Summer is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. It’s the time when people seek to take advantage of some fun in the sun. Because summertime travel is always in such high demand, it can be quite expensive. The good news is, there are some really awesome and affordable places to visit in and around South Florida. Any of these options will make for a fantastic day trip, and save you some money at the same time.

Theater Of The Sea

84721 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036
(305) 664-2431

The interactive marine life attraction is just one more reason why traveling to the Florida Keys is so popular. Located in Islamorada, patrons can get an up-close look at various marine life, specifically dolphins, sea lions and stingrays. Live shows are available with sea lions, dolphins and parrots. Guests can also participate in swimming with the stingrays, as well as dolphins and sea lions. You really get a bang for your buck at this attraction; the price of admission includes a guide tour of the exhibits, access to the private lagoon beach on the property and bottomless boat ride.


700 S. Rosemary Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 336-1000

Shopping day trips have always been popular, but the one challenge is saving enough money to shop and to cover travel expenses, which can get pretty steep. CityPlace alleviates this problem in one important way – it’s located right here in South Florida. This West Palm Beach shopping and entertainment megaproperty offers in excess of 100 retail stores and dining venues. For entertainment, you can also catch a flick at the 24-theater Muvico complex or head over to the IMAX theater for a high-tech movie experience. There’s even a Publix and a Barnes & Noble bookstore on the property. CityPlace offers more than just a great shopping experience. With all the extras, it has become a local travel destination.

Day Trip To Grand Bahama Island From Fort Lauderdale

Via Balearia Bahamas Express
Port Everglades
1850 Eller Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

The islands of The Bahamas is a traveler’s dream – crystal clear water, pristine beaches, fanstatic weather, wonderful food – the list goes on and on. Places like Nassau and Grand Bahama Island are popular tourist spots. Getting to this tropical oasis is now just a boatride away – literally. You can take a ferry from Port Everglades and sail for just a few hours to arrive and have a great Bahamas beach day at an affordable rate. The ferry offers services from Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island and back on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Specials are frequently offered that can make this trip even more affordable than it already is.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Fort Lauderdale

Everglades National Park

Ernest Coe Visitor Center
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
(305) 242-7700

For a day trip to the wilderness, you can take a short drive to the southern end of Miami-Dade County and explore to your heart’s content, courtesy of the National Park Service. Everglades National Park is 1.5 million acres of precious Florida wilderness and wetlands, and is home to much of the state’s native vegetation and wildlife. Admission is very affordable and the list of things to do is both impressive and substantial. Naturally, camping is an available option, but there’s also bike riding, bird watching and hiking. For a more in-depth exploration on your day trip, you can take an airboat ride, wade in the water on a canoe trail or hop on a tram tour.

Rapids Water Park

6566 N. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 842-8756

Summer and water are synonymous, and as expected, many travelers look for fun options to have some fun in the water. Going to the beach is typically the popular alternative, but some are looking for more than just getting a tan or frolicking around in the ocean. Rapids Water Park is a tourist attraction that offers a wide variety of fun and exciting options without the big price tag. You get to jump on any one of the water slides or even take a chance in the FlowRider, the new surfing simulator. This is a family-friendly attraction, offering many options that are great for kids and adults. The water park also offers personal flotation devices and life jackets at no additional charge, which helps your budget and keeps you safe.

Related: Best Day Trips for Families In South Florida