7 Must-See Spots in Tallahassee

By Tamiera Vandegrift on July 24, 2019

Whether you’re a freshman in college or a young professional, there are plenty of must-see spots in Tallahassee for everyone to enjoy. From gorgeous parks and botanical gardens to one of the few remaining video rental stores, the capital city has no shortage of sights to see and enjoy. Whether you’re visiting Tallahassee or you’re new to the area, there are plenty of must-see spots in town that you must explore and become familiar with in order to truly get to know Tallahassee and fall in love with it. So, sit back, relax, and check out this list of seven must-see spots in Tallahassee!

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Alfred B Maclay Gardens, state park, Florida State park, botanical gardens

Image via: Wikimedia Commons

This stunning botanical garden offers guests a glimpse into the beauty and grace of nature with a secret garden, a large reflection pool, and hundreds of gorgeous flowers to admire. The gardens were first planted by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay in 1923 once they acquired the property for their new winter home. Since then, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park has become a famous tourist attraction for the citizens of Tallahassee.

For those who admire parks and trails, visitors can discover two nature walks through a brick walkway that wanders through the gardens and trees. There are also many hidden, beautiful secrets and picture opportunities to find by wandering from the trail, but we won’t spoil the surprise by listing them here.

The best time to visit is peak blooming season, which lasts from the beginning of January to the end of April. To explore Alfred B. Maclay Gardens, there is a $6.00 fee per vehicle. The park is open from 8:00am to sunset every day, allowing visitors plenty of time to enjoy the sights and scents of a beautiful, natural experience making it one of the absolute must-see spots in Tallahassee.

Cap City Video Lounge

With the disappearance of Blockbuster and other video rental stores, it’s a challenge to find films and TV shows that aren’t available on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. However, Tallahassee’s premier cult cinema theater and movie rental store is every filmmaker and cinephile’s dream come true. Nestled among the many small, artistic businesses in Railroad Square Art Park, Cap City Video Lounge is home to thousands of movies and TV shows. Kevin Cole, the owner of Cap City Video Lounge, has always dreamed of establishing a home for die-hard movie lovers to come together and unite through the passion of storytelling in a cinematic haven. The lounge also has a mini-theater where showings of both classic masterpieces and cult classics are shown regularly for the Tallahassee community to enjoy. Patrons can also explore Cap City’s wide collection of well-known and obscure films in search of their new favorite feature. Cap City Video Lounge is open from 6pm to 11pm on weekdays, 6pm to midnight on Fridays, 2pm to midnight on Saturdays, and 3pm to 8pm on Sundays. Showings cost $5.00.

Florida Historic Capitol Museum

The Florida Historic Capitol Museum has symbolized the Florida state government since 1845. Political histories and traditions are renewed and born again under the gorgeous stained-glass dome. Visitors can experience the history of Florida through preserved photographs, audio recordings, and many informative forms of displays

The mission of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum is to illuminate the past, present, and future connections between the citizens of Florida and their political institutions through programs of civic education, historic interpretation, and preservation of artifacts.

The museum is open on weekdays from 9:00am to 4:30pm; Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm; and Sundays from noon to 4:30pm. Group tours must be scheduled in advance. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated to support the museum’s educational and historical efforts.

Tallahassee Museum 

Tallahassee museum, wildlife exhibit, Florida museums, history museums

Image via: Wikipedia

The Tallahassee Museum is an exciting and beautiful combination of flora, fauna, and history throughout 52 acres of land. This museum has amazed visitors for 60 years and is ranked as one of Florida’s top museums. Located about 12 minutes south of Florida State University, the Tallahassee Museum offers several incredible animal exhibits, nature trails, historic architecture, and a zipline. The museum is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Saturday and 11:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday. Admission costs are :

  • Adults: $12.00
  • Seniors (65+): $11.50
  • College Students (with student ID): $11.50
  • Children (ages 4-15): $9.00
  • Children (3 and under): Free
  • Members: Free

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Even though Tallahassee is a land-locked city, there are still many opportunities to immerse yourself in nature with Floridian wildlife. One example is St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, located 23 miles south of Tallahassee. For 88 years and counting, St. Marks has served as a refuge for over 300 types of birds, 52 species of mammals, 65 species of reptiles, and 40 species of amphibians. The refuge is roughly 79,000 acres of land, giving visitors more than enough to see and do. The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is open annually during the daylight hours, starting at 6:00am. A daily pass costs $5.00 per vehicle or motorcycle and $1.00 for bicyclists and pedestrians. Its beauty and wild nature make it one of the best must-see spots in Tallahassee to visit.

Mission San Luis

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to see what life in the panhandle was like in the 17th century? By visiting Mission San Luis, you will step into a time machine and catch a glimpse of what early Floridian life looked like. When you visit Mission San Luis, you will be able to see how the Apalachee Indians and Spaniards lived together in harmony. Enjoy the scents of delicious foods being cooked over an open fire. Listen to the ring of a blacksmith’s hammer. Explore the largest historic period of Indian architecture in the southeast. Or, just enjoy a picnic and a nature walk.

Mission San Luis is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Groups of larger than 20 people must call to schedule a visit in advance. Admission fees are:

  • Adults: $5.00
  • Seniors (65 and over): $3.00
  • Children (6-17): $2.00
  • Children under 6: Free
  • Active Duty Military: Free with ID
  • Members: Free

Lichgate Enchanted Cottage on High Road 

Live Oak tree, Lichgate on High Road, Tallahassee, history

Image via: Wikimedia Commons

Step into a real-life fairy tale at Lichgate on High Road. Located between student apartments are three acres of paradise that was the dream of a Florida State professor named Laura Jepsen. Having fallen in love with an ancient Live Oak tree, Jepsen purchased the land and created a cottage that was inspired by English Tudor architecture. Aside from the Live Oak tree and beautiful cottage that allows visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Lichgate is also a sanctuary for many community-run gardens, an outdoor classroom, and a labyrinth for visitors to explore.

Lichgate on High Road is open from dawn until dusk every day. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

As you can see, there is no shortage of must-see sights in Tallahassee, From exact replicas of colonial-era architecture to wildlife refuges, there is so much to see and do in the capital city of Florida. To lose yourself in Tallahasse is to lose yourself in a world of history, natural preservation, and culture unlike any other city in the world.

Tamiera is an alumna of Florida State University, having earned a BA in Editing, Writing & Media and a BA in Digital Media Production. Tamiera is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, inspired by the works of Lars von Trier, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofsky. She is also a proud Alpha Chi Omega. Tamiera has previously written for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, College Magazine, and more. She has recently published a creative thesis containing short stories based on mental illnesses in the media. Currently, Tamiera is pursuing her MA in Creative Writing. In the future, Tamiera aspires to win "Best Original Screenplay" or "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards with one of her film projects. Besides writing and storytelling, Tamiera enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with friends, and geeking out over movie trivia.

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