If you love the outdoors and good deals, then you’ll be excited to know that Florida State Parks annual passes are half-off now until January 13, 2024! The passes cover your daily admissions fees to parks all over Florida and start when you buy it, so no need to wait until the new year. My family bought one last year that we thoroughly enjoyed and will certainly be snagging up this deal!
There are several state parks here in Volusia County, but the one my family probably spends the most time at is Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach (2099 N. Beach Street). We camped there one time and have been for day trips several times to go fishing, swimming and hiking. There is a rich history at this park that is perfect for November’s Native American Heritage Month as the park’s site is the former home of the Timucuan Native Americans in the village of Nocoroco, about 1,000 years ago. While their diet consisted largely of oysters and clams, modern day visitors and campers can enjoy the food and shopping at Tomoka Outpost, a family-run camp store within the park.
Blue Springs State Park in Orange City is another State Park in Volusia that we love to visit (2100 W. French Avenue). In the summer, visitors can swim near the springhead and tube, kayak and paddleboard in its flow. In the winter, observation decks overlook the hundreds of manatees that huddle together for warmth. There are often experts on site to tell you more about the manatees and, in my family’s case, cheer your kids on while they take part in the litter cleaning station.
Outside of Volusia, a new favorite of ours is directly across the state at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. This is one of the few parks that the annual pass only covers admissions fees for two people, rather than a carload of eight. This is because the water park, river cruise, and world-famous mermaid shows are included in the admissions cost. When we went last summer, the mermaids put on a show similar to that of “The Little Mermaid” that my girls absolutely loved! The underwater theater is also a unique experience featuring a video of the history of the shows. You can also walk around the spring to see the “backstage” area where my girls were delighted to see the prince wave at them before he jumped into the water!
Some parks are much smaller, with less amenities, but with just as much history and natural beauty. For more information on any of the parks mentioned, a map of all parks, or to buy annual passes, you can visit FloridaStateParks.org. The ranger’s office at mmany state parks also has an in-person option to buy your pass. Individual passes are now only $30, and families passes are $60. Enjoy your adventure!
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