Last Updated on September 1, 2022
Planning a romantic getaway in Florida on a budget? Discover some of the most affordable destinations in Florida that are perfect for couples looking to plan a romantic trip.
With tons of free things to do and budget-friendly accommodations, couples will love to spend their vacation in one of these destinations. From enjoying the beach to exploring national parks and everything in between, Florida has tons of romantic places and activities for all types of couples.
Get ready to discover some of the top vacation spots in Florida for couples on a budget!
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
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Indian Rocks Beach
By Lanie from Make More Adventures
Indian Rocks Beach is not only gorgeous and more private than Clearwater Beach, but it is so close to Clearwater Beach that couples can easily head there for a few hours if they want more options for activities and restaurants.
Fly into Tampa International Airport (TPA) or St. Pete/Clearwater Airport (PIE) and take a taxi to the beach. Cars aren’t a necessity on the beach, especially as the Jolley Trolley bus is easy to use and inexpensive.
Indian Rocks Beach is surrounded by water, with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. Every location is just a few blocks (or less) from the beach.
The beach is a perfect place for a walk on the soft white sand, and for those who want to explore more, Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve is free to visit and has boardwalks through the mangroves. Many kinds of wildlife can be spotted from the nature preserve.
For budget meals and snacks, head to the Kooky Coconut. Don’t forget to order their ice cream and walk down to the beach to enjoy the beautiful Gulf Coast sunset. Another great budget option for meals is Jake’s Coastal Cantina. Make sure to check out their daily food and drink specials.
By Rebecca from Veggies Abroad
When looking for an affordable destination in Florida that offers gorgeous sun-filled days, an eclectic arts scene, epic nightlife, and pristine white sand beaches, you need to look no further than Miami!
While Miami does beckon the rich and famous, there are many ways to visit the Magic City more affordably.
First, you have to decide where you want to stay. The best place to base yourself to enjoy the city and be close to the beach is the Wynwood Arts District. What was once an area of abandoned warehouses is now filled with colorful murals, chic boutiques, and some of Miami’s best vegan food (don’t miss The Chocolate Chip Bakery or Love Life Café).
Now, deciding what to do in Miami can be a bit overwhelming — the city is always full of activity! If you stay in Wynwood, be sure to take a tour of Wynwood Walls — it’s a one-of-a-kind urban graffiti museum and allows visitors to learn more about the district.
On Saturdays, check out a variety of local farmers and vendors at the Coconut Grove Farmers Market; it’s almost entirely plant-based!
For a romantic stroll, there is always, of course, Miami Beach, but for something a little quieter, be sure to check out the gorgeous gardens at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Aside from an array of flora, there is also a fantastic butterfly garden, home to more than 40 species of exotic butterflies from Central and South America.
The closest airport to Miami is Miami International, but sometimes it is a little cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale, which is just under an hour away by car.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
By Ashlee Fechino from The Happiness Function
Looking for a budget-friendly destination to take your partner on a romantic beach getaway? Check out Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida! This secluded barrier island near Pensacola, Florida, is perfect for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Plus, there are plenty of free things to do here, making it an affordable option. Keep reading for tips on spending time in this beautiful place!
Gulf Islands National Seashore is part of the National Park Service, and aside from the entrance fee to get into the park, there are endless outdoor activities to enjoy for free. Spend time relaxing on the beach, catching waves along the emerald coast, and hiking miles of intercoastal trails.
Gulf Islands National Seashore Fort Pickens is home to a famous historical fort where visitors can explore the fort at their own pace on a self-guided tour. Gulf Islands is also a great place to kayak for couples who enjoy water sports activities. Keep your eyes peeled to see beautiful wildlife in their protected natural habitat.
Plan a romantic beach camping trip to the island and be within walking distance of gorgeous sunsets overlooking Pensacola Bay. Bring your own food and drinks and picnic right on the beach! Pensacola Beach is roughly 30 minutes away for couples wanting to explore some of the local restaurants and nightlife.
If the idea of a serene, romantic beach getaway is appealing to you, consider Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Panama City Beach
By Roshni from The Wanderlust Within
One of the most laidback and affordable places to visit along the Florida Panhandle is Panama City Beach.
It is especially perfect for couples looking for a fun and relaxed beach getaway. Spend your days, walking along the beautiful white sand beaches made from crystal quartz, take a dip in the emerald green waters, or hire a boat and sail half an hour to the famous Shell Island just off the coast.
If you want some things to do in Panama City Beach on dry land, then Pier Park is your best bet. It is a beachside shopping, dining and entertainment complex, where it is easy to spend an entire day and night (make sure you visit Tootsies lounge, if you’re a country music fan!).
If you’re a foodie there are several places to visit including the famous Andy’s Flour Power, which serves a mean brunch. Make sure to order the breakfast martini cocktail!
Panama City Beach is served by Northwest Florida Beaches Airport (ECP) which is only 20 minutes drive from the beachfront.
Safreen Motel is a great option for couples on a budget. The hotel is only a 1-minute walk to the beach, all rooms have aircon, some have a kitchen. There’s also free parking available. Alternatively, check out the vacation rentals near the beach, there are many budget-friendly options.
By Kerry Hanson from VeggTravel
If you’re looking for affordable destinations in Florida for couples, then don’t overlook Orlando. While Orlando might be notoriously expensive if you’re planning a Disney or Universal Studios focused vacation, however, there is so much more to the city than that. In fact, some of the best things to do in Orlando have free admission. If you don’t want to splurge on theme park tickets, then visit City Walk or Disney Springs to enjoy the magic of the location and themed restaurants without the price tag.
If you do want some thrills but want to keep to a budget, consider visiting Fun Spot America-Kissimmee instead. The park is old school but is still great fun and some of the restaurants and bars nearby are the cheapest in Orlando.
Make sure you also explore downtown. During the day, there are many beautiful parks to enjoy, such as Lake Eola or Winter Park. Come evening, there are also cool and quirky bars and speakeasies, as well as popular nightclubs.
If you want the resort experience on International Drive but still want to keep costs low, then stay at the Avanti International Resort. It has a fantastic pool, modern rooms, and is close to everything you need. You’ll also find plenty of budget-friendly vacation rentals in town.
You can travel around Orlando easily on the frequent trolly and bus services which also connect Orlando international airport to International Drive. Hiring a car is also affordable and gives you much more freedom.
By Mary from Wanderu
Jacksonville is home to 22 miles of beaches, perfect for early-morning walks, days of surfing and paddleboarding, and evenings of watching the sun set. Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach are two of the most popular, and they are free to the public (although parking costs a few dollars). If you’re visiting between May and October, you might even get to see sea turtles nesting on the beach!
Beyond its beaches, Jacksonville offers many more gorgeous outdoor settings for affordable and romantic dates. For just $3 per person, explore Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens’ 51 acres of trails and pristine wilderness. Or spend a day at Little Talbot Island, an undeveloped landscape of dunes, salt marshes, and beaches perfect for spotting wildlife.
In the heart of the city, The Dance Shack has free “newbie” drop-in classes on Friday nights, where couples can learn salsa, swing, and ballroom dancing together. Finish off the evening with a cocktail at River & Post’s rooftop, with sweeping views of the river and city skyline.
An affordable hotel option is Best Western Premier Jacksonville Hotel, in the Baymeadows area. From this home base, you can also take day trips from Jacksonville to nearby destinations for very cheap. Plus, the hotel is less than 30 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport.
No matter how you spend your vacation, Jacksonville is a cheap and thrilling destination for couples and one of the most romantic getaways in Florida for couples on a budget.
By Jami from Celiac Travel Pack
Homestead, FL is the perfect destination for couples on a budget who want to balance beach time with some adventure during their vacation.
This small town is located about an hour from beautiful beaches in the Florida Keys. Take in some beach time at Anne’s Beach or beat the crowds at Library Park Beach. For a romantic evening, check out Holiday Isle Beach for dinner and a sunset.
From Homestead, you can choose your own national park adventure. Homestead is close to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. In the Everglades, take a tram tour of Shark Valley to see alligators or head to Flamingo to try to spot some manatees. Biscayne National Park is 95% water. Take a kayak, snorkel, or sailing tour in the park to experience the marine life up close.
Homestead gives you the relaxed vibe of a small town but that also means there aren’t as many restaurants. Stay at the Home2 Suites in Homestead to have access to a kitchen during your stay or book a holiday home.
Chefs on the Run offers a plant-based mofongo bowl for a Puerto Rican meal. Grati Cafe in nearby Key Largo offers smoothies and açaí bowls to get your day started. For a touristy experience that’s worth the crowd, grab a smoothie at Robert is Here Fruit Stand. For a different kind of adventure, pick a new fruit to try from the variety at the fruit stand; you won’t believe the options for fruits you never knew existed.
The closest airport is in Miami. You’ll need a rental car and should make sure you know how your sun pass works for the toll roads. If you plan to take the tram tour in Shark Valley, a boat tour in Flamingo, or participate in any of the tours in Biscayne book them early.
By Jillian Michelle of Adventure Dragon
Mount Dora, Florida is one of the most affordable destinations in Florida for couples, but few people know about this charming spot other than locals. It’s located just a little over a half an hour drive north of Orlando, making it a convenient place for couples to visit when they’re looking for a cheap and relaxing place to take a break from city life.
The iconic, red and white striped lighthouse is the highlight of the small town, and it’s the perfect spot to go for a romantic stroll around the lake with your partner. Lake Dora is also home to Palm Island Park, a free nature getaway that contains 8 acres of boardwalks, trails, and wildlife-viewing spots.
Nearby there’s a free art museum as well as a charming independent bookstore that even offers free wine and snacks if you happen to visit during their monthly free book club.
When it gets too hot outdoors, stop by Mount Dora Confectionary for some iced treats or homemade candies. Then visit the Highland Street Café for a delicious veggie wrap, or try some authentic Lebanese food at Beirut Bites. They have multiple tasty options including hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, and tabbouleh.
End your romantic getaway by staying at the oldest continuously operating hotel in the state of Florida, the historic Lakeside Inn!
By Candice from CS Ginger
One of the most affordable destinations and top romantic getaways in Florida is Ocala, located in Central Florida. Ocala is a smaller destination in Florida known for its beautiful natural springs, Spanish moss, and outdoor activities. There is beautiful clear water as well as really fun historical sites. There is also a large national forest.
The most famous spring in Florida is Silver Springs. This is a great place to enjoy the beautiful nature in central Florida. Silver Springs is a great place to kayak. There are kayak rentals, making it really easy to enjoy the water paths in the park. You can also go on the famous glass-bottom boat tours to see manatees, alligators, and other wildlife. There is also a group of wild monkeys that live in the park.
Another fun thing to do in Ocala is to explore the downtown historic district. The romantic and charming streets are lined with stunning oak trees, and you can marvel at the beautiful homes dating back to 1910. It is a very walkable neighborhood with lots of delicious restaurants and fun things to do.
If you’re looking for an adventure, you can go zip lining. The Canyons Zip Line goes over two canyons and four different lakes. They also offer kayaking tours.
By Laura from Gallivanting Laura
Cocoa Beach is a small surfing town located on a barrier island on Florida’s Space Coast. It packs a punch when it comes to things to see and do, making it the perfect beach vacation in Florida for couples on a budget.
Spend your days on the beach, enroll in some surfing lessons, check out the wildlife on a kayaking or boat tour, and witness a rocket launch. A stroll around Ron Jon Surf Shop is an activity in itself. This iconic store is the world’s largest surf shop and a must-see on my visitor lists. Tip: Several websites report the latest launch schedules, such as Space Coast Launches.
There are many bars and restaurants to check out, from oceanfront to dive bars. There is something for everyone. 4th Street Fillin Station has a fun vibe and a varying menu, while Sunset Café Waterfront has beautiful views and a sunset celebration every evening.
The closest major airport is Orlando International, with the lesser-known Melbourne Orlando International also nearby. Shuttle services run from each airport if you do not wish to book a rental car.
Once owned by seven astronauts, the La Quinta Inn is a budget-friendly hotel in an excellent location. With public beach access across the street, breakfast, parking, a large pool and bars onsite, it provides good value. Room Tip: For a quieter experience, avoid the ‘pool view’ rooms.
By Erin from Super Simple Salty Life
With buildings that are centuries old, cobblestone streets, and tree-lined paths with hidden courtyards, you will feel right away that St. Augustine is a great place for couples to visit and one of the best romantic getaways in Florida. Add to that the stylish bars, live music, truly fantastic food, top-rated bed and breakfasts, and gorgeous beaches, and you will never want to leave!
St. Augustine is in north Florida on the “Historic Coast”. Although the city is very easy to explore on foot, the closest airport is about an hour away in Jacksonville. It is best to drive here if you live nearby, or rent a car at the airport and pay a daily parking rate.
For great food and drinks, check out Sangria’s Wine Bar for late night wine and jazz music on a balcony overlooking the historic St. George Street, or enjoy fresh “Florida-style” food while watching the sunset at Cap’s On the Water. Then stay overnight in one of the quaint vacation homes near the beach so you can do it all again the next day!
The city of St. Augustine dates back to 1565, so the entire area is rich with history. Take a stroll around the city to explore perfectly preserved buildings and forts, restored museums, and cathedrals with amazing architecture. The Old Town Trolley tour is a great way to see all of the top-rated sights, and you can hop on and off with ease throughout the day! You can also take a haunted nighttime ghost tour or a sunset boat sail with your significant other for some cuddle time.
No matter what adventures you choose to do in St. Augustine, you will have a fantastic time!
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