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An Overview of Tallahassee

Near, but far from the glaring strips of neon amusement, and the castles and crowds of Disney, lies another magical place in the Sunshine State - one of pow-wows, plantations, politics and great pride. Often described as "The Other Florida" with its deep-rooted history, rolling hills, canopy roads of moss-draped oaks, cool climate and Southern-style hospitality, it is a Florida few have seen.

Best known as Florida's capital, Tallahassee is an intimate neo-metropolitan city where the power of state government, the academic and the artistic are complemented by subtle, old-fashioned charm. It is the perfect two- or three-day diversion for the more than 41 million annual visitors to Florida and 13 million residents.

Tallahassee touts a menagerie of sights including one of the world's deepest freshwater springs, site of America's first Christmas, a wildlife habitat, Capitol buildings, fascinating museums of history, sprawling plantations, highly acclaimed fishing and hunting adventures and nearby beaches.

Nearby, alligators lazing in the sunshine and anhinga "snake birds" perched on twisted cypress branches are seen at Wakulla Springs, one of the world's deepest freshwater springs and site of many underwater scenes in "Tarzan" movies with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. Safaris aboard the glass-bottomed and jungle cruise boats whisk visitors within arm's length of "The Other Florida."

Other sightseeing favorites include the masterpiece of floral architecture at Maclay State Gardens; Bradley's Country Store; FAMU Black Archives; and excursions to Pebble Hill Plantation, Marianna Caverns, Havana Antique District and St. George Island.

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy adventures including boating and fishing on area lakes, rivers, ponds, and on the Gulf - just 30 minutes away. Lake Seminole, Jackson and Talquin are renowned in the bass fishing world for yielding the "big ones," and dense forests offer an abundance of prize-winning game. Local wildlife areas such as the Florida National Scenic Trail, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and Apalachicola National Forest are among many spots for camping, picnicking, swimming biking and exploring.

Appealing to the strokes of different folks, Tallahassee also features 99 holes of golf on six courses and a proliferation of tennis courts. Sideline athletes cheer the nationally-ranked Florida State Seminoles and Florida A&M Rattlers. And always a sure bet are the nearby greyhound races.

A sport of sorts, shopping at two regional malls and many specialty centers offer many "playing options" - from popular chains to curiosity and antique shops.

Cultural interests are sparked by widely-acclaimed museums and galleries and elaborate entertainment at the 14,000-seat Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

Tallahassee serves a scrumptious selection of tantalizing restaurants ranging from fast food to five-star. Taste tickling specialties range from homemade country sausage and melt-in-your-mouth steaks to seafood fresh from the Gulf.

From luxury to economy, accommodations are plentiful and include a quaint inn of governors, a restored plantation bed and breakfast, rustic "gentlemen" lodges, beachside escapes and familiar chain hotels. For those who choose to follow in the footsteps of early travelers - Tallahassee also boasts beautiful campsites. With continuous air service, Amtrak and four major highways - Interstate 10 and U.S. 90 east and west, and U.S. 27 and U.S. 319 north and south - getting to Tallahassee is easy.

Tallahassee is a collaboration of power-play politics and classical character splashed with a twist of Southern beauty and charm. Visitor information is available by calling the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 628-2866 or (904) 413-9200.

Source: VisitTallahassee.com, 2006
Photos Credits L - R: UrbanTallahassee, Bibby, UrbanTallahssee, FSUGuy