Travel Nurse Assignments: Live Like a Local – Tallahassee, FL!
Welcome to Tallahassee, FL!
When most people think of Florida, they usually think of the lively beaches of Miami, or the pristine wilderness of the Everglades. However, did you know that some of the best beaches and nature can be found near Tallahassee? Located in the Florida panhandle, Tallahassee is the capital city of Florida, and was established in 1824, when Florida was still a territory. Tallahassee may not have the glitz and glamour of Miami or Orlando, but it has quietly established itself as one of the best places to live and work in the nation. Housing is super cheap as well. The median home price for Tallahassee was $176,000, compared to $350,000 in Miami. Tallahassee is also known as one of the best college towns in America! Florida State University was recently ranked #26 of best public universities in the nation, which makes Tallahassee a great place to connect with other young professionals!
A Beachcomber’s Paradise
Tallahassee is near Florida’s Gulf Coast, which means stunning beaches are just a stone’s throw away. Miramar Beach is world renowned for it’s sugar-white-sandy beaches, and it’s a popular vacation spot with locals. Flaunting several beachfront resorts, Miramar Beach is the perfect spot to relax and play with the whole family. There’s no shortage of beach activities, and Florida’s mild climate means warm weather lasts well into Autumn! If you’re in the mood for something more lively, visit Panama City Beach, and step into a spring-break paradise! Located just east of Miramar Beach, Panama City Beach is a major hub for spring-breakers and tourists alike. Numerous beach bars and restaurants dot the boardwalk, ready to welcome famished beachcombers. Stop by Pineapple Willy’s and enjoy their signature drink, the Pineapple Willy. Or try Barefoot on the Beach, a casual dining spot serving up local seafood and delicious beach snacks, no shirt or shoes required!
Miramar Beach, FL
There’s fun to be had within Tallahassee as well. Florida State University has grown into one of the largest colleges in the nation, with an enrollment of over 40,000 students. Take a tour of the campus to get a feel for the scale of the university, and make sure to snap a selfie in front of the iconic Westcott Building and fountain. September and October means college football season, and Florida State has one of the most exciting teams around. The town is electric during the season, and Tallahassians really get into the game day festivities. Check out the Friday Night Block Party and Downtown Getdown for some tailgating with the locals. The live music and delectable food trucks will really help get you into the Seminole spirit!
If you’re feeling bold, buy a single game ticket and watch from one of the nearly 80,000 seats at Doak Campbell Stadium. If you want to watch the game in a more laid back atmosphere, stop in one of the many sports bars near the university, but get there early to ensure a seat. Andrew’s Downtown has been serving up mouth-watering cuisine since 1972, and is a popular spot among the Florida State faithful.
The Westcott Building – Florida State University campus
Life in Tallahassee
If football isn’t your fancy, there are numerous other activities to keep you entertained. History buffs will love the Mission San Luis Apalachee, located just a few blocks from the FSU campus. This reconstructed Spanish mission was the major cultural and administrative hub during colonial times, and today, the site acts as a living history museum, dedicated to preserving the stories of the Spanish and Apalachee peoples who inhabited the mission. With lots of picnic tables and nature trails as well, it’s the perfect place for a fun afternoon outing.
The Alfred B. Maclay Gardens and State Park is another great recreation spot, perfect for a peaceful walk. The state park features two lakes where you can swim and fish, and miles of hiking and biking trails. The gardens are open from January to April, but the rest of the park is open year round! It’s a great place to take the dog for a walk, or get some exercise.
Nature enthusiasts will also love the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, just 30 min. south of Tallahassee. The refuge features 68,000 acres of protected woodland, marshes, and estuaries, and is home to several rare and endangered species. St. Marks is known as a magnet for bird-watchers, and boasts some of the best bird watching in the country. Other highlights include alligators, bald eagles, and the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker.
There are alligators abound at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Unfortunately, the weather can’t be nice all the time, especially as we inch closer to the winter months. For something to do on a rainy day, head to the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum. This non-profit museum hosts an eclectic collection of rare and exotic automobiles, and is sure to please gearheads and casual admirers alike. Crowd favorites include the collection of “Batmobiles” from the comic book world of Batman, and several bat-themed vehicles used in the movies and T.V. show are on display at the museum.
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For shopping and entertainment, visit the Railroad Square Arts District, located in the heart of downtown. Railroad Square is known as Tallahassee’s creative center, with most of the city’s galleries and boutiques located here. There are countless niche stores, ideal for browsing and window shopping. Looking for an activity for all ages? Check out Flippin Great Pinball. Their unique pinball machines and old-fashioned arcade atmosphere will keep you entertained for hours. From June to December, the shops and restaurants at Railroad Square stay open later every first Friday of the month. During these “First Friday” events, the square comes alive with music, food vendors, craft beer, and cocktails.
The Crum Box Gastgarden in Railroad Square
Restaurants and Nightlife
Tallahassee’s nightlife and culinary scene doesn’t get as much attention as Miami or Orlando, but the city has been steadily building a reputation as a haven for foodies and craft beer fanatics. And no visit to the Gulf Coast would be complete without sampling the seafood. For Oysters on the half shell, try Shell Oyster Bar, a Tallahassee staple for over 75 years! Or, if you’re in the mood for some southern comfort food, try Lucilla, specializing in southern style cooking with a creole twist. Want to experience a true farm-to-table restaurant in the Florida panhandle? Now you can! Backwoods Crossing was started by two North Florida brothers, and everything on their menu is produced on their farm, or sourced from other local farmers in the region. For dessert, indulge yourself at the Sugar Rush Bar, where the sundae combinations and toppings are only limited by your imagination.
Like any good college town, Tallahassee has an eclectic collection of laid-back bars and local brewpubs, and there’s certainly no shortage near the university. Ff you’re looking to relive your glory days, Bullwinkle’s Saloon is popular with the college kids for it’s live music and insane drink specials, but please pace yourself. For something less rambunctious, Madison Social is known for their cocktail creations, and their weekend brunch, which was voted the best brunch in Tallahassee!
Proof Brewing Company has been leading Tallahassee’s craft brew charge since 2012. Since their inception, Proof has received dozens of awards both statewide and nationally. They recently expanded to a brand new production facility that spans an entire city block, complete with a tasting room! Not to be outdone, DEEP Brewing Company is another local favorite that was started by a former commercial deep sea diver. One of their signature beers is a coffee stout that’s brewed with beans from a local coffee company. In 2018, Proof and DEEP Brewing were each awarded three medals at the 2018 Florida Best Beer Competition, so it’s clear that Tallahassee is the place to be for craft beer connoisseurs.
Looking for a late night adventure? Head out to the boondocks for a concert at the Bradfordville Blues Club. Located just 10 miles north of Tallahassee, this hidden gem gives visitors a taste of the traditional blues culture of the Mississippi Delta region. Many famous blues artists perform there regularly, and it’s a unique way to have a fun night out!
A historical placard marking The Bradfordville Blues Club outside of Tallahassee
Still not sold? We have excellent benefits and compensation packages to sweeten the deal, check out the benefits page on our website to learn more! What are you waiting for? Tally is calling!
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