Overhead picture of the Florida State University Stadium in Tallahassee with text reading "48 Hours in Tallahassee"

Guides


48 Hours in Tallahassee

February 3, 2021

Finding places to travel to safely this past year has been such a saving grace. One of our newest favorite places is Tallahassee, Florida! We love Florida and have been exploring the Sunshine State a lot recently, of course documenting the whole experience for you! Check out my Amelia Island and Crystal River Travel Guides for other areas of Florida you might want to explore. But today, I’m sharing our itinerary for 48 hours in Tallahassee!

The capital of Florida, Tallahassee is home to both Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Add that vibrant college life to the gorgeous Florida nature, and you’ve got a city that’s absolutely perfect for exploring and family fun! Tallahassee is perfect for anyone who enjoys a bit of outdoor adventure, indoor dining and nightlife, history, and of course, sports!

I’m sharing my 48-hour itinerary for Tallahassee so you can know where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you plan your next trip to Tallahassee!

Where to Stay in Tallahassee

Hotel Indigo

Location, location, location! I loved staying at the Hotel Indigo because it is just three minutes from FSU’s campus and a short drive from the state Capitol buildings. Its central location makes exploring Tallahassee so simple and easy! The seven-story hotel was actually designed and by the same contractor who designed CollegeTown, Tallahassee’s cultural hub, and it reflects an acutely local spirit. Hotel Indigo prides itself on its “neighborhood story,” in that it represents all parts of Tallahassee. This is evident in the hotel’s decor, which depicts various parts of the surrounding landscape. I particularly loved all the railroad map motifs in honor of Tallahassee’s history as a railroad town.

Hotel Indigo also offers beautiful views of Gaines Street and Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium. I was lucky enough to stay at the hotel on a game day and watched all of the excitement from my window.

The hotel has 143 guest rooms and suites to choose from, all decorated beautifully, pet friendly, and stocked with wonderful amenities. It’s truly the perfect place to stay when you’re visiting Tallahassee!

Address: 826 W Gaines Street Tallahassee, FL 32304

CollegeTown

Hotel Indigo is located right in the middle of CollegeTown, which is the epicenter of the music, food, art, and fashion scene in Tallahassee. With the creative energy of 52,000 students, the area has a youthful feel that’s so fun to experience. The area is super walkable, and you’ll enjoy walking past tons of restaurants, bars, shops, and more as you explore the town!

48 Hours in Tallahassee

Day One:

Breakfast: Maple Street Biscuit Company

Every Southern college town has a good biscuit place, and Maple Street Biscuit Company definitely fits the bill! Maple Street Biscuit Company has locations all across the south, and I can see why they’re so popular. With flaky biscuits and amazingly innovative biscuit sandwiches, their menu is a stunner from top to bottom. The restaurant’s “Squawking Goat” biscuit was even featured on the Food Network! It has a flaky biscuit, all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion, and house-made pepper jelly.

Maple Street Biscuit Company’s slogan is comfort food with a modern twist, and they definitely do that. Everything we had was absolutely delicious.

Address: 1600 W. Call Street Tallahassee FL

Jungle Boat Cruise: Wakulla Springs 

Just a short drive south of Tallahassee, Wakulla Springs State Park is home to the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. With 70-degree crystal clear water, the springs and river are home to many species of wildlife, including manatees and alligators. A cypress swamp surrounds the springs, making for classic Floridian landscape. The Jungle Boat River Cruise Tour from the Lodge at Wakulla Springs offers a river boat tour down Wakulla River so you can observe all of this first-hand! The jungle river boat tour is one of the most recommended tourist destinations in the Tallahassee area, so we knew we had to add this to our weekend trip to Tally! The cruise leaves from the Lodge at Wakulla Springs about every hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and takes you on a nature tour from the Springs to the river. We loved learning about the environment, wildlife, and history of Wakulla Springs from our fun and informative guide!

Address: Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park 465 Wakulla Park Drive Crawfordville, FL 32327

Fees
$8 for ages 13 years and up
$5 for ages 3 to 12
No charge for ages 3 and under

Advanced reservations are now required. Secure your tickets at https://thelodgeatwakullasprings.com/plan-your-trip/jungle-cruise

Lunch: Madison Social

Madison Social (known by most as Madso) has become a staple at Florida State University. If you just want to kick back, talk and eat some tasty food in the heart of CollegeTown, this is the perfect spot.  I enjoyed nostalgia-laced playlists and outdoor patio seating. Madison Social offers a variety of delectables to choose from, like their famous spiced honey chicken and waffles, as well as a number of different drinks, including the Madison Mule which I really enjoyed. It was a mix of Tito’s vodka, muddled cucumbers, amber agave, lime juice, Gosling’s ginger beer. Yum! My favorite menu item? the BLT Dip. This delicious treat had bacon, tomato, spinach, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt dip, with a grilled Cuban loaf. It was voted Best Appetizer 2019 by the Best of Tallahassee awards! Want to make the dip at home? Here is the Madison Social BLT Dip Recipe:

Madison Social’s BLT Dip
1 ounce mayo
4 ounce plain yogurt
1 ounce sour cream
3 ounces chopped bacon
3 ounces chopped spinach
3 ounces diced tomatoes
1 loaf of Cuban bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ℉
  2. In a mixing bowl combine and mix together all ingredients.
  3. Add BLT Dip mixture to a small cast iron skillet.
  4. Bake BLT Dip in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. While BLT Dip is cooking, top Cuban loaf with melted butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake in the oven until top of bread is golden brown.
  7. Remove cast iron skillet from oven.
  8. Top with tomatoes, bacon, shaved parmesan, and parsley.
  9. Then it is ready to serve. Enjoy!

Address: 705 S Woodward Ave #101, Tallahassee, FL 32304

Tree-to-Tree Adventure at Tallahassee Museum

Take a walk on the wild side at the Tallahassee Museum, set amidst 52 acres of breathtaking Florida flora and fauna. Located on the shores of Lake Bradford, the museum offers zip-line adventures, educational programs and summer camps, daily animal encounters, an art gallery, a cafe, and a gift shop chock-full of fun and educational souvenirs. I met Renee Jones with Visit Tallahassee at the Museum and we had an absolute blast on the zip lines. Exploring Tallahassee 63 feet from the ground has to be one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had so far! Who would have thought that so much adventure was right here in Tallahassee?

There are three different courses to choose from and no experience is necessary. We decided to try all three courses! Once we got our harnesses fastened tight and clipped onto the course, away we went. We enjoyed an aesthetically pleasing visage of tree-tops over cypress swamps via zip-line. Gradually we moved from the Canopy Crossing to Soaring Cypress course, each obstacle we encountered became more complex along the journey. It is an aerial adventure course that features both obstacles and zip-lines. Obstacles can include bridges, swinging logs, tight ropes, and other interactive elements with zip-lines mixed in between. As for the zip-line portions of our excursion, it definitely was intimidating at first. But a guide that worked at the museum walked us through a practice area and I got the hang of it in no time! The longest of the three adventures, Soaring Cypress, was my favorite! I recommend bringing a GoPro with a strap if you have one. The entire course was picture-worthy.

Address: 3945 Museum Road, Tallahassee, FL 32310

Dinner: Table 23

We finished off an exhilarating day exploring Tallahassee with dinner at Table 23! This casual restaurant infuses the atmosphere of an old-timey Southern porch with amazing Southern-inspired dishes for a delicious dining experience. It’s evident that Table 23 takes food seriously, from an appealing appetizer menu including classics like boiled peanuts and fried green tomatoes as well as new spins like pecan-crusted okra and southwestern egg rolls. The menu continues with a wide selection of entrees, sandwiches, salads, and an impressive cocktail menu, too!

Address: 1215 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 32303

Day Two:

Explore Florida’s Capital City

Since I was staying in the heart of CollegeTown, I wanted to explore the area. The newly booming area shows the infusion of youth and trendiness, with creative new shops and restaurants opening on every corner! It’s definitely an area worth walking around in. In addition to CollegeTown, I wanted to explore downtown Tallahassee, where the Capitol building is located!

Tallahassee became the capital city of Florida in 1824, when traveling between the two principal cities of St. Augustine and Pensacola became too time-intensive and laborious for effective governing. As Tallahassee is the midpoint between those two cities, it was declared the new state capital. There are two buildings that make up the Florida Capitol Building area now. The Historic Capital Building is in the foreground, with a classic rotunda shape at the center. When the new capitol building was in construction in the late 1970s, the historic building was threatened with demolition, but it has been restored and adapted and is now home to the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, where you can learn more about Florida’s political history.

Surrounding the capitol buildings is a 10-block historic district that preserves the gorgeous old homes and architecture. This nod to history and culture is supported by the rest of the downtown area, which is rich with museums, theaters, and art galleries. Between CollegeTown and Downtown Tallahassee, you definitely can get a well-rounded appreciation of everything that Tallahassee has to offer!

Florida's Capitol building in Tallahassee

Lunch: Andrew’s Downtown

Andrew’s Downtown is a Tallahassee institution. Andrew Reiss opened the first deli in Tallahassee in 1972, and Andrew’s Downtown has been open in the same location for over 47 years. The American eatery has won several awards, including Best of Tallahassee for the restaurant’s Sunday brunch! Andrew’s Downtown is located, as you would expect, in downtown Tallahassee, and serves up American classics with a menu full of delicious options. Their lunch menu had a wide variety of incredible sandwiches, salads, and burgers, plus a range of entrees that included shrimp and grits, penne vodka, cedar plank salmon, and french onion pork chop! The Sassy Shrimp is one of the most popular appetizers on the menu and features fried gulf shrimp locally sourced from Southern Seafood, tossed in our signature sassy sauce. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out!

Address: 228 S Adams St, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Explore Florida State University’s Campus

One of the biggest parts of Tallahassee’s community is of course Florida State University. The public research university is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida and boasts a great Division I athletic program. The campus itself is absolutely beautiful, and it’s worth strolling around the 1,400 acres of the university.

Stroll through Cascades Park

The 24-acre Cascades Park is a stormwater management facility that has turned into a well-loved community gathering place, with miles of hiking trails and pathways, event spaces and play areas for kids. The Capital City Amphitheater hosts national and regional musical acts, and is the site of annual Shakespeare in the Park performances. For the children, they can have fun splashing in the Imagination Fountain splash pad by day and everyone can enjoy the light and water show set to music on weekend nights. Cascades Park is also home to Florida’s Prime Meridian marker, a Smokey Hollow Commemoration area, the Korean War Memorial, and a manmade waterfall. The park is a great place for everyone to get out and enjoy the temperate winter weather in Florida and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape!

Address: 1001 S Gadsden St, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Dinner: The Edison

The Edison showcases Florida cuisine in a chic, brick-wall dream of a dining area that used to be a power station. Located within Cascades Park, The Edison has lots of outdoor dining available, and in the summer you can even reserve a basket for a picnic in the park! The menu highlights the best that Florida has to offer, with a huge selection of mouthwatering dishes.

Address: 470 Suwannee Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Dessert: Lofty Pursuits

Lofty Pursuits is an old-fashioned style soda fountain that first opened in 1993 as a small skill toy store. Now, the store serves up delicious dessert concoctions, makes homemade candy in-store, and still sells toys. The shop has dozens of yummy ice cream and dessert options, including vegan and gluten-free offerings! The whole place is such a lovely experience and the perfect place to pick up dessert!

Address: 1355 Market St a11, Tallahassee, FL 32312

We absolutely loved our weekend trip to Tallahassee. There’s so much to do and explore in Florida’s capital city, so I hope this 48-hour Tallahassee itinerary will help guide you on the best things to do and see when you come to visit!

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