Free Things To Do in Tallahassee
- #2View all Photos#2 in TallahasseeMuseums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
Tucked away inside Tallahassee's Old Capitol, the Florida Historic Capitol Museum aims to educate locals and tourists alike about Florida's political history while preserving one of Tallahassee's most architecturally stunning structures. This grand building sits at the heart of the state capital and is less than 2 miles from Florida State University and Florida A&M University, making it an ideal stop after touring the nearby campuses or roaming around downtown.
Originally built in 1845, right before Florida's entry into the Union as the 27th state, the Old Capitol was expanded and restored throughout the years to accommodate more state lawmakers. However, once the New Capitol opened in 1977, threats of demolition prompted Tallahassee residents to petition to save the historic building. Their efforts paid off, which resulted in the complete restoration of the property and reopening of it as a museum.
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Some artifacts in the Museum of Florida History date as far back as 12,000 years ago, but others are more modern like the museum's various World War II memorabilia and the model collection of naval ships. But the property's showcase item greets you at the door: an 11-foot mastodon skeleton that was originally found in Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. His name is Herman.
Be sure to budget plenty of time to wander around this downtown museum. Recent visitors recommended at least three hours to thoroughly see each of the museum's four permanent and more than 15 traveling exhibits. And for those who are feeling a bit famished, check out the property's restaurant, The Egg Express, which offers a variety of light breakfast and lunch dishes.
- #9View all Photos#9 in TallahasseeHistoric Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHistoric Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
The Knott House Museum has a historic distinction. On May 20, 1865, Brig. Gen. Edward McCook read the Emancipation Proclamation on the steps of this home (which served as the temporary headquarters of the Union Army). This day marked the newfound freedom of Florida Panhandle's slaves, an important day in state history. The home's ownership eventually passed from state physicians to Florida Supreme Court judges until it was acquired by its namesake, politician William Knott, and his wife, Luella, in 1928. During tours you'll see this Park Avenue property much as the Knotts left it and learn all about the home's significance in Panhandle and Civil War history.
Recent visitors said that touring the museum during Emancipation Week in May is a must. During the reenactment, museum staff walk visitors through the events that took place during the famous Emancipation Proclamation reading. According to museum tour guides and some visitors, a ghost is also believed to inhabit the property, adding a unique twist to this Tallahassee institution.
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