Your Guide to the Ultimate Rattler Experience

By Visit Tallahassee

As home to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Tallahassee welcomes thousands of students each year, including those visiting for a college tour and the students who choose to make the Capital City home for their college career and even beyond. With so much to see and do on campus, here is a roundup of “must do’s” while visiting, including that perfect spot for your best selfie both on and off campus.

WHERE TO STAY

Book your stay at the new Hyatt House Tallahassee Capitol – University, located on the edge of campus at the corner of FAMU Way and Railroad Avenue. The convenient location is adjacent to Railroad Square Art Park, the arts and creative hub surrounding the hotel.  Don’t miss the opportunity to browse the nearby galleries, shops and take in the colorful ever changing public art murals.

exterior of the hyatt house


ON CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS

Don’t miss the excitement of attending live college sports in person. Revel in a rich Rattler tradition by attending one of the many sporting events on campus. Whether taking in a football game at Bragg Stadium in the fall or a winter basketball game at the Lawson Center, there’s always an occasion to sport that Rattler Gear.

On Friday’s, students gather at Set Fridays. The event takes place in front of the Student Union, on what is known as “The Set” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Created by student entrepreneurs in 1993 to showcase their brand or products and services for sale, the event now features student clubs, organization and vendor booths (mostly students), a live D. J., and scheduled entertainment with everything from fashion shows to poetry readings.

The excitement continues on fall Friday nights during football season when Rattler fans can be found celebrating the home team at Frenchtown Rising. This free, fun-filled, family-friendly event in the historic neighborhood of Frenchtown, features live music and entertainment, food, games and fun for all extending the excitement of FAMU home football game weekends.

crowds at Frenchtown Rising

Performing Arts are alive at FAMU. Shows at Lee Hall and other campus venues feature some of the best talent in the U.S. The Essential Theatre series, the University Concert Choir and the world renowned Marching 100 are just a few to check out on a visit.

marching 100

Explore history at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives.  Located on campus in the Carnegie Library, it is one of only 10 black archives in the United States and one of the largest collections of black history in the Southeast. Each trip to the archives is guaranteed to reveal an in-depth, and honest look at history in the United States. Join the thousands of visitors from across the globe who visit the archives each year and dive into the rich history.

Young man sitting enjoying art at the black archives museum FAMU

Don’t miss the chance to take a “selfie” at the Eternal Flame. Located in the heart of Florida A&M University’s campus at the Quad, the Eternal Flame symbolizes Rattler excellence- past, present and future. The granite flame has been burning 24 hours a day since 1997.  Another great “selfie” spot is the bronze Rattler Statue.  Standing 42 feet tall the statue is found in front of the FAMU Center for Access and Student Success (CASS) Building on Wahnish Way.

rattler statureMan standing in front of FAMU's eternal flame.


OFF CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS

Explore the colorful sounds and art Railroad Square Art Park.  Known as Tallahassee’s “Art District,”  Railroad Square is the creative haven for many Tallahassee artists and other small businesses, such as vintage clothing and thrift stores, shops featuring locally-made products, and even a vintage pinball arcade. The brightly colored buildings are filled with eclectic shops and plenty of options for dining/refreshments including the Craft House, Crum BoxHalisi Africa & Zanzibar Cafe and Oh Lemonade! On the first Friday of every month, the park hosts the “First Friday Gallery Hop,” a highly popular event from 6-9pm celebrating art, music and fun.

Alice in wonderland mural at railroad square

crum box open sign

History and culture abound in Tallahassee. Stand on the steps of the Knott House Museum on where the Emancipation Proclamation was first read in Florida on May 20, 1865, a full month before June 19, 1865 when the remainder of the nation recognized that all enslaved persons were emancipated. Just steps away on Jefferson St. is the John G. Riley House and Museum. Built in 1890 by John G. Riley, local educator and civic leader, the home is the last visible evidence of Smokey Hollow, an African-American community that once thrived in downtown Tallahassee.  One block away, on the corner of Meridian and Pensacola St.  Smokey Hollow’s “Spirit Houses” replicate the shotgun houses that were common to the Smokey Hollow neighborhood.  Smokey Hollow Spirit Houses

Few sites in Florida have witnessed as much history asThe Grove Museum on N. Monroe St. Explore civil rights, American history and the families of two governors connected with the antebellum home who figured prominently in the moments that defined Tallahassee and Florida History.Visitors at the Grove Museum

 

Closer to campus in the historic Frenchtown neighborhood, the Frenchtown Historic Marker Trail is a series of plaques documenting the families, businesses, and innovators that shaped their community and the city. Select plaques are also accompanied with audio interviews from residents telling the stories of the community passed down through generations. Their voices tell the history that is often forgotten, that is now put on display to be shared by all.

Frenchtown historic marker

Dine like a college kid at these local spots found less than a few miles from campus. For southern food lovers, Olean’s Café is a must try. Led by Olean McCaskill, the business has operated at its current location across from FAMU since 1997, serving food for the soul to Rattlers, visitors, and even Presidents.  Earley’s Kitchen on S. Monroe St. has been dishing up Southern country breakfast and lunch for over 30 years. oeeans cafe owner and interior

For happy hour, craft beer lovers make their way to Proof Brewing, Co., Tallahassee’s largest brewery where guests enjoy a modern yet intimate tasting room, expansive lawn, covered patio, award-winning craft beer, and on-site restaurant called the Brew Pub.  History buffs will enjoy browsing the menu at Bar 1903,  located downtown in the historic Walker Library, the cocktail menu spans 160 years of historic drinks. Those interested in cocktails with a view can delight in the colorful city landscape from one of Tallahassee’s three rooftop bars, Charlie Park at Cascades Park, downtown at Eve on Adams or at Level 8 at the Hotel Duval.

African American couple happy hour at Eve on Adams

Guided tours are a great way to relax and learn your way around the Capital City as told the eyes of one of Tallahassee’s local experts.  Sit back and enjoy the ride as you learn about the history, sites and  people that make Tallahassee a Southern Living Top 10 City of the South.three people on a pedicab

There’s no friendlier, more intimate way to see Tallahassee than from the seat of a Capital City Pedicab. Roll up and down the famed “seven hills” of Tallahassee, traversing the downtown, Gaines Street, the city’s universities, historic sites and much more. All Aboard Capital City Tours provides a narrated sightseeing tour on an electric golf cart named Wilma,  SUV, or for groups, on Stella, a fancy trolley. To add a little adventure to your tour, check out Tallahassee Segway tours  and experience self-balancing, green technology transporters that require only a few minutes of training to ride. For Families with children or those who prefer to sit they also have a sporty two-seat scooter so everyone can join the fun.

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