Why I Chose Tallahassee – Michelle Bono

I first came to Tallahassee for a job interview. I left southwest Virginia in a snowstorm and just a few days later was sitting on the beach at Alligator Point soaking in the rays and sharing a bottle of wine. I called my husband to let him know that even if I didn’t get the job, we still needed to move here! That was 1997 (and I did get the job!), and this has been our new hometown for the last 21 years. We love living in Tallahassee with its warm, caring residents, medium size city feel, and tons of cultural opportunities and vibrant lifestyle offerings.

What I enjoy most about the city is that people here still care about each other. You can’t go to the grocery store, mall, church or one of hundreds of community events without seeing someone you know. People speak to you when you walk down the street (including those you have never met before), and when there is a family in need, people chip in to help.

Tallahassee’s size is perfect. We are the most educated city in the state, no doubt due in part to the presence of all those professors at Florida A&M University and Florida State University, not to mention the students who came here to go to school and fell in love with both the city and its universities and never left. We have great restaurants, activities and safe neighborhoods, without all the traffic and masses of people you’ll find in central and south Florida. We also have four seasons, although being originally from Kansas, the winters are super mild. I also like knowing I live in a safe city and neighborhood where you know neighbors are always willing to keep an eye on your house (and feed the cats) when we’re out of town.

I also appreciate the many offerings we have. Festivals range from the city’s marvelous Winter Festival and Fourth of July celebrations, to Downtown Getdowns (before FSU and FAMU football games) the LeMoyne Arts Festival each spring, and the Springtime Tallahassee Festival which is coordinated by local residents every May. I enjoy hiking in our many parks and green spaces and playing on the city’s adult volleyball league. And if you’re looking to volunteer, you can stay incredibly busy serving as a reading buddy or mentor in our schools, or helping our many non-profits. If you are looking for a church family, we have tons of active churches, synagogues and temples where you’ll find Sunday pot-luck dinners (which is what leads to needing to take those walks in the park!).

We love Tallahassee so much we were able to convince my parents to choose it as their retirement city. They live in the Westminster Oaks community for seniors and enjoy independent living and more events and opportunities than they can imagine. They enjoy playing bridge at the city’s senior center (where I’m also considering taking pickleball lessons!) as well as the outstanding offerings of the Opening Nights concerts, events and speakers brought in by FSU.

If I sound a little biased towards Tallahassee, it’s true. I love this city and what it offers others in my age group so much that I volunteer as the current chair of Choose Tallahassee. I believe it is really our responsibility and obligation to let others looking for the perfect place to retire – and stay active – know about all Tally has to offer. I hope you’ll come visit and considering moving to Tallahassee for the “best of your life.”

Michelle Bono
Bono Communications & Marketing, LLC
(850) 264-4233