20 Things You Need to Know About Moving to Tallahassee

Wesley Wright
Last Updated on May 23, 2024
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Tallahassee, located in northwest Florida, serves as the state’s capital and is also a major hub for higher education and scientific research. It is also one of the best places in the Sunshine State to live and raise a family. It’s large enough to have the attractions of a big city, but also small enough to be a pleasant change of pace for those coming from larger cities.

Thinking about making a move to Tally? Keep reading to learn more about what we have to offer.

1. It’s a college town through and through.

Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College combine to serve more than 80,000 students living in Tallahassee and the surrounding Jefferson, Wakulla, and Taylor counties.

2. Everything is relatively close.

You’ll notice the places you frequent are no more than 10 or so miles from each other. The closeness is one of the perks of the city, and allows you to spend your weekend on different sides of the town without sitting in traffic.

3. It’s close enough to larger cities for a quick vacation.

Jacksonville, Atlanta, Orlando, and New Orleans are all just a few hours drive from Tallahassee. They may serve as good places to get a quick respite from Tallahassee if needed.

4. Expect traffic in the fall.

Florida State University football games cause traffic on Saturday nights and afternoons, so run your errands early. Thousands descend upon the city to see the Seminoles play, and if you don’t plan, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in traffic.

5. And expect traffic in the spring.

Lawmakers from across the state come to Tallahassee each January for the state’s general assembly session. This city’s downtown area, an epicenter for governmental relations, tends to stay very busy near the beginning of the calendar year.

6. Enjoy a lower cost of living.

Tallahassee is like much of the southeastern United States in that its cost of living is relatively low. There are many gas, food, and housing options that will not break your bank.

7. Public service is intertwined in the city.

Higher education and state agencies comprise many of the city’s higher profile jobs. Both sectors are relatively stable and offer excellent benefits, so if you see a job that interests you, take a few minutes and apply.

8. Tallahassee has an expensive regional airport.

If you’d like to get on a plane to see family or friends, consider flying out of Jacksonville (about two hours east) or Panama City (about three hours west). Both are cheaper options for those of us who don’t (yet) have high-paying university administration job or the robust travel budget of a state lawmaker.

9. There are plenty of museums for you history buffs.

The Tallahassee Automobile Museum and the Museum of Florida History are among the most notable in the area, but there are plenty more for you and the family to visit if you see fit. All in all, the city has twelve museums specializing in anything from Black history to early American happenings.

10. We’re home to national, world-renowned laboratory.

Many of the strongest and most unique magnets on the planet exist in The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, housed at Florida State University. Millions of dollars in research and grants run through lab, which is paid for by the state of Florida and the National Science Foundation.

11. You can blow some steam off at a club.

Potbelly’s and Top Flite are two of the more well-renowned clubs in Tallahassee. There are a couple more of note, and all cater to a young adult crowd. If you feel so inclined, visit and unwind some after a long week of work or exams.

12. The city is close to several quality parks.

There are places for you to enjoy green space in and around the city. Bring your dog to run and play, or simply show up to have a picnic with your spouse and kids if you’d like. Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park and San Luis Mission Park are both easily accessible and within the city’s limits. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge sits just outside the city and its known for being both tranquil and beautiful. It hosts thousands of visitors each year from all over the country.

13. You’ll be on the Florida-Georgia line.

A great many people commute to and from Tallahassee to work jobs in Georgia. Valdosta, Augusta and Athens are relatively close and can serve good places for a down-home weekend to mosey around.

14. Beaches are a short trip away

While Tallahassee does not offer any direct access to a beach, they are a bevy of beaches within a couple hours’ drive. The Big Bend Wildlife Management Area and keaton Beach come to mind, along with several others.  Keaton Beach is especially noteworthy for scalloping and other methods of year-round fishing.

15. Lake Ella is a treasure.

This park is located has an ample amount of free parking, and on weekends there are always happenings there to attract visitors. It’s an excellent choice if you’d like to take a light stroll and decompress.

16. The city has a budding craft beer scene.

Fermentation and Growler Country are perfect spots for beer enthusiasts. The former has a oft-changing menu and staff that will help patrons feel their way through dozens of beers.

17. If you know where to look, there is plenty of good food.

Hole-in-the-wall places in city have some remarkably quality food that many times will best what you find at larger chains in terms of quality and price. Shell Oyster Bar and Tan’s Asian Cafe come to mind, but there are many more all of the city. Don’t be afraid to try a new place every now and then.

18. The construction is never ending.

Tallahassee is steadily growing, so city workers are constantly involved in projects. Much of the work is happening in downtown and adjacent to the area, meaning some traffic on weekdays, especially if you’re driving along Monroe Street.

19. Excellent options for camping are everywhere.

Seacrest Wolf Preserve, Torreya State Park, and Providence Canyon State Park are places where the outdoorsy people can camp for cheap.

20. If you’d like to visit, plan ahead.

If you’re thinking about visiting Tallahassee to get a feel for it before your move, book a hotel room or AirBnb as early as possible. Prices jump in the fall because of demand as Florida State heads into the football season.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 27, 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Wesley Wright

Wesley is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee.
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