Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
A Pretty Panhandle City, Tallahassee is Florida's Capital and is Known for its Canopy Lanes, Plantation Homes and Collegiate Vibe
Florida's pretty capital city, Tallahassee, is perched in the middle of the Panhandle at the edge of the Red Hills Region. It is a government and college city, home to white collar workers, Florida State University (population 40,000) and Florida A&M University (population 13,000). The city is known for its canopy roads lined with moss-draped live oaks, sweet gums, hickory trees and tall pines.
Tallahassee feels somewhat as though it was not carefully planned. It has about 1,800 recognized neighborhoods and subdivisions, some very nice and some mundane. Housing stock ranges from elegant plantation homes to rancher ramblers with add-ons to brick traditionals with dormer windows. Downtown is quiet for a capital city but is home to historic red brick structures, tall office towers, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, sidewalk cafes, bookstores and more. An engaging arts scene includes museums, galleries and two symphonies, all sprinkled throughout the city and on the university campuses. Residents enjoy plenty of festivals and a Saturday marketplace with fresh food, music, poetry readings and artists displaying their works. Railroad Square has an art park, a community theatre and a Friday arts celebration.
The Centre of Tallahassee houses big box retailers, and Whole Foods recently came to town. Parks include the Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park and the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, a botanical wonder with a secret garden and a reflecting pool. Both FSU and FAMU have football, baseball and basketball games. More than 300 miles of walking trails wind through the city, and numerous plantations await exploration.
Population: 198,000 (city proper with)
Age 45 or Better: 28%
Cost of Living: 22% below the national average
Median Home Price: $300,000
Climate: The area has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. On average, the area receives 62 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Above the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 48%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The poverty rate is well above the national average. Some of this, but not all, is attributed to the large student population. Some people say racial tensions are evident.
Notes: People seem to like Tallahassee. In many ways it is just an overgrown college town and a place that still shuts down for college football games. Neighborhoods away from the campuses are quiet, but the terrain thoughout the city is hilly. The population has grown 5% in the last 10 years. Home prices have increased 4% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes. The higher than average crime rate is a concern, but crime seems more prevelant in some areas than in others, which can be avoided.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
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