What's it like to live in Tallahassee, FL?


Profile written by local expert:

Nancy Moreland

Florida is known for its sandy beaches and summertime weather, but Tallahassee has a different vibe.

Located on the edge of the tree-covered Red Hills region near the border of Georgia, this state capital enjoys four distinct seasons. It boasts three institutions of higher learning: Florida State University, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College. And the city’s Southern heritage influences its architecture, landscape, attitude and pace of life.

As author Gloria Jahoda described Tallahassee in her book “The Other Florida”: "There is no other city in Florida, or in the South, quite like it."

Founded in 1824 as a stopover between St. Augustine and Pensacola, Tallahassee remains relatively remote. Still, locals are friendly and inviting, uniting every football season to cheer on their hometown heroes, the FSU Seminoles and FAMU Rattlers.

See all the best places to live in Florida.

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U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Tallahassee will be evaluated for the Best Places to Live Ranking in 2020.

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Tallahassee, FL Quick Stats

  • 377,674

    Metro Population

  • $44,390

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 33.3

    Median Age

  • $171,767

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.4%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $938

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 22.8 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Tallahassee, FL?

Local real estate remains affordable, despite rising property values. In Leon County, where Tallahassee is located, the property tax rate falls near or below the national average. There is no state income tax and no property tax on vehicles. Business owners and landlords do pay a personal property tax.

Housing Costs 2018


Tallahassee
$171,767

USA
$227,025

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Tallahassee, FL.

What's the weather like in Tallahassee, FL?

In Tallahassee, spring and fall are brief but pleasant. The short winters, though colder than in Florida’s coastal regions, seldom see below-freezing temperatures. Summers are long, hot and humid – temperatures frequently reach 90 degrees and above. The capital also receives plenty of precipitation.

What's the best way to get around Tallahassee, FL?

Driving is the most common way to get around in Tallahassee. With an average commute time below the national average and a well-connected road system, the city is easy to travel through. 

Interstate 10 facilitates east-west travel. The Capital Circle beltway connects the west, east and south sides of town. Though locally loved, nine designated tree canopy roads experience rush-hour congestion. Downtown, College Town and midtown are the most pedestrian-friendly areas of Tallahassee. Downtown parking is adequate but harder to find during college football season and homecoming weekends.

Tallahassee isn’t serviced by Amtrak trains. However, Greyhound buses connect travelers to cities throughout Florida and the United States. A commercial shuttle service also transports passengers to several major Florida cities and airports. 

Public transit includes bus routes on the StarMetro system and a low-cost shuttle van. Between certain hours, a free trolley transports patrons to dining and entertainment venues. 

Tallahassee International Airport, about seven miles from downtown, offers daily flights serviced by three airlines. Despite recent airport expansions, routes from Tallahassee remain limited and costlier than from other Florida metropolitan airports.


Commuting in Tallahassee, FL

Means of Transportation
Driving
91%
Above national average

Bicycling
1%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

22.8 minutes

3.6 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Tallahassee, FL?

Tallahassee is economically and racially diverse. Nearly half of Tallahassee’s residents have a bachelor’s degree, and most work white-collar jobs. 

Sixty-thousand or so college students aside, the population is relatively stable, with seasonal variations. For 60 days each year, Capitol Hill buzzes with business suits as lawmakers and lobbyists engage in the legislative session. In colorful contrast, an eclectic concentration of visual artists, musicians and writers live here year-round. 

In a state popular among retirees, Tallahassee is one of Florida’s youngest cities. Gen Z residents gravitate toward dormitories and apartments in College Town and midtown. A mix of professionals, families, retirees, lawmakers and lobbyists reside downtown and in midtown, in condominiums, townhomes and historic single-family homes. Middle-class neighborhoods are prevalent in outlying areas. Affluent gated communities northeast of town attract retirees, professionals and families.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


More single people in Tallahassee than
national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Tallahassee, FL?

With three higher education institutions, locals can take advantage of cultural activities, sporting events and nightlife. The two universities’ music schools host student concerts and attract professional performers. Florida State University’s art, dance and writing programs also offer events. 

Both Florida State and Florida A&M host lectures and public forums. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Florida State attracts the 55+ crowd with classes taught by university professors. The universities’ intellectual and creative influence resonates throughout town, as several community arts, theater and music organizations thrive here. 

Tallahassee also has several museums, historic sites and parks. One stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail, the iconic Bradfordville Blues Club, is just outside town. Springtime brings the Chain of Parks Art Festival and Word of South, a literary and musical celebration. During the school year, Florida State University holds its Opening Nights performing arts series.

Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate Tallahassee’s proximity to forests, lakes, rivers, springs and a 700-mile trail system. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park are within a 30-minute drive from the state capital. Fishermen and boaters access the Gulf of Mexico about 40 minutes from town; sun worshippers drive another hour to bask on white sand beaches.