Tallahassee, Florida

Best Places to Retire in Florida


Tallahassee (population 163,000) is located in the Northwestern part of the state in what is known as the Florida panhandle. It is 20 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and 14 miles from the Georgia border. Perhaps best known as the state’s capital, Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, Florida A & M University, and Tallahassee Community College. Leon County, which includes the City and surrounding area has a population of 245,000. http://www.talfov.com/

The name “Tallahassee” is from the Apalachee Indians who inhabited the region for over a thousand years. The word means “abandoned fields,” or “old town.” After the Spanish colonists had come in the 1500s, disease and fighting eventually caused the Indians to leave their village – hence it was called Tallahassee. When Florida became a Territory of the US in 1822, St. Augustine and Pensacola vied to become the capital city. Failing to reach an agreement, it was decided to locate the capital at a point in between the two cities.

Tallahassee is a small-sized with the State of Florida as its dominant employer (about 25,000), followed by Florida State University (8,800), the city of Tallahassee, and it’s largest healthcare provider. The state government also generates a large share of business activity including lodging, restaurants, legal services and associations, consultants, lobbyists, suppliers of business equipment and services, etc. There are a great many amenities, including fine dining, nightlife, theater, dance, entertainment, and visual arts. The universities bring many resources to the city, including their arts programs and athletics programs. Tallahassee enjoys excellent health care facilities and it has its own regional airport. The overall economy of the area is strong and stable, and the cost of living is somewhat below the national average.

The area around Tallahassee is hilly terrain, ranging from 65 feet to 210 feet above sea level. It has miles of canopied roads with moss-covered live and laurel oaks, pine forests. A great number of dogwoods, flowering shrubs, and wisteria can be seen in the spring. There are many lakes and unspoiled open lands that offer views of nature and opportunities for hunting or fishing. There are also 10 golf courses in the county, and it is an easy day trip to the pristine beaches along the Gulf coast.

Arts & Culture

Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center is a multi-purpose convention and entertainment facility with a 13,500-seat arena, luxury suites and club seats. It hosts a wide variety of concerts, family shows, Broadway productions, ice shows and sporting events. http://www.tlccc.org/info.html

The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra that provides a Masterworks series, holiday concerts, and young people’s concerts for the community and surrounding areas. http://www.tsolive.org/

The Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre at Florida A & M University. http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?a=headlines&p=display&news=712&archive

Florida State University Theatre – http://theatre.fsu.edu/

The Tallahassee Ballet – http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/Tallahassee_Ballet/

Young Actors Theater – http://www.youngactorstheater.com/

The Cultural Resources Commission is the local arts agency for Tallahassee and Leon County, Fla. As an advocate and coordinator of arts and cultural activities, it designs, produces and distributes a pocket guide with facts about more than 80 events and venues. http://www.netcrc.org/pocketguide.html

Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science – http://www.thebrogan.org/

John Gilmore Riley Center Museum of African American History and Culture preserves the House and the cultural and educational history of African-Americans in Tallahassee and the State of Florida. http://www.rileymuseum.org/

The Museum of Florida History collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets evidence of past and present cultures in Florida. The museum maintains permanent collections of nearly 44,000 items. The museum system includes five sites in Tallahassee: Main Gallery, the Old Capitol, Union Bank, Mission San Luis de Apalachee, and the Knott House. http://www.rileymuseum.org/

Tallahassee Museum of History & Natural Science – http://www.tallahasseemuseum.org/


Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department administers programs for citizens of all ages and maintains the parks system. There are nearly 60 parks within the city limits with a wide range of facilities, including two golf courses, seven swimming pools, more than 30 lighted tennis courts and 14 lighted racquetball courts and certified teaching professionals. There are seven community centers with daily programs for youth and adults, and there many youth and adult sports teams. The department also sponsors special events such as and Easter Egg Hunt, Fourth of July Celebrate America, and the Winter Festival. http://www.talgov.com/parks/

Florida State University has exciting big-time sports programs. http://seminoles.collegesports.com/

Leon County has 10 golf courses.

Leon_County_FL Apalachicola National Forest, just southwest of the city, is the largest national forest in the state with 564,961 acres. The main trails are the Wright Lake Trail (4.5 miles), the Trail of Lakes (6 miles) and the Leon Sinks Trail (5.4 miles). There are more than 35 boat launches and landings, and numerous smaller trails at the campgrounds and picnic areas located throughout the forest. Beautiful hiking trails, scenic areas and plenty of great fishing abound. http://www.wakullacounty.com/wakulla-6.htm

Gulf Islands National Seashore is the nations largest national seashore, stretching from Santa Rosa Island in Florida to Cat Island in Mississippi and encompassing 135, 607 acres. There are snowy-white beaches, blue Gulf waters, coastal marshlands, and dense maritime forests. The section in Florida begins west of Navarre, along Santa Rosa Sound. http://www.nps.gov/guis/


Florida State University is one of the 10 state universities that comprise the Florida State University System. The main campus in Tallahassee enrolls the vast majority of its 37,000+ students. The university has 17 major academic divisions and offers courses of study in 26 disciplines. http://www.fsu.edu/

Florida A & M University, founded in 1887 as State Normal College for Colored Students, is today a thriving university with a 419-acre campus and student enrollment of nearly 3,000. It offers 62 bachelor’s degrees in 103 academic majors, and 36 Master’s degrees. http://www.famu.edu/

Tallahassee Community College has nearly 12,000 full-time students. http://www.tcc.cc.fl.us/

Senior Programs

Tallahassee Senior Center promotes and provides wellness and aging programs, services and resources through educational, social, recreational and health activities. http://www.talgov.com/

Tallahassee Meals-on-Wheels and Senior Meals Programs. http://www.mealcall.org/meals-on-wheels/fl/tallahassee.htm


Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare provides a comprehensive system of services which includes its 770-bed acute care hospital, a teaching institution with a Family Practice Residency Program that has a clinic and 11 satellite facilities in five counties. http://www.tmh.org/

Capital Regional Medical is an acute care hospital with 180 beds serving North Florida and Southern Georgia. http://www.tallahasseehospital.com/


Tallahassee Regional Airport is located on a 2,743-acre site, seven miles southwest of the central business district. http://www.talgov.com/airport/


Average high temperature for January is 64 and the low is 40. In July the average high is 91 and the low is 71 degrees. July typically has 22 days above 90 degrees. http://www.wunderground.com/US/FL/Tallahassee.html


Tallahassee Democrat – http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/democrat/

Property Taxes

Leon County Appraiser’s Office – http://www.talgov.com/airport/  

State Taxes


Chamber of Commerce


State Aging Agency



Thomasville, GA – 34 miles
Valdosta, GA – 83 miles
Albany, GA – 97 miles
Gainesville – 150 miles
Jacksonville – 164 miles
Pensacola – 197 miles
Orlando – 257 miles

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