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Leaving the whole Sunshine State image to the more touristy areas of Florida, dignified Tallahassee takes its role as State Capital pretty seriously. From legislators to college students to business travelers, everyone is ready to get to work, and the mood is more "gracious Southern charm" than "fun in the sun.”

Local attractions are more intellectually stimulating than adrenaline-producing, and short on tourist kitsch, but that suits most visitors just fine. History lovers should not miss the fascinating Mission San Luis, a reconstructed Spanish and Apalachee mission from the 17th century, or the fun and insightful Museum of Florida History.

Get a birds-eye view of Tallahassee from the observation deck on the top floor of the Florida State Capitol, and duck next door to check out the candy-striped awnings and glass dome at the Historic Capitol. And if you have a few spare hours, dip down to Wakulla Springs for a serene river tour that gives you a good idea what Florida used to look like.