Parks, campsites offer inexpensive spring break options
Staying at five-star hotels or traveling the world are some ways people take advantage of spring break, but it comes with a heavy price tag.
Luckily, there are a few options for students seeking a cheap escape that are far from ordinary, but not too far from home.
To get away from the typical spring break beach scene, just 45 minutes from campus you can venture off to Rock Springs in Kelly Park in Apopka.
The crystal-clear spring that sprouts from underwater caves is 68 degrees year-round. Because the depths range in the spring, it's recommended to either bring your own tube or rent one from shops outside the park.
The spring, or what some call the "lazy river," takes you afloat on its current through the green landscape secluded in nature. Entrance to the park is $3 per vehicle for one to two people or $5 per vehicle for three to eight people. With grills and picnic tables, camping is a popular option and is $18 to $23 per night.
Another popular campsite is Cumberland Island in St. Marys, Georgia. Let your childhood-like sense of wonder come to life on this island where wild horses roam its beaches and enchanting forests hold historical sites.
The island, which is $4 to enter, boasts its 50 miles of hiking trails through forests, wetlands, historic districts, marshes and beaches.
As the island is only accessible by boat, a ferry departs from Downtown St. Marys and stops at both the Dungeness Dock and the Sea Camp Dock, which is $20 for adults.
Once ashore, you can explore the Dungeness Mansion Ruins, the First African Baptist Church or the Plum Orchard Mansion.
Tours are offered, but you can rent a bike at the Sea Camp Dock for a fee of $16 per day and $20 overnight for campers. There are several campsites that cost $2 to $4 per person per night, depending on the specific site and if it's with or without facilities.
Maybe camping isn't your forte, and that's OK. You can still get an adventure-packed vacation. At Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center in Milton, Florida you can zipline 65 feet above Coldwater Creek. You could also kayak and paddleboard. It lies just past the boundary of Blackwater River State Forest.
For the Groupon Getaway, there are two options for outdoor enthusiasts. You could either pay $184 for two nights in a Schoolhouse Inn room, and you could choose your outdoor excursions. Or you could pay $399 for three nights with a zipline adventure for two and choice of a kayak or paddleboard trip for two. The ziplining itself is $89 per person for seven zip lines, or you could pay $129 for the Double Dip, which includes all 12 zip lines.
If you want the beach scene, Clearwater Beach is one of America's finest beaches, according to Travelchannel.com.
The white sandy beach sits along the blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. It's notorious for its beach volleyball games, the tiki bars serving tropical drinks and Pier 60, which comes alive at night with street performers and a breathtaking sunset.
Accommodations can be as low as $53 per night, featured on sites such as Booking.com or Priceline.com.
To make reservations:
Rock Springs in Kelly Park: 407-889-4179
Cumberland Island: www.cumberlandislandferry.com
Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center: 1-850-623-6197
Veronica Brezina is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.