Visitors searching for quaint lodging in downtown Tallahassee have an option in the historic Park Avenue Inn. The bed-and-breakfast venture was a labor of love undertaken by one of the Inn’s owners and longtime resident Ann Chittenden, and manager Kate Bruner.
Built in the mid-1800s, the Inn is the oldest continuous residence in the city. The Flagg-Chittenden family has owned it for all but 17 years of the home’s 175 year history. The home was run as a boarding house for 40 years by Chittenden’s grandmother, before the family utilized it as a primary residence until 2003. At that time, Chittenden and her aunt converted the home into an inn, which closed in 2009. It looked to remain that way until a mutual friend introduced Chittenden to Bruner in 2014.
Bruner proposed a re-opening of the Inn, incorporating modern amenities among the vintage décor, and strategically placing Chittenden family antiques around its interior. Bruner enlisted the help of a friend and put her own renovation skills to work, overhauling the home in just two months. She painted, made small repairs, hauled away debris and brought the home back to life.
The property is pet-friendly and offers a fenced-in backyard space for pets and children to frolic. Bruner offers guests the option of a private in-room breakfast – which she delivers personally each morning – or dining downstairs among the other guests.
The Park Avenue Inn consists of a mix of suites and individual rooms. The Rotunda Suite is situated on the ground floor and includes a sitting room and private exit. Also on the ground floor is the Magnolia Room, a handicap accessible room replete with a feather bed. Moving upstairs, the Sycamore Suite is most often used as a bridal suite, complete with a solarium that streams natural light into the space. The May Oak Suite can be booked as an individual room or paired with one of the adjoining rooms creating a family suite. The Palm Room offers a panoramic view of the towering oaks in the Chain of Parks.
Each room has its own bathroom; one of the rooms even has the original home’s bathroom, dating back to 1894. It was among the initial three indoor bathrooms in Tallahassee during that time and still has the original claw-foot bathtub.
The home also serves as an event space, hosting weddings, bridal and baby showers, graduation receptions and professional luncheons. For more information, visit https://www.theparkavenueinn.com/.