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Field Trips To Tallahassee

Tallahassee and the Big Bend area are as far south as you can go in Florida - not in geography, but surely in atmosphere. Accents thick as Tupelo honey, red dirt roads, homemade sausage and stone-ground grits give the North Central region her reputation as genteel and laid back. But mind you, she's no country cousin. After all, this is the capital of Florida, and decisions made here decide the fate of the state, or in the case of the 2000 election, that of the entire country.

Heritage Highlights
Start out in the very center of town with a tour of the State's Old Capitol. There's a self-guided tour of the former government headquarters, which now displays exhibits on Florida history.

Black Archives Research Center and Museum
Continue with reflection by stopping at the Black Archives Research Center and Museum, on Gamble St. in the historic Carnegie Library on the Florida A&M University campus. Slave irons from pre-Civil War times, African tribal masks, and a 500-piece Ethiopian cross collection are but a few of the objects on display that tell the compelling story of how African-Americans have contributed to American history.

University's Doak Campbell Stadium
Are you ready for some football? Each fall, college towns across the South are swarmed by rabid football fans ready to cheer their team to victory, and Tallahassee is no exception. Get in on the fun by tailgating outside Florida State University's Doak Campbell Stadium before the game. If you chance to visit any other time of the year, you can at least drive by the Stadium off Gaines Street - it's the largest brick structure in the world.

Bradley's Country Store
RC Colas and moonpies are the snack of choice at Bradley's Country Store. This early 19th century country store is still in operation, and though old-fashioned treats can be purchased and enjoyed while sitting in one of the front porch rockers, Bradley's main attraction is its homemade seasoned sausage made from Grandma Mary's 1910 recipe.

Nature Trek
While away the day by riding along any one of Tallahassee's five official canopy roads, so designated because of their scenic, cultural, historical and archaeological character. These roads are actually dappled, green tunnels formed by massive live oak limbs overhanging the highway. Old Bainbridge Road, Old St. Augustine Road, Miccosukee Road, Centerville Road and Meridian Road are the best and longest examples, and each has its own distinctive history.

Tallahassee Museum of History & Natural Science
To spend a fun-filled day walking under similar, natural canopies, visit the Tallahassee Museum of History & Natural Science. This 52-acre outdoor museum, located on a chain of lakes, features a natural habitat zoo that is home to native Florida wildlife, historic buildings, a nature trail, an 1880s farmstead, a hands-on discovery center, and more.

Culture Quest
Downtown, at the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science. Experiment with magnetism and gravity or contemplate the madness and magic of art with inspiration ranging from Chihuly glass to paintings by self-taught artists. Next door, the Capital Culture Center on South Duval Street awaits its newest attraction - the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee. One of only 39 in the world, the center opens in spring 2003. Shoot for the stars with an array of interactive, space-related exhibits and activities such as a space mission simulator and a planetarium and laser show.

Museum of Florida History
One of the perks to being in a capital city. With exhibits ranging from the prehistoric to the present, the museum is a visual time line of the people and events that have shaped the Sunshine State. Don't miss "Herman," a skeletal prehistoric mastodon pulled out of Wakulla Springs and now on display. There are also treasures from old Spanish galleons, a reconstructed river boat, and war relics from the Civil War.

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