50 Things To Do In Florida For Free | You Discover Florida Local
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50 Things to Do in Florida for Free

50 Things to Do in Florida for Free

50 Things to Do in Florida for Free

Don’t we all love free things? We’re here to bring down the misconception that only worthless things come free. Whether you’re a local, first-time visitor, old-timer, or simply looking for a cool new date idea, you will love these! Here’s a long list of things you can do and places you can visit in Florida — for free!

Butterflies at Florida Museum of Natural History Butterfly Garden in Gainesville | You Discover Florida

Art, History, Culture

Museums and galleries are perfect avenues to understand the local culture. Lucky for us, a lot of museums in Florida have no admission fees!

Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville

Explore the flora, fauna, and ethnic history of Florida. You’ll find fossil displays, a mangrove boardwalk gallery, an underwater walkthrough, a butterfly rainforest, staged ethnic villages, and a lot more.

Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee

Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about Florida’s history and how it shaped not just the state’s culture but the nation’s too.

Capitol Complex, Tallahassee

The Complex not only houses the state government but also showcases photographs, artifacts, and interactive exhibits to relive Florida’s history. Group tours can be booked while self-guided tours are free on weekdays.

National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola

Craving for something unique? Here you’ll find more than 150 restored aircraft from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. Admission to the museum is free, but if you’re willing to spend, they offer flight simulations, virtual reality, and a 4D experience for minimal fees.

BCC Planetarium and Observatory, Cocoa

This is a perfect place to bring kids who love to explore! The planetarium can seat 210 people under a 70-foot dome projection screen. There are hands-on exhibits, collections of panoramic space shots, and the largest public telescope in Florida, free for everyone!

Museum of Art, DeLand

This interactive fine arts museum hosts rotating exhibits, gallery talks, receptions, educational programming, master artist workshops, and special events throughout the year.

Ideal Classic Cars Museum & Showroom, Venice

Ideal Classic Cars is an auto dealership, but it also boasts a 27,000 square foot showroom filled with collectible cars dating from the 1920s through the 1970s, including hot rods, muscle cars, and originals. If any car strikes your fancy, they are all for sale!

Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville

The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art is located at the University of Florida. It’s one of the biggest university art museums in the state. Its permanent collection features more than 11,300 Asian, African, and contemporary works of art..

Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park

Located on the Winter Park campus of Rollins College, this fine arts museum is home to more than 5,000 objects ranging from antiquity to modern eras.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum, Winter Park

While in Winter Park, don’t forget to drop by the Morse Museum of American Art too!

Its centerpiece is the Louis Comfort Tiffany collection salvaged from the artist’s home after it burned down.

Winter Park History Museum, Winter Park

Finally, visit the Winter Park History Museum too! Their rotating display showcases a variety of topics in Winter Park History, including architecture, wars, and well, peacocks!

CityArts Factory, Orlando

CityArts is a boutique art gallery located in downtown Orlando. Its collection rotates monthly to support budding and established local artists. The gallery  also holds events and parties, making the place more vibrant and authentic.

Fort Christmas Historical Museum & Park, Christmas

This full-scale replica of Fort Christmas will bring you to the past. Inside the Fort, you’ll find restored “Florida Cracker” houses furnished with period pieces that showcase rural Florida life from the 1870s to the 1930s. There’s a small museum with artifacts and weapons dating back to the Seminole War.

Oyster And Champagne Happy Hour | You Discover Florida

Food & Beverage

Did anybody say free food and drinks? I’m in! If you’re looking for a cool but educational day trip (with freebies), then here’s our list for you.

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, Daytona Beach

It’s not Willy Wonka’s Factory, but it’s close. Angell & Phelps has been crafting fine quality chocolates and candies since 1925. If you’re in Daytona Beach, don’t miss a chance to tour around the factory. Each tour lasts approximately 20 minutes, and you’ll get freebies at the end!

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont

According to their website, more than 160,000 people visit the winery each year. They offer complimentary tours and wine tasting every day! Each tour lasts around 30 minutes, and you will be walking through the production area and vineyards. They also hold festivals and events where guests walk through tasting areas and enjoy the ambiance of the vineyards.

San Sebastian Winery, St Augustine

San Sebastian is a sister branch of Lakeridge. They also offer the same complimentary tours and wine tasting, allowing visitors to journey through the winemaking process.

Island Grove Wine Company, Hawthorne

Island Grove is a major supplier of organic blueberries and offers high-quality fruit wines. Visit their tasting house! Try their complimentary fruit wines and special culinary items like salad dressings, salsa, honey, oils, and vinegar.

Orlando Brewing Company, Orlando

Darn good beer, says their website. Orlando Brewing Company is the only certified organic brewery in Florida. You may tour for free from Mondays to Saturdays. Visit on weekends for live music and entertainment!

Amusement Parks And Carnival Rides In Florida | You Discover Florida

Nature & Adventure

Florida is famous for amusement and adventure parks, but if you’re tired of those, the state also doesn’t fall short on a different kind of adventure—with nature!

Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

This 1,300-acre of protected land is home to a wide array of animals such as birds, alligators, snakes, river otters, wild hogs, and more! Bring your kids for an educational and fun experience!

National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Keys

If you’re in the Florida Keys, you can’t miss this! The sanctuary protects the waters surrounding the Keys, from south of Miami to Dry Tortugas. You can go scuba-diving, kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling, but make sure to follow the sanctuary’s guidelines! Visit the Eco-Discovery Center for an educational journey on South Florida biodiversity as well as conservation practices you can participate in. The center features over 6,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, including a mock-up of Aquarius, the world’s only underwater laboratory.

Wekiwa Springs State Park, Apopka

Enjoy the wilderness with  your choice of activity — from hiking, cycling, and fishing, to bird-watching, swimming, and camping. You will also find a nature museum and interpretive exhibit in the park’s Nature Center.

Kelly Park/Rock Springs, Apopka

Ready for a beautiful commune with nature? Float through a river that flows from a natural spring. Camp, hike, and enjoy wildlife in this 245-acre park.

Disney Wilderness Preserve, Kissimmee

This 11,500-acre preserve has become a national model for sustainable development and conservation management. Marvel at all the rare animal species, including Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers and Florida Scrub-Jays. Bring out your binoculars and go birdwatching or hike up to Lake Russell for a breathtaking view.

Shingle Creek Regional Park, Kissimmee

Shingle Creek was once called “America’s Great Outdoors” by former President Barack Obama. You can experience it on foot, bicycle, or boat. You can birdwatch, fish, paddle, or simply have a quiet picnic by the creek.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach

Walk down the three-quarter-mile boardwalk that crosses between open water ponds, marshes, shallow shelves, and an island of shrubs. This experience, observing flora and fauna in their natural habitat, will surely bring you zen.

Canoe Country Outpost, Hilliard

From the outpost, go on a canoe cruise along St Mary’s River, which separates Florida and Georgia. Appreciate the beauty and diversity of Florida’s wildlife. You can pitch a tent on the shore and camp for the weekend, go fishing, or kayaking.

Black Bear Wilderness Area, Sanford

Wet prairie, hydric hammock, and cypress swamps form a diverse habitat that is home to wildlife such as the White-tailed Deer, Swallow-tailed Kite, American Alligator, and the Florida Black Bear. Camping is only allowed when you’ve secured a permit. Make sure to contact a local guide and wear appropriate hiking gear!

Little-Big Econ State Forest, Oviedo

Little-Big Econ State Forest has been named as one of the country’s top family-friendly trails by the American Hiking Society. This 4.6-mile trail gives hikers scenic views of the St. Johns River.

Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Jacksonville

The fort offers activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, and fishing, as well as more than 5,000 years of history!

Parks & Recreation

If you’re not a fan of the great outdoors, you can also enjoy nature from a less adrenaline-driven position. Here’s a list of state parks and recreation areas with a laid-back vibe.

Lake Eola Park, Orlando

Did you know that Lake Eola is an 80-foot sinkhole? Right in the heart of Downtown Orlando, this 43-acre park offers fun activities. You can ride a swan-shaped paddle boat and cruise along the lake. You can do photo walks or enjoy a show in the amphitheater. You can also relax and grab a bite in any of the local restaurants in the area.

Downtown Disney, Orlando

You don’t need a ticket to enjoy Disney shops and entertainment. If you want to avoid the crowds and experience the magic of Disney in a laid-back fashion, then take a stroll on the neighborhoods of Downtown Disney, now known as Disney Springs!

Harry P Leu Gardens, Orlando

While you’re in Downtown Orlando, don’t miss a chance to visit this 50-acre botanical oasis. Enjoy the butterflies as you stroll in the gardens. Visit the museum that dates back to the 1880s. Every 3rd Monday of the month, bring your kids for free storytelling!

Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens, Port Orange

Enjoy a relaxed day with your family as you walk the grounds, watch butterflies, and check out a 19th-century sugar mill and a 250-year-old oak tree. Oh, and you’ll also find sculptures of dinosaurs from an early theme park!

Downtown Sanford, Sanford

The historic Downtown Sanford is a food and beverage destination for global tourists. Grab a bite or simply enjoy the architecture!

Sanford Riverwalk, Sanford

While you’re in Sanford, head to the riverwalk, sit down, have a coffee, and peacefully look over the water.

Lake Mirror Park, Lakeland

This place is simply stunning! But beyond beauty, you’ll find pleasant surprises: the Hollis Garden and Barnett Family Park.

Old Town, Kissimmee

You’ll need to buy tickets for the amusement rides, but admission to Old Town, concerts, and weekly vintage-car shows are free for all! For over 30 years, visiting Old Town has become a family tradition for locals and tourists alike.

Lakefront Park, Kissimmee

Here’s another chance to take a relaxing stroll or picnic along the lake. Don’t miss this while you’re in Kissimmee!

Fort DeSoto Park, St Petersburg

Aside from its beautiful beaches, Fort DeSoto has received praises for its Paw Playground and pet-friendly beach. This 1,100-acre park offers plenty of recreational  activities on land and water: fishing, canoeing, hiking, swimming, camping, etc! Have a picnic, and don’t miss the sunset!

Heritage Village, Largo

Heritage Village is a 21-acre living history museum featuring restored historic structures. Its centerpiece is a historical museum featuring two galleries. Walk the grounds and be prepared to feel nostalgic!

Key West Garden Club, Key West

This fort dates back to the Civil War and has been transformed into a garden full of exotic plants. The garden sits right next to the beach, offering a beautiful view of the ocean.

Sholom Park, Ocala

This 44-acre botanical garden has over 250 species of plants and trees. There’s a formal garden, rose garden, prairie area, olive tree garden, azaleas, labyrinth, and a koi pond!

Crane’s Roost Park, Altamonte Springs

This European-style park is perfect for a time of quiet and relaxation overlooking a gigantic lake.

Mound Key Archaeological State Park, Estero

The place offers a unique look into Florida history as it has been secluded for years. It’s frequented by amateur archaeologists and can only be accessed by boat. Park activities include boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, and exhibits.

Other Destinations

Here are six bonus things you can do in Florida!

Spook Hill, Lake Wales

Spook Hill is a “gravity hill,” an optical illusion. At some point in the road, there’s a sign that tells you to stop your car, put it in neutral, and watch as your car rolls uphill.

Mural Walk In Florida | You Discover Florida

Go on a Mural Walk

Grab your camera and go on a mural walk! Wynwood Art District in Miami is an open museum known for huge colorful graffiti and murals in the hip Wynwood Art District. You can also go to Lake Placid, called the Town of Murals, and you’ll find more than 40 murals in the downtown area!

Free Outdoor Movie

Visit the Enzian Theater in Maitland on the second Thursday of each month for a free outdoor movie in Central Park. Grab a beer, some popcorn, and enjoy the show!

Rocket Launch

Watch a rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center. There are a lot of spots where you can watch this, including Kennedy Point Park, Marina Park, Rotary Riverfront Park, and Sand Point Park. All of these offer free parking and public restrooms. Set up a picnic and enjoy a unique experience!

The Beaches

Of course, you can’t miss the beaches! Florida is famous for its cool waters, sunsets, and parties! A few of our recommendations for free beach experiences are St. Augustine, Daytona, Hollywood Beach!

Join Sunset Celebrations

In Key West and Clearwater Beach, communities celebrate the sunset every night! Live bands are playing, vendors selling, artists sketching, and crowds partying. At sunset, everyone pauses to watch the glorious beauty of nature.Then, the party continues all night long!

Florida houses a lot of state parks, public gardens, beaches and lakes, and free activities that mirror its free and fun-loving people. Enjoy your stay!

Are you looking for more things to do in Florida? Here’s a list of 66 Things to Do in Each County!

 

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