North Florida offers a wide variety of fun and free things to do. Whether you're looking to hit up the beautiful beaches or venture the state's capital of Tallahassee, from Jacksonville to Gainesville, and everywhere in between, free activities abound. Below is a list of the best free activities by city.
AddressAmelia Island, Florida 32034, USA
Amelia Island's Fernandina Beach is a postcard-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 these excursions will cost you a penny.
And, if you're looking to spend the day at the beach, consider Main Beach and Peter's Point that offer free parking lots or South Fernandina Beach that has limited, but free street parking.
Florida Museum of Natural History, located on the campus of the University of Florida is the State of Florida's official state-sponsored and chartered natural history museum. Since it is state-run, the well-respected museum is always free and open to the public and a great place to visit in Gainesville.
If you'd rather spend your time outside, head to Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park with twelve hot springs that feed into a massive sinkhole with several significant fossils.
You can also choose to browse over 50 vendor booths selling fresh produce, seafood, and other local goods at The Jacksonville Farmer’s Market, the oldest farmers market in Florida. It may be tempting to buy something, but browsing is always free.
For the more athletically inclined, pedal along the 14.5-mile trail of tree canopies on the Baldwin Trail. History buffs will love a visit to Camp Milton Historical Preserve or the Kingsley Plantation to explore the Sunshine State's war-torn past.
Nature lovers will revel in the stunning Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, always free, of course, and for amazing views of the city, ride the complimentary Jacksonville Skyway.
Pensacola's beaches are some of the best on the Gulf Coast. While it may cost you a small toll to enter the town of Pensacola Beach, you will be able to find free parking at Casino Beach. Once you park, the free Pensacola Beach Trolley can take you where you want to go, from Memorial Day through the end of September.
The National Museum of Naval Aviation offers both free parking and admission to its guests, and even has complimentary autograph signings with real pilots inside the museum on certain days.
Tallahassee offers amazing free guided tours of its Capitol Complex, where Florida's lawmakers meet to conduct official business. The old capitol building is located on the same block as the new (and operating) building, and offers both guided and self-guided tours, though the guided tours tend to fill up very quickly. For the new capitol building, guided tours require reservations, made months in advance, so plan accordingly.
The Museum of Florida History collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets evidence of past and present cultures in Florida, and offers free admission to all visitors.