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Free Things to Do Around Florida

Here are some of our favorite things to do that don’t require you to open your wallet

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Florida beachwalk with palm tree

There are lots of ways to entertain yourself in Florida at no cost if you know where to look. Unsplash/Skyler Smith

Looking for something free and fun to do in Florida that involves nature and the outdoors? Here are a few state parks, wineries, wildlife habitats and gardens offering free admission.

Be sure to review the websites below to comply with current COVID guidelines.

Blooms Galore

Leu Gardens This botanical oasis in Orlando offers free admission on the first Mondays of each month through September 2021. The Sasanqua camellias are Mr. Leu’s lasting legacy.

Fairchild Botanical Garden + Miami Spend an afternoon at this 83-acre world-class Coral Gables destination, a place of unparalleled beauty. To start, the first Wednesday of each month is free for Miami-Dade County residents ages 62 and over! Lots of extras will add to the experience, including live music, yoga and tram tours accompanied by vistas of palms, cycads and flowering trees. Besides, you’ll find yourself immersed in a lush tropical rain forest setting one moment and among garden sculptures the next.

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Wander the tropical fruit garden at The Florida Botanical Gardens. pixabay.com

Bok Tower Gardens A Lake Wales historic landmark, best known for its 60-bell carillon concerts that ring daily at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. It’s free for all active duty military with proper I.D.

Marie Selby Gardens Members of the American Horticultural Society have the chance to roam 13 acres of flora in Sarasota for free. Don’t miss the conservatory, eight greenhouses or the museum in the mansion.

The Florida Botanical Gardens Enjoy free admission year-round (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) at this lush oasis in St. Pete/Clearwater. The largest free botanical garden in Florida boasts 25 individual gardens such as the butterfly garden and tropical fruit garden.

The Outdoors

Manatee Viewing Center Apollo Beach’s Tampa Electric environmental center is a sanctuary. From observation platforms, watch the sea cows loll in the warmwater discharge canal when temps drop below 68 degrees. (Due to the COVID this attraction is currently closed and will re-open November 1, 2021)

Barrier Island Sanctuary This Melbourne learning center promotes care of native flora, fauna and turtle nests. Walk the trail to see cabbage palm hammock, salt marsh and mangrove swamp.

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Hours of exploration await you on Florida’s nature trails. pixabay.com

Brevard Zoo You might be in Melbourne, but you’ll be transported to breathtaking African savannas, the Aussie outback and tropical bird-filled jungles. No fee for Dad on Father’s Day or Mom on Mother’s Day.

Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge This is a must-see ecosystem with 53,000 acres of undeveloped river delta in Chiefland. Wildlife includes whitetailed deer, bobcats, alligators and Osceola wild turkeys.

The Disney Wilderness Preserve Enjoy over 11,000 acres of natural Florida beauty. You may encounter turkeys and sandhill cranes on the drive in, once on the trail, expect raptors, bobwhites, wrens, warblers, blue birds, sparrows and much more wildlife.

Eat & Drink

The Phosphorescent, an Ice Plant cocktail. Kelly Conway

Florida Farmers’ Markets There’s much to experience throughout every part of Florida. Stroll and explore multiple vendors at regional markets to taste seasonal specialities and shop from independent makers.

St. Augustine Distillery Take free tour, offered 7-days a week, of St. Augustine’s premier distillery, located in Florida’s oldest ice plant. Get a close look at the fermenting process as they make bourbon, rum, gin, and vodka. At the end of the tour, be sure to enjoy a tasting of four signature cocktails, truly locally made. Here’s a favorite cocktail of ours made with gin »

San Sebastian Winery If spirits aren’t your thing, try some local Florida wine! Complimentary tours and tastings are offered daily and run every 20-25 minutes. The tour itself will last 45 minutes and you can expect to learn all of the details that go into the art of winemaking.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyard Observe 75 acres of vineyards where muscadine grape varieties flourish beneath the Florida sunshine. Take a self-guided complimentary winery tour (offered daily) and enjoy a tasting.

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