Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hitting The Road To Florida Without Breaking The Bank

NAPSI-Traveling with the family doesn't have to mean taking a vacation from your budget. There are a number of ways to control a trip's cost--from planning totally or nearly free activities to hitting the Web to find breaks on hotels.

There are popular family destinations that offer free or heavily discounted activities. For instance, from alligators to artifacts, Seminoles to sinkholes and canopy roads to the Capitol Complex, Tallahassee is offering vacationing families "Recession-FREE" travel options en route to the white beaches and magical castles of Florida. Here's a closer look:

Free Florida Activities

With its mixture of canopy roads, deep-rooted history, rolling hills, moss-draped oaks, cool climate and Southern-style hospitality, Tallahassee is a Florida few have seen. Plus it offers a number of completely free activities, including:

• Visiting Herman, the restored mastadon skeleton, at the Museum of Florida History.

• Standing guard at the newly reconstructed fort, El Castillo de San Luis, at Mission San Luis.

• Getting blown away in the hurricane simulator at The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science (free daily 4-5 p.m.).

• Touring art galleries and museums such as FSU Fine Arts, FAMU Foster Tanner and TCC Gallery.

• Viewing panoramic scenery from the 22nd floor of the new Capitol.

• Celebrating Native American heritage at four archeological sites: Lake Jackson, Mission San Luis, Letchworth or Velda Mounds.

Cutting Costs

Florida's capital city offers dozens of affordable vacation options as well. For instance, families can:

• Spot Florida panthers, black bears and alligators from a lakeview walkway at the Tallahassee Museum. Adults get in for less than $10; kids 4 to 15 are $6.

• Swim in the crystal-clear waters of Wakulla Springs State Park for less than $5 per vehicle.

• Mountain bike, horseback ride, kayak or stroll through Maclay Gardens State Park for less than $5.

• Hit range balls at the Fred Couples/Gene Bates-designed SouthWood Golf Course for under $10.

• Stargaze at the Challenger Learning Center Planetarium for $5; kids even less at $4.

Dining And Lodging

Families can also find a variety of dining options--ranging from Southern barbecue and Creole cuisine to Indian food and burritos-for under $10. There are even hotels starting at less than $55 a night.

For a list of "Recession-FREE" options, see or contact the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 628-2866.

Give Your Wallet A Break--Vacationers can find dozens of "Recession-FREE" family-fun activities.

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