4 Family-Friendly Florida Vacation Spots to Visit on a Budget

By Tyler Francischine

February 17, 2023

If you’re looking for your next family adventure, we’ve got you covered.

When you’re a resident of the Sunshine State, there’s no need to look elsewhere when planning your next family vacation. Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend spent in nature or a bustling time full of sightseeing and dining out, Florida delivers—without breaking your household budget.

Here are four uniquely charming places to call home base as you explore the beauty and excitement of a true Florida family staycation.

Prestige Hotel, Vero Beach

4 Kid-Friendly Vacation Spots to Visit On a Budget

When Floridians seek out a beach staycation full of peace and relaxation, they skip the more famous shores of Daytona Beach and keep driving south about 130 miles until they reach Vero Beach, where fine dining and luxury shopping meet coastal beauty and stunning biodiversity. The Prestige offers tranquil, oceanfront rooms overlooking one of Florida’s most unspoiled sections of eastern coastline—just ask the thousands of sea turtles who nest here each year.

Only a couple minutes’ drive away are bustling spots for nightlife like The Wave Kitchen and Bar, part of Gloria Estefan’s beloved Costa D’Este Resort and Spa, as well as a host of shops selling apparel, jewelry, and more.

Twenty miles north in Sebastian, the Indian River Lagoon is a one-of-a-kind ecosystem where both freshwater and saltwater species converge. Take a boat tour or paddle out in a kayak by visiting The Environmental Learning Center.

Everglades Adventures Hotel Suites by Ivey House, Everglades City

4 Kid-Friendly Vacation Spots to Visit On a Budget
Image via Everglades Adventures Hotel Suites

The Everglades Adventures Hotel Suites lives up to its name by placing guests in the thick of the action. Roll out of bed in the morning and walk just a few paces to the water’s edge to choose your adventure—will you cut through the sawgrass at warp speed on an airboat ride or take a peaceful guided kayak paddle? Either way, you may see American alligators, American crocodiles, turtles, and wood storks.

Crystal Blue Lagoon Bed & Breakfast, Crystal River

When you stay at the Crystal Blue Lagoon Bed & Breakfast, a swim with manatees only requires walking a few steps out of your bedroom. Located on Crystal River Crosstown Trail with House Spring literally lying just below the property’s terrace, as well as Three Sisters Springs and Hunter Springs Park very close by, this vibrant bed and breakfast full of mermaid- and manatee-themed murals and decor provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable encounter with some of the sea’s gentlest giants.

Olde Marco Island Inn and Suites, Marco Island

For those who believe vacations should be about rest and relaxation, Marco Island—a barrier island located just south of Naples on Florida’s Paradise Coast—offers countless opportunities to connect with the area’s resplendent natural beauty. The Olde Marco Island Inn and Suites provides affordable, functional suites perfect for the whole family—fully outfitted kitchens, anyone? But for those nights when no one feels like cooking, guests can walk to some of the area’s best eateries like The Snook Inn, which serves all-you-can-eat ribs on Monday and all-you-can-eat shrimp on Tuesdays.

A quick drive north, The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and its environmental learning center offer opportunities for kayaking, boating, camping, angling, shelling, birdwatching, and nature photography.

Author

  • Tyler Francischine

    Tyler Francischine is a journalist who writes about travel, arts, culture and community. She's passionate about social justice, the Atlantic Ocean and live music.

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