If you’re looking for a family-friendly trip to Florida that offers more than just beaches and massive amusement parks, then consider a visit to Tallahassee. Here you’ll find endless outdoor activities, lots of art and culture, and plenty of great places to eat—all of which you can enjoy together as a family.
At Lofty Pursuits, they’re making candy like it's 1899. In fact, this vintage candy shop still uses cooking equipment and techniques from the 1800s. And the result is some of the best hard candy you’ve ever tasted. Stop by to see how the candy is made and sample a few of their top sellers, including the peach drops and giant, multi-flavored candy canes. In addition to the candy, Lofty Pursuits also offers diner-style brunch, homemade ice cream, and a variety of soda-based beverages. Your kids will love watching all of the colored candy transform, and even better if they can take a bag home with them!
This is not your typical bowling alley. Hangar 38 is some combination of a bowling alley, arcade, nightclub, and restaurant. The variety of games Hangar 38 has to offer is rivaled by that of its menu. You and your family can enjoy pizza, pasta, sushi, or a combination of all three, followed by some blacklight bowling. The entertainment in the arcade is a nice mix of classic and modern, including some of the latest VR games. Be sure to check the Hangar 38 website before you visit to see what current specials they’re offering.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to let the kids run around outside, then check out Cascades Park. With large grassy fields, an outdoor amphitheater, a splash pad, multiple fountains, and a large discovery playground, you and your family could easily spend a day here. There is even a memorial dedicated to veterans of the Korean War at the north end of the park. Park in any one of the four on-site parking garages (all free!) and enjoy a fun afternoon in the Florida sunshine.
Staying true to its name, Sugar Rush Bar takes traditional milkshakes to a whole new level. Stepping inside the dessert shop feels like entering some version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, with its peppermint swirl tables, ice cream cone textured walls, and giant sprinkle wallpaper. But the true prize is Sugar Rush Bar’s monumental milkshakes. There are 12 signature milkshakes that come loaded with everything from pieces of cake, giant cookies, brownies slices, even an ice cream cone. The famed “Unicorn” milkshake is a mixture of cotton candy and vanilla ice cream, topped with sprinkles, cake icing, actual pieces of cotton candy, and candy straws. For those who are looking for something a little less elaborate, Sugar Rush also offers single scoops of ice cream and traditional sundaes.
To give the kids something fun and educational, be sure to check out Mission San Luis. A state archeology park, a living history site, and a museum all in one, Mission San Luis offers a wide variety of things to do and see. There are numerous interactive tours, reenactments, and educational seminars, where people of all ages can learn about the 1,500 Apalachee Indians who called San Luis home. Or, if you prefer to just walk around the beautiful grounds and have a picnic, you can do that too. The mission grounds are open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission costs $5 for adults and $2 for kids.
Not your typical gallery-filled museum, the Tallahassee Museum sits on 52 acres of forest and is almost entirely outdoors. Visitors can enjoy a few indoor exhibits but a majority of the Museum is centered on exploring Florida's wild outdoors, cool nature trails, and awesome animals. The epic tree-to-tree zipline tour and aerial ropes course is the perfect way to explore the outdoors from new heights. And keep an eye out for the famous colored dinosaur sculptures scattered throughout the grounds. Open every day until 5 p.m., entrance to the Tallahassee Museum costs $12 for adults and $9 for kids (children 3 and under are free).
Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to touch a live sea turtle? Or climb on top of a life-size alligator replica? Or explore local marshes with a marine biologist? You can do all of these things and more at the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory. Located just steps away from Dickerson Bay and an hour away from downtown, Gulf Specimen utilizes its unique location to really showcase and educate visitors on native Florida sea creatures. There are numerous guided tours offered, including a special tour of the lab where local sea turtles are cared for and rehabilitated. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children. We highly recommend calling ahead to reserve a spot for one of the guided tours.
You can’t go wrong with a trip to Tallahassee—especially a trip that includes not one, but two different dessert shops, a zipline, and sea turtles. Affordable, unique, and exciting, we hope these places create some lasting family memories.
700 miles of open-wide trails. That’s the beautiful thing about Tallahassee.