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A Tallahassee Visitor’s Guide for Canes-Noles

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I have great friends. And one of them (unfortunately) lives in Tallahassee. BUT, she’s giving you the scoop on where to go and what to do. So it’s good, I guess

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NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 10 Miami at Florida State Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to Tallahassee....says the sign that I’m sure exists somewhere up there in that City I’ve never personally been to. But that’s another story.

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve enlisted a good friend of mine, Robin Dunlap, to give you the lay of the land if you’re going to Tallahassee for Canes-Noles this weekend.

And, as a bonus, she and her husband Aaron (a former SOTU contributor and my freshman Spanish classmate at The U) have established the Tallahassee Miami Alumni club, and will be hosting an event there too! I know, AWESOME!

Anyways, enough from me.

Robin, take it away!


Okay friends, it is time for the SOTU Game Day Travel Guides: Florida State Edition!

Be prepared to hear the chop ad nauseum. Warning: Do NOT turn the chop into a drinking game or you will die within an hour of arriving in Tallahassee. You have been warned.

Even if you’ve been to Tallahassee before, there have likely been lots of changes since you were last here! New hotels, new bars, and definitely a whole new UM alumni club! (more on that at the end)

About Tally:

Despite being the capital, Tallahassee is a fairly small town (under 200,000 people). It has a mostly business driven downtown that is right next to both FSU and FAMU. (BTW – definitely stop by FAMU if you have time. Fantastic campus!) There are lots of chains but, if you look hard enough, we have some fantastic local places! More on that later…

Game Day Tips:

Getting around: Parking is scarce and there is almost no paid parking in town. I highly suggest Capital City Pedicabs to get around while in the Downtown/FSU area. You can flag down a driver or text 850-567-6255 for a pick up. They accept Venmo, CashApp, or cash. Try to have a cross street or Apple Map pin to share. And remember, while our motto is “Let’s Be Jerks” remember that is for the opposing fans, not the awesome people working hard to make sure we have a great time at the game.

Uber exists but is widely used by college kids as many don’t have a car and the traffic patterns change on gameday so expect lengthy wait times and possible surge pricing. Walk a few blocks to a less busy street when you can.

Traffic: On gameday TPD often change two way roads into one way roads to relieve traffic. This doesn’t always update in Apple/Google maps.

Parking: The official FSU Parking Lots Open at 10:30am. Many of the surrounding private lots will open earlier

Parking is generally available in private parking lots around the stadium (not quite the Orange Bowl lawns but close). Official FSU cash parking is available in the lots around the FSU Basketball Arena (Donald L Tucker Civic Center - 505 W Pensacola St, Tallahassee, FL 32301). Parking in these lots will be $10 per vehicle. Pedicabs are generally available to take you to the stadium.

Review the parking map below:

Getting into the Game: FSU has a similar Clear Bag Policy to NFL and the Hard Rock Stadium. You can find more information on the prohibited items and policies on the FSU clear bag policy page.

FSU traditions: There are several FSU traditions for those that are interested. You can learn more at the FSU Pregame Activities site. There is also a really bizarre Sod Cemetery just north of the stadium where they bring sod back from the fields of their big wins. It’s…a…thing?

Schedule:

12:00pm - Legacy Walk – the team enters the stadium (South End Zone, Gate K)

1:00pm - Marching Chiefs Skull Session – listen to songs from the FSU marching band written by members

2:30pm until just before kickoff – Visit Renegade in the lower west end of the stadium.

What to do in Tally

The rest of this article is split into two camps: Reliving your college years vs I’m too old for that shit.

Option 1: Reliving your college years

are you in college or just wish you still were? Prep your liver, grab your 4 Lokos, and let’s go.

HOTELS:

Closest to the Stadium and Collegetown

Hotel Indigo - In the heart of Collegetown, this is the closest hotel to the stadium and is in the heart of all the action.

Residence Inn – a great option for groups travelling together. In the heart of Gaines Street (a stretch of great bars & restaurants)

Hyatt House – Opened in 2020, it’s walking distance to a great area known as Railroad Square with a collection of bars and restaurants. It’s on the edge of the FSU bubble and walking distance to FAMU.

Aloft – A bit further away in Downtown, it’s still a quick ride into the stadium. An upscale select service hotel but gives you everything you need.

THINGS TO DO:

Friday Night Block Party – Formerly Downtown Get Down, this Block Party meets Pep Rally has moved from downtown to Collegetown. The party is 5-10pm with vendors, food/drink tents, and always features a concert. This week’s artist is Payton Smith, a country singer-songwriter.

North Florida Fair - Have some time on Friday night or Sunday? Need to cure that hangover with funnel cakes? Visit the fair!. May I suggest the “I slept in and didn’t go to church” ticket special where tickets are just $3 from Noon-1pm.

RESTAURANTS & BARS:

Tennessee Street: Also home to the only Chick-Fil-A across from a Chick-Fil-A, the main drag was Tennessee street back in the day (much like the old Grove strip). This is still the home of Pour Paul’s and Bullwinkle’s (home of the $11 pitcher of Jack & Coke). It specializes in cheap cocktails in Costco-version solo cups. Many of these bars charge cover but offer free drinks once you arrive.

Collegetown: This is the new multiuse development with fun bars, restaurants, and shops. One of the most beloved bars here is Madison Social. Highly suggest their Sunday brunch if you are staying in the area.

Gaines Street: A fantastic stretch of bars and restaurants just south of the Capitol. Highlights are Gaines Street Pies for a late night slice, Voodoo Dog for a hot dog with all the fixins, and the Wilbury for wings.

Breweries – TLH is DEFINITELY a beer town! Less than 3 mile from FSU campus you have multiple breweries and beer bars

  • Ology Brewing – They have multiple locations but I suggest their fantastic location in Midtown. They not only have a wide variety of beers but also make their own gin, rum, vodka, and newly released bourbon!
  • Proof Brewing Company – Proof beers are available in Publix around the state. Come in and try their specialty beers and enjoy their full brewpub. Interested in free Proof Beer? Stop by the pre-game pep rally with the Tallahassee Canes and enter to win a $50 gift card!
  • Oyster City Brewing – Brand new location as of 2020, their popular standbys are their Brown ales and lagers
  • Fools Fire Brewing – a tiny microbrewery in the heart of the All Saints district just off Gaines Street, this is a special destination for beer lovers

Beer Bars: We have the standard boring places like World of Beer, Brass Tap, and Miller’s but here are the local places you’ll learn to love

  • Fermentation Lounge – a small bar that takes you back to the 1950s, they have a wide range of hard to find beers on tap and by the bottle. Parking is tough so Uber/Pedicab if you can.
  • Railroad Square Craft House – a great location near campus with a large yard, group games, and a fantastic beer list. They are dog friendly as well!
  • Leon Pub – The ultimate dive bar, it is the only place that still allows smoking inside and it’s open late. They don’t have food but the coolers full of a variety of beers makes it a great late-night stop.

Option 2: I’m too old for this shit

Happy hour sound better than closing out a bar? Have a bit more money to spend than $2 you-call-it’s? This section is for you

HOTELS:

AC Marriott – This hotel opened in spring of 2021 and is gorgeous! Located in Cascades Park, it is the close to the stadium and downtown as well as the capitol

Doubletree Downtown – a longtime favorite among legislators, this hotel is in the middle of downtown on the beautiful chain of parks. It’s a bit dated but the location can’t be beat

Hotel Duval – An upscale hotel that is nice but just a little too far to be worth the walk. The rooms are nice and the roof top bar is lovely for sunsets.

THINGS TO DO:

North Florida Fair - Have some time on Friday night or Sunday? Need to cure that hangover with funnel cakes? Visit the Fair! May I suggest the “I slept in and didn’t go to church” ticket special where tickets are just $3 from Noon-1pm.

Walking/Hiking/Biking - Tallahassee has more than 700 miles of wide-open trails for running, hiking, paddling or biking or just birding or wildlife viewing. There are beautiful scenic trails even within a mile of downtown. Check out Trailahassee.com for a full map.

Cascade Park – a gorgeous park with wide, paved walking paths among fountains makes this a perfect place for a stroll. You can see a variety of historic landmarks or just take in the beautiful weather.

RESTAURANTS & BARS:

Downtown – Downtown is largely transactional so the streets tend to roll up at night. Here are the don’t miss places

Bar 1903 – a gorgeous speakeasy in an old library, this is a can’t miss experience. They have very limited seating so get there early. Trust the bartenders and you’ll be sure to find your next favorite cocktail.

Charlie Park – a stunning rooftop bar at the AC Marriott overlooking Cascades Park. Reservations are highly recommended (especially for the patio tables on the edge of the balcony). They specialize in inventive cocktails and snacks.

Il Lusso – A fine dining Italian experience all their pasta is made in house. Reservations are basically required on game weekends. Note, they charge for cancellations.

Lucilla – a hidden gem just east of Downtown, the eclectic southern menu highlights the fresh produce in the Big Bend area.

Shell’s Oyster Shack – A little hidden gem just south of Downtown and across from Proof is Shell’s. Get some fresh Apalachicola oysters and boiled shrimp. This place is CASH ONLY and does not serve alcohol (but feel free to swing into Proof to grab a crowler to bring with you).

Midtown

Liberty – Liberty is a gastropub with a fanastic bar service. They recently started opening for brunch as well.

Waterworks – A tiki bar meets upscale dive bar, this is a locals secret. Amazing drinks (make sure to give the owner, Don, a shout out). The food is good but the real star are the cocktails. Don’t be afraid to order off menu.

Table 23 - a perfect patio dining experience under the canopy trees of Tallahassee. Southern food focused with a solid cocktail list. Highly suggest their Sunday brunch

Hummingbird Wine Bar – if you are looking for a laid-back place where you won’t find any college kids, this is your place. They specialize in unique wines from unique locales so you won’t find any Kendall Jackson here. They have snacks and possibly the best Pimento Cheese in all of Tallahassee.

Breweries – TLH is DEFINITELY a beer town! Less than 3 miles from FSU campus you have multiple breweries and beer bars

  • Ology Brewing – They have multiple locations but I suggest their fantastic location in Midtown. They not only have a wide variety of beers but also make their own gin, rum, vodka, and newly released bourbon!
  • Proof Brewing Company – Proof beers are available in Publix around the state. Come in and try their specialty beers and enjoy their full brewpub. Interested in free Proof Beer? Stop by the pre-game pep rally with the Tallahassee Canes and enter to win a $50 gift card!
  • Oyster City Brewing – Brand new location as of 2020, their popular standbys are their Brown ales and lagers
  • Fools Fire Brewing – a tiny microbrewery in the heart of the All Saints district just off Gaines street, this is a special destination for beer lovers

Beer Bars: We have the standard boring places like World of Beer, Brass Tap, and Miller’s but here are the local places you’ll learn to love

  • Fermentation Lounge – a small bar that takes you back to the 1950s, they have a wide range of hard-to-find beers on tap and by the bottle. Parking is tough so Uber/Pedicab if you can.
  • Railroad Square Craft House – a great location near campus with a large yard, group games, and a fantastic beer list. They are dog friendly as well!
  • Leon Pub – The ultimate dive bar, it is the only place that still allows smoking inside and it’s open late. They don’t have food but the coolers full of a variety of beers makes it a great late-night stop.

For more information on things to do or where to stay, check out VisitTallahassee.com. Bookmark the Tallahassee Canes Page and follow us on Twitter for all the UM activities in town.

And, late addition, here’s the link to the Talahassee UM Alumni Club’s pregame event! Come join us and have some fun before we watch Miami beat FSU.....AGAIN!


Thanks so much to Robin for this wonderful and helpful guide! I’m mad she and APD aren’t having y’all over to the palatial estate, but hey, maybe after the game? lol

Enjoy your trip, if you’re going!

And as always.....

Go Canes