The Freshman's Guide to Tallahassee

It’s your first semester of college, and you made it! Welcome to Tallahassee. Being a freshman in a busy college town (especially a national championship-winning town) can be somewhat overwhelming at first. There are new people, new places, and new experiences to have. Since Tallahassee will be your home for the next four or so years, take advantage of everything this place has to offer. While going out is always a good time, there are way more things to do than going to the Strip every weekend. Although this makes me sound really old, I’ve been here since 2010 now and have grown to love Tallahassee – and it will always hold a special place in my heart, no matter where I end up in life. Aside from going to the best school in the nation, you’re lucky enough to live in a very cool town that has a lot of fun things for you to do.

1.     Should we start with food? Yeah, let’s start with food

While Tally does have the typical chain restaurants, we are super #blessed to have some amazing local choices in town that are insanely unique, fun, and most of all, delicious. It’s important to note here that you won’t find certain restaurants anywhere else but right here in Tallahassee – and, trust me, there are a lot. Like I said, I’ve been here since 2010 and haven’t even been to half of the places that this town has to offer, but you’re all lucky and have time to try it all. Merv’s Melt Shop, Kool Beanz, Madison Social, Gordo’s, Guthrie’s, Monk’s, Gaines (and Midtown) Street Pies, Pitaria, Canopy Road Café, Jasmine Café, Food Glorious Food, Bandidos Burritos, Hobbit American Grill. I know I’m not even close to naming everything, but there’s a list to get you started on your journey to food heaven.

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2.     Spending all the money you don’t have: shopping

Okay, we get it – this isn’t Miami with its luxurious outlet malls and mega malls filled to the brim with designer stores and boutique chocolate stores where you can get gold flakes on truffles, or whatever the hell they do there. We are in North Florida, which is more of a “southern” area (for folks that live in Orlando, Tampa, and areas further south), so expect to have different choices. While it may be a bit of a materialistic shock to you, you’ll still be able to find everything you need here. Governor’s Square will be your best choice for an actual mall experience (stores worthy of noting: Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Macy’s, Torrid, Wet Seal, Express, PacSun, Hollister, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, PINK, and a brand new H&M). For a smaller, boutique experience, try Reef Boutique, I Am Kouture, and Henri Girl. My friend and former Her Campus FSU Editor in Chief Kalie Marsch also wrote an article last year discussing her favorite boutiques in Tallahassee, so check out what she has to say.

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3.     Getting a breath of fresh air

Homework, papers, tests, classes, and work may get a tad overwhelming at times, which is expected in college. When you’re one lecture away from internally exploding, it’s nice to go somewhere to explore and see just how beautiful this town really is. There’s WAY more to Tallahassee than what’s just outside of campus – you just have to make the time to see it all. Cascades Park is new and so pretty. Tom Brown Park is enormous and has a lot of space for running around with your dog or having a sweet picnic with your boo thang. The Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park has flowers galore and is just gorgeous to have a nice stroll through. If you’re feeling fishy, check out the Leon Sinks, Wakulla Springs, or drive on over to the Rez to take a dive in the refreshing water with your friends. Whatever is driving you to explore nature, Tallahassee has plenty to offer. Take advantage of it.

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4.     Downtown lovin’

It’s football season (the most wonderful time of the year), and that means Downtown Getdown. Each Friday before a home game, you can expect to have a great time with other students and Noles fans from all over the nation downtown while you enjoy some amazing school spirit. It’s like a giant outside pep rally, but with awesome food and live music (and alcohol…but you know, only if you’re 21). Once the spring flowers start blooming, Springtime Tallahassee will be here – which is only the biggest festival of the season in town. There are always different art festivals, performances, and concerts happening, which gives you the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the Tallahassee culture.

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