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aerial shot of downtown Tallahassee overlooking tall buildings at sunset

14 Things to Know About Living in Tallahassee

Considering moving to Tallahassee? Located in the Florida Panhandle, Tallahassee is the largest city in the region—and there are plenty of reasons why it continues to grow. Florida’s capital city offers great outdoor recreation, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and lots of family-friendly activities. Check out these 14 things to know about living in Tallahassee!

Affordable Living in the Florida Panhandle

Why is Tallahassee a good city to live in? When compared to other metropolitan areas in Florida, the cost of living in Tallahassee is hard to beat—it’s even 1% lower than the national average! And with a reasonable median home price of $182,200 and a median monthly rent of $931, housing in Tallahassee is affordable for all types of households. In fact, Tallahassee’s housing is lower than the national average and more affordable than other big cities in Florida like Miami and Orlando. These affordable housing options allow your salary to go much farther in Tallahassee—especially since Florida doesn’t have a state income tax.

A Hub for Employment Opportunities

Exterior of the Florida State Capitol Building. Photo by Instagram user @davisstiii

Photo via @davisstiii

With a steady job market, Tally is a great place to find employment opportunities! It’s also a great city to work in if you’re looking to get involved in the local politics of the City of Tallahassee, or at the regional level for the State of Florida—both of which are two of the largest employers in the city. Another major employer, Florida State University‘s flagship campus in Tallahassee employs 9,000 residents in the fields of academic research, political science, and public policy. Other employment opportunities in Tallahassee can be found with top employers like Capital City Bank, Moore Communications Group, and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.

It’s 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, FSU brings a vibrant energy to the city—especially when football season kicks off in the fall! With 17 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 in particular are incredibly competitive and ensure 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.

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Travel Around the City

One of the Tallahassee Busses Parked. Photo by Instagram user @thetallywire

Photo via @thetallywire

Also known as Cycle City, Tally has over 700 miles of biking trails, as well as several bike paths throughout the city. Thanks to its mountain biking trails, kid-friendly paths, multi-use lanes, and inner-city trails, biking in Tallahassee isn’t just a passion—it’s a lifestyle. Rent an e-scooter, bike, or hail a pedicab to get around Downtown Tallahassee. Hop on the Star Metro, the city’s bus system that travels within the city. If you’re looking to travel to Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, or Miami, get on a bus at the Tallahassee Bus Station. Or you can take the Amtrak train to different parts of Florida, like Pensacola or Jacksonville. For air travel, you can take a plane at the Tallahassee International Airport to reach other U.S. cities and beyond.

Find All Four Seasons in Central Florida

Tallahassee stands out as one of the few places in Central Florida where you can still get a taste of all four seasons due to its subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid with frequent thunderstorms. Winters are generally mild with temperatures usually around the low 60s, but snow flurries are occasionally seen within the city. Spring and fall are especially pleasant with milder and drier conditions. You’ll even get to see the leaves change colors come autumn! These weather patterns provide a little bit of all of the seasons, making this Florida city a pleasant place to live at all times of year.

Soak Up the Sun at Nearby Beaches

Tallahassee may not be a beachfront town, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel far to gain access to some of Florida’s best beaches. Find secluded beach spots in Bald Point State Park or St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where you can enjoy hiking, picnic areas, and maybe even alligator sightings. Play a game of beach volleyball or to jet ski across the waves of Panama City Beach. Head over to Keaton Beach to sunbathe or go fishing. Swim in the clear waters of St. George Island, which is just north of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Go boating, fishing, or birdwatching at Mashes Sands Beach, about 40 miles away from Tallahassee. Or visit Carrabelle Beach to go snorkeling or for peaceful walks along the coastal shores.

Explore Diverse Parks & Trails

Person Mountain Biking on a Raised Trail in Tom Brown Bike Trails in Tallahassee. Photo by Instagram user @visit_tally

Photo via @visit_tally

One of the best things about living in Tallahassee is the incredible outdoor activities available year-round. Get a glimpse of earthen temple mounds formed by the region’s ancient inhabitants at Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park. Take a jog, walk your furry pal, or watch a musical performance in the amphitheater at Cascades Park. Stroll through A.J. Henry Park, a 72-acre park where you can have a picnic or let the kids play on the playground. Bike or walk on the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail that runs 16 miles from Florida’s capital city to St. Marks. Spend the day boating or fishing at Lafayette Heritage Trail Park. Or head to Lake Ella Park to check out the scenic views of the lake or go birdwatching.

Visit Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

View of Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee. Photo by Instagram user @howiemayer

Photo via @howiemayer

Known as a masterpiece of floral architecture, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park offers a ton of must-see amenities! Go horseback riding, hiking, or biking on the lakeside trails throughout the woods. Or check out the wildlife in the park, which includes deer, bobcats, and alligators. Spend a day fishing largemouth bass and bluegill at Lake Hall, or enjoy other water activities like kayaking, paddle boating, or canoeing. Listen to live jazz while relaxing under the moonlight at the Moon Over Maclay Concert. Or stroll the gardens that feature a variety of beautiful plants like camellias, azaleas, and magnolias.

There’s an Event for Everyone

You won’t have to go far to find fun events and festivals in Tallahassee! The Springtime Tallahassee festival draws in more than 200,000 attendees and features a parade, live entertainment, and more. Hit up the Tallahassee Beer Festival to sample over 200 varieties of beer, seltzer, and cider. Check out the Tally Shorts Film Festival, which showcases 12 hours of short films from local and global filmmakers. Find original art from over 170 artists who traveled from all over the country to show their work at the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival. Take part in the Tallahassee Jewish Food & Cultural Art Festival to celebrate the Jewish community and their culture, as well as enjoy authentic Jewish food and Israeli musical performances. Or attend the North Florida Fair, where you can find the best fried food, a carnival for the kids, and entertainment at the Cowboy Circus.

Take a Trip to Downtown Tallahassee

It’s no wonder why Downtown Tallahassee is so walkable—it’s a hot spot for dining, shopping, and live entertainment! Learn more about the state’s history at the Florida State Capitol in the Capitol Hill District. Stop by the Florida History Shop to find a wide selection of books, apparel, jewelry, and artwork by Florida artists. Stroll through LeMoyne Arts to see exhibits like Color Theory or Figure in Form. Go to Madison Social in the College Town District near Florida State University for drinks and Tuesday trivia night. Visit over 70 shops, food trucks, art galleries, and small businesses at Railroad Square Art District in Downtown Tallahassee. Dance to live music at the Sundown Concert Series held in downtown’s Cascades Park. Check out a variety of art sculptures, murals, memorials, and monuments by going on a Downtown Public Art Walk. Or head to the Downtown Music Crawl to see local bands perform and enjoy good food and drinks.

Discover Tally’s Museums

Painting by Myah Freeman inside of the FSU Museum of Fine Arts. Photo by Instagram user @myahnart

Photo via @myahnart

Tally’s incredible art scene is showcased in the area’s museums and theaters. Discover fantastic exhibits from modern and classic artists at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts. Head over to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum to see some of the nation’s best antique cars. Stop by the Museum of Florida History, which has many exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of Florida’s development. Explore 52 acres of trails, wildlife exhibits, and a zip line for aerial adventures at the Tallahassee Museum. Catch shows like A Christmas Carol, Plaza Suite, or The Spongebob Musical at Theatre Tallahassee. Or let the kids attend an acting class or see the Wizard of Oz at the Young Actors Theatre.

Take Part in Family-Friendly Activities

Three Young Girls Working on Tech Together at the Challenger Learning Center. Photo by Instagram user @challengertlh

Photo via @challengertlh

Looking for entertainment for the little ones? Tallahassee has plenty of fun activities to do with kids! Go on a public tour around the lab and learn more about different magnets and how they’re made at The National Magnetic Field Laboratory. Watch shows inside the planetarium or let the kids learn more about science through hands-on learning labs at the Challenger Learning Center. Venture to Wakulla Springs State Park and go on a riverboat tour that offers a glimpse of wildlife animals like alligators, turtles, and manatees. Sign the kids up for a pine-needle basket workshop or go on a group tour of a historical village showcasing Spanish and Native American History at Mission San Luis. Embark on a family hike, go horseback riding, or take a bike ride on the J.R. Alford Greenway Trail. Or play a round of mini golf, laser tag, or play arcade games at The Fun Station.

Get a Taste of the Local Cuisine

Tallahassee is home to some of the best restaurants in Florida! Chow down on a Tempeh Reuben, Spicy BLT, or Black Bean Burger at Sweet Pea Cafe. Head to Kool Beanz Cafe to order seafood like Walnut Crusted Trout, Calamari, or Cornmeal Fried Catfish. Grab a seat at Azu Lucy Ho’s and sample dishes like a Veggie Roll, Sashimi, or Spicy Tuna. Visit Sage Restaurant for a Fire Grilled Cauliflower Steak or Braised Lamb Shank. Enjoy Southern comfort food like Fried Chicken, Creole Jambalaya, or Fried Mullet at Earley’s Kitchen. Fill up on a Margherita Pizza or Capricciosa Pizza while sipping on a Kalik beer at Isabella’s Pizzeria Napoletana. Or get classic BBQ dishes like Signature Angus Brisket, St. Louis Style Ribs, or Pulled Pork at 4 Rivers Smokehouse.

Check Out Tallahassee’s Nightlife

Basil Gimlet Sitting on a Bar at Liberty Bar. Photo by Instagram user @libertytlh

Photo via @libertytlh

There are tons of bars and nightclubs in Tallahassee where you can have some drinks and unwind on the weekends! Visit Poor Paul’s Pourhouse to attend trivia night and enjoy mixed drinks for happy hour. Stop in for cocktails like a Raspberry Lemondrop Martini, Blueberry Bourbon Smash, or Madria Sangria at The Brass Tap. Swing by Liberty Bar & Restaurant for a Bold Rock Hard Cider or Yuengling Amber Lager. Listen to country and hip-hop music at The Moon, where performers like George Strait and Hall & Oates have played. Head to Fermentation Lounge to find over 100 beers like a Fools Fire Growler or Reef Dweller. Try drinks like a Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale or Infinite West Floridian at Growler Country. Dance the night away while listening to the best Tallahassee artists like Izzy B or Casual T at Potbelly’s. Or enjoy an evening full of laughter during comedy night at Top Flite Club.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.