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A Granola Girl’s Guide to Tallahassee

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

When I first moved to Tallahassee as a transfer student from the Northeast, I distinctly remember asking my new friends what fun things they recommend to do as young college students in Tallahassee. To my dismay, almost everyone I talked to responded with an eye roll or a groan before saying something along the lines of “there’s nothing to do here but party.” I felt my heart sink a little more each time as I would ask new people I met what cool things they liked to do as Florida State University (FSU) students. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with partying– but partying can’t be the end-all-be-all for students at FSU. For me, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle to only alternate between late-night Y-bombs at Clyde’s and monotonous lectures during the daytime.

If you look up “granola girl” on any social media platform, you will certainly see girls boasting their crystal collections, custom Chacos or backyard gardens. Personally, I have always cringed at broad terms such as “It-Girl” and “granola girl” because I believe that even if a girl has certain stylistic choices or lifestyle habits, the human being is multi-faceted and should not be shelved into a subgroup of personality types with a blanket name. However, every Gen Z individual today who uses social media recognizes the “granola girl” as an outdoorsy, modern-day hippie who cares about the environment and her connection with nature. So, for this article, I am using the term “granola girl” to reach the outdoorsy students at FSU who I know exist (despite popular belief) and expose some of Tallahassee’s most popular spots for granola girls I’ve met.

Tallahassee Nurseries

Tallahassee Nurseries was one of the first places I went to as a plant-fanatic living in Tallahassee. Even if I’m not buying a plant, it’s one of my favorite places to browse with friends because of the serene scene of idyllic oak trees and chirping birds that surround acres of plants. From tropical flowers to carnivorous plants, the nurseries have a wide array of plants to choose from and I am constantly finding new types to explore. (Insider tip: Go to the nurseries on a Tuesday afternoon to enjoy a nice cup of coffee from the Frother’s Daughter food truck while you shop for plants)!

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

One of the first dates I went on in Tallahassee was at the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens and it did not disappoint! These gardens made me feel like I was the main character of The Secret Garden as I got lost in the numerous trails that went through botanical gardens around ponds. Eventually, I ended up overlooking the beautiful Lake Hall. At the Alfred Maclay Gardens, you will find yourself traipsing through vine-covered doors alongside blooming rose bushes, and I can’t think of a better way to spend your day if you are trying to unwind and reset from the stresses of school.

A.J. Henry Park

A.J. Henry Park is one of the lesser-known places in Tallahassee among college students. I am so happy I found it because it has been a favorite spot of mine to have picnics, go on runs or bring a few canvases and paint with friends. A.J. Henry has several trails to choose from and offers picnic shelters, creeks and some gopher tortoises who just might come out to say hello.

Alchemy Climbing

Less than a fifteen-minute drive from campus, Alchemy climbing offers auto belay, toprope climbing, lead climbing and bouldering for people of any experience. If you’re looking to meet some fun people and get a good sweat in, Alchemy is for you! While they do offer monthly memberships, it costs less than $20 for a single climbing session.

Frenchtown Farmer’s Market

If you are a vegan Granola Girl or if you want to shop from local farmers, the Frenchtown Farmer’s Market is the perfect place to spend your Saturday afternoon and restock on produce for the week. The Frenchtown Farmer’s Market offers locally sourced plants, herbs, jams, produce, honey and even dessert! I love spending my day in the sun, chatting with local farmers while I explore the delicious produce they have to offer.

Railroad Square

Even granola girls need to treat themselves sometimes! Do you feel like you need a shopping day? Railroad Square is within walking distance from campus and offers a wide array of shops and food. My favorite local thrift shops there are Olde Fields Clothing and The Other Side Vintage. After browsing some vintage goods, I always stop by one of my favorite plant shops, NorthFlora Collective. NorthFlora even has a free plant-cutting swap wall of propagated plants you can bring home! Now that it’s fall out, I would definitely end my day in Railroad Square with a nice rose latte from the Square Mug Cafe.

FSU Clubs

While I love supporting local small businesses, farmers, and Florida parks, there are many clubs on campus at Florida State that engage with the outdoors and are free to join for students. FSU Biking Club offers opportunities to meet other FSU students while biking together through beautiful parts of Tallahassee. Thrift Club hosts numerous clothing exchanges and thrift outings to local thrift shops. If you are scuba certified or are interested in becoming certified, the Seminole Scuba Club dives around Florida together to explore some of Florida’s hidden natural gems. Surf Club travels to North Florida beaches to catch some waves, no experience necessary! Finally, my personal favorite: Plant club! Plant club often has plant swaps and is a fun way to meet fellow granola students who also have a passion for plants!

While there are many more places and activities in Tallahassee to let your granola-girl colors shine through, these are some of the most popular places for FSU students. Tallahassee is a wonderful town, and despite what some people may tell you, has ample opportunities for outdoorsy individuals if you go outside and find them.

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Abby is a third-year at Florida State majoring in International Relations and minoring in Underwater Crime Scene Investigation. When she isn't studying or writing, you can find her hiking, thrifting, watching movies, or reading a good book.