Bringing in over 50 million visitors each year, Orlando is most well-known for Disney, but there’s so much more to this great city than the Mouse! Orlando is a great city to visit year-round, whether you’re traveling solo or with a family. There are so many things to do and see! Vacationing in Orlando on a budget is pretty easy because there are quite a few free things to do.
You’ll spend the most money on lodging, and transportation to get here, plus transportation to get around if you rent a car. Orlando is not right on the beach, but there are several beaches within driving distance. What I like to do is map out each attraction I want to spend time at, and then map out each day so I can maximize my time (and money!). This means if there are three things in close proximity of each other, I’ll do those in one day. The next day, I’ll do others that are nearby. It helps save gas (and headaches) if you aren’t driving zig zag all over the place!
Like I said, the beaches aren’t super close but they’re definitely worth a drive! The closest beaches are:
Daytona Beach: Located just above Cape Canaveral, Daytona Beach is one of the most visited on the East Coast.
Cocoa Beach: Not quite as popular or touristy as Daytona, it can be a bit more relaxing but does get busy during high season. Cocoa Beach is located just below Cape Canaveral.
New Smyrna Beach: Gorgeous beach! At low tide, the beach is up to 500 feet wide.
Clearwater Beach Morse Museum of American Art offers free admission for children under 12, as well as free admission for everyone on Fridays from 4PM til 8PM (November through April). Morse Museum is technically in Winter Park but is less than 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.
Also located in Winter Park, the Albin Polask Museum and Sculpture Garden is home to exquisite art and serene sculpture gardens. Admission for children under 12 is free, admission for adults is $5.
A one-of-a-kind Holocaust Memorial has both permanent and traveling exhibits to communicate the history of the Holocaust. Admission is free.
Disney Springs (previously Downtown Disney) is a great way to get a Disney experience without the cost of the theme parks. With shopping, dining, and diverse entertainment, you’ll be able to spend an entire day here. However, you might want to pack a lunch because everything definitely has Disney pricing.
Orlando Brewing Company offers free tours. Call ahead to find out hours and other information.
Black Hammock Adventures offers air boat rides, alligator tours, and more. While the prices aren’t too high, it could get expensive if you have a large family. With that being said, it’s an adventure of a lifetime so it’s worth the cost if you can swing it!
What’s your favorite thing to do in Orlando that doesn’t break the bank? Let me know in the comments!
Previous Posts in the 2017 Traveling on a Budget Series: