Hugged by gentle hills and mature oak trees, Tallahassee is a romantic blend of old and new. Magnificent glass structures peer down over clusters of 19th Century brick buildings that house quaint shops and charming cafes. Two capitol buildings stand with starkly different styles, one behind the other ? a modern 22-story facade that functions as the current seat of state government overlooking the original capitol building, restored to its 1902 elegance. To counter this capital city's political side is a thriving student population attendant at the two local universities, which assures this inland destination an energetic night-life and tangibly youthful atmosphere.
Merely 14 miles from the Georgian border, Tallahassee has something about it that feels more part of the genteel South proper than the boisterous "Sunshine State" . Aromatic magnolias grace the city, interspersed with magnificent oaks which cast long shadows over old plantations reminiscent of Gone With the Wind, while columned brick buildings given over to gentle aristocratic airs and framed by shady trees line the Historic District.
Shopping in town is a pleasurable experience, and there seems to be no end to the variety of wares available, whether it's antiques or boutiques you seek. The Downtown Marketplace on Park Avenue is especially titillating with live entertainment and a tantalizing array of arts and crafts that are sure to please. Out of the many museums and galleries in town, two are particularly note-worthy: The Museum of Florida History which houses 44,000 items of significance to Florida's 10,000-year saga and the Tallahassee Automobile Museum with its long list of rare autos.
The capital district also presents some excellent sporting activities. Hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing are found at Lake Talquin State Park nearby, while Lake Jackson is a well-known fishing hole for bass. Nature lovers are bound to find their paradise in Apalachicola National Forest, 10 miles from town, the state's largest national forest and a prime spot for mountain biking, hiking, primitive camping and Off Highway Vehicle use. There are also a number of excellent golf greens and biking paths in the area. 2900-acre Wakulla Springs State Park is great for snorkeling in the cool, freshwater springs and about 45 miles from town, Shell Point Beach offers wonderful windsurfing conditions.
Mid-way between Pensacola and St. Augustine in the Florida panhandle, Tallahassee is a long, but easy 200-mile ride from both.