With an elevated boardwalk guiding you through picturesque cypresses along the floodplain of Lake Bradford, the Tallahassee Museum is a compelling destination simply for a walk in the woods along its trail system. But this comprehensive natural and cultural museum is a family destination offering much more than just beautiful views.
Lat-Lon: 30.410841, -84.343342
Fees: $9 adults, $8.50 seniors and college students with ID (65+), $6 ages 4-15
Open: Mon-Sat 9-5, Sun 11-5
The Tallahassee Museum isn’t at all what you’d expect from a museum. Gentle footpaths and boardwalks blend into the natural surroundings, winding through Florida habitats alive with native wildlife like bald eagles, alligators, Florida panthers, and river otters. From its perch in a live oak tree, a gray fox peered down calmly. Albino squirrels, native to this spot, show up distinctly against the massive cypresses along Lake Bradford.
One corner of the complex is devoted to the Big Bend Farm, a living history area that shows Florida as it used to be: Workshops demonstrate shucking corn and pressing cane for sugar. On the opposite side of the entrance are several historic structures moved here for conservation and interpretation of regional history. These include the 1897 Concord School, the first post-Reconstruction school where freed slaves were taught, and Princess Catherine Murat’s 1850s manor home, moved here from the Bellevue cotton plantation, as well as a 1924 Florida East Coast Railroad caboose. Behind these historic sites, a network of natural footpaths ramble through the forest, providing another spot for a gentle stroll in nature.