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SW Florida on a tight budget?

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Bloomington...
posts: 8
reviews: 11
SW Florida on a tight budget?

A family friend is letting our family use their condo in the Bonita Springs/Ft. Myers area the last week in January and I have been looking all over the internet for vacation ideas which would be pretty inexpensive. This is a special trip for us as we have been feeling a pretty tight budget crunch for a long time and haven’t had a family vacation in many years. Although I’d like to do something special outside of just go to the beach I know we just can’t afford the $100+ per person price tag for most of the fun activities/tours I see recommended. We will be a group of 4 adults staying from 1/26-2/3.

So far we plan on stopping by the corkscrew sanctuary, going over to Sanibel for a some shelling and spending a day at barefoot beach. Other than that we are totally open to ideas. Can anyone recommend any other activities that are on the cheaper side or perhaps a places to locate discounts/coupons?

We do have our car and are happy to travel anywhere around southwest Florida. I would say our interest would be towards animals/nature and family fun type activities. Due to our economic situation restaurants are probably out of the question but we would be potentially interested in something for one meal if someone felt it was really worth the price/experience.

Additionally the weather report seems to be a bit chillier than I had hoped. Is it still comfortable enough to go to the beaches and swim at this time of year?

Elmhurst, Illinois
posts: 8
reviews: 12
1. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

Since you mention that you like animals, check out the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples..they have a web site. It is free but they do ask for donation which enables them to keep the Sancturary operating. It is not a set amount..just whatever you feel comfortable giving. We have been there twice and love it!

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 34,614
reviews: 22
2. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

Join Groupon for the area, and check out restaurant.com for vouchers as well.

Cuts down the cost of attractions (I have seen everything there from jet skis to boat rentals, fishing and dolphin trips etc) and meals out

jamesville ny
Destination Expert
for Fort Myers
posts: 4,545
reviews: 5
3. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

The Naples zoo is very nice and free and a tour of Tin City in Naples is fun but I don't remember the cost. There is a mini golfcourse on San Carlos Blvd. which shouldn't be expensive. You may find a reasonable outdoor restaurant on Time Sq. I recall a fast food restaurand and there is always Mickey Ds on Estero Blvd. If I think of anything else I'll get back to you.

Fort Myers, Florida
posts: 606
reviews: 53
4. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

The Naples Zoo is not even close to free - was $18 per person last time I visited. Tin City is free, but it's just a bunch of tacky tourist shops. I don't see the attraction to it. If that's your thing, you'll like The Shell Factory in North Ft. Myers. You can walk around parts of it at no charge. Stop at the Edison Estates and you can see the banyan tree and walk some of the grounds for free. Look up Lee County Conservation 20/20 lands - lots of free trails to hike (parking $1 an hour.)

Pompano Beach...
posts: 994
reviews: 16
5. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

Megan- thanks for sharing the shy wolf sanctuary info...I have never heard of it before....checked out their site...and what a wonderful place! They are doing God's work for sure.

Marshfield...
posts: 80
reviews: 43
6. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

Go to the Lover's Key State Park - there is an admission fee, but not high and you can walk their nature walks, beach, rent canoes/kayaks or many other activities. It is at the South end of Ft. Myers Beach, just before the bridge to Bonita. Also, if you can spend the $7.00 for the bridge toll, take a ride to Sanibel and Captiva. The Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary is a good take for a couple bucks fee per car load.

Wisconsin
posts: 2,826
reviews: 37
7. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

Weather looks awesome, mid 70's to mid 80's every day the next 10 days.

8. Re: SW Florida on a tight budget?

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