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12 Things to Know Before Moving to Tallahassee, FL 2023

Tallahasse Florida City Moving

Thinking about calling Tallahassee, FL home? Let me share a bit of my personal journey and the top ten things I’ve come to adore about this city!

Firstly, did you know Tallahassee is Florida’s heart, being its capital? Nestled just 22 miles from the Gulf of Mexico’s inviting shores, this city has a rich tapestry of history dating back to 1824. I remember my first visit to the city, feeling the weight of its historical significance and the vibrant energy of a college town, thanks to the two major universities that have called it home for over 150 years.

One of my favorite memories is attending the local festivals. Tallahassee is a hub for family-friendly activities, thrilling events, and mouth-watering cuisine. And the beaches? Oh, the beaches! Some of the world’s top-rated ones are right here. I’ve spent countless hours basking in the sun, feeling grateful for the blend of urban conveniences and natural beauty.

With nearly 200,000 residents, each with their unique stories, Tallahassee has a warm, welcoming vibe. The city’s growth, at a steady 0.74% annually, is a testament to its allure. And if you’re like me, preferring the quieter, less touristy spots, you’ll appreciate its location near the Georgia border. The streets here have a calmness, a laid-back charm that’s a refreshing contrast to the hustle of southern Florida.

So, if you’re contemplating a move, dive deeper into what Tallahassee offers. I did, and it’s been a love affair ever since!

Stuff To Know

1. Let’s Talk Expenses!

When I was weighing my options on where to move, the cost of living was right at the top of my checklist. It’s not just about the big picture; it’s the day-to-day expenses that can make or break a decision. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of Tallahassee’s financial landscape.

First off, here’s a silver lining: living in Tallahassee will save you a bit! The city’s cost of living sits comfortably 4% below the national average. I was pleasantly surprised to find that housing and utilities are a bargain, being 10% to 13% cheaper than most places in the U.S. But, a heads-up for the foodies: you might find your grocery bills a tad steeper here, with prices about 8% above the national norm.

Now, here’s the game-changer: Florida doesn’t pinch you with state taxes. This was a massive relief for me! While you might be spending a bit more on groceries, the absence of state taxes in Tallahassee means those paychecks feel a bit heftier. It’s like a financial seesaw that balances out in the end.

2. Housing Market

Housing Market

If you’re like me, hunting for a home in a place that’s both affordable and not too cutthroat, then Tallahassee might just be your sweet spot. I remember 2022 being quite the rollercoaster for housing markets everywhere. But as the year wound down, Tallahassee’s market began to show signs of equilibrium, not leaning too heavily in favor of sellers.

Here’s a snapshot from my memory lane: In December 2022, the median sale price for homes here was $255,000, marking a 16% hike from the previous year. But here’s the silver lining for buyers: homes typically sold for about 2% less than their listing price and stayed on the market for an average of 50 days. And yes, while these homes did attract multiple offers, it wasn’t the frenzy seen in some other cities.

However, a curious trend I noticed was the dip in the number of homes sold. December 2022 saw 186 homes changing hands, a stark contrast to the 346 homes sold in December 2021. It seemed like Tallahassee’s residents were holding onto their nests a bit tighter than before.

3. Higher Education

For those with an eye on collegiate studies, Tallahassee is nothing short of a goldmine. The city is home to two iconic institutions: Florida A&M University and Florida State University (FSU).

FSU, in particular, is a name that resonates far beyond Florida’s borders. As a premier public, 4-year institution, it stands tall as one of the nation’s foremost centers for research and learning. With a bustling student population of 43,569, the campus is always abuzz with activity. But here’s the catch: securing a spot at FSU is no cakewalk. With a stringent acceptance rate of 36%, the university ensures it brings in only the brightest minds.

In my interactions with FSU alumni, one thing is clear: the university not only imparts knowledge but also molds character, producing well-rounded individuals ready to take on the world.

4. Night Life in Tallahassee: Where the Capital City Comes Alive!

hangar 3 arcade game

Tallahassee isn’t just about politics and academia; when the sun sets, the city transforms into a vibrant hub of nightlife and entertainment. Thanks to its status as Florida’s capital and the presence of a major university, the city’s nightlife is a delightful mix of sophistication and youthful energy.

Brews, Views, and Grooves

Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast, a cocktail connoisseur, or someone who just loves to dance the night away, Tallahassee has got you covered. While Miami often steals the limelight as the go-to party destination, Tallahassee offers a unique blend of laid-back vibes and pulsating energy.

Local Favorites for a Night to Remember

  • Hangar 38: This isn’t just another bar; it’s an experience. With a whopping 79 arcade games and bowling alleys, it’s the perfect spot for those who love a bit of friendly competition. Whether you’re challenging friends to a game or just reminiscing about the good old days, Hangar 38 promises a night of fun and nostalgia.
  • Recess Day & Nightclub: Now, this place is a gem. Perched on a rooftop, Recess offers stunning views of the iconic Doak Campbell Stadium. It’s a blend of luxury and energy, making it the perfect spot to sip on a cocktail, groove to the beats, and soak in the city lights.
  • District 850: One of the newer additions to Tallahassee’s nightlife scene, this massive 40,000-square-foot facility is quickly becoming a favorite. It’s spacious, trendy, and always buzzing with activity.

5. Culinary Delights: A Feast for the Senses!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Tallahassee isn’t just a hub for politics and education; it’s also a gastronomic paradise for those with a discerning palate. Whether you’re craving a sumptuous steak, a hearty Southern meal, authentic Italian, or a fusion of Asian flavors, the city has a plate for every taste.

Local Favorites to Satisfy Your Culinary Cravings

  • Savour: Nestled in the heart of downtown Tallahassee, Savour is the epitome of fine dining. Renowned for its exquisite steak and seafood offerings, this restaurant promises a culinary journey like no other. Pair your meal with one of their signature cocktails, and you’re in for a treat. The chic ambiance only adds to the overall experience, making it a top choice for special occasions.
  • Table 23: If you’re in the mood for some comfort food with a unique twist, Table 23 is the place to be. Serving up Southern-style dishes in a relaxed and cozy setting, it’s the perfect spot for a laid-back meal with friends or family. The warmth of Southern hospitality is palpable here.
  • Bella Bella: For over 14 years, Bella Bella has been the go-to spot for Italian food lovers in Tallahassee. Run by a passionate brother-sister duo, this restaurant exudes a familial charm. Every dish feels like a hearty Italian hug, making it a favorite for both locals and visitors.
  • Masa: A delightful blend of Asian flavors awaits you at Masa. Located in the bustling midtown area, this restaurant is the brainchild of Lucy Ho, one of Tallahassee’s seasoned restaurateurs. Whether you’re craving sushi, a stir-fry, or any other Asian delicacy, Masa promises an unforgettable culinary experience.

6. Warm Embrace with a Touch of Humidity!

Dreaming of sun-kissed days and balmy nights? Tallahassee’s weather might just be the answer to your wishes. With temperatures that hover between a pleasant 41ΒΊ and a warm 91ΒΊ, the city offers a respite from the biting cold of northern states.

A Dive into the Climate

While the mercury rarely dips below 26ΒΊ or soars above 96ΒΊ, there’s another element that adds a unique touch to Tallahassee’s climate: humidity. The air here carries a moist, dewy feel, which can amplify the warmth. But here’s the thing: while humidity might make you feel a tad warmer, it also sets the perfect stage for some refreshing activities.

Imagine this: a warm day, the sun shining bright, and you, lounging by the beach or taking a dip in the pool. Sounds divine, right? That’s a typical day in Tallahassee for you!

And if you’re someone who loves the outdoors but isn’t too fond of the sun’s relentless rays, the city has got you covered. Many of its parks and trails are generously shaded, allowing you to indulge in nature without getting toasted.

A Magnet for the Cold-Weary

It’s no surprise that many of Tallahassee’s newest residents hail from chillier states like New York and Massachusetts. The allure of warmer climes, coupled with the city’s vibrant culture and amenities, makes it a top choice for those looking to escape the cold.

7. Crime: A Closer Look at Safety

When considering a move, safety often tops the list of concerns. And in a city like Tallahassee, with its status as Florida’s capital and the presence of a major university, it’s essential to have a clear picture of the crime landscape.

Downtown vs. Outskirts

Given its urban character and the hustle and bustle associated with administrative and academic activities, it’s not surprising that the downtown area of Tallahassee sees a higher crime rate than its more suburban outskirts. Urban centers, with their dense populations and diverse activities, often tend to have elevated crime rates compared to quieter, residential neighborhoods.

The Bigger Picture

However, when we zoom out and look at Tallahassee in comparison to other cities of similar size, the statistics are a bit concerning. The city’s crime rate ranks higher than many of its peers, making it one of the more unsafe cities in the country. Specifically, when compared within the state of Florida, Tallahassee finds itself in the lower 10% in terms of safety.

Breaking it down further:

  • Violent Crime: The likelihood of one becoming a victim of violent crime in Tallahassee stands at 1 in 126. This rate is higher than the state average.
  • Property Crime: The risk associated with property crime is even more pronounced, with a 1 in 34 chance.

8. A Blend of History, Nature, and Art!

Tallahassee, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers a plethora of activities and attractions for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or someone who loves to explore local art and culture, Tallahassee has something for everyone. Here’s a closer look at some of the city’s must-visit spots:

1. St. Marks Lighthouse:

  • History & Beauty Combined: Nestled within the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, this lighthouse stands as a testament to Florida’s rich maritime history. Being one of the state’s oldest lighthouses, it has witnessed significant events, including the Civil War and the Second Seminole War of 1835.
  • A Day at the Beach: After touring the lighthouse, you can relax on the adjacent beach, soaking in the sun and the panoramic views of the coastline.

2. Tom Brown Park:

Tom Brown Park

  • A Green Oasis: Spanning over 25 acres, Tom Brown Park is one of Tallahassee’s crown jewels. It’s the perfect spot for a day out, whether you’re looking to have a picnic, play some sports, or simply take a leisurely stroll.
  • Activities Galore: The park boasts a range of amenities, including playgrounds, trails, disc golf courses, and sports fields. Whether you’re with family or friends, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

3. Railroad Square Art Park:

  • From Lumber to Art: What once was a bustling lumber yard has been transformed into a vibrant hub of art and culture. The park’s evolution from an industrial business center to a creative space is a testament to Tallahassee’s dynamic spirit.
  • A Cultural Feast: Wander through the park’s myriad art galleries, savor delicious food at its restaurants, or indulge in some retail therapy at its unique shops. It’s a place where creativity thrives, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Bonus Tip: If you’re a beach lover, Tallahassee’s proximity to several pristine beaches, including Wakulla Beach, Shell Point Beach, and Mashes Sands Beach, is a definite perk. A short drive will transport you to sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, perfect for a day of relaxation.

9. Rich Tapestry: A Journey Through Time

The history of Tallahassee is a captivating tale of growth, diversity, and resilience. As you delve into its past, you’ll discover a city that has evolved while preserving its rich heritage.

  • The Birth of a Capital: In 1824, Tallahassee was christened as a city and chosen as Florida’s capital. Its central location made it a strategic choice, bridging the gap between St. Augustine and Pensacola, the two primary cities of the time.
  • The Cotton Era: The city’s early days were marked by sprawling cotton plantations, which played a pivotal role in boosting its population. These plantations, while a testament to the city’s agricultural prowess, also bear witness to a time of slavery and socio-economic disparities.
  • Roots in Indigenous Culture: The name “Tallahassee” is a nod to its indigenous roots, translating to “old fields” in the language of the Apalachee Indians. These native inhabitants, who called the region home in the 16th century, laid the foundation for the city’s rich cultural tapestry. Over the years, Tallahassee became a melting pot of cultures, with Spanish, French, and English influences weaving into its fabric.
  • Growth and Expansion: From its humble beginnings, spanning just a quarter of a mile, Tallahassee embarked on a journey of rapid expansion. By 1980, it had grown to encompass 28.18 square miles. This growth trajectory didn’t stop there. By 2016, the city had further expanded its boundaries, covering a vast 103 square miles. This growth is a testament to its allure and the opportunities it offered to its residents.
  • A City of Rolling Landscapes: One of Tallahassee’s defining features is its undulating terrain. Unlike the flat landscapes commonly associated with Florida, Tallahassee boasts rolling hills, adding to its unique charm.

10. Job Opportunities in Tallahassee: Navigating the Employment Landscape

When considering a move to a new city, understanding the job market is crucial. Tallahassee, with its unique blend of government, education, and private sector opportunities, presents a diverse employment landscape. Here’s a closer look at what the city has to offer in terms of job opportunities and compensation.

Diverse Employment Sectors:

  1. Government: As Florida’s capital, Tallahassee is a hub for state government jobs. From administrative roles to policy-making positions, the government sector offers a wide range of employment opportunities.
  2. Education: Home to institutions like Florida State University and Florida A&M University, Tallahassee boasts a robust education sector. This extends beyond teaching roles to include administrative, research, and support positions.
  3. Healthcare: With major hospitals like Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and HCA Florida Capital Hospital, the healthcare sector is a significant employer in the city, offering roles for medical professionals, administrative staff, and support personnel.
  4. Technology & Research: The presence of facilities like the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory indicates a growing tech and research sector in Tallahassee. Opportunities in IT, scientific research, and tech startups are on the rise.
  5. Finance & Business Services: As a growing urban center, Tallahassee has seen an uptick in jobs related to finance, banking, and business services.

Salary Insights:

  • The average annual salary in Tallahassee stands at around $48,290, which, while below the national average of $56,310, is offset by the city’s relatively lower cost of living.
  • Compensation varies widely based on the sector, with government and tech roles typically offering higher salaries compared to some other industries.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Cost of Living: While salaries might seem modest compared to some larger cities, it’s essential to factor in Tallahassee’s cost of living, which is generally lower. This means that your earnings might stretch further than in more expensive urban centers.
  2. Growth Opportunities: Tallahassee’s job market is dynamic, with new businesses setting up shop and existing sectors expanding. This growth translates to upward mobility and career advancement opportunities for residents.
  3. Networking: Like any city, Tallahassee’s job market thrives on connections. Engaging with local professional groups, attending city events, and leveraging academic networks can open doors to unadvertised positions and opportunities.

11. Transportation and Connectivity in Tallahassee:

Tallahassee, being the capital city of Florida, boasts a well-connected transportation network that caters to its residents and visitors alike.

  • Public Transportation: The city’s public transportation system, primarily managed by StarMetro, offers a comprehensive network of bus routes that cover most parts of Tallahassee. These buses are equipped with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable ride for daily commuters. There are also plans in the pipeline to introduce more eco-friendly buses, reflecting the city’s commitment to sustainability.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Popular ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft operate extensively in Tallahassee, providing a convenient alternative to traditional taxis. Whether you’re heading to the airport or a night out in the town, these services are just a tap away.
  • Ease of Commuting: Tallahassee’s road infrastructure is well-maintained, ensuring smooth commutes. The city’s layout is designed to reduce traffic congestion, especially during peak hours. Dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian paths further enhance the commuting experience.
  • Major Highways: Interstate 10 runs through the northern part of Tallahassee, providing easy access to cities like Jacksonville and Pensacola. Other significant roads include U.S. Routes 27, 90, and 319.
  • Airports: The Tallahassee International Airport serves as the primary gateway to the city, offering flights to major destinations across the country. Its proximity to the city center makes it a convenient option for travelers.
  • Other Transportation Hubs: The city also has a Greyhound bus station, connecting Tallahassee to various parts of the country. For those looking for a scenic route, the Amtrak train services, though not directly in Tallahassee, are accessible in nearby cities.

12. Cultural and Art Scene:

Museum of FIne Arts

Tallahassee is not just a political hub; it’s a vibrant center for arts and culture that reflects the city’s rich history and diverse population.

  • Local Theaters: The Tallahassee Little Theatre and the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall are among the city’s premier venues, hosting a range of performances from plays to concerts. These establishments have been instrumental in promoting local talent and bringing world-class performances to the city.
  • Museums and Galleries: The Museum of Florida History offers a deep dive into the state’s past, while the Tallahassee Museum blends history with natural habitat exhibits. Art enthusiasts can explore the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, which showcases both contemporary and classical art pieces.
  • Music Venues: From jazz clubs to classical music halls, Tallahassee offers a diverse musical landscape. Venues like The Moon and Bradfordville Blues Club are popular spots for live music.
  • Annual Cultural Events: The Tallahassee Film Festival celebrates cinematic excellence, attracting filmmakers from around the globe. The Winter Festival, with its lights, music, and parades, is a much-anticipated event that brings the community together in a vibrant celebration.
  • Art Exhibitions: Throughout the year, various galleries and spaces in Tallahassee host art exhibitions featuring local and international artists. These events provide a platform for emerging artists and introduce residents to diverse artistic expressions.

FAQ

Is Tallahassee a good place to move to?

Tallahassee, as the capital of Florida, offers a unique blend of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. Its rich history, coupled with its status as a college town, provides a dynamic environment suitable for both young professionals and families.

Is it a good place to live in?

Yes, Tallahassee is considered a good place to live, especially for those who appreciate a blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. The city boasts a diverse arts scene, numerous parks, and a strong sense of community, making it an attractive place for many.

What is a good salary in Tallahassee, FL?

A good salary in Tallahassee would be around $48,000 to $55,000, which is slightly below the national average but aligns well with the city’s cost of living.

What are the pros and cons of living in Tallahassee?

Pros:

  • Rich cultural and arts scene.
  • Lower cost of living compared to many other Florida cities.
  • Proximity to renowned educational institutions.
  • Strong community vibe with numerous events and festivals. Cons:
  • Higher crime rate in certain areas.
  • Humidity and weather can be a concern for some.
  • Limited public transportation options compared to larger cities.

Is $53,000 a good salary for Florida?

Yes, $53,000 is considered a decent salary for many parts of Florida, especially when factoring in the state’s lack of income tax and the overall cost of living.

Is 50k enough?

A salary of $50,000 is generally sufficient for a comfortable living in many areas of Florida, especially when considering the absence of state income tax. However, one’s lifestyle, financial obligations, and specific location within the state can influence how far this salary stretches.

How much taxes do I pay in Florida?

Florida does not have a state income tax. However, residents still pay federal income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. The state sales tax rate is 6%, with local municipalities potentially adding their own rates on top.

What is the average rent in Florida?

The average rent in Florida can vary based on location. As of my last update in 2021, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranged from $1,200 to $1,500 per month, with cities like Miami being on the higher end.

How much is $75,000 after taxes in Florida?

In Florida, without state income tax, a $75,000 salary would primarily be subject to federal income tax. After federal taxes, Social Security, and Medicare deductions, you might expect a take-home pay of approximately $55,000 to $60,000, though this can vary based on individual circumstances.

How much is $300,000 after taxes?

For a $300,000 salary in Florida, after accounting for federal income tax, Social Security, and Medicare, the estimated take-home pay might be in the range of $220,000 to $235,000. Again, individual circumstances can influence the exact amount.

How much is $100,000 salary after taxes?

On a $100,000 salary in Florida, after federal deductions and contributions to Social Security and Medicare, the take-home pay might be approximately $73,000 to $78,000.

How much is 200k USD after tax in Florida?

For a $200,000 salary in Florida, post federal tax deductions and other standard withholdings, the estimated net income could be around $145,000 to $155,000.

Final Words

Tallahassee, the heart of Florida, is more than just a political hub. It’s a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, education, and nature. Whether you’re a young professional, a student, or a family looking for a fresh start, Tallahassee offers a dynamic environment that caters to diverse needs.

From its vibrant arts scene to its rich tapestry of history, from its bustling job market to its serene natural spots, the city promises a life of balance, growth, and endless exploration. Dive into the world of Tallahassee, and you might just find your next home!

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