Low Budget Guide To Florida

Florida is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the United States, and millions of travellers flock there every year, lured by the promise of sun, sea and sand that “The Sunshine State” has to offer.

Home of many upmarket tourist attractions, such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, it is nonetheless still possible to enjoy the sights, sounds and cities of your Florida holidays 2014 on the slimmest of budgets. Here are a few lesser-known destinations that will help you squeeze more out of your dollars on a trip to Florida.

ake a kayak or canoe ride along Shingle Creek, headwaters to the Florida Everglades
Take a kayak or canoe ride along Shingle Creek, headwaters to the Florida Everglades

Everglades City

If you think Florida is all about beaches, then you’re in for a real surprise, as the Florida Everglades also attracts millions of visitors each year.A protected region of tropical wetlands in the southern state, the Everglades promises miles of stunning nature to hike, completely free of charge. Exchange the guided boat tours for hiring your own canoe and you can split the $24 rental with up to two other people.

For somewhere to base yourself on your adventures, Everglades City offers a tranquil escape from busier centres like Orlando, as well as lots of opportunities for fishing and sailing. The Museum of the Everglades offers free admission to all visitors and gives a great insight into the natural and social history of the area.

Closeup: Night view along the waterfront, St Petersburg, Florida
Closeup: Night view along the waterfront, St Petersburg, Florida

Downtown St Petersburg

If the quiet lull of Everglades City isn’t quite your thing, then Downtown St Petersburg offers a number of low-cost cultural attractions for tourists.

Often referred to affectionately as “St Pete”, Downtown St Petersburg has many sights and attractions. The Morean Arts Centre offers visitors the chance to view the best of St Petersburg’s artworks at the center and the nearby Morean Hot Shop for less than $20, and the tickets last 30 days, allowing for repeat visits. Or, if you like your arts to be live, then American Stage Theater Company offers high-quality productions on a “pay what you can” basis.

For food, head to Central Avenue and treat yourself to some of the city’s best culinary delights for great prices, such as lunch for $10 or less in participating restaurants.

Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach

Pier 60, Clearwater

You’ve heard of people talk about South Beach in Miami, but Pier 60 in Clearwater might just have a more unique Florida experience and it’s much more budget-friendly.

Voted “Best Beach Town in Florida” by USA Today readers in 2013, Clearwater is a great place to go to wind down. It only costs 50 cents to walk along to the end of the pier while experiencing the “sunset celebration”; a cocphony of musicans, acrobats and street performers.

Over on dry land, it costs nothing to wander along Beach Walk, a pedestrian-friendly street that’s lined with palm trees and offers travellers on a budget the chance to spend the rest of their money on ice cream and another free pastime: people watching.

 Have you even been to Florida and have some budget travel tips to share with us?

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About Agness

Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"


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27 Comments

  • Some great suggestions here. There is little doubt that the theme parks can be quite pricey as I found out earlier this year.

    Florida is renowned for good weather so having these experiences like the Everglades sound like an enjoyable day out.

  • Hi Agness and Cez,

    My name is Stefan and me and my wife are going to Florida next month. We would like to say thank you for your budget guide and we will follow your recommendations.

    Best regards,

    Stefan and Flora.

    • Hi Stefan! Many thanks for stopping by. I’m happy to hear about your trip to Florida. If you have more questions, please send me an e-mail. Enjoy it!

  • I didn’t make it to Florida last year when backpacking North America and I kinda regret it now, maybe I can make it there in 2-3 years as I’m planning to get back there- loooooooved it!

  • I’ve only been to Florida once, Agness. When I was married with my ex who was a flight attendant. She and I had a stop over in Orlando flying stand-by but we didn’t get to experience any of the fun stuff. I absolutely want to go to the Everglades though! Phoenix vs an Alligator…he would trick them with a tennis ball for sure! Bardzo podobał mi się obraz stóp w Clearwater Beach … :)

    • Was your ex-wife a flight attendant? How did she like it? I was thinking of becoming one maybe in the future, but heard so many bad things about working hours and payment :(.

      • Yes, she was a flight attendant, Agness. I also have some retired family who were in-flight (attendants). But, I have no clue as to the benefits or overall quality of the job now. If you wish me to find out more let me know via email, my friend.

      • It’s ok Mike, it’s nothing urgent, but thanks for asking. I was just thinking of doing it or becoming a Social Media consultant, but I guess I’m more into Social Media right now than in flying :).

  • I was born and raised in Florida most of my life and during all of my childhood. I highly recommend getting lost in the Ocala National Forest along the Florida Trail for about a week. It’s perfect during the Winter time since it’s cooler for backpacking than usually. Also, it’s a super budget friendly itinerary and requires no guide although I do recommend bringing a local onboard for the trip. You’ll see some amazing wildlife and a side of Florida you never even knew existed! :-)

  • Now this is great! I’ve been travelling for many years now and I must say that sometimes I have to think of the money I’m investing on it. Although it’s fun to travel but there are also things and ways on how to have fun in travelling and don’t get to spend too much. I’m glad I was able to read this post since I’ll be travelling soon with kids to Florida. Thanks for posting!

    • We know something about it. Travelling isn’t much fun when you start running out of your money… :-(

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