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Top 10 Things To Do for FREE in Florida

The best things in life really ARE free!


We all like a bargain, but is it possible to get something on your vacation or getaway for free? Of course it is. I'm going to show you where and how to see top attractions and interesting places in Florida for free!

1. FREE Sunset Celebrations

Key West Sunset Celebration
© Photographer Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau
Florida's sunsets are spectacular, and people in two Florida communities — Key West and Clearwater Beach — think that is reason enough to celebrate! Night after night, the crowds gather a couple of hours before sunset. The atmosphere is festive... live bands play, craftsmen hawk their wares, talented artists sketch portraits, and performers delight the crowds. As twilight approaches everyone seems to pause to enjoy Mother Nature's show-stopping spectacle. Then, as if on cue, the party continues.

2. Visit One of America's Top Beaches for FREE

Fort DeSoto Gulf Pier
© Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Over 1,100 acres is available for free public recreation at Pinellas County's Fort DeSoto Park. Besides the notable distinction of having one of the top beaches in the nation, Fort DeSoto also has won accolades for its "Paw Playground" and pet-friendly beach. There are plenty of recreation opportunities both on land and water — all within easy access. Take a picnic lunch and stay the day... because the sunsets are spectacular!

There is a small (under a $1) toll road fee to get to Fort DeSoto Park

3. Stroll Amelia Island's Downtown Fernandina Beach

Downtown Fernandina Beach Shops
© Amelia Island Tourist Development Council
Amelia Island's Fernandina Beach is a post-card perfect destination that doesn't have to wreck your budget. Whether you see the sights, window shop in the unique downtown, or stroll the historic district in a self-guided walking tour... none of it will cost you a penny.

4. COMPLIMENTARY Wine Tasting & Tours

© Janis Christie/Getty Images

Complimentary tours and wine tasting are offered seven days a week — Monday thru Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. — at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards. Tours are held every 15-20 minutes, beginning with a 12-minute video presentation that shows the growing of Florida's grapes all the way to the wine making process. The tour includes the production area and a spectacular view of the vineyards where the grapes are grown and harvested. Wine tasting is held at a large tasting counter with a selection of award-winning wines offered. The tour and wine tasting lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Also, every January there is a FREE outdoor Winter Music Series every Saturday with live bands.

5. FREE Admission to National Naval Aviation Museum

Blue Angels
© Blue Angels, NAS Pensacola
Located on the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, the National Naval Aviation Museum provides hours of hands-on history with countless things to touch, see and experience. See more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft and over 4,000 artifacts representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. In addition to free parking and admission, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings March through November, watch the amazing Blue Angels practice. Also, on Wednesdays there is an autograph session with the pilots inside the museum.

6. Town of Murals FREE Walking Tour

Lake Placid Mural
© Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com
Lake Placid — affectionately known as the Town of Murals — is where you'll find over 40 murals adorning buildings in the downtown area. That's just the beginning, there are surprises in this little town around every corner. Small parks and green spaces are punctuated with over 60 benches perfect for enjoying the beautiful surroundings. And, helping to keep the downtown beautiful are the one-of-a-kind sculptured trash containers scattered about town — a steam locomotive sitting on its own tracks, a larger than life turpentine bottle, a jail and beautiful butterflies are just a few of the creative containers that stand ready to take on your trash.

7. Tour Florida's Capitol Complex for FREE

Tallahassee Capitol Building
© 2006 The Zimmerman Agency

Tallahassee is Florida's capital city, where the state's law makers meet to conduct the Sunshine State's official business. The old and new capitol buildings are within the same block with guided and self-guided tours available for free.

Tour hours for the old capitol building are offered daily except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Reservations at least two weeks in advance for guided tours are encouraged. For more information call 850-487-1902.

All guided tours for the new capitol require reservations, and tours during the legislative session — March through April — require reservations made months in advance. Tours daily except New Year's Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information call 850-488-6167.

8. Splash and Play at Daytona Beach for FREE

Sun Splash Park
© Daytona Beach Area CVB
So often county parks are off the beaten path, but that is not the case with Volusia County's Sun Splash Park located right on Daytona Beach. And, while you have to pay to drive on the famous beach, the four-acre park includes 95 spaces of its own off-beach parking. The park features an interactive "zero depth" water play fountain, a shaded playground, volleyball courts, picnic areas, restrooms, outdoor showers, Coca Cola-sponsored "cool zone" and two beach access ramps. Sun Splash Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

9. FREE Admission to Holocaust Memorial

The Holocaust Memorial, dedicated to the memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is located in Miami Beach. Built of luminous Jerusalem stone and black granite the memorial makes a beautiful statement in the telling of a tragic story.

10. Lake Mirror Offers FREE Day in the Park

Barnett Family Park
© Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Lakeland's Lake Mirror is beautiful enough, but stroll the promenade around the lake and you'll find a treasure trove of surprises — the tiered Hollis Garden and entertaining Barnett Family Park. There is something to please everyone in the entire family.

Hollis Garden is a 1.2-acre tiered botanical garden that overlooks the Lake Mirror Promenade. The garden displays thousands of flowering plants, ornamental shrubs and water features.

Barnett Family Park features elaborate sculptures of native Florida animals and beautiful hand-cut glass Byzantine tiles. A unique themed playground, interactive "zero depth" water play area and large pavilion for picnics and parties completes the family fun.

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