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Tallahassee is a hilly city, which makes it unusual in Florida. The country roads that lead into the city are pretty, lined with tall trees. Within the city are some gorgeous, jungly streets with tree canopies (type the address 8156 Centreville Rd into your GPS to drive along one).
You can get a birds-eye view of the city if you head to the Capitol Welcome Center in the ugly new capitol building. Inside and outside, this is 1970s architecture in all its yuckiness. Head to the 22nd floor and check out the views of the Florida State University campus, the Courthouse, and little Southern-style churches here and there. You can check out the colorful local art on this floor as well. See the senate chambers (5th floor) and the governor's office (ground floor). It's fun to see the paintings of former governors in the hallway.
Walk across the plaza to the old capitol building and the Florida Historic Capitol Museum. The building is just gorgeous- what a contrast! I like the stripey red and white awnings. Inside check out the stained glass dome. This glass (one hundred pounds of it) was discovered during the restoration of the old capitol between 1978 and 1982, hidden in a wall after it was removed in the early 19th century because it was leaking. What a find! Notice the grand staircase and the crown molding in the 22-foot high ceiling. The museum has some colorful exhibits about Florida history, and kids enjoy taking some time to look at these, especially if they do the scavenger hunt offered by the front desk.
Afterwards have a drink on curved Adams Street, looking up at the historic buildings all around you. Two choices are Andrew's Capital Grill and Bar with lovely seating under the shade of trees, or Clyde's and Costello's. You can also have a drink at Harry's, a favorite with capitol workers, perched high up on a hill near the capitol parking structure at Kleman Plaza.
Don't bother to check out the Challenger Learning Center, as there's nothing there anymore. The only thing left is an Imax theater, so only go if that's what you're looking for.
For dinner, head to Reangthai Restaurant, a 14 minute drive north, for some delicious Thai food that the owner cooks herself every night because she does the best job! We had a lovely time here. Follow your meal with a drive along the jungly Centerville Rd.
You can do some good hiking 7 miles south of town at Leon Sinks Geological Area- come in early spring for flowers, avoid summer hiking (too hot and many mosquitoes). In summer have a swim at Wakulla Springs State Park, which is full of beauty and atmosphere. Also wonderful is a drive south to the wide open spaces at St. Marks Lighthouse. Or drive one hour west for a memorable visit to Florida Caverns State Park to see a cave full of stalactites and stalacmites!
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Florida Historic Capitol Museum, 400 S. Monroe St, Tallahassee FL 32399, call (850) 487-1902.
Open M-F 9-4:30, S 10-4:30, Sn and holidays 12-4:30. Closed on Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov) and Dec 25.
Admission is free, and donations are accepted.
Capitol Welcome Center is opposite the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, just steps across the plaza in the tall, new capitol building. Open M-F 8-5. Closed on many state holidays.
Parking for the capitol and all but the last restaurant below is in the structure at Kleman Plaza, 306 S. Duval St. Parking for us was only $2.
Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill (creole), Kleman Plaza, 306 S. Duval St, Tallahassee FL 32301.
Andrew's Capital Grill and Bar, 228 S. Adams St, Tallahassee FL 32301 call (850) 222-3444.
Clyde's and Costello's, 210 S. Adams St, Tallahassee FL 32301, call (850) 224-2173.
Reangthai Restaurant (14 minutes drive north of the capitol bldg), 2740 Capital Cir NE, Tallahassee FL 32308, call (850) 386-7898.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.