With hot spot vacation destinations like Orlando, Miami, and the Florida Keys, this southern state has long been a popular getaway. Like any vacation, though, visiting here can add up pretty quickly price-wise – if you’re looking for some budget-friendly options, here are 8 ideas across the state for things to do.
1. See Manatees At Three Sisters Springs
Three Sisters Springs is not only a gorgeous river in Florida, it’s also an amazing place to view manatees. Manatees, also known as sea cows, are most common in the area from October through mid-April. Three Sisters Springs offers land access, including boardwalks, to view the river. If you’re looking to kayak or boat, water entry isn’t permitted in the park due to bank erosion. However, if you head over to the nearby Hunter Springs Park or King’s Bay Park, both offer kayak ramps after April 1st. Admission to Three Sisters Springs is only $20 in peak season, making this a great, affordable option for a memorable excursion.
2. Check Out Key West’s Sunset Celebration
Here’s a fun option that can be virtually free – check out the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square on Key West. It draws a nightly crowd to watch the gorgeous sunset as well as enjoy shows by street performers, try food from local vendors, and check out a variety of shops in the area. Because of the variety of options, the price for the excursion can be variable, though the celebration itself is free. If you have a vehicle on your trip, Key West is connected to Florida via the Overseas Highway. This means you could have to pay as little as the gas money to head over, plus whatever you decide to spend on food or souvenirs.
3. Check Out The Beaches
Florida is known for its gorgeous beaches, and spending a day at them is a great way to not spend a dime while having a memorable time. Check out South Beach if you’re near Miami, or Smathers Beach on Key West.
4. Blue Spring State Park (Central Florida)
If you’re looking to enjoy a slice of nature outside of the city in Florida, check out Blue Spring State Park. Located about 40 minutes from Orlando, this state park is a great day trip destination. During the spring and summer months, you can look forward to all manner of water activities including paddle boarding and kayaking, as well as camping and hiking. During the winter, the water activities are closed to protect the manatees that call the spring home in the colder months, but visiting then can be a great time to view them from the shores! Admission to the park is $6 per vehicle.
5. Lakeridge Winery And Vineyards
This beautiful vineyard in Clermont, Florida offers a selection of delicious wines, as well as daily complimentary Winery tours and wine tastings. After your tour, check out the winery’s gift shop. Or visit on the weekends to enjoy some live entertainment along with the wine!
6. Castillo De San Marcus
Take in a piece of history with a visit to this historic fort. The fort is open daily (except for some holidays). Entry into the fort is $15 per person. Currently, 350 people are allowed inside at one time. The first entry starting at 9a.m. and the last group allowed in at 5p.m. Because of this, you may want to get to the park early to make sure you can enter as soon as possible.
7. Ride The Starflyer
If you’re looking for something truly thrilling to do, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Orlando Starflyer. This 450′ tall ride is the tallest stand-alone swing in the world and offers – literally – breathtaking views of the city of Orlando below. Tickets to ride are available at the in-person box office, though online tickets are set to be an option soon. In-person tickets are currently $11.27 plus sales tax, making this an affordable way to make some unforgettable memories.
8. Rent A Swan Boat At Lake Eola
Head over to Orlando’s Lake Eola to enjoy a unique boating opportunity- cruising around the lake in a swan-shaped paddleboat. Boats can seat up to five people. This a great option for a group of friends, a family, or even a fun date. Renting a boat costs $15 for a thirty-minute rental, but could conceivably be as long as a few dollars if the cost is split between multiple people.
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