Located in the Florida Panhandle, Tallahassee is the largest city in the region—and there are plenty of reasons why the state capital continues to grow.
The area may not be as tourist-heavy as Miami or Orlando, but those in-the-know understand that living in Tallahassee comes with great benefits you won’t find elsewhere. Here are a few things you should know if you plan on calling Tallahassee, Florida your home:
1) Affordable Housing
When compared to other metropolitan areas in Florida, the cost of living in Tallahassee is hard to beat. According to AreaVibes, the median home price in Tallahassee is $182,200—lower than the national average and much lower than other big cities in Florida.
The area’s median monthly rent of $931 also ranks as more affordable than the rest of the nation. Needless to say, these living options allow your salary to go much farther in Tallahassee than in other parts of the state—especially since Florida doesn’t have a state income tax.
Unsurprisingly, affordable housing prices also have an impact on the overall cost of living in Tallahassee. Though groceries tend to be more expensive than in other parts of the state, most other expenses (such as transportation, restaurants and utilities) are less costly.
2) Full Four Seasons
While you won’t see much snow, Tallahassee stands out as one of the few places in Florida where you can still get a taste of all four seasons.
Summers are hot and humid with frequent thunderstorms. Winters are generally mild with high temperatures usually reaching the low 60s, but snow flurries are occasionally seen within the city (though actual accumulation only occurs every few decades).
Spring and fall are especially pleasant with milder and drier conditions. You’ll even get to see the leaves change colors in the fall! Such weather patterns create a “best of both worlds” scenario that makes the city a pleasant place to live at all times of year.
3) A True College Town
Much of Tallahassee’s culture is defined by it being home to Florida State University. Consistently landing in national rankings as one of the best colleges in the country, the school’s 41,000+ students bring a vibrant energy to the city—especially when football season kicks off in the fall!
With three national championships under its belt, you can count on the Seminoles to bring fun and excitement each weekend. The men’s basketball and women’s softball teams are also incredibly competitive, ensuring that there are plenty of sporting events to enjoy throughout the year.
Tallahassee is also home to Florida A&M University, one of the largest historically black universities in the country. Those looking for a more affordable start to their post-high school education are well-served by the local Tallahassee Community College.
4) A Growing Arts Scene
Though Florida State University’s sports teams may get most of the attention from the national press, this doesn’t mean that the city is lacking in activities for those who prefer the arts.
The Florida State Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to discover fantastic exhibits from modern and classic artists alike. Other popular museums in the area include the Tallahassee Automobile and Collectibles Museum and the Museum of Florida History.
The local art community can’t be ignored, either—the Railroad Square Art Park is home to over 50 studios and art galleries, which can be visited during the city’s monthly “First Friday Gallery Hop.”
This fun district also regularly hosts arts classes, live music performances, and even video game tournaments.
5) Public Service Drives Employment
With Tallahassee’s status as the state capital, as well as the presence of two universities and a community college, it should come as no surprise that education and government drive much of the local job market.
According to data from the City of Tallahassee, the state government and Florida State University are by far the top employers in the area. Local government positions and smaller colleges also top the list.
This isn’t to say these are your only employment options—diverse local businesses such as Capital City Bank, Diverse Computing, Moore Communications Group and Uber-Ops all ranked among the best places to work in Florida in 2017.
6) Beautiful Beaches
Tallahassee may not be a beachfront town, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to travel far to gain access to some of Florida’s best beaches. A mere half hour away, you can find secluded spots in Bald Point State Park or St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
In addition to the beach, you can also enjoy hiking, picnic areas, and maybe even an alligator sighting at these parks.
If you’re in the mood for a more traditional beach experience, there are plenty of other options within the area. The white sands of Panama City Beach (about a two-hour drive away) are especially popular with the locals. In fact, Panama City Beach has been ranked among the best beaches in the world.
7) Diverse Natural Attractions
Visiting the beach isn’t the only outdoor activity you can enjoy in Tallahassee.
The city’s mild climate creates ideal conditions for enjoying the outdoors year-round. Popular nearby sites include Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, which offers hiking and biking among beautiful gardens. Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park offers a glimpse into the past by showcasing earthen temple mounds formed by the region’s ancient inhabitants.
Other popular parks within the city limits include San Luis Mission Park and Lake Ella Park—great places to visit for a family picnic or a relaxing evening stroll.
8) Delicious Local Cuisine
There are several great perks of living in Tallahassee, but chances are you don’t think of the city’s food scene when you consider moving to this state capital. Yet Tallahassee offers a surprisingly diverse mix of dining options that are sure to please just about anyone.
Popular local options include Cypress Restaurant, which specializes in classic Southern fare; Sweet Pea Cafe, a vegan-friendly sandwich shop and bakery; and Kool Beanz Cafe, which is just as popular for its funky atmosphere as it is for its tasty (and diverse) lineup of dining options.
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