Tallahassee Travel Guide

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Famu skyline

Famu skyline

Lakelander

Tallahassee is Florida's state capital, located on the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle, in a region locally known as the Big Bend. City life is dominated by politics and higher education, and research as Tallahassee is home to two major universities - Florida State University and Florida A&M University - and a community college, Tallahassee Community College. Additionally, Tallahassee has a rather sizeable non-transient (non-student and non-political) population with a total of 150.000 residents.

Tallahassee is the hub of Florida's great Northwest. The city is also home to the National High Magnetic Field Labratory, and the worlds strongest magnetic field. Downtown is currently undergoing a major renaissance as numerous highrise condominiums are either under construction or on the way in an effort to breathe life back into the Downtown which slows down after 5pm. Another major renaissance is underway in the City's historic Frenchtown district.

Traffic, on the whole, is fair compared to most mid-sized cities. The roads are congested during peak driving hours - from about 4p-7p - but move well most of the rest of the time. Major highways include I-10, which connects Tallahassee with Los Angeles in the west and Jacksonville in the east, U.S. 27, U.S. 90, U.S. 319 among others. Tallahassee is a quaint city with it's own charms. The capital region is a great place to visit, with many natural and other attractions to visit throughout the year. On the whole, the people are friendly and the city itself has much of what you'd find in many of the larger cities elsewhere in Florida.

Public education in and around Tallahassee is second to no other city in Florida as nearly 75% of County schools are grade A on a statewide scale. Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, two time NCAA National Football Champions, which is one of the states oldest, largest Universities, often cited as Florida's best Law School and one of the best Film Schools in the Nation. The very beautiful campus of Florida State Univeristy is the smallest in the state's University system located about a mile from downtown in west-central Tallahassee and holds about 36,000 undergraduate, and graduate students. Many projects are currently underway on the schools campus as its new medical school has just become the Nations newest in over a decade. Florida A&M University, the Nation's largest HBCU ancors the area just south of Tallahassee's downtown. It is also home to the most frequently published HBCU college Newspaper, and one of the best pharmicutical schools in the southeastern United States. FAMU is also world reknown for its powerful marching band known as the "Marching 100". Tallahassee Community College serves as one of Florida's premier community colleges and as a major catalyst for economic development in the capital region, it currently enrolls 15,000 students, and is a feeder to FSU and FAMU. 

Because of the City's role as a state capitol, politics are big in Tallahassee. Legislative sessions run in the early spring and early fall, welcomed with Tallahassee's annual Springtime Parade, bringing in legislators & media from all across the nation and state. Beyond this, Tallahassee is home to many of the state's major services and departments, with their offices spread out throughout the city. The governor's mansion is located about a mile north of downtown and is currently home to Gov. Jeb Bush.

Nearby towns include Thomasville, GA, Bainbridge, GA, Quincy, FL, Monticello, FL, Crawfordville, FL and Cairo, GA. The coast is a half-hour drive to the south, with some of the best beaches in the state located near Apalachicola & St. George Island approximately 75 miles to the southwest. Panama City, a two hour drive, is very popular with the college students, especially in the spring and summer. In the panhandle, Tallahassee is somewhat isolated from other major cities - Jacksonville is 180 miles to the east, Pensacola 190 miles to the west, and 5 hours from Altanta, GA, 4 hours from Orlando.

Tallahassee was the site of the First Christmas celebration in the United States, when Hernando De Soto traveled through the area in the mid 1500s. Tallahassee is also the only state capitol east of the Mississippi river, never captured by union forces during the civil war. Tallahassee has managed to hold onto much of its antebellum roots, and is still remnicent of "The Original Florida".

With no major professional sports teams in town, the Florida State Seminoles dominate the sports pages. "Seven Days of Opening Nights" sponsored by Florida State Univeristy, brings headliners to the community each year for a week long celebration of the arts. Tallahassee's Civic Center also hosts many trade shows, concerts, comedies, and broadway shows each year.  

Outdoor recreation opportunities are numerous, whether by means of roadtrips along Tallahassee's 5 famous canopy roads, equestrian activities in one of the town's horse parks, outdoor sports in one of Tallahassee's numerous parks named best in the Nation, or exploring nature by bike or foot along some of the trails or side roads to the north and south of town. The Apalachicola Natl. Forest is located on the western edge of town, while the St. Marks bike trail (Florida's Oldest Railroad) is located on the southern edge of town. Numerous state and national parks are within a short driving or biking distance from town.

Tallahassee is truly a city rich in its charms, and continues to grow into an exciting place to live, learn, and play.

Contributors

April 27, 2005 change by giorgio

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