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Remembering a Frugal Florida Vacation

Posted Jun 10 2009 12:19am

I love beach vacations. I think it has something to do with being from Northeast Ohio. After a winter of sunless skies and snow piled high, beaches have an irresistible draw.

When we were living in Northeast Ohio, spring break often meant beach. One of our favorite spots for vacation was Cayo Costa State Park. This park is located on the Gulf side near Fort Myers.

The park is remote. In fact, you can not drive there. You get there by boat. The whole island is state park. There are no stores or restaurants. You take everything you need with you; piling it high on the ferry boat for the trip to the island. You stay in tents or primitive cabins.

Yes, it is work to get there and to get things set up. Once you are there though, it is the most peaceful of vacations. Tent sites are right on the beach; some with a view of the ocean. Other sites are in a bit farther, but the ocean still can be heard.

Days are spent waking early to gather seashells, swimming in the ocean, and walking or biking the trails. It is quiet. It is relaxing. It is worth the work and the price is right at $18 per tent site per night. You pack your food, so no dining expenses to worry about. There are no tourist traps to be caught in or to spend your money at.

It has been several years since we have gone to Cayo Costa. I think about going again, and then I remember we have four small kids. Although more expensive, an Orlando vacation rental may be more our speed until the kids are old enough to help with the work involved in a trip to Cayo Costa.

If you like the beach, camping and peace and quiet. And if you like frugal vacations and don't mind putting a little work into them, Cayo Costa may be the perfect spot for you.

 vacation,  Florida,  frugal

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