3 Underrated Parks to Visit in Tallahassee

By Liam Wirsansky on April 24, 2021

Tallahassee is home to some of the most serene and magnificent landscapes in the form of parks in all of Florida. The hilly environment and luscious greenery make it a hotbed for some really amazing and well-established parks, such as Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Cascades Park, or even Tom Brown Park. All of these parks receive much of the attention, and rightfully so, when it comes to the brilliance of the amenities that they have to offer, but for many they could be too far away, crowded, or without something important to the experience that the visitor is trying to have. While Tallahassee is full of some incredibly beautiful parks, I wanted to highlight three of the ones I feel deserve more attention and consideration to visit.

Lafayette PArk
Photo Credits “Liam Wirsansky”

Lafayette Park

A beautifully lush and densely forested area, this park is tucked into depths of Midtown. A lucky passerby might stumble upon this park walking back to their car after a nice lunch at a restaurant nearby, or perhaps because it has one of the few basketball hoops in the area. Lafayette Park is one of the most diverse parks in all of Tallahassee because it gives visitors the option to choose what kind of experience that they would like to have. While this park does boast a tennis court, a baseball field, and a large playground for children, the aspect that truly makes this park special is the Lafayette Arts and Crafts Center on site. Serving the Tallahassee community for over 50 years, the center features several classrooms, a pottery lab and three kilns that are utilized in the classes and programs that they offer for both children and adults. The classes offered range from pottery, stained glass, crochet, or drawing, as well as a summer art camp for children and various workshops and holiday classes. Whether indulge in taking a hike through nature utilizing some of the gorgeous boardwalks that are there, or taking a class at the Arts and Crafts Center, there is no shortage of activities for anyone of any age to enjoy.

San Luis Mission Park

Right off of Tharpe Street and attached to the historic site of Mission San Luis, a Spanish Franciscan mission built in 1633, sits the beautiful and quiet San Luis Mission Park. An immaculate and green wooded area, the park is clean and has the proper amenities and playground to back up its claim to versatility. At the heart of the park sits the quiet and tame Lake Esther, which various wildlife call their home, and a wooden boardwalk, which serves as the perfect spot to observe anything that sits on the lake.  A great place to unwind or get active, the park boasts several trails, most of which loop and/or connect to one another, offering the potential for a very unique and interchangeable experience every hike. The park is also great for dogs of all shapes and sizes, with one of the largest and most actively used dog parks in all of Tallahassee. Your best friend is likely to make a friend or two of their own and tire themselves out on a wonderful outing to San Luis Mission Park.

Winthrop Park
Photo Credits “Liam Wirsansky”

Winthrop Park

A five-minute drive away from Lafayette Park will bring you to one of the livelier parks in Tallahassee, at least for those who know about it. A delightful and pristine location, the park offers a vast and expansive number of various courts and fields, many of which can be considered adaptable for multipurpose use. Baseball fields, several tennis courts, an enclosed basketball court with an adjustable hoop, are just some of the athletic minded features that this park includes. Something unique about this park is that it also has one of the only basketball hoops surrounded by a dirt court, which may not be everyone’s preference, but still merits recognition on its status as a rarity. No matter the terrain, there is something for everyone to do and trees to keep the visitors cool while they enjoy the fruits and resources of the park. Shady on hot day, the park is perfect for parents who maybe cannot keep up with the high energy levels of their children. A large and thickly roofed gazebo sits right next to the playground and bathrooms, as well as the free library exchange for anyone in the mood to do a little reading. With ample parking and multiple entrances, it might be harder getting out of this park then it was getting in because of the enjoyment and convenience that follows.


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