About Florida's Forgotten Coast
Tallahassee, “North West”
Tallahassee’s northwest is more elusive than the other three quadrants. It might be the area offering the most long-term opportunities for investors (speculators?); and it certainly is the most rural section of town.
Tallahassee, “South East”
This quadrant is where the most innovations can be noticed. Of all the novelties, one especially stands out: the huge development known as SouthWood – the child of the St. Joe Company, formerly the forestry giant of Florida, launched in the early decades of the twentieth century by Alfred Dupont (of du Pont de Nemours fame). It includes massive, yet elegant, new administrative offices for the State; and a residential development offering a variety of life-styles, ranging from smaller townhomes to luxurious estates.
Tallahassee, “South West”
This is where you will find the Florida State University (FSU) and Florida Agricultural & Manufacturing University (Florida A&M; or FAMU) campus. This is also where the airport is located.
Florida State University, established in 1851, is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida. FSU has 16 colleges, offering more than 300 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional and specialists degree programs, including medicine and law, covering a vast array of disciplines critical to society.
Florida A&M University was named one of the “Best Colleges in the Southeast” in the Princeton Review 2012 edition. FAMU was the only historically African-American college or university that is ranked in the Top 15 with Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton.
Additional Universities and Colleges in Tallahassee located in the Southwest Quadrant:
- Barry University School of Adult and Continuing Education—Tallahassee Campus
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Flagler College – Tallahassee Campus
- ITT Technical Institute
- Keiser University – Tallahassee (the only college located in the Northeast Quadrant)
- Lewis M. Lively Area Vocational-Technical School
- Saint Leo University – Tallahassee Campus
- Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee, Florida’s state capital, is where Florida’s Prime Meridian originates. This Meridian is the basis of all real property legal descriptions in Florida. Anything west of it will carry a “W”. Anything east will be branded with an “E”. Where can I find this Prime Meridian might you ask? Just look up Meridian Road, a street with a north-south orientation in Tallahassee, and you will have found it. Having thus cut Tallahassee into two halves, the east and west halves; we are left to complete our work and draw another line, east to west this time, following more-or-less Highway 20 and Pensacola Street, and we end up with four quarters: NE, NW, SE and SW. They each have a distinct personality. They each have many different attributes. Which one best fits your personality is up to us to present; and up to you to choose… Yet, before introducing the specificities of each, let’s start with the common threads.
The economy within the city is widespread and diverse with multiple industries providing employment opportunities, including educational, health, public administration, retail trade, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services, professional, scientific, management, administrative. Residents with children from grades K-12 will find the proper educational amenities through the Leon County School District. Those in pursuit of a college degree will find ten local college and university campuses, including Florida State University. Nearby parks and recreational areas include St. George Island Park, Maclay Gardens State Park, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park and River Bluff Picnic Site, Native American Archaeological sites and museums to visit.
Tallahassee is a College town; it is the capital of the State of Florida; and it is anchored in Southern culture (unlike most of the state south of a line joining Daytona on the Atlantic and the northern most suburbs of Orlando and Tampa). It is a regional center, surrounded by national centers with an international flair: Atlanta (280 miles to the north), Tampa, Orlando and Miami (respectively 260, 270 and 460 miles to the south). Tallahassee is just one hour away from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is located on the main east-west axis in the nation: I-10 (a freeway linking Los Angeles with Jacksonville, Florida).
Tallahassee is a center for trade and agriculture in the Florida. With one of the fastest growing manufacturing and high tech economies in Florida, its major private employers include a General Dynamics Land Systems manufacturing facility (military and combat applications), the Municipal Code Corporation, which specializes in the publication of municipal and county legal references, and a number of national law firms, lobbying organizations, trade associations and professional associations, including the Florida Bar and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
It is recognized as a regional center for scientific research, and is home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the largest and highest-powered magnet research laboratory in the world.
Tallahassee is the twelfth fastest growing metropolitan area in Florida. Tallahassee’s 12.4 percent growth rate is higher than both Miami and Tampa and half that of Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Naples-Marco Island.
Transportation in Tallahassee
The Tallahassee Regional Airport is served by four major airlines (including their subsidiary carriers) which enables travelers to fly to virtually every major destination in the world.
StarMetro, the city-owned and operated bus service for Tallahassee, Florida previously known as TalTran, operates 12 cross-town routes, as well as the university shuttles serving Florida State University and Florida A&M University. In addition, StarMetro operates routes serving Tallahassee Community College. Students attending FSU, FAMU and TCC may ride StarMetro’s routes for free – anytime, anywhere.
StarMetro’s paratransit service, Dial-A-Ride provides transit service for senior and disabled customers living within three-quarters of a mile of a StarMetro fixed route in an unincorporated area. On average StarMetro provides nearly 4.5 million trips per year.
In addition to all of the college sports activities offered by the various colleges and universities with campuses in Tallahassee, there are many other options available to residents.
There are nine public, semi-private and private golf courses located in every quadrant of the city.
- Cross Creek Golf Course
- Hilaman Golf Course
- Jake Gaither Golf Course
- Seminole Golf Course
- The Golf Club at Summerbrooke
- SouthWood Golf Club
- Capital City Country Club
- Golden Eagle Golf & Country Club
- Killearn Country Club & Inn
The 571,000-acre Apalachicola National Forest, the largest national forest in Florida, lies just southwest of Tallahassee. Richly diverse, it is a landscape of ephemeral ponds, pitcher-plant bogs, endangered and threatened plant and animal species, and sensitive cultural sites that could yield valuable insights about our ancestors. It contains two Wilderness Areas, Bradwell Bay and Mudswamp/New River, and several special purpose areas such as the Camel Lake Recreation Area, Fort Gadsden Historical Site, Leon Sinks Geological Area, Silver Lake Recreation Area and Wright Lake Recreation Area. The Apalachicola National Forest offers boating and fishing along the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola rivers, and swimming in the numerous lakes. Trails and roads accommodate hiking, mountain-bike riding, horseback riding, and off-road ATV and motorcycle riding. primitive camping is allowed throughout the forest.
Regional State Parks
Falling Waters State Park – Hundred-foot deep, 20-foot wide cylindrical pit. A small stream which drops 67 feet to the bottom of the sink, flows into the pit.
Florida Caverns State Park – Caves contain dazzling formations of stalactites, stalagmites and other geological features. Boating, fishing, camping, and nature trails. Nine-hole, Robert Trent Jones-designed Florida Caverns Golf Course.
Forest Capital Museum State Park – Dedicated to longleaf pines and the timber industry.
Lake Jackson Mounds State Archeological Site – One of the most important archaeological sites in Florida, a former chiefdom and ceremonial center of the Fort Walton Culture. The park includes all or part of three mounds in a complex that originally included six mounds.
Natural Bridge Battlefield State Historic Site – Site of the Battle of Natural Brudge, which preserved Tallahassee as the only Confederate Capitol east of the Mississippi River never to fall into Union Hands. Re-enactment of the battle is held in March.
The City of Tallahassee operates and maintains a number of parks, many with amenities such as playgrounds, open grass areas, picnic tables, sports fields, tennis courts:
Greenways and Trails
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park Trails is located between urban Tallahassee and suburban Leon County, offering a nice blend of southern charm and recreational activities. The park has formal gardens, two lakes and a series of trails, all on former plantation lands at the foot of the Red Hills district. Many trail-enthusiasts enjoy the unpaved trails in the Lake Overstreet portion of the park. Hikers, bikers and equestrians enjoy the beauty of the area, which serves as an integral link in the Maclay/Phipps Cultural heritage Greenway. Recreation includes biking, hiking, horseback riding and paddling by canoe or kayak.
Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park Red Bug Trail is about three miles long and offers a technically challenging ride with numerous roots, rocks and wetland areas through several ecosystems. Users will trek through a longleaf pine ecosystem, home to the red-cockaded woodpecker. As the trail drops in elevation, moisture-loving trees, such as the beech and southern magnolia dominate.
Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway parallels six miles of Tallahassee’s historical canopy roads through 500 acres of the Red Hills region of North Florida. The trail traverses rolling hills in hardwood and pine forests, interspersed with large pastures. Along the trail, users may observe more than 46 species of birds.
Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail runs from Florida’s capital city, past the Apalachicola National Forest, ending in the coastal community of St. Marks. This historic railroad corridor was used to carry cotton from the plantation belt to the coast for shipment. Today, the paved trail provides a workout for road cyclists, walkers and skaters.
Less than an hour’s drive from Tallahassee, the beaches begin at Wakulla County locations such as Shell Point. Heading west, the beaches continue through Alligator Point and Carrabelle Beach, to St. George and Dog Islands, and to Cape San Blas in Gulf County.