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163 miles W of Jacksonville; 191 miles E of Pensacola; 250 miles NW of Orlando
As a University of Miami alumna, I was practically taught to hate Tallahassee, just because it's the home of the Miami Hurricanes' biggest rivals -- Florida State University's Seminoles (or 'Noles, as locals refer to them). Because I couldn't care less about football, I just chalked up Tallahassee as the state capital and, later in life, as command central for that pesky 2000 election bug known as the chad. But it's not just about football and hanging chads. There's a ton of charm and other history, as well.
Tallahassee was selected as Florida's capital in 1823 because it was halfway between St. Augustine and Pensacola, then the state's major cities. That location puts it almost in Georgia -- and, in fact, Tallahassee has more in common with Macon than with Miami. There's as much Old South ambience as anywhere else in Florida. You'll find lovingly restored, 19th-century homes and buildings, including the 1845 Old Capitol. They all sit among so many towering pines and sprawling live oaks that you'll think you're in a forest. The trees form virtual tunnels along Tallahassee's five official Canopy Roads, which are lined with historic plantations, ancient Native American settlement sites and mounds, gardens, quiet parks with picnic areas, and beautiful lakes and streams. The nearby Apalachicola National Forest is a virtual gold mine of outdoor pursuits.
While tradition and history are important here, you'll also encounter the modern era, beginning with the New Capitol Building towering 22 stories over downtown. Usually sleepy Tallahassee takes on a very lively persona when the legislature is in session and when the football teams of Florida State University and Florida A&M University take to the gridiron.
If you're inclined to give your credit cards a workout, the nearby town of Havana is Florida's antiques capital.
American Airlines flights to Tallahassee make it convenient to explore the capital of Florida. With a rich heritage and natural attributes, there is a wide range of things to do in Tallahassee, from visiting a wildlife habitat and freshwater deep springs to touring the Capitol or historic plantations.
The city is perhaps best known as Florida's capital, and visiting the Capitol itself is one of the most picturesque activities in Tallahassee. The 22nd floor of the Capitol Complex features an observatory and art gallery that offers a panoramic view of the city. The Historic Capitol (sometimes referred to as the Old Capitol) was built in 1845 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, where admission is free.
Visiting the Tallahassee Museum is another of our favorite things to do in Tallahassee, because it's much more than a typical museum. It features an indigenous wildlife habitat on its 52-acre property along Lake Bradford, plus historic buildings and artifacts. Among the species living here are Florida panthers, red wolves, American alligators and black bears. Birds of prey live in the aviary. Most of the animals here were either raised in captivity or injured (sometimes orphaned) in the wild and rescued by licensed personnel. Exhibits at the museum also include an 1880s farm, complete with livestock and crops.
If you enjoy being outdoors, then make plans to visit Wakulla Springs in Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, about 14 miles outside the city. It's one of the most fascinating activities in Tallahassee because it's the deepest freshwater cave system in the world. It's also the site where remains of extinct species have been found, including mastodon. Artifacts found here also indicate Paleo-Indians lived here thousands of years ago. It's easy to picture pre-historic times as you take in the view of the Springs.
And you simply must dive into the city's historic heritage -- one of our picks for can't-miss things to do in Tallahassee. You'll want to tour the Park Avenue National Register Historic District as well as the Calhoun Street National Register Historic District. Then stop by Beadel House at Tall Timbers, a 4,000-acre former hunting plantation belonging to naturalist Henry Beadel. Next, see Goodwood Museum & Gardens, a fine antebellum plantation featuring centuries-old oaks, beautiful gardens and well-manicured lawns.
With such a diverse range of attractions, you can rest assured there's something to interest everyone in Florida's capital. Fly to Tallahassee with American Airlines and discover which is your favorite. We've made booking your trip simple, so browse our flights and plan your visit today.
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