Tallahassee comes from the Apalachee Indian word meaning "old town or deserted fields," according to www.stepsmia.org. The name suits the city perfectly, as it was founded in 1824 and has a rich history dating back to Spanish settlers in the 1520's. Visitors find themselves literally transported back in time when they visit the city. Buildings, shops and museums reflect the Spanish heritage and allow people to learn about the first settlers in the state and the local history. Tallahassee has many educational and exciting museums, according to the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitor Bureau. The city also has many beautiful forests and natural exhibits to visit. With so many things to do, Tallahassee is truly a gem amongst other Florida cities.
Love history? Few other cities will provide you the wealth of it like Tallahassee will. One of the biggest attractions there is the DeSoto State Archaeological Site. It is the original site of Hernando DeSoto's 1539 encampment and the site of the first Christmas celebration in North America. There is also the Union Bank Museum, established in 1841. This is Florida's oldest bank building. Some other historical attractions include the Mission San Luis de Talimali, which bodes as one of Florida's oldest and surviving missions and the Old Capitol Museum. This was created in 1902 and features an exquisite stained glass dome. Visitors to the city will also discover while here that Tallahassee was the only southern capital that lay east of Mississippi that did not fall into Union hands. Visitors can also visit the Riley Museum Center of African American History and Culture for two dollars each day. "Built in 1890, the Riley House is the only home in Florida, once owned by a freed slave, that is still standing at its original location." (Taken from http://www.seetallahassee.com) These examples are just a taste of the museums and centers that Tallahassee has to offer.
Normally children don't like to visit museums, but the ones in Tallahassee making learning fun and interactive. The Challenger Learning Center offers IMAX movie theatre, a fifty-foot dome planetarium and a simulated NASA "mission control center" which enable guests to experience space exploration on earth. Interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to touch the creatures and demonstration programs is what you will find at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab. Children and adults alike will enjoy getting up close and personal with creatures from the ocean.
For the nature lover in you, Tallahassee has numerous parks and forests to relax in. The largest is the Apalachicola National Forest at 500,000 acres. This and the others, such as Falling Waters State Recreational Area, Ochlockonee River State Park, and Three Rivers State Recreational Facility, to name a few, all offer hiking and biking trails, camp grounds and picnic areas. There are plenty of fishing sites, too, in the city, like Lake Jackson. Barefoot Charters offers fishing tours for people serious about fishing and catching a delicious dinner. Of course, visitors can also see the FSU Seminole Reservation, which is a freshwater beach providing canoe and kayak rentals.
There is just so much to do in this wonderful city! Tallahassee may mean, "deserted fields" in Apalachee, but there is nothing deserted about this place. Not only is it Florida's capital, it's a fountain of history, culture and natural beauty. So come to Florida and visit this precious gem!
For further information on the city and it's destinations, you can visit the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitor Bureau at http://www.seetallahassee.com/leoncountytdc/renderpage.asp?pageid=17.