Tallahassee Area Beaches
While Tallahassee may not seem like the conventional beach town, it is located just north of the coast of Florida’s “Big Bend,” home to some of the most beautiful beaches to experience throughout the state. A one-hour drive south will take you to a variety of small islands and beaches enthusing peace and tranquility. Alongside beaches, the surrounding areas are home to a number of wildlife preserves and refuges where you may dabble in activities like kayaking, bird watching or scalloping.
Big Bend Wildlife Management Area takes up a 200-mile stretch and is comprised of five unique areas – Hickory Mound, Spring Creek, Tide Swamp, Jena and Snipe Island. Each individual location has something different to offer, whether its horseback riding, bird watching, scalloping, paddling or fishing, there’s an activity for everyone to enjoy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the 105-mile Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail, where paddlers can experience the beautiful wildlife preserve while relaxing in the water.
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge sits on more than 68,000 acres of land on the coastline. Visitors can enjoy popular activities like camping, boating and fishing across seven rivers, coastal marshes and islands. The historic St. Marks Lighthouse is a staple feature of the refuge. More than 100 years old, the lighthouse is still in use and is open to the public.
St. George Island is a beautiful island surrounded by the the Gulf of Mexico and the Apalachicola Bay. Here you can visit Lighthouse Park in the center of the island, bird watch, fish, bike or just lay in the white sand. St. George Island and neighboring Carrabelle Beach are among the few beaches left in Florida where dogs are allowed.
Keaton Beach is a naturally created public beach famous for it’s year-round fishing, with a 700-foot fishing pier, boat ramp and covered picnic area. Prime scalloping times are from mid to late summer. Hagan’s Cove is another hidden treasure, located just five miles south of Keaton Beach. Complete with a bird observation tower, hiking trails and shaded areas for picnics, you can enjoy some of the best views of the surrounding beaches and islands.