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A Nice Place to Stay, Hotels Nearby
Keeping in mind that Tallahassee is not only a college town but also the state capital, there is a vast selection of hotel options. There are all different things to take into consideration when booking; I’ll do my best to cover all of them. For instance; if you want a suite type of room, free breakfast and to be able to walk to campus; check out the Residence Inn. If you want a trendier hotel with a Starbucks in the lobby; check out Aloft. Of course, Hotel Duvall, a boutique hotel, has a unique vibe and the recently renovated and just a few blocks from campus, Sheraton 4 Points (on Tennessee!) has the most comfortable beds in town (or so I am told). I usually stay at the (also recently renovated and with a Starbucks in the lobby) Doubletree Hilton, because I can’t resist the chocolate chip cookie at check-in. Many of my friends, on the other hand, stay at the Marriott, because it is closer to their daughters’ sorority houses. And then there is the Governors Inn, which is a lovely, historic hotel conveniently located downtown. You see, lots to consider – location, breakfasts, bed comfort; but there is more.
For instance; if you want a suite type of room, free breakfast and to be able to walk to campus; check out the Residence Inn. If you want a trendier hotel with a Starbucks in the lobby; check out Aloft. Of course, Hotel Duvall, a boutique hotel, has a unique vibe and the recently renovated and just a few blocks from campus, Sheraton 4 Points (on Tennessee!) has the most comfortable beds in town (or so I am told). I usually stay at the (also recently renovated and with a Starbucks in the lobby) Doubletree Hilton, because I can’t resist the chocolate chip cookie at check-in. Many of my friends, on the other hand, stay at the Marriott, because it is closer to their daughters’ sorority houses. And then there is the Governors Inn, which is a lovely, historic hotel conveniently located downtown. You see, lots to consider – location, breakfasts, bed comfort; but there is more.
A new hotel addition about 4 miles from FSU is Candlewood Suites, an IHG brand hotel (which means points if you are registered with IHG Rewards). This is a more casual longer stay suite hotel with a kitchen, microwave, pots, pans & utensils, large desk space and weekly housekeeping. The new Holiday Inn on Apalachee Parkway is now accepting reservations for arrivals on or after October 18, 2018.
Cost is obviously something most of us consider. Generally, the farther from campus one goes, the less the prices will be. Of course, during football season; all bets are off. Prepare to pay between $250 and $400 during game weekends and be sure to book very far in advance. As for Parent’s Weekend (and graduation); the same story goes. I have literally booked my hotels the day they announced the date for Parent’s Weekend and been told many hotels were already sold out. Peak season can be tough, but keep calling back or opt to stay a bit farther from campus (and consider leaving your car and taking an Uber, because the traffic and parking are unreal.) You might even contemplate staying in Thomasville, Georgia; which is about forty minutes outside of Tally, but a quaint little town with some great restaurants and shops.
Since you will be doing this for at least four years, I recommend staying at the same brand hotel each time so you can accrue points. For instance, I generally stay Hilton, which means if I can’t get into the Doubletree, I can still accumulate points by staying at the Home2 Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn or a Hampton Inn (there are two in town; one has suites too- Hampton Inn Tallahassee-Central which is closer to FSU and Hampton Inn & Suites on I-10 Thomasville Rd, about 7 miles from FSU). You may also want to stay at Tru by Hilton. Their rooms are designed to be smaller but efficient with large bathrooms and tons of counter space, a large screen tv. They position themselves as being more for the value conscious traveler. We’ve heard some good things about this location which is on Apalachee Parkway. These points can earn you free nights and breakfasts. Perhaps by graduation, your stay will be free, but it is strongly recommended that you try to book that graduation hotel a year in advance. (Same goes for football games.) Some reservations require a two to three-night stay and/or allow for 24-hour cancellation, but for high demand weekends, you will generally need to cancel 30 days in advance. Be sure to check on this.
If you are coming in for a football game and want to stay at a hotel that is walking distance to the stadium, some of the options I listed above are within one to two miles of Doak Campbell Stadium, but there are many more. Seriously, the town has almost as many hotel options as students, but more seriously; they fill up very early. You can check out the Days Inn University Center, Budget Inn, University Inn and Suites and the Wyndham Garden Tallahassee Capitol. Another idea is to book through a website like Expedia.com or Hotels.com so you can accrue points there as well.
Then there are the non-peak weekends, where the prices are practically slashed by half. That same deluxe room, which consists of two queen beds or one king, can run as little as $132 a night. I have even seen some listing for rooms, during offseason for as little as $70 a night, but not at the chain hotels I try to stick with to earn those points. Choices?
For those who are traveling with pets, some of the hotels that are pet-friendly include Candlewood Suites Tallahassee, Staybridge Suites Tallahassee I-10 East, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Tallahassee Conference Center North, Aloft Tallahassee Downtown, Homewood Suites Tallahassee, Home2 Suites by Hilton Tallahassee State Capitol, Red Roof Inn Tallahassee – University, Baymont by Wyndham Tallahassee Central, and Best Western Tallahassee – Downtown Inn & Suites. Be sure, when making reservations, you tell them you are traveling with a pet. Some have fees.
Bed & Breakfast
I admit to never having tried out any Bed and Breakfasts in the area, but I have been tempted. The prices seem to be more reasonable (even in football season they appeared to be under $150 a night for double occupancy (and breakfast!) and are adorable; based on the photos. This may be a great alternative, although not walking distance from campus, but I still feel strongly about the abominable parking situation during peak weekends, therefore that Uber account will be very useful.
In a similar light, some parents have told me that they recently stayed at an Airbnb in the area when all the local hotels were booked. Some are conveniently located and have all the comforts of home.
That about covers where to stay while visiting Florida State. I’m leaving you responsible for what garnet and gold attire to wear for game day. Go Noles!