Let Curiosity Govern Visit to Tallahassee; Museums, State Parks and Yes, 2 Capitols

Article excerpt

Byline: Roger Bull, The Times-Union

An estimated 2.6 million people visited Tallahassee last year. They were drawn by state government, by Florida State University and Florida A&M University.

But nothing fills up the town like a football game. The Seminoles open their home season Saturday, and when the 'Noles are in town, 85,000 people fill Doak Campbell Stadium. Mark Bonn, a professor in FSU's School of Hospitality and College of Business, said that about a third of them come from outside Leon County. One survey found that 13.5 percent come from Jacksonville.

So, if you find yourself there, either waiting for kickoff, visiting a student or working your way through the paperwork of government, you just might need a diversion.

Here are a few things to do while you're there.

-- People who live in Tallahassee still call the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science the Junior Museum, because that was its name for years. It's 52 acres of part zoo, part museum. The zoo part of it focuses on animals native to Florida: panthers, bears, red wolves, etc.

But it also has guest animals. And two young white tigers will be there through the end of September.

The museum part consists of historical buildings, including an 1880s farm and a hands-on area for kids.

An exhibit of James Audubon prints and personal belongings opened last month and will remain through Sunday, Oct. 3. On Friday, Oct. 22, more than 30 vintage motorcycles will go on display.

The museum is located off Orange Avenue on the shores of Lake Bradford in South Tallahassee. It's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 12:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Admission: $7 for adults; $6.50, ages 65+; $5, ages 4-15; free, 3 and under.

Information: (850) 576-1636 or www.tallahasseemuseum.org/.

-- The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science, is also a combination. This three-floor museum is a mix of art and science, naturally.

The first floor features traveling science exhibits. "Tech City" will open Saturday. It focuses on engineering concepts and visitors can use a variety of materials to build their own bridges, dams, etc.

The second floor has permanent, hands-on science exhibits.

The third floor is dedicated to art. Opening Friday, Sept. 24, is "Technology and the Future," featuring contemporary arts either using or portraying technology.

It's located downtown, across from City Hall at 350 S. Duval St.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: $6, adults; $3.50, children, students and senior citizens; free, 2 and under. It's free to everyone from 4 to 5 p.m.

Information: (850) 513-0700 or www.thebrogan.org.

-- Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a nice 6,000-acre jewel of a place, about 10 miles south of Tallahassee.

There are 6 miles of hiking trails, picnic tables, the usual park stuff. …