Tallahassee, Florida

Stop Calling It Talla-nasty!

The BUZZ

What's it like to live in Tallahassee

What is it like to live in Tallahassee, FL?

Incredibly humbling and amazing. It is the best of a transitional metropolitan-like city, bursting with cultural influences from all over the country, while simultaneously giving you the the small town, connected community vibes.

hands down, some of the most kindest and welcoming people that I've met in my life all came through Tallahassee, and if it wasn’t for the HORRIFIC flight prices to get in and out of the city, I would move back there tomorrow, have a whole gang of babies, teach for my Alma mater and love my soul mate/loved ones on the daily. Tallahassee is the perfect foundation for good living.

What is it like to live in Tallahassee, FL?

Like anywhere there are good and bad things. The key is managing expectations. For a mid-sized town, it has a lot of activities that won’t bust your wallet thanks to a large university presence. The temperate climate allows a lot of outdoor activities. The terrain is more Georgia than south Florida so there are a lot of lakes, rivers and woods for hunting and fishing. Beaches are an easy drive away if that’s what you want.

Employment is not one of our better successes. Tallahassee came into being as a compromise when Florida became a state and for a very long time there are only three employment choices: state government (low pay, frustrating bureaucracy and declining benefits), universities (somewhat better pay but still on the low side, cut-throat academic politics, high turnover), and the service industry (lousy pay, poor employee-employer mutual respect, and very high turnover). If you’re in the technology sector, your choices are somewhat better but benefits and job stability are poor.

The universities are both a blessing and a curse. They provide a lot of cultural and entertainment opportunities at reasonable prices but also a lot of alcohol/drug related issues that you’d expect from a young, transient crowd. Students are often preyed upon by criminals, especially when it comes to affordable housing. Safety is a real concern.

We don’t have Broadway but we do have a thriving theater culture with a lot to choose from. We have a very diverse music scene. The best part is it is easy to become a participant rather than simply a spectator. If you want something really unique, check out the FSU Flying High Circus.

Yes, college football is not a religion; it’s much more important than that. We do love our football but you don’t have to participate. Just be patient with the ones who do. It only lasts a few months.

What is it like to live in Tallahassee, FL?

I'm proud to say I grew up in Tallahassee, and now that I've moved away from it, I feel a gaint feeling of nastalgia everytime I visit it. Tallahassee is a smaller town, but it is not a small town.

Tallahassee has every creed, race, religion, class, and personality type you can imagine.. It's what you make of it and also the area you live in can play a big role on your experience, but that is too long of a post to break down every area of town.

Not as vast in comparison to bigger cities but Tallahassee does have a strong locally ran communities: Railroad Square is the art district of town (First Friday attracts a good crowd, especially during school months) some bohemian galleries, shops, even eccentric decorated buildings that are open just for ambiance sake; Tons of locally owned food places scattered all over town; Lake Ella is a park that has a nice collection of locally owned cafes, coffee shops, and general stores.

Yes, college football pride runs deep here, but it is not everything and you can hide out easily from it, unless you live on campus; i'll hand that to you.

pros and cons of living in tallahassee

For context, I moved to Tallahassee in the mid-90’s and have been here ever since.

Pros:

Mild winter, beautiful spring & fall

People in general are quite friendly

Very good craft beer scene, solid dining options (though not on par with larger cities)

Quick and easy to get anywhere in town by car by car (rush “hour” is more like 20 min, and traffic is laughable compared to any metro area)

Tons of outdoor activities

Cost of living is pretty cheap

Gulf coast beaches are only a couple of hours away and are stunningly gorgeous.

Cons:

Summer is HOT and long

Airport facility is nice, but it’s small and flight options are VERY limited. Expect to connect to almost anywhere you want to go, and for prices to usually be a good bit higher than you expect. Most locals end up driving to Jax, Orlando or even Atlanta to catch better flights. (This is, without question, the thing I like least about living here.)

Tallahassee is kind of remote. It’s 2+ hours to Jacksonville, which is the closest city-like place. In-between is a whole lot of nothing.

There’s still kind of a dearth of options for young professionals. Tons of college students. Tons of established families who’ve settled down. In-between is way better than it used to be, but still kind of a lost population here.

Living in Tallahassee - What I love and what I am not so crazy about