2008 Best of Tallahassee
Your votes have been cast and the results are in!
Best of Tallahassee 2008
The savvy shoppers, daring diners and otherwise knowledgeable readers of Tallahassee Magazine have voted, choosing their favorites in categories ranging from best brunch to best weekend getaway
Compiled by Victoria Rich, Nathan Spicer, Rosanne Dunkelberger, Jason Dehart, Jay Christie and Ashley Kahn; Photos by Scott Holstein
The readers have spoken and the results are in: Here are the 86 “Best of” winners as chosen by the discerning readers of Tallahassee Magazine. You may agree with some of the choices, while others will leave you wondering what your friends and neighbors were thinking when they didn’t vote for one of your favorites. Perhaps you’ll be tempted to try a winning restaurant, shop at a store or avail yourself of the services of one of professionals who have been selected as the “Best of Tallahassee 2008.”
The kudos last all year, but the winners will have their special night at the “Best of Tallahassee” event held Nov. 22 at FSU’s University Center Club. It’s all part of the 12th Annual Tallahassee Wine & Food Festival, a major annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes. In addition to red-carpet treatment for our winners, the evening includes tastings of gourmet food and hundreds of wines from around the world as well as one of the area’s biggest and best silent auctions. The money raised is used locally to help improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality.
For more information on the Tallahassee Wine & Food Festival or to learn how you can host your own private wine dinner to raise funds for the March of Dimes, call Eventions at (850) 222-0200.
Food & Beverage
Best Appetizer | Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille
The appetizers here are simply delectable. Harry’s Signature Crab Cakes are a sure crowd pleaser, as well as mouthwatering Voo Doo Shrimp sautéed in a blend of garlic butter and creole seasoning. Hot wings and calamari are among the other scrumptious apps found on the menu. Hmmm … decisions, decisions.
Best Asian Restaurant | Masa
Masa appeared in 2005 with a modern décor and a broad approach that reaches across Asia. If you’re craving something from the other side of the Pacific, the restaurant serves everything from Japanese sushi to Thai noodles – even Mongolian flavors spice up some dishes.
Best Bar | Tantra Lounge
Located within Fusion Café on North Monroe, Tantra is the place to be for good drinks and even better company in a posh décor accentuated by the pulsing house beats. The menu features an extensive array of martinis (tropical lychee fruit, anyone?) as well as several twists on the mojito, including a refreshing blueberry version. Hungry? Nibble on an eclectic selection of tapas, or “small plates,” or dine from the sushi menu.
Best Barbecue | Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q
Tallahasseeans have raved about Sonny’s friendly service, authentic slow-smoked barbecue and Southern charm since its first Tallahassee opening in 1976. With generous portions at prices everyone can afford, our love for Sonny’s good ol’ Southern cooking has continued to grow for more than 30 years.
Best Brunch | Another Broken Egg Café
Another year, and Another Broken Egg takes the honors for the invented meal between breakfast and lunch. The lakeside eatery serves everything from the prosaic scrambled egg to a divine Florentine Omelet with chicken or shrimp, as well as country potatoes mixed with just about anything you can think of. Or try a side of blackberry grits.
Best Carry-Out/Gourmet-To-Go | Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Want a nice family dinner without the hassle of cooking? Look no further than Carrabba’s Italian Grill. This Tallahassee favorite combines a wide selection of delicious, classic Italian dishes with the convenience of carryout service. Just give them a call and a mouth-watering Italian meal will be delivered right to your car.
Best Casual Dining | Paradise Grill And Bar
The chaos of life lifts at the Paradise Grill and Bar, where the ambiance is definitely “Margaritaville.” The menu, including daily lunch specials, satisfies on every day of the week. If a creative mood strikes, you can indulge your inner chef with the “Build Your Own Quesadilla” option. Or stop by on Wednesday and Friday nights for food, fun and live music.
Best Caterer | Klassic Katering
Still haven’t figured out what to cook for your next special affair? Stop stressing! Klassic Katering takes the guesswork out of hosting with catering and event planning services ranging from the small, simple dinner party with close friends to the elegant wedding reception for hundreds. Known for its close attention to detail, creativity and individualized attention, this Tallahassee favorite has offered superior service and exceptional cuisine to the Big Bend for more than 16 years.
Best Celebration/Special Occasion Restaurant | Cypress Restaurant
Picture your family and friends as they gather to weave tales, crack jokes, and sit back and relax in Cypress’ “casual metropolitan setting.” Or maybe you’re celebrating a special occasion a deux. Whatever your event, owners David and Elizabeth Gwynn will ensure wonderful food and an atmosphere that matches your mood.
Best Dessert | Chez Pierre
When you’re in the mood for a delicious treat, check out Chez Pierre’s list of dessert items. Rich, decadent indulgences will have your tongue begging for more and your stomach convincing you it has plenty more room.
Best Family Friendly Restaurant | Beef ‘O’ Brady’s
Looking for the ideal restaurant for the entire family? Look no further than Beef ‘O’ Brady’s! With a menu consisting of hamburgers, soups, wings and salads, this family-friendly restaurant has something for everyone, including a sports bar with enough televisions to satisfy all the fans in the house.
Best Fast Food Chain | Chick-fil-A
A pioneer in the fast food biz, this delicious, affordable restaurant offers everything from those classic Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches that made the chain famous to chargrilled chicken salads for health-conscious diners. Despite their popularity for all three of the day’s meals, the restaurant is always family-friendly and clean and the servers pleasant and efficient.
Best Fine Dining Restaurant | Cypress Restaurant
Chef/Owner David Gwynn graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, apprenticed at Criolla’s in Grayton Beach and worked with a chef in Dallas. Those experiences – coupled with a heaping helping of inherent creativity and talent – led him and his wife, Elizabeth, to create one of the region’s most highly regarded restaurants. The menu abounds with fantastic dishes, such as the Duck Fla-Orange and Creamy Shiitake Mushroom Soup.
Best French Restaurant | Chez Pierre
You don’t need the Eiffel Tower to experience the best of France – it’s right here in Tallahassee in Chez Pierre’s continental dishes, such as lobster ravioli, duck confit and River Run trout. The cuisine is so authentic, don’t be surprised to hear a “C’est magnifique!” escaping your mouth after savoring that last morsel.
Best Hamburger | 2Chez at Chez Pierre
It’s time to treat yourself to the best burger in town! Tucked away under beautiful Tallahassee oaks, Chez Pierre’s Burger Bar offers a wide variety of juicy, chargrilled burgers, each with a unique flavor and undeniable deliciousness.
Best Italian Restaurant | Riccardo’s
Spend a meal experiencing Riccardo’s authentic Italian cuisine – especially the dinner rolls spread with garlic butter – throw in a soccer match, and you’ll swear you’re in Italy. (Except for the “I Love Lucy” allusions covering the establishment.)
Best Locally-Owned Restaurant | Cypress Restaurant
Owned by Tallahassee natives David and Elizabeth Gwynn, Cypress has continued to win over both our hearts and our stomachs since its opening in April 2000. Known for its exceptional menu and sophisticated presentation, Cypress combines the elegance and grandeur of big-city cuisine with a menu of Southern classics.
Best Mexican Restaurant | Morelia Mexican Dining
As soon as you sit down, a bottomless basket of chips and a spicy salsa appear on your table – and your meal is only going to get better at Morelia. Diners praise the restaurant’s authentic Mexican cuisine (no faux Tex-Mex here – the queso, nachos and entrees are the real deal), reasonable prices and fast service.
Best Outdoor Dining | Food Glorious Food
What could be better than the creamy goodness of FGF’s “Mackin’ Cheese” with tasso ham? How about tucking into that big bowl as you relax in the greenery-filled courtyard and enjoy the gentle breeze of a perfect Tallahassee evening? It really is glorious.
Best Pizza | Decent Pizza
This locally owned pizza place was just being modest when naming the joint. Decent Pizza goes far beyond its title, with friendly service and some of the best pies in town. If you’re looking for something tasty to fill up the stomach, stop in for a huge, steaming-hot slice of pizza or try one of the mouth-watering calzones.
Best Romantic Restaurant | Andrew’s 228
Two Two Eight is the number to keep in mind when you’re thinking about a special meal with that special someone. The eatery offers fine American and Italian cuisine offered in a relaxed, “urban chic” setting. Score a reservation today and you might score a kiss tonight.
Best Salad/Salad Bar | Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q
With bottomless salad bowl in hand, Sonny’s invites its customers to indulge in the Sonny’s garden. The salad bar, with more than 30 items, includes everything you’d ever want in a salad and so much more – including some of the best banana pudding in town!
Best Sandwich | Hopkins’ Eatery
With two locations in town, Tallahasseeans can’t get enough of the delicious hot and cold sandwiches and subs offered at this local favorite. Choose from a wide variety of mouth-watering soups, salads, sandwiches and such, each with a unique and enticing taste that will keep you coming back for more.
Best Seafood Market | Southern Seafood
For close to a decade, Southern has been voted the best place to go if you want the freshest seafood. Because of its sales volume, Southern can ensure the freshest snapper, grouper, tuna, scallops, salmon and more. But the staff is always willing to cut the perfect-size portion for customers and offer advice on the best ways to season and cook what they sell.
Best Seafood Restaurant | Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant
While the atmosphere is laid-back and casual, seafood has been serious business at Barnacle Bill’s for nearly 30 years. The restaurant’s centerpiece is the raw bar for oyster slurping, but Barnacle Bill’s also offers multitudes of seafood dishes. All you have to do is bring your appetite.
Best Steakhouse | Marie Livingston’s Steak House
A popular favorite and perennial “Best of” winner, Marie Livingston’s has the best prime rib sandwich in town – and the fresh, homemade yeast rolls alone are worth the trip to its North Monroe location near the Interstate 10 interchange. The eatery is recognized for having superb steaks; but if that’s not you’re hungry for, the menu also includes shrimp, fish and jalapeno poppers as well. (Good news! A second Marie Livingston’s under construction at the old Durango’s location on Apalachee Parkway should be open soon.)
Best Sushi | Jasmine Café & Lounge
Known for its consistently great food, urban and trendy atmosphere, and distinct sauces made in house, it’s no wonder Jasmine has once again come out on top as Tallahassee’s favorite sushi joint. Whether you’re looking for a quick and delicious lunch with coworkers or planning the perfect date, this popular downtown storefront is sure to exceed expectations and keep you coming back for more.
Best Wine List | Café Cabernet
The aromas emanating from Café Cabernet will leave even the most sophisticated wine connoisseur drooling. With a 700-label wine list coupled with fine European cuisine, you might feel Café Cabernet belongs on the water in Sicily. But rest assured, it’s sitting cozily in midtown Tallahassee.
Best Wings | Wing Stop
This year’s nod makes it two in a row for the chicken wing emporium. When you’ve got “wing” in your name, is it any wonder the folks there consider themselves “The Wing Experts”? With three Tallahassee locations and a plethora of flavors, including teriyaki and garlic parmesan, there’s more than enough to satisfy true wing lovers.
Best Air Conditioning/Heating | Benson’s Heating and Air Conditioning
When it’s blazing hot outside and your AC’s not putting out the cool, service that is fast, friendly, skilled – did we mention fast? – is a top priority. Benson’s also offers a selection of service plans to help keep the unit you’ve got running in tip-top shape.
Best Assisted Living Facility | Westminster Oaks
Dedicated to fitting the lifestyle needs of its residents, Westminster strives to provide a true home away from home. Westminster’s beautiful and wide campus offers a variety of amenities, activities and levels of care designed to fit the needs of each resident in the community.
Best Builder/Contractor | Turner Heritage Homes
A 50th anniversary is quite a milestone, and Turner is celebrating by continuing to offer customers the same great buying experience that has made it a success. With a 10-year-warranty, talented in-house designers – who are limited only by your imagination – and financing options to suit different income levels, Turner continues matches customers with the perfect place to call home.
Best Carpet Cleaner | Stanley Steemer
Constantly noticing that stain on the carpet or scratches on your wood floors? Allow the fully trained professionals at Stanley Steemer to lift them away. With state-of-the-art equipment and an unwavering dedication to its customers, Stanley Steemer provides quality floor cleaning for a full range of floor surfaces – wood, tile and grout and carpet.
Best Chiropractor | Richard Freesmeier, D.C.
As a practicing chiropractor in Tallahassee for more than 28 years, Freesmeier is dedicated to improving the physical well-being of each patient he encounters. Whether you are suffering from a severe injury or just simple aches and pains, Freesmeier and his friendly staff plan treatments to fit your individual needs and help rid you of bothersome back and neck pain.
Best Day Spa Services | Chelsea Salon & Spa
Treat yourself to a day of pampering, or give the gift of relaxation and renewal at Chelsea. You can choose from nine thoughtfully designed spa packages, many including a massage, manicure, pedicure and take-home gift, or peruse the complete services menu and create a unique spa experience just for you.
Best Dentist Office | Russell B. Rainey, D.M.D.
When you see the pineapple on the sign, relax and open wide. “Best Dentist” winner three years in a row, Dr. Rainey’s practice is friendly and low-key – the place where beautiful smiles have been revealed for the past 20 years.
Best Dry Cleaner | Prestige Cleaners
For more than 25 years, this locally owned business has been keeping wardrobes spotless. With four locations, Prestige cares for all your clothing that needs TLC, as well as offering cleaning for drapes, rugs and leather, wedding gown preservation and restoration of damaged clothes.
Best Eyeglass Store | The Hour Glass
Sixty minutes is all you need. You’re sure to find your perfect pair – or two – at The Hour Glass. With two locations in Tallahassee, this perennial winner stocks nearly 4,000 frames, contact lenses and a wide range of accessories to guarantee that your eyes will never look or perform better.
Best Financial Institution | Florida Commerce Credit Union
Dedicated to building solid relationships with its members, Florida Commerce offers a wide range of services, up-to-date technology and competitive products to meet all members’ financial needs. With seven locations in town and a longtime commitment to excellence, it’s no wonder Tallahasseeans rave about this member-owned financial institution.
Best Flooring/Carpet | Brian Barnard’s Flooring America
Look! Down on the floor! Chances are you’re seeing carpet, wood, tile, vinyl or rugs from Brian Barnard’s – named as “Best of” winner in this category four years in a row. The one-stop flooring shop has two Tallahassee showrooms chock-full of samples and the area’s largest in-stock supply of area rugs, as well as a staff of knowledgeable salespersons and skilled installers.
Best Florist | Blossoms
Roses are red, violets are blue; Tallahassee loves Blossoms, and we’re sure you will too! With an exciting array of gifts, custom silk arrangements, gourmet baskets and a fabulous fresh flower selection, Blossoms has once again earned top honors. Locally owned and operated, Blossoms continues its tradition of creativity and excellence, bringing beautiful arrangements to residents and facilities throughout the area.
Best Gym/Health Club | Premier Health & Fitness Center
This Tallahassee favorite takes fitness training to an entirely new level with amenities ranging from a heated lap pool to an indoor track, an NBA-sized basketball court and supervised child care. With friendly service and more than 90 group classes weekly, this workout supercenter goes above and beyond to help whip you into shape.
Best Hair Salon | Green Peridot
As one of Tallahassee’s leading hair salons for more than six years, Green Peridot combines up-to-the-minute looks with a bit of creativity and energy for its clients. Offering everything from precision haircutting, styling and innovative hair coloring to facial hair removal, makeup consultation and hair damage remedies, you’re sure to look both trendy and glamorous after a visit.
Best Insurance Agency | Demont Insurance Agency
Family-owned and operated, Demont offers home, auto, business, boat and financial services, each designed to fit its clients’ unique situations. As part of the Tallahassee community for more than 25 years, the Demont Agency understands the importance of reliable insurance at an affordable price and offers multi-line and good-driver discounts to its clients.
Best Interior Design Firm | The Sechrest Design Company
Friends say Clay Sechrest is a wonderful, original and caring person. When those positive attributes are applied to home design, the results transform clients’ ideas, lifestyle and desires into their perfect living environment.
Best Landscaping/Lawn Services | Tallahassee Nurseries
With years of training and experience, the landscape experts at Tallahassee Nurseries strive to create the garden of their clients’ dreams. Taking into consideration the light, soil and water requirements of the plants, they can develop a year-round outdoor living space for homeowners – and by offering a variety of lawn services – without the hassles of constant maintenance.
Best Limo Service | Mike’s Limousine
You may not be a rock star or famous athlete, but you can roll like one using Mike’s limo service. Ride in style – how about a 40-foot-land yacht or stretch Hummer? – when you feel the need to make an entrance.
Best Nail Salon | Chelsea Salon & Spa
Indulge in the alluring fragrances of the tropics while the highly skilled technicians of Chelsea salon give your nails first-class attention. Chelsea offers a variety of luxurious nail treatments ranging from fiberglass nails to Caribbean-inspired nail therapy, the perfect relief after a stressful workweek.
Best Nursery/Garden Center | Tallahassee Nurseries
Since its founding in 1938, Tallahassee Nurseries has become an important part of the community. A trip to its beautiful grounds on Thomasville Road is almost a rite of spring around here. Combining an experienced and devoted staff with a true passion for the outdoors, Tallahassee Nurseries has continuously provided local gardeners with the finest plants and gardening supplies.
Best Painter – Residential/Commercial | Superior Painting
Offering a wide variety of home improvement services, Superior Painting exceeds expectations and goes above and beyond to satisfy their customers. With services ranging from wood rot repair and home or business remodels to interior and exterior painting and roof cleaning, Superior believes no job is too big or too small and customizes their services to meet customers’ needs.
Best Pest Control Service | Capelouto Termite & Pest Control
With 44 years of dedication and experience in the Tallahassee area, Capelouto has earned a reputation for quality service to its customers. Featuring the most advanced termite and pest control programs available, this locally owned business strives to help you say “goodbye, bugs” forever.
Best Photographer | Lynn Ivory
A picture captures a moment in time, and for 35 years, Lynn Ivory has been making those moments look brilliant with a combination of artistic talent and new technologies that give her portraits a timeless quality. She has been using fully digital equipment for three years and is now working from the studio of her photographer-daughter, Dina Ivory.
Best Physician’s Group | Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee. This incredibly popular office is a leader in skin cancer treatment and its services include Mohs micrographic surgery, Puva light therapy and radiation treatment.
Best Plumbing | Keith McNeill Plumbing Contractor, Inc.
Three quarters of the world is covered by water. If part of that includes your bathroom floor, Keith McNeill and his crew can quickly rectify the situation, combining 30 years of plumbing knowledge with constant dedication to customer satisfaction.
Best Pool and Spa | L&L Pool and Spa
This licensed and insured local business has been one of Tallahassee’s leading pool and spa service centers for more than 20 years. Offering everything from electric leak detection and complete pool and spa repair, to weekly pool services and a variety of pumps, motors and filters, L&L has become the one-stop-shop for Tallahassee pool and spa owners.
Best Real Estate Agency | Coldwell Banker Hartung & Noblin Inc.
This independently owned and operated member of Coldwell Banker Real Estate lists its mission as becoming one of the most respected real estate companies in Tallahassee and being a good corporate citizen. Mission accomplished. With 65 agents (55 in Tallahassee and 10 in Wakulla County), Coldwell Banker was the area’s No. 1 seller in 2007, with more than $184 million in sales production.
Best Real Estate Agent | Virginia Glass
When the roll call of Tallahassee’s finest real estate professionals is made, you’re sure to find silver-haired Virginia Glass on the list. A real estate specialist with Coldwell Banker Hartung & Noblin, she has been “turning dreams into addresses” for more than 40 years and is regularly found in the area’s top 1 percent of producers.
Best Security System | Sonitrol of Tallahassee
The locally owned branch of this nationwide company is very popular among Tallahasseeans. High-tech listening allow Sonitrol to hear when somebody is breaking into your home or business. This handy feature, combined with other technology, enables Sonitrol to give real-time feedback to police – and security to you.
Best Veterinarian | George Simmons, D.V.M.
If Rover and Puff are important members of the family, Dr. Simmons and his team at North Florida Animal Hospital offer some of the most advanced veterinary care available in the region, from CT scans to endoscopies and hydrotherapy.
Best Weight Loss/Control Program | Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre
Losing those extra pounds is never easy, but with prepackaged meals, encouragement from trained consultants and a comprehensive approach to lifestyle change, Jenny Craig offers a real solution to winning the battle of the bulge.
Best Antique Shop | Sally Rude Antiques & Fine Art Gallery
Known for exquisite antiques and one-of-a-kind artwork, it’s no wonder Sally Rude Antiques has been voted No. 1 again this year. Carrying a variety of gifts and home décor, as well as antique furniture, estate jewelry and decorative artwork, this Tallahassee favorite will add a hint of historic elegance and style to your home.
Best Commercial Furniture | Executive Office Furniture
Founded in 1970 by Harry Arnold, this locally owned and operated business prides itself on its great selection and its extensively trained sales staff and delivery/installation crew. Executive Office has also excelled as a community partner by donating employees’ time to area schools, civic organizations and charities such as the United Way.
Best Consignment Shop | Plato’s Closet
Look great without spending the big bucks at this fashion-savvy recycling retail store. Shop for the latest fashion trends at a fraction of the cost, or bring in your gently used designer brands and they’ll turn your so-last-season wardrobe into cash.
Best Furniture | Havertys
When it comes to a makeover of interior proportions, Havertys is Tallahassee No. 1 go-to spot. The showroom on Apalachee Parkway – full of inspirational groupings – has all the essentials for transforming a ho-hum house into a beautiful living environment.
Best Gift Store | My Favorite Things
Looking for a special gift for the new bride or parents-to-be? This family-owned business, established in 1985, offers the largest selection of china, crystal and silver gifts in the Southeast. With helpful associates and gift registries, you’re sure to find the perfect present for every occasion.
Best Home Decorating | Kirkland’s
Luxurious, stylish and affordable Kirkland’s offers a large variety of designer home décor pieces – without the painfully high prices. Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift or just trying to spruce up your living space, Kirkland’s will meet all of your home accessory needs.
Best Jewelry Store | Robert’s Jewelry & Design
Co-owners Robert Peavy and Henry Mattason bring passion and creativity to their work. Known for their friendly service, impressive workmanship and close attention to detail, Robert’s provides unique and exquisite pieces for its customers.
Best Kids Clothing | Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart offers wallet relief to parents looking to clothe their youngsters. With a great selection of affordable children’s clothing and four Tallahassee locations, this Supercenter is a one-stop-shop for busy parents and their ever-growing kids.
Best Men’s Clothing | Nic’s Toggery
ZZ Top got it right: The ladies are crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man. And guys who want to make a fashion statement make their way to one of Nic’s three Tallahassee locations to find the finest names in menswear and a personal consultant to assure that they’ve got the look.
Best Women’s Accessories | Dillard’s
You’ve bought the outfit, but the job is only half done. Now it’s time to accessorize! From socks to sunglasses, and all the other fashionable embellishments – watches, jewelry and belts, for instance – in between, Dillard’s has a huge selection of accessories from the tops names in design, such as Ralph Lauren, Fossil, Kenneth Cole, Seiko, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs.
Best Women’s Clothing | Chico’s
Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for the office or a night out with friends, Chico’s offers a variety of fashions, from dressy to casual – all with a touch of elegance. Trust the warm sales staff to help you build a beautiful wardrobe suitable for every occasion.
Best Women’s Shoes | Shoe Station
High heels, sandals, dressy, casual, athletic, black, navy, metallic … whatever outfit she’s trying to coordinate with, she’ll find her perfect match from the thousands of pairs on display at Shoe Station. And with discounted prices, as well as a weekly coupon offering at least 20 percent off, it’s easy to get just the right shoe for every look.
Best Art Gallery | LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts
Named for Jacques LeMoyne, the first artist to visit North Florida in the 1560s, this center for the visual arts is the easel on which Tallahassee paints its culture. The center is locally famous for its year-round art classes, special events and exhibits – and an eagerly anticipated annual holiday gift sale. Also, a quiet sculpture garden provides visitors with a venue for a relaxing stroll.
Best Community Event | 7 Days of Opening Nights
Whatever your artistic pleasure, this cavalcade of special events each February is sure to offer something irresistible. The full schedule of concerts, readings, theater, dance and other special cultural events never can seem to be contained in the “7 Days” mentioned in its name.
Best Golf Course | Golden Eagle Golf & Country Club
Grab your clubs and head out for a day of golf in the beautiful Florida weather. Designed by world-renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio, Golden Eagle offers 18 holes of wide fairways and strategically placed bunkers to create a course that is challenging yet playable for both casual and serious golfers.
Best Local Attraction | Wakulla Springs State Park
Getting in touch with Florida’s natural world is easy at Wakulla Springs State Park. If swimming in perpetually cool spring water on a blazing hot summer day doesn’t appeal, you can still take in the sights via a riverboat tour. There is an abundance of birds, deer, turtle and alligators – enough to give visitors a look at the natural paradise Florida once was.
Best Place to Be Seen | Governors Club
In the shadow of Florida’s Capitol, this is the place where Tallahassee’s “politirati” gather to meet, eat and hobnob. The by-invitation-only club offers great food and one of the area’s largest wine and liquor selections, as well as a variety of rooms where members can socialize at a fast business lunch, clubby meeting, jackets-required dinner or elegant wedding reception.
Best Place to Take the Kids | Zoink’s Kidstation
Tallahassee’s newest family fun center offers more than 17,000 square feet of mazes, bouncers, slides and excitement for children ages 2 to 10. With great rates, friendly service and a designated “adult area” equipped with wireless Internet and flat-screen television, Zoinks provides a safe and entertaining experience the whole family will enjoy.
Best Splurge for Her | Chelsea Salon & Spa
As Tallahassee’s only Aveda Lifestyle Salon, Chelsea offers a variety of ways to relax and rejuvenate one’s mind and body. Choose from the wide selection of perfectly tailored spa treatments, many including a massage, facial, manicure and/or pedicure and take-home gift, or treat yourself to a fresh new hairstyle.
Best Splurge for Him | Edwin Watts
“Tiger Woods is out for the season. Now there’s room at the top for me … .” Hey, a guy’s allowed to dream, isn’t he? The region’s
best selection of golf wear (at least he’ll look good), clubs from all the major manufacturers and the necessities for a great round are at this golf superstore on Capital Circle Northeast.
Best Sports Bar | A.J. Sports Bar & Grill
Grill and bar by day, A.J.’s is a Tallahassee hot spot by night. With a fully stocked bar and menu featuring delicious Backyard Burgers, sandwiches and wings, A.J.’s is a great place to kick back and watch an afternoon game. However by nightfall, the sports bar quickly turns into one of the biggest parties in town, equipped with live music, disc jockey, daily drink specials and an outer deck, perfect for a fun night out.
Best Weekend Getaway | St. George Island
Call it Tallahassee’s “home away from home.” This barrier island may be inhabited, but the natural beauty of the beaches there is hard to beat. But it’s not just the sand and surf that make it popular. There are salt marshes, bay forests, hiking trails, observation decks, bird-watching opportunities and local eateries offering mouth-watering seafood.
Best Corporate Citizen | Blossoms
When charitable organizations ask – for event decorations, silent auction items, demonstrations or donations – chances are Jesica Parker and Lisa Metcalf, the partners who operate this midtown floral shop, say “yes.” Blossoms has donated tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of services to dozens of nonprofit groups, including Big Bend Cares, the March of Dimes and the Children’s Home Society.
Best New Business | Edible Arrangements
Instead of sending loved ones or friends a vase of flowers that eventually wilt, why not an arrangement of yummy fruit treats that are as tasty as they are colorful? That’s what Edible Arrangements is all about – providing deliciously designed displays that are fun to look at and even more enjoyable to eat.
Best Radio Personality | Steve Christian
With more than 16 years of disk jockey experience, this local favorite hosts the afternoon show on Star98. He also has his own mobile DJ service and performs at everything from wedding receptions and birthdays, to holiday parties and school dances.
Best TV Personality | Rob Nucatola
He’s back for a second year as our readers’ favorite weatherman. With enough energy to charge a thunderstorm, Nucatola has been with on the WCTV Eyewitness News team since 2000.