Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

#9 in Best Things To Do in Tallahassee
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park picture1 of 2
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park2 of 2
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Key Info

3540 Thomasville Road

Details

Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.3

scorecard

  • 2.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Tallahassee is definitely a place to stop and smell the flowers. Previous travelers recommend Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. This ornamental garden is best knowns for its azaleas and camellias, but you'll also find magnolia, jasmine, gardenia and ginger in bloom. And they're all picturesquely ensconced among two nature trails, bike paths, a reflecting pool and several picnic pavilions.

Recent visitors said you'll want to linger for hours at the park to enjoy the scenery, bird-watch and relax inside of the lake's pavilion. Mountain biking, paddling, fishing and swimming are other top activities. However, there is one potential snag: There are two separate entry fees for this state park. One fee is for the actual park, while a separate fee is required to enter the gardens.

The state park and the gardens are open daily from 8 a.m. to sundown. Keep in mind: Peak bloom season runs from January through April, with the flowers peaking in mid- to late March. The house museum is open daily January through April from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can enter the park for $2 on foot, $4 in a single occupant vehicle and $6 if you're driving with one passenger or more. It costs between $3 and $6 to enter the garden, depending on age. This state parks sits about 7 miles north of downtown Tallahassee. For more information on park events and activities, visit its website.

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Located about 6 miles southwest of downtown Tallahassee near Lake Bradford and Cascade Lake, the Tallahassee Museum is the perfect attraction for those looking to have some fun outdoors. Moved to its current location in the 1960s, the museum has evolved to include 52 acres of nature trails, living exhibits of flora and fauna, historical buildings, and a zip line and aerial adventure course.

Prior travelers said the outdoor adventure activities and rare wildlife living throughout the property more than justify the museum's admission price. However, even though the on-site parking lot does offer handicapped spots, the absence of paved pathways and accessible ramps makes the property difficult for visitors with mobility limitations to traverse.

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