With 31 things to see and do in and around the Tallahassee area for $10 or less, Florida’s Capital City offers a vacation full of big memories at a small cost! From stargazing at the Challenger Learning Center Planetarium to standing guard at a reconstructed 1600’s Spanish fort at Mission San Luis, Tallahassee offers historic and adventurous attractions for all ages and interests.
Budget Friendly Tallahassee
Enjoy panoramic views of Tallahassee and the surrounding landscape from the 22nd floor observatory which also includes a gallery displaying works by many of the Florida’s most prominent artists. Open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free.
Enchanting flora architecture surrounds the 1930’s home of New York financier Alfred B. Maclay. Impressive grounds feature 200+ floral varieties plus hiking, biking, nature trails, swimming, fishing and boating. Admission: $6 per car with 2-8 people $4 for car and single driver $2 per pedestrian. Garden entry during blooming months (January-April) $6 adult and $3 children. Open daily sunrise to sunset.
Known as the “Black Archives,” the center’s mission includes collecting, preserving, displaying and disseminating information about African Americans and people of Africa worldwide. This collection is the most extensive in the Southeast. Center and museum are open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4p.m.
On the National Register of Historic Places, Bradley’s Country Store has been owned and operated by the same family since 1927. Known for its homemade sausages, stone ground grits and a picturesque setting on a canopy road. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 12:30-4:30 p.m. FREE.
Huge moss-draped live oak limbs form a towering canopy making these roads seem more like tunnels. There are nine official canopy roads creating approximately 78 miles of scenic drives around Tallahassee.
In downtown Tallahassee, check out “Mission Control” and the Space Station laboratory at The Challenger Learning Center. The five-story Planetarium also brings the night sky to life for those who reach for the stars. After this interactive adventure, kick back and relax with a soda and popcorn while experiencing at the IMAX and IMAX 3D Theater. Visit challengertlh.com for planetarium and IMAX times and admission prices. Space Mission Simulator open to the public the second Saturday of the month, registration required.
Six acres of lush gardens featuring azaleas, camellias, palms and other local flora. During the holiday season visit the park to see more than 250,000 twinkling lights. Open daily from sunrise to sunset. FREE.
One of the largest and deepest fresh water springs in the world. Parks activities include river boat tours, swimming and trails, historic 1927 lodge and dining hall. Open daily 8 a.m.-sunset. Admission: $6 per vehicle, $4 single occupant vehicle, $2 pedestrian/bicyclist; boat tours $8 adult and $5 children 12 and under.
This beautiful 670 acre tract of land is located on the eastern shore of Lake Jackson and offers blue bird and butterfly trails, hiking, biking and a youth sports complex. Open daily from sunrise to sunset. Free.
Contemporary and traditional art showcased in both rotating and annual exhibits. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. , weekends September-April from 1-4 p.m. Free.
The park offers access to Lake Bradford for swimming, kayaking and canoeing. The park's newest additions include the High Challenge ropes course and climbing wall. Open Monday-Thursday 2-7 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission for non FSU students is $1 children ages 6-15 and $2 for adults. Additional fees apply for canoe/kayak rental, the rock wall and ropes course.
Situated in the heart of Midtown, this 1830s plantation boasts 20 structures and is situated on 16 acres of gardens and lawns. Open Tuesday-Friday10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: tours of the grounds are free, Main House tours offered Tuesday-Friday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.. Admission $12 adults, $6 children ages 3-12 and $10 seniors.
Modeled after Andrew Jackson’s home, “The Hermitage” featuring antique furnishings and gifts from international dignitaries. Twelve of the state’s governors have called this southern mansion home. Tours available by appointment (850) 717-9345. Free.
This is the site of the first North American Christmas celebration and the only confirmed De Soto expedition site in the United States. The Hernando De Soto expedition camped here from 1539-1540, during its first winter in North America. Located at the Governor Martin House, Open daily during daylight hours. FREE.
Restored to its 1902 appearance, with stained glass dome and candy-striped awnings, this building houses the Florida Legislative Research Center and Museum, former House and Senate Chambers, Supreme Court, Governor’s Suite and features Florida memorabilia and special exhibits.
The house was built in 1890 on the outskirts of the historic Smokey Hollow neighborhood by John G. Riley, civic leader and Lincoln High School principal. The house has been restored and is a museum honoring Riley and other prominent African American leaders. Open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for children under age of 12 and Leon County School Students are free.
This is one of several homes constructed by African American builder, George Proctor. The house acted as the headquarters for Union solders after Florida’s surrender during the Civil War. On May 20, 1865 Union General Edwin McCook read the Emancipation Proclamation from the house steps. The house is now a museum and hosts a reenactment of the proclamation reading every year. Guided tours available Wednesday-Friday from 1-3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
This beautiful park is perfect for a quiet stroll or walking your dog, while enjoying a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone purchased from one of the cottage shops surrounding the lake. Free.
Six earth temple mounds are evidence of Native Americans’ 1200 AD habitation on the banks of Lake Jackson. Open daily sunrise to sunset. Admission: $3 per vehicle and $2 for pedestrians. Trailahassee.com is your guide to over 600 miles of paddling, running, hiking, biking and equestrian trails in and around Tallahassee. Users can search by activity and skill level allowing them to find the perfect trail. Photographs, video and blogs give users the ability to experience the trail before stepping out the door. Share your experiences by using #Trailahassee in your social media posts.
This art gallery hosts exhibits from local and world renowned artists working in mediums from watercolors to oils and avant garde to traditional. Each year the center is host to the Chain of Parks Art Festival, a juried art show bringing artists from around the country to our area. This is a truly a must see. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
In the late 1600s Mission San Luis de Apalachee was the western capital of the Spanish Mission system in Florida. This National Historic Landmark is the only reconstructed Spanish Mission in Florida offering artifacts uncovered at the original site, costumed living history interpreters, hands-on exhibits and re-created period buildings. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults; $3 seniors (65 and over); $2 children (6-17); Active Duty Military FREE with ID.
Opened in 1977 as the state’s history museum, it houses exhibits and artifacts covering Florida’s history and prehistory. More than 40,000 artifacts and permanent exhibits span periods from the prehistoric mastodon to the Space Age. The newest exhibit, Phase II of Forever Changed, chronicles a dynamic period in history - from the meeting and interaction of vastly different native and European cultures to Florida's adoption as a United States territory and eventually a state.
One of the world's largest and strongest magnets can be found and viewed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory ("The Mag Lab") at Florida State University. The magnet produces a magnetic field 1 million times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. Tours offered by appointment only. FREE.
The Battle of Natural Bridge took place in March 1865. Union forces, including two regiments of U.S. Colored Troops, landed near the St. Marks Lighthouse hoping to capture Tallahassee. The advance was halted by the Confederates and the Union troops retreated to the coast. The Battle of Natural Bridge Reenactment is held annually in March. Open daily from 8 a.m.-sundown. Admission: $3 per vehicle and $2 for pedestrians and cyclists.
Stroll through downtown to experience Tallahassee’s oldest continuous green space. Nestled along this route are historic homes and seven parks anchored by two historic cemeteries.
Railroad Square is a collection of World War II-era warehouses now used as artist studios and shops. Railroad Square is also home to “First Friday Gallery Hop” a block party on the first Friday of every month where all of the galleries, shops and businesses in the area are open late. Each gallery has different hours for more information visit http://railroadsquare.us. Free.
This National Historic Landmark is where Panfilo de Narvaez arrived in the area with 300 men in 1528. Located at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers, the Spanish built the original fort in 1679 to protect the Spanish missions in the area. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Park entrance FREE. Museum admission $2. Children 5 and younger, FREE.
The Refuge is a part of the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail. Visit the ranger station and borrow binoculars and scopes to view birds and wildlife found throughout the park. The grounds also include a historic lighthouse. Each October thousands of Monarch butterflies stop here for food and rest on their migration to Mexico. Open sunrise to sundown 365 days a year. Admission: $5 per vehicle and $1 for pedestrian/bicyclists.
The museum boasts 52 acres which include: native wildlife habitats, Tree-to-Tree Adventures an outdoor zip line and adventure course, historic buildings and educational exhibits. The Tallahassee Museum features the restored Bellevue mansion with an attached kitchen and slave cabin as well as a one-room schoolhouse used by former slaves. It is also one of the few museums in the nation that combines a natural habitat zoo of indigenous wildlife, a collection of more than 14 historic buildings and artifacts, and an environmental center on a 52 acre lakeside setting. Open Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:30-5 p.m.
Built in 1894, this historic home is listed under the register of historic places. It now houses a museum celebrating the rich heritage of the Taylor, Casanas, Howell and Alexander families, the Frenchtown community and the civil rights movement. Open Wednesday– Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free
The largest park in Tallahassee, Tom Brown sits on 225 acres and has amenities to accommodate all activity levels. Disk golf, lighted sports fields, biking trails, running paths, dog park and playgrounds are in use year around. Picnic tables, pavilions and open fields offer a nice place to sit and enjoy the day. Open daily sunrise to sunset. Free.