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Florida Vacations – Where the Beaches Are Free and the Drinks Are Cheap

7 min read
Florida Vacations – Where the Beaches Are Free and the Drinks Are Cheap

Florida has become more than a little divisive in the travel space these days. Then again, people seem to be getting farther off-center every day. If you have deep-seated convictions one way or another, we won’t change your mind. However, Florida is more than just the Sunshine State and House Mouse; it’s the most affordable tropical vacation Americans can take – period. Between cheap flights and road trips, it’s pretty easy for most people to get to Florida.

Once they arrive, they can find anything they’re looking for, from luxury vacations in cosmopolitan destinations to confirmation bias that Florida Man exists or everybody is crazy in the “Gunshine State.” Personally, we think Florida has the best beaches, best springs, and best diving on the mainland, and if you’ve never been kissed by a manatee, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Orlando Vacations

Orlando at Night
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Orland is the mecca for family vacations because what good parent doesn’t want to pay money to Walt Disney World and Universal Study for an immersive week in their intellectual property? With not one but two of the cheapest airports in America, It’s easy to get to Orlando, but what is there for couples to do once they arrive? Long story short, there are many romantic hotels and adventurous things to do in Orlando.

In town, you can explore Disney resorts with that unique theme park experience and no park tickets or crying kids. There are fireworks at the Polynesian, Skyliner flights to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, boat tour of CityWalk, and some of Orlando’s best restaurants, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, with the largest collection of South African wines outside South Africa. Orlando is a hip and happening city with vibrant nightlife. Combine all that with getaways to beaches near Orlando and day trips into Central Florida, and you’ll see why couples want to make that trip to O Town.

Florida Gulf Coast Vacations

Florida Gulf Coast Vacations Live Sea Shell Siesta Key
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

The Florida Gulf Coast’s white sand beaches are simply amazing. Siesta Key consistently ranked as the best beach in America, and with Sarasota’s circus past, shelling on Cayo Costa, or shark tooth hunting at Venice Beach, there’s a lot of diversity too. However, Clearwater Beach typically gets the nod as the best “Beach City”, so let’s get into what the cities have to offer.

St Petersburg tops Strategistico’s list of most liberal cities in Florida because of its inclusive downtown and seven distinct art districts. Ybor City is a resurgent entertainment district with incredible dining, and Tampa is a thriving city. There are plenty of cheap flights and a wide selection of affordable hotels, so you’ll have enough left over to plan an adventure or two.

Space Coast Getaways

Space Coast Kennedy Space Center Fl
Photo Credit:Deposit Photos.

Roughly speaking, the Space Coast runs from Daytona to Melbourne and includes many “only in Florida” vacations. For starters, as the name implies, this is America’s spaceport, where you visit the Kennedy Space Center or see launches if you time it right. It’s also home to outdoor adventures like the best surfing on the east coast and kayak adventures like bioluminescent paddling and exploring miles of mangrove tunnels. Combine that with “The World’s Most Famous Beach” in Daytona and the 260-mile St John River to Sea Loop bikeway, and you’ll see that the Space Coast has plenty to offer.

Budget-conscious couples will find hotels that generally offer more for less than on the Gulf Coast. You’ll also save enough on dining to pay for gas and the toll for the 40-minute drive from Orlando.

Central Florida Adventures

Central Florida Sunset
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Central Florida is famous for its springs. Turn-of-the-century resorts offered these springs as a fountain of youth panacea that cured all your ills and aches. Today, people flock to them because they’re just clean fun, and since the water comes out at 71 degrees, they’re a great way to beat the summer heat. Of course, you can tube and kayak on many spring runs, with Ichetucknee and Wekiva Island being two local favorites. For the more adventurous, you can kayak with wild monkeys at Silver Springs, drift dive a crystal clear river at Rainbow Springs, or scuba dive at any number of inland caverns. You can even take a seaplane tour from a spring-fed lake.

Cheap hotels abound in Central Florida, but make sure they’re what you expect. Otherwise, you can base out of Tampa or Orlando and make day trips into spring country. One fun option is to try a tiny houseboat tour out of DeLand, which has a super cute downtown scene where we had the best chicken masala ever at Cress!

Ft Lauderdale For Couples

Fort Lauderdale Fl
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because it has over 165 miles of canals for taxi boat tours, riverboat adventures, or just dining canal-side on Los Olas. It’s a beautiful city with a surprising outdoor adventure scene, including amazing scuba diving, airboat tours though the Everglades, and the world’s largest loggerhead turtle nesting.

Ft Lauderdale has a fabulous airport and a functional light rail up and down the coast so that you can visit car-free. You can save enough money to stay at luxury beachfront resorts or double down with economy lodging.

Key West For Lovers

Key West F
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

There was a time when Key West would have never made the cheap vacation list. That was before Breeze Airlines started offering budget flights to the Southernmost Point. With its island vibe, Key West is probably the most affordable Caribbean vacation around, and you don’t need a passport. You will still need to shop well for a hotel, but you will not need a car on Key West between golf carts and biking.

What makes Key West unique is all tours, especially watersports. You can snorkel on the mainland’s only living coral reef, kayak on the mangroves, scuba dive on the Vandenberg wreck, or zip around the seven-square-mile island on jet skis. Couples will love watching the sunset at Mallory Square, sharing key lime pie and conch fritters, then bar-hopping on Duval Street (another good reason not to have a car).

Panama City Beach Road Trips

Panama City Beach Fl
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Let’s get this out in the open; Florabama is real and not just a place one throws fish across the state line. If you come to Panama City Beach and expect Miami, you will be disappointed. That being said, we love PCB and think that Shell Island might be the prettiest beach in Florida, and there are lots of romantic things to do in Panama City Beach, including scuba diving and dolphin tours in St Andrews Bay which has the largest residential bottlenose dolphin population in the world.

PCB is attractive to budget travelers because it’s a true beach driving-destination. You can find hotels at all levels, from beachfront condos to adult-only resorts. In fact, not only did we put PCB on our list of most romantic Florida getaways but Firefly restaurant is our reigning champ for best she-crab soup….anywhere!

Read More From Coleman Concierge:

Vacation couple in car
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

There are many reasons for couples to take cheap vacations. You may be on a budget and trying to retire early or want to balance expenses on a trip between luxury stays and heart-pounding adventures. Most importantly, you shouldn’t sacrifice your fun just because you’re looking for low-budget vacation ideas.

56 Cheap Vacations for Couples to Swoon Over

17 Most Romantic Getaways in Florida For Couples

Couple on Beach
Photo Credit: Canva.

Are you an active couple looking for a romantic getaway in Florida but don’t want to get stuck on a boxed vacation? Florida is full of romance and adventure; you just need to know where to look!

The 17 Most Romantic Getaways in Florida for Active Couples

19 Incredibly Romantic Things to Do in Orlando

Orlando downtown
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Looking for romantic things to do in Orlando? While living there, we discovered many romantic things to do for adults that we want to share with you. This beautiful city is filled with romantic places where you can spend some quality time together and gather memories to cherish for a lifetime.

19 Incredibly Romantic Things to Do in Orlando

Panama City Beach Drive and Dive Weekend Getaway

Panama City Beach Florida
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Are you looking for a dive trip that your family will enjoy as much as you do? With plenty of tropical fish, over 50 wreck sites, and hundreds of natural dive sites in Panama City Beach, you’ll never run out of places to blow bubbles. Read on for Panama City Beach drive and dive weekend getaway itinerary.

Panama City Beach Drive and Dive Weekend Getaway

Biking in Key West – 6 Routes You Need to Know

Bikes in Key West
Photo Credit: Canva.

No matter what you’re looking for related to biking Key West, we have you covered. We give you the low-down on the best bike trails, complete with an interactive Key West Bike Map you can load on your phone.

Biking in Key West – 6 Routes You Need to Know



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