Where else can you find the world’s largest freshwater spring? Or one of the country’s best spots for blues music? How about enjoying a delicious dinner in the middle of the very farm that helped create the meal? You might be surprised to learn that you can experience all of these wildly unexpected things—and more—right in the heart of Florida’s Capital City.
Full of lush forests and crystal clear waters, Wakulla Springs State Park is both naturally beautiful and full of adventure. Wakulla Springs is actually the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring, releasing about 260 million gallons of water per day. In addition to the stunning springs, the park is also known for its world-class wildlife viewing. Hop on one of the many guided boat tours and you’ll get to see manatees, alligators, and lots of aquatic birds. The park also has a diving platform, two floating docks, and a small beach area for anyone who wants to take a dip in the refreshing, blue waters.
Don’t be fooled by the looks of Bradfordville Blues Club. What may appear to be a small house with some neon lights is actually one of the best blues clubs in the South. The club hasn’t changed much since its foundation over 100 years ago, and it still presents some of the biggest names in blues music much like it did back then—in a small space, full of friendly locals, plastic chairs, and cheap beer. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the bonfire burning bright and a line forming outside the fish shack, a small structure on the property that sells fried catfish in between sets. If you’re looking for a truly unique, memorable experience, a visit to Bradfordville Blues Club should be at the top of your list.
Bradley’s Country Store is the epitome of old Florida. Located down a canopy road, surrounded by trees dripping in Spanish moss, the drive alone is nearly worth a visit. But stepping inside the quaint shop, you’ll find rows of homemade goods, ice cold soda bottles, and fresh, local produce. But the store’s most prized possession has to be its smoked sausage. Using only pork from local farms and green hickory trees, the sausage smoking process hasn’t changed since 1910. If you visit the store around lunchtime, be sure to take advantage of the lunch special—a six-inch sausage hot dog, a small drink, and a bag of chips for $6.
Car fanatics, motorheads, even history buffs will enjoy a visit to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. What started off as a small, personal collection of 15 cars back in 1996 has since grown into an expansive museum with over 160 different automobiles. You’ll find everything from an 1894 Duryea (one of the oldest cars ever manufactured in the U.S.) to the original Batmobile to an 1860 horse-drawn funeral hearse that is rumored to have carried Abraham Lincoln. The museum is open every day until 5 p.m. General admission costs $17.50, with special discounts for seniors, students, and veterans.
Taking farm-to-table to a whole new level, Backwoods Crossing is American-style fine dining located in the heart of a family farm. Run by two brothers, Backwoods Crossing has completely transformed from a restaurant that grew its own herbs to a restaurant that sits on three and half acres of fresh produce, eggs, and chickens. The menu changes regularly to align with the crops and the seasons, but some staples include the crab cakes, tenderloin sliders, and apple crumble. In the summer, you can enjoy your meal outside in the middle of the vegetable garden. Just be warned, a friendly farm cat may join you for dinner.
Consisting of over 70 different shops, art galleries, studios, and restaurants, Railroad Square Art Park is a true creative hub. Having completely transformed from a collection of industrial warehouses into a vibrant and dynamic art scene, Railroad Square is sometimes referred to as “Tallahassee’s Little SoHo.” Most businesses in the park are open from Thursday to Sunday, so plan to visit on the weekend. While you’re there, be sure to stop by The Crum Box for a sandwich and Flippin’ Great Pinball for an impressive collection of old arcade games.
From all the way up near the Georgia border to down along the Gulf of Mexico, this trip takes you across Northern Florida—giving you just a glimpse into all the wild and memorable diversity that Tallahassee and its surrounding communities have to offer.
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700 miles of open-wide trails. That’s the beautiful thing about Tallahassee.