. Discover how both sides of the Civil War used the tower, and how time after time the lighthouse was repaired and restored to its glory. From children to adults, all will love this Florida gem.
Lighthouse tours are offered, but be sure to check their website for details. Simply seeing the lighthouse in person and wandering the area is an awesome adventure by itself.
WAKULLA SPRINGS STATE PARK
Hike nature trails, bask in the surrounding beauty, and encounter wildlife at Wakulla Springs State Park! Known for having the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs; investigate the crystal-clear water to see deep inside this natural wonder.
Take a guided boat tour and see manatees, fish and alligators in their natural habitat. Discover the park’s thrilling past and get a history lesson on Native Americans customs and life. With great tour guides, an abundance of wildlife and beautiful Cyprus swamps, it’s time to be amazed.
That’s not all! Cool down from the hot Florida heat and take a quick dip in the chilly water. This will be a family favorite activity for sure.
LAKE JACKSON MOUNDS ARCHEOLOGICAL STATE PARK
Dig into the past at Lake Jackson Mounds Archeological State Park. Walk the trails and see where Native Americans lived more than eight centuries ago. Discover massive mounds, home sites, and remnants of traditional Native American life while being fully engrossed in the outdoors.
Learn about the Fort Walton culture and gain knowledge on their practices through informative displays and deep research. This peaceful and serene park is just what you need to reflect on history and have some solitude. Its trails are easy to hike, so families will have no problem bringing children with them.
TOM BROWN PARK
Feel the warm air, listen to the birds chirp, and fall in love with Tom Brown Park. Sitting on more than 250 acres, this park is the largest in Tallahassee, with many activities and family fun to be had.
With sports fields, wide open landscapes, great trails, and a fantastic playground for children, have some fun in the sun. Relax in the fresh air and enjoy a picnic with family and friends or join the park for one of its great events, like its 4th of July fireworks display.
Escape the bustle of life and spend a day in this lovely park.
LEMOYNE CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
View local art, participate in classes, and find a new community in Tallahassee at LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts. With an engaging exhibit at Meginnis-Monroe House, appreciate contemporary art from local artists and browse the charming gallery shop.
Are you in town long enough to participate in one of the art classes? If yes, you won’t be disappointed. With classes for youths, teens, and adults, join in and find a new hobby or rekindle a lost passion. With professionals and local staff helping, find your creativity at LeMoyne. From watercolors, ceramics, oil painting, basic drawing classes and beyond, this is the time to sign up and see what you can do.
THE CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER/IMAX THEATER AND PLANETARIUM
Get ready for jaws to drop! In Downtown Tallahassee, there’s an educational destination that your kids are going to love. The Challenger Learning Center/IMAX Theater and Planetarium is a must see for families and science lovers.
Discover the 5-story planetarium, look up in the evening sky, and absolutely don’t miss the space mission stimulator on your visit. With out of this world documentaries and films to be seen, this is a learning experience for the whole family.
With hands-on exhibits and interactive labs, this is the only educational center in the area with so much new technology and high-tech services in one place.
LICHGATE ON HIGH ROAD
Step inside a fairytale and wander through a unique experience at Lichgate on High Road. Built by former Florida State University Professor, Laura Jepsen, this 3-acre green space is a relaxing and idyllic destination that needs to be cherished.
Featuring a butterfly and daffodil garden, take a moment of solitude and reflect on this stunning nature garden close to the FSU campus. Take a picnic and eat lunch amongst the wild things and stop off at the magnificent Oak Tree for a picture-worthy moment.
Stroll around what was once Laura’s quaint, English-style cottage and see a hidden gem.
Looking for a lively atmosphere, with lots of events in downtown Tallahassee? Then Cascades Park is calling your name! On those hot days, children will be absolutely thrilled to jump in the imagination fountain. At night, you can watch the fountain light show.
Truly this park has everything! Here you’ll find an amazing outdoor amphitheater and great walking paths, along with plenty of areas for young kids to explore.
You can learn about the history of the area by visiting the Smokey Hollow Commemoration, which stands in remembrance of the African American community that once called this area home. You’ll also find a Korean War Memorial and a Prime Meridian Marker here.
THE LEWIS SPRING HOUSE
Visit and tour an architecture treasure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Lewis Spring House is the only private residence designed by Wright in Florida that can be seen by the public and adored by fellow fans.
Its unique design draws architects and design lovers from all over. Sign up and reserve a spot for a personal tour and see a snippet into the past.
RAILROAD SQUARE ART PARK
Get ready to hit the town and experience art, culture and entertainment in Tallahassee at the Railroad Square Art Park. You’ll find many art galleries, local shops, restaurants, rock climbing and much more to be seen.
Embrace the creativity at Railroad Square and take pictures of the vibrant murals on the colorful buildings. View artists in the midst of busy days and watch on as they hone in on their craft. Eat outside and embrace the hustle and bustle of Tallahassee.
Stop off at the artist galleries and local shops for great gifts, and gain a new appreciation for the arts and culture scene!
TALLAHASSEE MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND NATURAL SCIENCE
Adventure and fun just got a lot cooler! Walk among wildlife in their natural habitat, soar the skies and learn about North Florida’s history at Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science.
Sitting on 52 acres of lush and vibrant woodlands is a voyage ready to be explored. From native panthers to cypress swamps, come and learn about the importance of nature, science, and history — all while conquering zip lines and a thrilling ropes course.
Stroll the boardwalk, encounter local species, and engage in the past with families and friends.
FLORIDA HISTORIC CAPITOL MUSEUM
Are you looking to learn something new and do your part to understand Florida and its very important past, present and future? Then head to the Florida Historic Capitol Museum downtown and uncover the connections between people and Florida’s political history.
Step inside the 1902 Governor’s office and chambers of the House of Representatives, Senate, and Supreme Court. Wander around the old State Capitol building and seek knowledge from photographs, recordings, and interactive exhibits. Preserve the past and stay educated for the future in this beautiful building.
Self-guided and audio tours are available. Admission is free, but donations for their educational programs are appreciated.
THE MAG LAB
Do opposites attract? Stimulate the mind and learn about science, engineering and most importantly — magnets — at the MagLab in Tallahassee. Located at FSU, the MagLab is one of 12 magnetic facilities in the entire world; and lucky for you, you can tour it.
See magnets, meet the probes, see the scientists behind it, and understand all things magnets. Discover new technologies and find out things you never dreamed of knowing.
From free public tours to open houses, there are multiple ways to explore MagLab. Check online for available dates and times.
GOODWOOD MUSEUM & GARDENS
Looking for history, character, and picturesque gardens? Then Goodwood Museum and Gardens is a treasure. This 1830’s plantation house still has 16 of the original buildings standing, and features classic furniture and loads of history.
Tour the museum and understand the life of the Goodwood residents. Imagine life like it once was and take your time viewing the property. Stroll through gorgeous, green gardens and drift off looking at the magnificent oaks that make the estate captivating.
From beautiful flowers to lush trees, this home turned museum is truly a striking vision that needs to be seen.
TALLAHASSEE – ST MARKS HISTORIC RAILROAD STATE TRAIL
Grab your helmets and tie up those running shoes, it’s time to cruise the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail! Travel up to 21 miles and explore the first and longest railroad of Florida.
With spectacular oak trees and beautiful scenery in every direction, it’s time to go for a leisurely bike ride and enjoy some fresh air. Pass farms, parks and eat lunch at one of the many picnic tables on the route.
Great for families or avid bikers, this historical state trail is a fantastic experience. So, fill up those water bottles and hit a perfectly smooth trail during your trip to Florida.
TALLAHASSEE AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Rev up those engines and get to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. With classic automobiles featuring superb craftsmanship, this collection of cars is truly a work of art. Tour the facility and view over 160 automobiles with diverse backgrounds and classic Americana.
You’ll be amazed by some of the original cars here, like ones from the Batman franchise or the 1860s horse-drawn funeral hearse that is presumed to have been used for Abraham Lincoln. With two floors of exploring to uncover, this is your time to view some of the rarest automobile collections in Florida.
ALFRED B MACLAY GARDENS STATE PARK
Picturesque, dreamy, and beautiful are words that come to mind when thinking of Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. Feel like you’re in a secret garden and be impressed with oriental gardens, impressive oak trees, dogwood trees and much more.
This historic site was once the winter home to Alfred B. Maclay and his family. The home features outstanding floral architecture, a reflection pool, a lovely paved brick way and wild beauty for all to enjoy. Walk the gardens, tour the house, and think what once was.
LAKE TALQUIN STATE FOREST
Hike, fish and kayak in nature surrounded by pristine water and wooded bluffs with your family and friends at Lake Talquin State Forest. Listen to the birds sing, see native wildlife, and simply enjoy being outside; and who knows, maybe you’ll see a bear or alligator.
Do you want more adventure? Do you want to see Lake Talquin from a new perspective? Look into horseback riding. Travel the paths from a different mode of transport and enjoy a day of exploration with family with memories that will last forever.
Tip: Bring lunch and enjoy it in a pavilion or overlooking Lake Talquin — it’s quite special!
LAKE ELLA AND FRED DRAKE PARK
Stroll, exercise or simply catch up with loved ones and friends at Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park. This wonderful place has a nice green space, clear lake, and plenty of beautiful flora and fauna.
You’ll see a plethora of people here, enjoying the warm Florida weather and taking in a bit of fresh air. Children can feed ducks and listen to live music on the occasion. Plan accordingly, as on Thursdays they have food trucks and a few small pop ups in the park.
THE KNOTT HOUSE MUSEUM
Travel through time and walk the rooms of the Knott’s family home in Florida at The Knott House Museum. With original furniture, decorations, and belongings still found throughout the house, this a true testament of history. Take a guided tour to reveal the life of Luella and William Knott and their legacy.
Go even further into the past and grasp the home’s importance during the Emancipation Proclamation and what that meant for people in Florida. This home is a true relic of time and whether you’re 8 or 88 years old, you will feel a connection to the Knott House Museum, which is managed by the Museum of Florida History.
Tip: If you get the chance to read the poems by Luella, they’re powerful and thought provoking.
MISSION SAN LUIS DE APALACHEE
Tap into the old roots of Spanish Florida and learn about the Apalachee Indians when you visit Mission San Luis de Apalachee. The mission brings forward 17th century life through buildings, exhibits, costumed staff and interpreters, and impressive archeological research.
With special events and camps put on throughout the year, you will learn a great deal about the Indigenous people of Tallahassee and the arrival of Spanish civilians. I highly recommend visiting this outdoor museum to view and process an important part of American History.
THINGS TO DO IN TALLAHASSEE FAQ
How far away is the beach from Tallahassee?
Tallahassee, Florida, is only 22 miles from the nearest beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the United States’ best beaches are on the Gulf of Mexico, and you’ll find plenty of great ones near Tallahassee.
Does Tallahassee have a downtown area?
Tallahassee has a great downtown area. You’ll find plenty of boutique hotels, wonderful restaurants, museums, and more in downtown Tallahassee.
What is Tallahassee best known for?
Tallahassee is best known as being the capital city of Florida. This vibrant city is also the home of Florida State University, lots of great parks, museums, family-friendly activities, outdoor adventure, and more.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- CAPE SAN BLAS: A Vacation Guide To Florida’s Forgotten Coast
- DESTIN RESORTS: 6 Fantastic Destin Florida Resorts Perfect For Fun In The Sun
- FLORIDA BEACHES: 17 Best Florida Beaches for Families To Relax and Unwind
- FLORIDA’S WEST COAST: 23+ Memorable Stops For A Perfect West Coast of Florida Trip
WHERE TO STAY IN TALLAHASSEE
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