Tallahassee at a Glance
Location: Northwest Florida
Access: Tallahassee International Airport, Interstate 10
Hotel rooms: 9,000
Donald L. Tucker Civic Center
Exhibit Space: 54,000 square feet
Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center
Exhibit Space: 20,472 square feet
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Tallahassee
Guest Rooms: 242
Meeting Space: 10,600 square feet
Hotel Indigo Tallahassee
Guest Rooms: 143
Meeting Space: 3,000 square feet
Guest Rooms: 117
Meeting Space: 5,500 square feet
Who’s Meeting in Tallahassee
Southeast Asian American Store Owners Association Expo
Florida Association of Student Councils 2020 Convention
Florida’s capital city is on a winning streak.
Chosen as one of “The South’s Best Cities 2020” and “The South’s Best College Towns 2020” by Southern Living magazine, Tallahassee’s assets lie in its natural beauty and unexpected features. Tallahassee is located in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the nation. Home to two universities, the city offers a variety of unique meeting venues coupled with open-air options for socially distanced events.
By land or water, Tallahassee has been aptly nicknamed Trailahassee. More than 700 miles of trails feature rolling hills and abundant wildlife, welcoming outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. Your attendees can stroll along a wooded path, navigate a challenging mountain bike course, explore by horseback or paddle the waterways.
Florida State University and Florida A&M offer team-building events, including FSU’s low and high ropes courses. Activities can be customized to incorporate resident experts in numerous fields of study, as well as concerts and screenings from FSU’s top-rated film school. Soccer, baseball, and football games make perfect after-meeting diversions.
Tallahassee’s vibrant arts, culture and deep-rooted history shine through its museums and performing arts. Up-and-coming Railroad Square, near the new Hotel Indigo, showcases the city’s artists, locally owned restaurants and nightlife. Groups can tour both the historic and the current capitols. Receptions on the 22nd floor of the current capitol’s enclosed observation deck feature panoramic skyline views.
Popular craft breweries and an emerging culinary scene make for memorable events. Proof Brewing Company, Tallahassee’s largest brewery, houses a modern tasting room, a restaurant, an expansive lawn, a covered patio and a private event room. Restaurants such as Backwoods Crossing are redefining farm-to-table cuisine; Backwoods Crossing grows farm-fresh produce on its own three and a half acres.
“We have a number of local restaurants that serve nouveau Southern cuisine, which is basically a modern twist on traditional Southern food,” said Janet Roach, meetings and conventions director for Visit Tallahassee. “Attendees always seem to leave talking about the unique dishes that they can’t find in their own hometown.”
Tallahassee offers some of Florida’s most historic, cultural and natural backdrops for meetings and events. The iconic steps of the Florida Capitol Complex provide a distinguished setting. The capitol’s other options include Waller Park, which faces the Florida Supreme Court Building, with fountains on its lower level.
“The Florida Historic Capitol Museum is very popular for evening receptions because it’s beautifully renovated to the 1902 configuration, and groups can meet where the Senate and legislature once met,” said Roach.
Bricks and Brass, owned by Four Points by Sheraton, features full-service catering and a signature bar. The 3,563-square-foot indoor space features brick walls, polished concrete floors and midcentury modern light fixtures. The 2,100-square-foot patio touts an industrial vibe and privacy fencing.
Outdoor terraces on the fourth floor of the FSU Dunlap Champions Club at Doak Campbell Stadium, showcase scenic surroundings. The east and west wings of the club feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the stadium or the state capitol. The 34,247-square-foot space lends itself to galas, receptions and meetings.
“For meetings and events, they’re introducing social distancing by giving attendees wristbands of green, yellow or red — which indicates their comfort level with different levels of networking protocols,” said Roach. “They also use the Jumbotron to welcome groups and put messages up while meetings are in session.”
Old Willis Dairy exudes Southern charm with roots dating to the 1930s. The historic dairy barn, which accommodates up to 125 people, has won numerous historic preservation awards. Also available are the carriage house and the meadow, where a 400-year-old oak tree grows.
Major Meeting Spaces
The Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at FSU ranks as Tallahassee’s biggest venue and the largest of its kind in the Florida Panhandle. In addition to the indoor arena, the center offers a 30,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Across the street, the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center houses 11 meeting spaces, a 350-seat auditorium, a boardroom and training rooms. The 280-seat dining room uses a catering kitchen. Meeting capabilities include web recording and a full-service video studio.
“I think of it as a technology center because it’s a prime location for hybrid meetings,” said Roach. “There’s the capability for in-person or virtual meetings, or a combination of the two by broadcasting out to people who can’t attend in person.”
Hotels catering to meetings include the 242-room Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Tallahassee, just two blocks from the state capitol. Gatherings can take place in 10,600 square feet of flexible event space, including the swanky pool deck and rooftop bar. The boutique Hotel Duval, part of the elite Autograph Collection, is known for the Shula Cut steak at Shula’s 347 Grill and the Level 8 rooftop lounge that overlooks the skyline. Flexible event space tops 5,500 square feet for 250 attendees.
Ultracontemporary Hotel Indigo Tallahassee opened in August with 3,000 square feet of meeting space and 819 square feet of exhibit space. Spectacular views of the FSU stadium contribute to the popularity of its outdoor patio and meeting spaces. Roach said the hotel’s outdoor terraces expand the property’s meeting spaces for additional social distancing.
After the Meeting
Inspired by the natural terrain of the Tallahassee Museum, Tallahassee Tree to Tree Adventures soars over swamps, forests and wildlife habitats. At heights of up to 62 feet, attendees can navigate more than 70 obstacles, such as tightropes, crab walks, jungle bridges, nets and zip lines. Three courses are available; they take from 45 minutes to three hours each, depending on the attendee’s skill level and the time of day.
“With a 52-acre natural habitat, groups can look down over the original 1880s living-history farmstead and see what our community looked like back in the day,” said Roach.
Claiming the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs, Wakulla Springs State Park’s habitat supports diverse wildlife such as manatees and alligators. Wakulla Springs retains a rich history, with a past that includes early Native Americans living in shoreline villages as well as filmmakers shooting iconic Hollywood pictures, including “Tarzan’s Secret Treasure” (1941), “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) and “Airport.” Groups can tour the 1930s Spanish-style lodge with its period furniture and colorfully painted ceilings that depict Old Florida scenes. Catered meals or special events can be hosted at the on-site restaurant.
“On the daily riverboat cruises, groups might see manatees, and they almost always spot alligators and birds,” said Roach. “And if visitors don’t mind the 70-degree water, they can swim in the freshwater spring that even has a high dive.”