Tallahassee is a Mid-sized mix of several defining elements. It is the state’s capital but bears little resemblance to the coastal cities more aligned with the Florida image. It is a college town, home to the 35,000-student Florida State University and the smaller Florida A&M, but doesn’t come across as a typical college town. It is, both in character and appearance, more of a Southern city than a Florida one – laid back, dignified buildings and grid streets with a canopy of large trees, forests and cotton fields outside of town.
Pluses include a few college-town amenities, particularly sports, nightlife and healthcare facilities, and high educational attainment. Home prices haven’t escalated as much as in other Florida cities, and Tallahassee has good home values and neighborhoods. For that reason, the area is starting to become more popular for retirees looking for a pleasant climate, less crowding and some intellectual stimulation. Outdoor recreation opportunities lie in the Apalachicola National Forest and beach areas just south of town. With 36 days below freezing, Tallahassee is by far the coldest metro area in Florida, although hardly cold by national standards.
Local terrain is rolling, with rich, red soil and forests of live oak, pine, magnolia, and a variety of other subtropical vegetation. Numerous lakes surround the area, and the countryside is famous for its “canopy roads” - long stretches of road completely sheltered by overhanging live oak trees. The climate is mild and moist with distinct seasons. Winter brings considerable rain and cloudiness, with temperatures occasionally dropping into the teens. Summer is the least pleasant season- high temperatures and very high humidity cause considerable discomfort, plus thunderstorms occur every other day.