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Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park

Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park Area is located in north central Tallahassee near U.S. 319 (Thomasville Road) and U.S. 27 (North Monroe Street).  Lake Ella is a small lake with fountains surrounded by a walking trail and picnic pavilions.  A variety of shops, community centers and restaurants are located within easy walking distance of the lake.

Shortcut: Florida Lakes  Florida Parks  

Lake Ella

Lake Ella at Fred O. Drake Park on Monroe Street, Tallahassee

Lake Ella is a 12 acre lake used by the City of Tallahassee for the treatment of storm water runoff.  It is surrounded by Fred Drake Park, a 6.5 acre recreational area with picnic shelters and a .6 mile paved path encircling the lake. 

Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park are a great place to walk the dog, take a jog or have a picnic.  On the west shore, one can find the Cottages of Lake Ella, an enclave of eclectic shops and cafes.  On the north shore is the Saul’s-Bridge American Legion Hall and the Black Dog Café with its weekly farmers market, The Growers Market.  Many restaurants, shops and community centers are close by and within easy walking distance.

Cottages at Lake Ella

The Cottages at Lake Ella is a group of historic stone cottages housing a variety of shops and services.  These cottages were built in the late 1920s or early 1930s by Gilbert Chandler as part of the Tallahassee Motor Motel.  The Cottages are located on North Monroe Street.

Some of the current tenants are:

Quarter Moon Imports:  Unique clothing, exotic décor, jewelry and accessories

Barb’s Southern Style Brittles:  Out of this world homemade gourmet brittle and ice cream

Joe’s Bike Shop:  Bike sales

Lofty Pursuits:  Kites, yo-yos, darts, frisbees, classic toys, t shirts.  Hosts Saturday juggling club and Wednesday evening game night

The Barbershop at Lake Ella:  A full service barbershop

Sweet Stuffins:  Gift baskets, balloons, flowers and plants, and specialty gifts

Lake Ella Art Gallery:  Promotes local artists

Black Dog Cafe

Black Dog Café is a great spot to people watch or gaze on Lake Ella while sipping a café latte.  This coffeehouse offers an assortment of coffee drinks, as well as juices, teas, and baked goods.  Wine and beer are available after 6 pm.  The café is nonsmoking.  There is inside seating or plenty of outside seating on the large deck.  It is a popular student hangout.  WiFi is available.  Black Dog Café is located at 229 Lake Ella Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32303. Phone: 850-224-2518

The Growers’ Market

Fresh organic produce from local growers is sold every Wednesday from 3 pm to dusk at this open air market sponsored by FAMU Small Farm Programs.  The market offers workshops and cooking demonstrations from local chefs or farmers.  The market is located behind the Black Dog Café. 
The Growers’ Market behind Black Dog Café, 229 Lake Ella Street, Tallahassee.

The Saul’s-Bridge American Legion Hall

The Saul’s-Bridge American Legion Hall is the home of the American Legion, Saul’s Bridge Post #13.  It is also a hub for many other community events, such as ballroom, country and swing dancing and lessons.  The facility is available for rent to the public, and has a full kitchen, separate bar and restrooms and can accommodate up to 250 people.  The American Legion, Saul’s-Bridge Post #13, 229 Lake Ella Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32303, Phone: 850-222-3382, Saul’s-Bridge American Legion Hall Website

Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant

Just northwest of Lake Ella is another local spot, Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant, which has been serving up fresh seafood for over 20 years.  Lots going on here, with happy hour every day from 4 to 7 pm and 9 to 11 pm, and music played nightly.  Seafood is the name here, with a huge raw oyster bar and a variety of fish offered grilled, broiled, fried and smoked.  If you don’t like seafood, there is pasta, salads, burgers, chicken and steak served too.  Hours:  Open every day from 11 am - 11 pm (until midnight on Friday and Saturday).  Reservations not accepted.
Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant, 1830 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32303, Phone: 850-385-8734, Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant Website

The Tallahassee Senior Center for the Arts

The Tallahassee Senior Center for the Arts offers art classes taught by professional artists for all adults of any ages.  There is an ongoing open studio lab where students can work on their projects.  The center also has ongoing art exhibits in the Old Armory Gallery and holds periodic art sales. 
The Tallahassee Senior Center for the Arts, 1400 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Phone:  850-891-4000.


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