Explore: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
I’m a Florida girl. I was born and raised here, and one of the things I love about my state is that there is so much to see and explore. As my boys grow up, I want to take them to some of my favorite Florida destinations as well as discover new gems as a family in our home state.
I’m so excited to kick off my Florida Living blog series with one of my favorite places on Earth: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. This slice of Heaven, located in Tallahassee, has so much to do for both adults and children.
The canopied gardens draw many to this picturesque park. The bricked paths under oaks surrounded by abundant azaleas and camellias are the definition of Old Florida. I grew up exploring these grounds, and delighted in finding secret gardens and paths nestled throughout the winding walkways. The old Maclay house, facing gorgeous Lake Hall, still stands, and is open for touring at certain times throughout the year.
Lake Hall is a wonderful component of this place! You can kayak and boat here (there is a boat launch), and it also boasts a small beach and a roped off swimming area. It’s perfect for children – it’s super shallow with a slow descent. My oldest absolutely loves visiting the lake during the summer months for a swim! Right next to the swimming area, you will find awesome picnic facilities complete with covered pavilions and grilling areas, a playground, and full restroom and changing facilities.
In addition to the gardens and the lake, there are beautiful trails that trail runners, hikers, mountain bikers, and even equestrians can take advantage of. I have hiked the trails baby wearing my youngest while my toddler was on foot, and we have enjoyed seeing the wildlife and natural beauty while being protected by ample shade!
You can easily spend a whole day at this park, and every season brings something new! From seasonal concerts to tours to holiday celebrations, there always seems to be something exciting going on.
If you and yours ever find yourselves in Northwest Florida, definitely make a trip to visit Maclay Gardens. I promise you won’t regret it!
Location: 3540 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee FL, 32309
Hours: 8:00AM – sunset, daily
Fees: $6.00 per vehicle
Park Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/MaclayGardens
Tip: Since my family loves exploring parks, we purchased an annual pass that allows us into Maclay Gardens as well as any other Florida state park. Since my husband is a military veteran, we were able to take advantage of their 25% off discount. It’s definitely something to look into if you are an outdoor loving military family!