Florida can be expensive, especially the popular tourist spots, so we’ve compiled some affordable alternatives that could easily make your weekend or vacation awesome. Check them out!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Flagler College
With its Spanish Renaissance architecture, 68-foot domed ceiling, 79 Louis Comfort Tiffany Stained Glass windows, murals, hand-crafted Austrian crystal chandeliers, and much more historic beauty, we bet this campus in St. Augustine is way more gorgeous than your alma mater. Take this grandiose tour for only $10 for adults and $1 for children ages 4-12.
2. Salvador Dali Museum
The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the best museums in the state and houses the largest collection of Dali's work outside of Europe. It's normally quite pricey at $24 for adults, but thrifty visitors can come enjoy the museum for three hours after 5pm on Thursdays for only $10 for adults, and only $8 for chidlren ages 6-12.
3. San Sebastian Winery
This awesome winery in St. Augustine (along with its sister winery in Clermont, Lakeridge Winery) offers free tours seven days a week. There's also a lovely rooftop that features tasty food and live music.
4. Solomon's Castle
This roadside attraction in Ona is a delightful diversion for the whole family. Built by one man, this funky found-art castle is a testament to one man's passion and creativity. It's only $10 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under, but visitors must bring cash.
5. The Country's Best Beaches
Florida has several of the country's best beaches, where you can spend a perfect day for little to no cost. Siesta Beach, pictured here, has sand made of 99% quartz, making it cool on even the hottest of days. With our thousands of miles of coastline, it's easy to find a great beach near you. The high temperatures this summer have caused a rise in bacteria on some beaches, however, so please follow precautions and do not visit the beach with any open cuts.
6. Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
The Cummer Museum is a Jacksonville landmark and costs only $10 for adults and $6 for children in kindergarten through college. Stroll through the beautiful gardens on the St. John's River and tour the ever changing exhibits. Visit Tuesdays after 4pm for free admission.
7. Florida Museum of Natural History
This museum in Gainesville has free permanent exhibits for the public all year round, a Butterfly Rainforest for only $9, and the visiting T. Rex Named Sue exhibit for only $6.50 for Florida residents. For just a little more than our $10 budget, Florida residents can see all of the exhibits and the butterfly rainforest for only $12.50. Children ages 3-17 can see it all for $10.
8. The Ringling
The Ringling Museum of Art features stunning art and gardens founded by the famous circus magnate in Sarasota. It would normally be a bit pricey, but Thursdays after 5pm, visitors can see the art and circus museum for $10 for adults and $5 for children. Mondays the Museum of Art (only) is free to the public. Note: The Ca' d'Zan is not included in either of these options.
9. St. Augustine Distillery
Anyone who's ever wondered how spirits are made can catch a free tour every 30 minutes at this distillery in historic St. Augustine. Don't worry about finding a babysitter, children are allowed to tour (but obviously not taste).
10. Wynwood Walls
This huge open street art museum in Miami features tons of graffiti and murals in the hip Wynwood Art District. Bring your camera for this unforgettable experience.
11. Morean Art Center
The Morean Art Center in St. Petersburg features tons of glass art and pottery and is free and open to the public. The cost of special temporary exhibits varies, but a ticket to one of their glass-blowing demonstrations is only $8.95.
12. Castillo de San Marcos
This picturesque fort is the oldest in the country and yet another reason to visit St. Augustine. The cost of admission was recently raised to $10 to help preserve this piece of history for future generations.
13. Koreshan State Historic Site
This religious community in Estero, was founded on the belief that humanity actually lives on the inside of the Earth's shell. This site is now a state park, where visitors can explore this unique piece of Florida history, and for a few extra dollars, can even canoe and camp.
14. Orlando Brewing
Orlando Brewing is a unique and fun example of Florida's new crop of top-notch breweries. They offer free tours Monday through Saturday at 6pm. Note: There are no tours on the 30th of each month for Beer:30 events.
15. Morse Museum
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, FL, features the most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany's work, including tons of glass pieces, decorative art, paintings, and pottery.
16. Florida Caverns
The Florida Caverns are located in the panhandle in Marianna. They feature Florida's only public open-air caves, as well as a lovely campground. Admission is $5 per carload of 2-8 people, and tours are $8 for adults and $5 for children 3-12. So, depending on how many people are in your car and their ages, you can easily spend less than or just a little over $10 per person to see this unique and impressive state park. Note: There are no tours available Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and camping costs $20 with electricity. Please call ahead for availability.
Do you know of any other affordable attractions and activities for Floridians? Please share your tips with us in the comments below!