Ten Ideas For Florida On A Budget

If you’re heading out on your gap year travels or you’re just wishing your holiday cash would stretch that little bit further then you may consider a tour of Florida to be way over any thoughts of an affordable budget.

However, don’t despair, there are plenty of free options in the Sunshine State that will give you a smile wider than the whole of the Magic Kingdom and if you’re prepared to give Mickey and his mates a subtle elbow to the ribs then read on for culture, nature and plenty of free stuff.

Sundown parties

It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you’re able to see the sky and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin then this is the ideal means of enjoying Florida on a budget. You’ll be in good company too as no sooner has the sky turned a shade of yellow, pink and orange then the party people come out to play and from Key West to Clearwater Beach, sundown parties are free for everyone so kick back and enjoy.

Wine tasting tours

Thanks to Florida’s abundance of warmth and fertile landscapes, there’s every chance that a visit to a vineyard will give you an opportunity to enjoy some amazing views as well as getting to try some of the local grape too. Do your homework but for our money the best bet is Lakeridge Wine Estate in Clermont which can be found in Lake County just to the west of Orlando. Free tours and tastings every day of the week make this a definite for anyone travelling through Florida.

Fleaworld, Orlando

Next to Lake County is Orlando and if you’re looking for a bargain away from the theme parks then you’ve just got to check out Fleaworld which is reputed to be the largest fleamarket in America. Food vendors, produce stalls and a never ending maze of dealers selling something and everything, this is all under one roof and free to enter – just beware that there’s a lot of muck to sift through before you find some gold.

Wynwood Art Walk, Miami

With around 70 art galleries as well as numerous open studios and outdoor murals, Wynwood in Miami is the place to come to if you fancy a stroll whilst absorbing some local art. The second Saturday in the month is the best time to visit 36th Street as this is considered to be the most inviting and pretty social if you fancy chatting to some artists and maybe getting the odd glass of wine – alternatively bring your own bottle and share it around.

Camping out

If you’re stuck for accommodation whilst travelling through Florida then camping offers an inexpensive and rewarding means of enjoying the nature and the warm summer nights. Pinellas County has around 250 sites which can be either booked in advance or offer a walk-in service and from Fort De Soto to Wall Springs you’ll find a wide range of options for youth campers as well as plenty for families and backpackers.

National Naval Aviation Museum

If you find yourself way up in the northwest of Florida then a great day out is the National Naval Aviation Museum in Penescola which has over 150 space and air craft on display as well as an IMAX theatre and an excellent museum. With inside and outside space which offers plenty of chances to learn and marvel at the designs and stories of the past this is a free admission facility and definitely worth a visit.

Capitol Complex

Located in Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee, the Capitol building is on the US national register of historic places and contains a museum which exhibits the political history of the state as well as the Governor’s Suite and the Florida Welcome Centre. This is the ideal place to come if you’re looking to discover the cultural and political history of the state with downloadable self-guide tour guides and MP3 audio instructions both free of charge.

Lake Placid

Located in the Highlands of central Florida, Lake Placid is fondly known as the Town of Murals as there are around 50 colourful pictures painted upon buildings throughout the town. As Lake Placid isn’t all that big, less than 3sq miles in total land area, getting around on a walking tour isn’t that hard to do and best of all, it’s free!

Daytona Beach

This east coast favourite is well-known as the fun coast and is considered to be a massive draw for all spring breakers as well as a legend on the motorsports circuit. If you can time your visit to coincide with any of the major events that are held over the course of the year then you’ll be in good company as this is where people come to party on the beach when the sun goes down and for the main part it’s free to join in and make some new friends.

Key West Old Town

Now there maybe numerous bars and hotels wishing to take your money in Key West however, if you can ignore them the best you can and simply soak up the architecture and historic sights of the Old Town area then you’ll be more than getting your money’s worth. Mallory Square, Duval Street and the Key West Cemetery all have their own classic charms and simply strolling in Hemingway’s footsteps and pausing while the sun sets is certainly a box ticker and totally free of charge.

If you’re heading to America on a gap year or you just want to see Florida and not break the bank best of luck on both counts as with a little pre-planning and plenty of will-power the world is yours to discover, without the price tag.

Chris is all about the money-saving and budget watching and just hopes he can draw in the temptation to indulge in a rum cocktail the next time he hits Key West.