Tallahassee’s Five Must-Visit Nature Attractions

As Tallahassee temperatures begin to drop, now is the perfect time to get out of the house and explore what this lovely town of ours has to offer. However, where does one begin? From food to fine arts to facilities, there is always something new to explore. In this blog, we will focus on the nature-rich environments in, around, and beyond the Tallahassee area.

1. St. Marks Lighthouse

A little less than an hour’s drive south from the center of town, St. Marks Lighthouse is a historic site off of the Gulf Coast offering trails, fishing, wildlife viewing, environmental education and more! From late October to early November, Monarch butterflies make their annual migration, taking a break near trees around the pier and lighthouse. St. Marks should be your next weekend getaway if a picnic with some butterflies sounds like your ideal way to spend your day. 

The park is open year-round during daylight hours with an all-day entry fee of $5 for cars and motorcycles.

2. Leon Sinks Geographical Area

If walking through trees is more your style, then Leon Sinks is right for you. A short 20-minute drive south from the center of Tallahassee will take you to this Geological area, containing 5 miles of trails that snake around large and small sinkholes. While swimming in the sinkholes is prohibited, the three trails bring you in tune with Mother Nature once again.

 From October to March, the park is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m with an all-day entry fee of $5 per vehicle. 

3. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Take a 30-minute drive south from the center of Tallahassee to see the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs at Wakulla Springs! While taking a dip into the cold 60 degree waters might not appeal to everyone, guided boat tours, horseback riding, hiking and bicycling might. Interested in staying overnight? Wakulla has its own historic lodge built 90 years ago. They also have a full-service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. Admission to the park is $6 per vehicle between 2-8 occupants and $4 per vehicle with a single occupant. River Boat tours are an additional $8 for those 13 years and up, $5 for those between 3 and 12 years of age, and free for those who are under 3 years of age.

4. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

The beautiful gardens, architecture and reflection pool at Alfred B. Maclay are a true sight to behold. While October, November, and December might not be peak blooming season, this state park still manages to surprise. The park features trails for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, a large picnic area, a museum as well as a lake to swim in. 

The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sunset, daily, The Maclay House museum is open January through April 9:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. daily. Admission is $6 per vehicle and does not include garden entry. Garden entry is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 2-12.

5. St. George Island

St. George Island is the furthest nature spot from the center of Tallahassee at about 1 hour and 40 minutes away. This 28-miles long island is one of the last inhabited yet unspoiled barrier islands in Florida. Low-density zoning and strict building codes make the island a quiet beach community. It is perfect all year round with many activities like biking, kayaking, swimming, camping and more! The island has some sustained damage from Hurricane Michael, but it is still open for visitors. 

The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. Admission is $6 per vehicle.

Which Tallahassee nature spot will you visit this fall and winter season?

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