Travel Diary: 48 Hours in Tallahassee, Florida

June 26 2017 | CeCe Olisa

When I told my friends I was heading to Tallahassee, Fla., they all had the same question.

“What’s in Tallahassee??”

My answer: I don’t know… and that’s where the fun begins!

I’ve made a commitment to travel in 2017, and while exotic destinations are fun. I love the idea of exploring the hidden gems here in the United States.

I’ve been to Miami plenty of times, so when VISIT FLORIDA invited me to come and explore the capital city of Tallahassee, I had no idea what I would do there—and that sounded like an adventure that I wanted to take on.

When I arrived in this capital city, I wasn’t sure if I’d have a good time. As I left Tallahassee I couldn’t wait to come back!


Here are four awesome things to do in Tallahassee.

Stay at the Aloft Tallahassee

There were a few charming options for lodging in Tallahassee, but I chose the Aloft hotel. The Aloft is a pet-friendly property near the capital building. The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly and if you’re traveling alone the social vibe of the hotel makes it easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger (or their pup!).

When I checked into the hotel, I tossed my bags down and started mapping out my weekend.


I live in NYC, so I wanted to do things that felt different from my life in the city. The first thing on my list? Attend the First Friday Art Show.

Tallahassee’s First Friday Art Show

On the first Friday of every month, Tallahassee has a huge art event. There’s a really beautiful area where the local artists work on their pieces, and during the First Friday event, the studios and galleries are opened up to the public.

The cool thing is, it’s not just art… there’s much more.


Dress: Here | Purse: Similar Here | Brown Strappy Wedges: Here

Imagine a huge cul-de-sac with little cottages and big warehouses full of creativity, fashion and art. Then imagine that in between each house are food trucks and live music. This is what Tallahassee’s First Friday is like and I loved every minute of it.

There were people on dates, families and people riding solo like me but because everyone was outside exploring and enjoying, it felt like we were all together!


When I first arrived, I visited an epic vintage shop where multiple buyers bring their finds from all over the country and sell together under one roof. If you like thrifting, this space is a dream come true. Right outside, a band was playing and a man was selling chocolate truffles out of a tricked out old VW van. But my eyes were set on the homemade fruit bars at Black Cat.

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On a warm Friday evening in Florida, these fruit bars seemed like the perfect treat. They became even more perfect when I found out some of them were “adult” pops made with tequila, rum, and etc. Yum!

Even the studio and shop spaces were beautiful, some looked like trains, some were tiny houses… so cute!


Special thanks to Tallahassee based, Alicia Haskew Photography for these photos!


Eat Donuts

It happened to be National Donut Day while I was visiting Tallahassee, so of course I had to track down the best donuts in town.

Tallahassee is a college town and near campus is a place called Donut Kingdom. I recommend the Red Velvet and Cinnamon Toast Crunch flavors. Delish!

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Easy Press on Nails: Here

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Bradfordville Blues Club

I never thought I’d find myself driving into the woods at night, but if you want to hear the best Blues music, that’s what you have to do.

I made the drive to Bradfordville Blues Club from my hotel in about 30 minutes. I arrived just after dusk and there were already dozens of cars parked underneath the trees. In the background I could see a bonfire burning.

I paid my $25 cover, walked in and immediately I knew I had made the right choice by coming. The minute the band began to play, everyone jumped up and hit the dance floor. I arrived alone and was seated next to a regular named Henry. I adopted him as my date. He was ready to dance and made everyone else get up and dance, too. There’s no such thing as being shy when Henry points at you and calls you onto the dance floor.

Henry made me feel right at home.


Dress: Victoria Beckham, it’s sold out but you may be able to find it here | White Keds: Here

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Tallahassee exceeded my expectations in so many ways. If you like places like Brooklyn and Portland, it’s a city you should add to your travel list. I was able to do all of these things in about 48 hours, so even if you can only take a weekend, I’d say step off the beaten path and visit Tallahassee, FL.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA. The opinions and text are all mine.

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51 responses on “Travel Diary: 48 Hours in Tallahassee, Florida

  1. K-Sea Plus

    Great post, this came right on time. I got my passport but am unable to travel abroad due to financial bumps. Having an adventure in the an unexpected place sounds fun.

  2. Janine

    I love to travel solo, for many of the reasons you mentioned: I also travel frequently for work, where I am tied to accommodating my clients’ schedules, so being able to come and go freely is such a treat! One of my frequent work destinations happens to be Tallahassee, but I am usually there mid-week and so haven’t had a chance to explore all of these cool places; however, you have inspired me to extend one of my upcoming trips so I can see a First Friday in action. My favorite hole-in-the wall is The Cake Shop – fabulous decadent cupcakes! Hope you get to enjoy them next time you make it to Tally!

      1. Stacie Spencer

        Yes. I work right down the street from the area where you took your photos. In fact, I’m heading to the thrift store during my lunch break to pick up a clutch that I found there yesterday.

  3. Danielle Salerno

    Fun! I love solo travel and do it often by extending my work trips. Usually there is little to no cost difference to extend a flight to the weekend. I love exploring the US when money is too tight to travel abroad! Being from the greater NYC area myself, it is easy to forget that NYC is not actually the center of the universe and that there are really awesome places to explore throughout the country!! I just went to North Dakota for work last year and had an amazing time exploring an area of the country I never thought I would find myself. It was great! (and thankfully it was during the summer so I didn’t have to deal with absurd amounts of snow).

    Also, in the photographs where you are wearing the Victoria Beckham dress, can you please share where you got those pink earrings? They look like tassels, I think? I think they are really cute! Thanks!

  4. TRZA

    This looks great! I don’t currently have any travel buddies, my finances hit a hurdle, and it feels like forever since I had a holiday. I’ve been thinking about travelling on my own and your post is inspiring me. I need to build up my confidence and go for it. Thanks CeCe!
    PS. Love the Jibri dress

  5. Kate Wasson

    Thanks for visiting our awesome Southern town! Love the pics– you’re a doll. Come back soon– we have a lot more here for you to do and see!

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