Fun Date Ideas in Tallahassee

Liven up your date with flowers to set the tone for the rest of the night.
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Home to the Florida State University Seminoles and capital of Florida, the "Sunshine State," Tallahassee is a bustling college town that has no shortage of fun date ideas for all ages. If you're looking to experience live music, indulge on great food, or experience nature at its finest, Tallahassee's eclectic population and amenities provide a backdrop for near-limitless dating opportunities.

1 An Afternoon at the Lake

The lakes in Tallahassee can provide the setting for a quiet lunch or fun-filled afternoon on the water. Pack a picnic for an afternoon at Lake Ella. After you've finished your meal, you can take a leisurely stroll around the lake as you feed the ducks, or you can sit under one of their pavilions as you watch the sun set. Lake Ella is also hosts a local farmer's market every Wednesday, as well as numerous cultural events throughout the year. If you're up for a more active date, the Florida State University kayak, canoe and sail boat rentals to students and non-students alike at the FSU Rez.

2 Treat Your Taste Buds

With a wide range of eateries in Tallahassee, there's never a need for a boring dinner date. Early birds can check out the Tallahassee Downtown Marketplace on Saturday mornings for a selection of locally grown produce and niche food vendors, while listening to live music and viewing the works of local artists. In addition to local food and art, the marketplace hosts numerous events throughout the year, including wildlife exhibits, book signings and car shows. Before hitting the town on Thursday nights, make sure to stop by Food Truck Thursday to experience some of the area's best street vendors. The best part about a food truck roundup is that you are not limited to just one vendor. You can start your night off with Caribbean surf-n-turf from Rasta Nice Foods, embrace southern comfort foods such as chicken and waffles from Cravings and finish off your meal with a refreshing snowball from Big Easy Snowballs.

3 Experience the Arts

With more than 50 studios, shops and galleries, Railroad Square Art Park is the place to be for a fun, yet classy date night. In addition to their regular business hours, Railroad Square hosts the "First Friday Gallery Hop" on the first Friday of each month for an eclectic mix of art, music and dance. Many of the galleries feature refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, while others may have local artists on site to take your questions while music from the drumming circle and dancers from the belly dance studio provide entertainment for the evening. Film lovers can register to view the thesis films of up and coming FSU film students at the FSU Student Life Cinema, while nature and history lovers can explore the Florida culture at the Tallahassee Museum Discovery Center, where you can get up close and personal with insects and aquatic life or crawl through a replica of an ancient oak tree.

4 Take a Walk Through Time

Tallahassee is a city steeped in history. The Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park is the site of the second-largest battle on Florida's soil during the civil war. Explore the hallowed battleground, including the natural bridge over the St. Marks River, or enjoy a quiet picnic lunch with your date. The park also holds an annual civil war battle reenactment each March that is free to the public. The Goodwood Plantation is the last remaining plantation within Tallahassee city limits. This luxurious plantation has been restored to its 1920's appearance and acts as a museum that depicts Florida life during the 19th and 20th centuries. While there, make sure to take a stroll through the plantation's 26 gardens or call ahead to book a tour of the grounds. Political buffs will appreciate a tour of Tallahassee's historic state capital museum. The old state capital has been fully restored to its 1902 decor, and acts as a museum to commemorate Florida's political past, including the 2000 presidential recall.

5 Night Life

Tallahassee's night life is full of exciting opportunities, thanks in part to its college student population. The Tallahassee Fun Station is a one-stop shop for mini golf, laser tag, bumper boats, go-kart rides and arcade games. Adventure seekers can tackle the 32-foot rock wall at the Tallahassee Rock Gym. While the rock gym is open to all ages, minors under the age of must have their natural guardian complete an online liability waiver before climbing. You can enjoy some laughs at Bird's Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack as you indulge on oysters and seafood while listening to up-and-coming stand-up comics or you can belt your heart out on karaoke night. The 21-and-older crowd can opt for a more sophisticated touch and dress to impress at the Prohibition-era speakeasy, Alchemy. Unlike other bars and clubs in the area, the location and entrance to Alchemy are a guarded secret. Reservations are required and management will give you further instructions, including the location of that night's hidden entrance and password on the night of your reservation.

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.