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Looking for something a bit different to do in Tallahassee? I strongly recommend a visit to a plantation. I know, it was a bit of a surprise for me as well, but there are a few plantations in the Tallahassee area, and they are generally quite well preserved and a pleasure to explore.

 

During my father’s unexpected one day last-minute visit to Tallahassee I wanted to try and take him to a nice coffee place for a laid back brunch. But, there’s a problem with Tallahassee in how most coffee shops are located next to those awful shopping parking lots and large roads (with BlackDog near Lake Ella being a lovely exception). I honestly thought I knew all the coffee shops in Tallahassee but a more in-depth search online brought up the Goodwood Fanny’s Garden Café. So, we went over to have a look, and what a lovely surprise it was! Based in a restored guest-house in the Goodwood House and Gardens, it’s a coffee shop that serves very good food and coffee out in a real plantation garden and once you’re done with chilling out you can wonder around the grounds and get a taste of some real southern history.

 

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Want to know more about the history behind the Goodwood plantations? Their official website offers some of the turmoil history:

The estate known as Goodwood was assembled in the 1830s by Hardy Croom of North Carolina. Plans for a full-time Florida residence were dashed when he, his wife and three children perished in the sinking of their steamship while en route to Florida. Bryan Croom, Hardy’s brother, completed the Main House at Goodwood and established it as the centerpiece for his extensive Florida landholdings. […]

Goodwood was purchased by wealthy Arvah Hopkins who made Goodwood a popular center for Tallahassee society from the 1850s through the 1880s.

In 1911, Mrs. Arrowsmith sold Goodwood to another wealthy widow, Mrs. Alexander Tiers. Although she spent only limited time at Goodwood, Mrs. Tiers instituted an expansive renovation of the estate; the Goodwood of today is largely the result of her efforts. […]

As the story goes, in 1925 Senator William C. Hodges bought the most expensive bed of his life. As he related, his wife, Margaret, had always admired one of the old beds at Goodwood. However, to get the bed he had to buy the estate! Senator Hodges had a long and distinguished political career and he and his wife entertained the socially and politically prominent at Goodwood in a fashion unequaled since the Civil War. After the senator’s death in 1940, Margaret continued to make Goodwood a social center. […]

 

Let’s take a walk…

 

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The main house is open for visitors and is still looks like a home from a different era…

 

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Finally, the guest house and charming coffee shop gardens…

 

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Be sure to visit! as far as I’m concerned this is a Tallahassee must.



Tags: blackdog; coffee shop; florida; gardens; goodwood; history; lake ella; museum; plantation; southern culture; tallahassee;


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