Home » Posh Momcation: You Gotta See Tallahassee
Posh Momcations are necessary breaks for modern moms that need to refresh, recharge and refuel in order to be happier moms. We work very hard and little breaks away from our families is well deserved. Momcations should be fun, energizing and guilt free. Join us on our Posh Momcation and enjoy the article below.
Tallahassee, Florida: Quick, what comes to mind? If you know it just as the capital of Florida and home to two state universities, you are correct. But more than a college town or hub of government, this city in the state’s Panhandle area offers a thriving entertainment scene, natural resources to explore, museums, and more.
The area’s tourism industry is growing, and if you want to see the city up-close, now it’s easier. In 2018, American Airlines expanded its offerings to Tallahassee, with more direct flights from the Washington, DC, area. The airline’s daily flights from Ronald Reagan National Airport to Tallahassee International Airport take two-and-a-half hours or a bit less.
And what will you find upon arrival? Sure, football and sports are still big here, the home of Florida State University (FSU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU), but you can do much more than watch a game, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Tallahassee has historic sites, natural recreation, museums, and distinct districts for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Families also can enjoy a planetarium, outdoor adventures, and the 24-acre Cascades Park. From the peaceful feeling of watching gentle manatees float by to the excitement of visiting a high magnetic field laboratory, you’ll find some unique surprises. Below are some highlights.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Parks, trails, and water expeditions let you see the beauty of old Florida. You can kayak on the Wakulla River or visit the Trailahassee.com site to find more than 600 scenic miles of running, biking, paddling, and equestrian trails in parks, forests, greenways, and wildlife areas. This website’s personalized features and customizable dashboards help you plan the walk, hike, or bike ride perfect for you. Mountain biking is popular because of the city’s challenging hills, which are rarely found in Florida.
At the Tallahassee Museum, visitors can explore nature from 62 feet off the ground. Its more than 13 zip lines and 45 aerial challenges, which include tightropes, crab walks, jungle bridges and nets, blend in with the museum’s natural environment. Tree to Tree Adventures offers three unique courses that are suitable for children and adults.
If you prefer to take it easy but still connect with nature, visit nearby Wakulla Springs State Park, just a bit south. Wakulla Springs is the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring and has become a haven for manatees. Here “you can take a boat ride on the river to see manatees and where ‘Tarzan’ and the ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ were filmed,” says Rachel Sutz Pienta, a longtime area resident (and incoming president of the Wakulla Chamber of Commerce). “And head to the St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge to walk the hiking paths that inspired writer Jeff Vandermeer (Annihilation). Visitors will see native birds, sunbathing alligators, river otters, and the bald eagles that nest in the area.”
Downtown, Cascades Park features multi-use trails, the Discovery playscape, historical markers, a splash fountain for kids, and the Capital Cascades Crossing Trail and Pedestrian Bridge, whose solar energy technology illuminates it at night with color-changing LED lights.
Explore through Science
For budding scientists, right in downtown Tallahassee check out “Mission Control” and the Space Station laboratory at The Challenger Learning Center. The Center is a K-12 outreach facility of FAMU and FSU to foster long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It includes a fivestory Planetarium and an IMAX and IMAX 3D Theater.
Plan your trip so you can time it with a visit to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at FSU. Also known as the “Mag Lab,” this is the largest and highest-powered magnet lab in the world. It has a magnet that produces a magnetic field one million times stronger than that of Earth. Here, you can learn how scientists develop and research magnetic fields relating to physics, biology, bioengineering, chemistry, geochemistry and biochemistry. Mag Lab offers free public tours on the third Wednesday of each month, plus free group tours by appointment.
Travel Through Time
You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate Tallahassee’s Native American sites and the only reconstructed Spanish mission in Florida. See some of North America’s earliest colonial beginnings at the 17th-century Mission San Luis national historic site. It was recreated in the archaeological footprint of the original brings to life the blended culture of Spanish friars and Apalachee Indians. And at the De Soto Winter Encampment Site Historic State Park you will be where, in 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his troops celebrated North America’s first Christmas mass.
Also visit the Museum of Florida History. Featuring elaborate sets with hands-on, multimedia components and life-like body casts, the exhibits demonstrate how Spaniards and other Europeans encountered native inhabitants who occupied the land for more than 12,000 years. Exhibits progress through the Civil War, World War II, 20th-Century Florida, and beyond. Other historic sites include Natural Bridge Battlefield Park, St. Marks Lighthouse, and the Florida State Capitol.
And don’t miss the Tallahassee Museum. This 52-acre natural history museum features native habitats of indigenous wildlife such as the Florida panther, black bear, red wolf, river otter, alligators, and bald eagles. The museum also has the outdoor adventure course, dinosaur sculptures, an 1880s farmhouse, a historic mansion, an early African-American church and a schoolhouse, a playground, and more.
Another popular attraction is the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. Here you will find more than 150 rare and diverse vehicles including an 1894 Duryea (one of the oldest automobiles manufactured in the United States), the 1860 horse-drawn funeral hearse reported to have carried Abraham Lincoln, and three Batmobiles. But it’s more than cars, other collections include: antique boat motors, Native American artifacts, sports memorabilia, motorbikes, pedal cars, case knives, and antique brass cash registers.
Get a Taste of Tally
Tallahassee’s districts – Downtown, Gaines Street, Uptown, CollegeTown, Midtown and Market District – feature casual eats, fine dining, and fun finds such as the Lofty Pursuits ice-cream parlor and candy store, which the New York Times called “one of the best soda fountains in the country.” Be sure to try some of the old-fashioned hard candies, made with equipment dating to the 1800s!
Lovers of craft brews will appreciate the local beers: Tallahassee has five breweries. You can visit each or enjoy them via a tour on the Tallahassee Brew Bus or attend one of the beer festivals that take place each year. With a median age of 29.3, Tallahassee is the youngest city in Florida, so entertainment is plentiful.
Whether you prefer concerts in a formal setting, al fresco at a festival, or very laid-back in a little “dive bar,” opportunities to enjoy music abound. For art enthusiasts, there’s Railroad Square Art Park. The 10-acre site is home to more than 50 artist studios, galleries, and small shops. You also can shop for locally made products and show your kids your old-school gaming skills at a vintage pinball arcade.
And of course, there’re always sports. FAMU and FSU have won a total of 30 national championship titles among various sports, so if you’re in town during a game, get ready to be swept up by the excitement. To plan a visit to the area, go to: Visit Tallahassee.com for more ideas. <br
By Patricia Lee Hall
Photos Courtesy of Leon County Fl