Kayak through inland waterways, mountain-bike on trails through longleaf pine trees, zipline over lush marshlands, and do all of it without leaving the Tallahassee area. Florida’s capital is full of adventure activities. When you’re ready for some time by the sea, take the two-hour drive to Panama City Beach to start your day with yoga on the sand, go fishing or rent jet skis in the afternoon, and ride the towering SkyWheel at Pier Park. And take a day to visit Cape San Blas where you can ride horseback beside the Gulf of Mexico. Finish off the night on the beach with a professionally set-up campfire with the works: marshmallows, fire pit, chairs, and coolers all included.
Itinerary / 6 DAYSPLAN YOUR TRIP
Start your trip with an adrenaline rush—the Tree-to-Tree Adventure at the Tallahassee Museum. Tackle 16 zip lines that criss-cross over cypress swamps and forest while you maneuver swinging steps and balance bridges. You’ll want to look down as you may spot some of the wildlife that lives here: Florida panthers, black bears, red and gray foxes, and bald eagles.
Close out the afternoon with a drive down one of Tallahassee’s nine canopy roads. Moss-covered oaks and hickory trees are among the giants that make up an arboreal umbrella over these official canopy roads whose origins date to the 1600s. Grab a drink at Bar 1903 when you’re back in town to celebrate the start of an epic Florida journey. Follow it with dinner across the street at the Il Lusso, where chefs use locally sourced ingredients to create high-end Italian-inspired dishes, including handcrafted pasta.
DAY 2Tallahassee’s waterways
After paddling and swimming, it’s time to take a hike. First, head toward Wakulla Springs, about 25 minutes away by car. If you’re hungry, stop en route at Kast Net, a family-owned seafood restaurant serving baskets of fresh fried fish. At nearby Wakulla Springs, walk the Cherokee Sink Trail to come to the turquoise blue waters of a massive sinkhole where you can swim with turtles. Once you’re back in Tallahassee and freshened up, have dinner tonight at Table 23, great for Southern comfort food like fried green tomatoes and pecan-crusted okra.
DAY 3Apalachicola National Forest
You can actually bike all the way from Tallahassee to St. Marks on the coast. The Historic Railroad State Trail, once part of a path used to carry cotton shipments, is now 16 miles of paved pathway. Grab some seafood and learn about the history of the area at San Marcos de Apalache State Park.
Day 4Panama City Beach
Get your heart going with beach volleyball or head across the street to Pier Park. The outdoor entertainment district has more than 120 shops and restaurants, plus a mirror maze, laser tag experience, and the towering 200-foot SkyWheel with its adjoining 18-hole mini golf course.
Later this afternoon, take a boat ride to deserted Shell Island off the coast where you can go for peaceful walks to collect seashells. You can choose from pontoon boats, unguided Jet Ski rentals, dolphin snorkeling trips, and sunset sails. Alternatively, scuba-certified adventurers can enjoy shipwreck diving experiences.
Tonight, venture to The Grand Marlin for a relaxed dining experience overlooking Grand Lagoon. Award-winning chef Gregg McCarthy offers a menu of seared and grilled catches of the day alongside she-crab soup, gulf shrimp pastas, and fresh oysters.
DAY 5Cape San Blas
Head about an hour southeast of Panama City Beach to visit the nationally recognized beaches of Cape San Blas. You’ll understand why immediately. With miles of white sand and turquoise waters, the “Old Florida” vibe in town complements the coastal beauty. Horseback riding on the beach is one of the best activities here.
While you drive back to Panama City Beach, your personal concierge with Endless Beach Rentals will be preparing a bonfire on the sand, complete with chairs, s’mores ingredients, coolers, and even hammocks if you’d like.