Budget travel

Cheap places to visit in Florida

Florida getaways that won’t break the bank!

May 19, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 15
Aerial view of a beachside road flanked by palm trees in Florida.

The gist: Whether you find yourself captivated by the white sand beaches of Pensacola or the historical allure of St. Augustine, these affordable destinations will leave you with memories to treasure—and a few extra dollars in your pocket. 

Picture this: pristine sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and vibrant culture—welcome to the Sunshine State, Florida! While it's no secret that Florida is a popular tourist destination, you might be surprised to discover that it's entirely possible to experience the magic of Florida without breaking the bank. So, let's embark on a journey filled with adventure and exploration as we uncover the best affordable gems that Florida has to offer.

Pensacola: The Hidden Treasure of the Panhandle

Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola embodies the essence of genuine Florida charm. Bask in the sun at stunning beaches like Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key, where you can frolic in the crystal-clear waters without spending a fortune. Explore the historic downtown, visit the National Naval Aviation Museum (free admission, anyone?), or take a stroll along the vibrant Palafox Street, dotted with unique boutiques and delicious eateries. Pensacola is a treasure trove of affordable delights just waiting to be discovered!

Time Travel on a Budget to St. Augustine

Step into a time machine and transport yourself to St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the United States. This enchanting city effortlessly blends history with a modern twist. Wander through the cobblestone streets of the Historic District, marvel at the awe-inspiring Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (admission is just a few doubloons), or simply soak up the atmosphere at one of the many cozy cafes. With affordable accommodations and plenty of free attractions, St. Augustine is a destination that will leave you feeling inspired.

Gainesville: Where Education Meets Adventure

Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a vibrant college town that knows how to have a good time without emptying your pockets. Immerse yourself in nature at the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, where you can spot alligators, wild horses, and an array of bird species. For a dose of culture, visit the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art (free admission, hooray!) and explore its captivating exhibitions. Don't forget to indulge in the local cuisine—Gainesville's eclectic food scene offers budget-friendly options that will tantalize your taste buds.

Dive into Underwater Adventures at Crystal River

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and plunge into the crystal-clear waters of Crystal River. Known as the "Home of the Manatees," this enchanting destination offers an incredible opportunity to swim with these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Several affordable tour operators provide unforgettable encounters with these magnificent creatures. After your underwater adventure, explore the picturesque downtown area or take a leisurely kayak ride down the river, immersing yourself in Florida's untouched beauty.

Key Largo: Budget-Friendly Island Paradise

Who said the Florida Keys were reserved for the rich and famous? Key Largo, the gateway to the Keys, welcomes budget-conscious travelers with open arms. Revel in the breathtaking beauty of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, where you can snorkel or dive amidst vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. Discover hidden beaches, savor delicious seafood at local joints, and relish in the casual island vibe. Key Largo proves that paradise doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag.

Florida's charm lies not only in its stunning landscapes but also in the diversity of experiences it offers. So pack your bags, unleash your passion for adventure, and venture off the beaten path to these cheap Florida getaways. Embrace the sunshine and embark on a budget-friendly escapade like no other!

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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