Breaking the Tallanasty stereotype
Why the Gators have it all wrong
Have any of your friends (ahem, Gators) ever said they wouldn’t visit you because of Tallahassee’s poor reputation? Well now you have an argument against your Gator friends who all seem to think that Tallahassee is not worth the visit. There is a prevalent stereotype amongst UF and FSU students alike that Tallahassee, a.k.a. Tallanasty, has little to offer except filthy people and places. This is a false stereotype! Tallahassee has so much to offer once you venture away from venues like The Strip and Coliseum. This town is full of beauty and opportunity, including numerous parks, local music and events.
Cascades Park is a great escape from the chaos of campus life. Its the perfect place for a short walk or to kick back and read a book. Also, many local events are held here, including concerts and festivals because of the state of the art amphitheater and stellar location.
Lichgate on High Road is a hidden gem. It’s the ideal location to get some homework done or just hangout with your friends and a great alternative to the usually overcrowded Landis Green. Lichgate is also rich in history. The fairy-tale like oak tree and cottage were the brainchild of Dr. Laura Jepsen, a Florida State english professor for more than 30 years.
The Rez is one of the better-known places for students to venture off campus and get some fresh air. I definitely recommend going if you haven’t as they offer free canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals to FSU students. You can also try your luck at the FSU Challenge rock climbing wall (its harder than it looks, trust me). But, if none of those activities are your cup of tea, you can always lay out in the sun or go for a dip in the river.
If you are looking for something a little more outdoorsy, Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park is the place for you. The park has two nature trails, as well as the opportunity for birding, wildlife viewing and picnicking. More than eight centuries ago, Native Americans inhabited the land, making the site rich in both history and culture. And as you can see above, its beautiful.
Contrary to popular belief, Tallahassee has a pretty kick-ass music scene. There are many shows every week featuring local and non-local talent. The more popular venues include The Side Bar off of Gaines Street, Club Downunder on campus, Pug’s Live on Tharpe and the Shark Tank off of Jackson Bluff. Additionally, many of the bars around town feature local bands all the time.The shows are always fun and super inexpensive (some are even free)! Who knows, you might even be able to meet the band after the show.
There are many events that take place in Tallahassee, some even weekly, which exhibit the communities art, music, food and more. My favorite of these events is First Friday at Railroad Square. All of the art galleries, stores, restaurants and food trucks in the area stay open late the first Friday of each month for the local Tallahassee community to enjoy. The event usually features live music as well.
Another great local event is Food Truck Thursdays at Lake Ella. Every Thursday evening numerous gourmet food trucks gather at Lake Ella from 5-10 p.m. And if you’re tired of grocery shopping at the overcrowded Publix on Ocala, check out the Tallahassee Downtown Market on Park Avenue. Every Saturday the market opens at 9 am, featuring local produce, restaurants and art. I always go to get the freshest in-season produce.
Did I mention that every place talked about is 15 minutes or fewer from campus? You don’t have to venture far to experience what wonderful places and events Tallahassee has to offer. These are just a few I’ve discovered during my time in Tallahassee. Next time your friend uses the excuse that they refuse to visit you because Tallahassee is “nasty,” tell them about all of these amazing assets the city has to offer.