There are so many wonderful things about the State of Florida and many of them are just plain free! On this site, I'll be exploring the free side of Florida as well as low cost options for your weekends or vacation. But because I don't want to steer you wrong, I'll post after I visit these places myself. Have a great time on the site and on your own adventures!

Be sure to click the tab below for a full list of reviewed locations!

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Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna, FL

Florida Caverns State Park, Christmas Tree Room
Strictly speaking, this location does not meet the "Under $10" guidelines set forth to eligible for this website... However, if you pack a few people in the car with you, it does. The reasoning is such: The cave tour itself costs $8 per person. But entrance to the park to begin with is $5 per vehicle, up to 8 people. So if you have at least three people in your car, it meets the budgetary guidelines of Free Time Florida. See? It really does work out!

Now on to the review...

Upon arrival at the Park, a native Floridian will notice the rolling hills (well, hills by Florida standards) and change in the types of trees and flora. The reason for this is that unlike most of Florida, the Caverns park is located in a Temperate climate region, rather than tropical. It's actually subject to four real seasons! When walking the trails, there are the feelings of northern state/national parks until one comes to a patch of palmettos and is swiftly brought back to the fact that you are in Florida. Rather a neat feeling. Another tip from Free Time Florida is to apply some insect repellent. This is a state park and the mosquitoes can be somewhat aggressive on the grounds outside of the caves.

Florida Caverns Gift Shop
The first thing you should know about the Caverns tour is that they are closed, due to budgetary restraints, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As such, they are subject to a lot of school or camp outings on the remaining three weekdays, as well as general tourist traffic on the weekends. The recommendation by a few of the park rangers is to arrive early and make your reservation for a cavern tour that day. They are on a first come, first served basis and can sell out quickly depending on who shows up that day. You can make these arrangements at the gift shop.

Once your scheduled time arrives, tours are scheduled approximately 1/2 hour apart throughout the day, the guide takes a group of up to 25 people to the cave entrance. This is a fantastically surreal doorway to the underworld. It's as if you are entering the lair of Gollum. But once inside, you are quickly assured everything is safe and not to touch any of the walls or stalactites/stalagmites, as it may kill them. It's then that the tour starts it's journey through a series of "rooms", seeing everything from an ancient sea urchin permanently on display as a fossil in the ceiling of the entry to an also-ancient shark tooth trapped with the stone. There is a room where couples can get married with a wedding party of 25 or less, a room where visitors may or may not get to see live (non-threatening) bats in there with them, another that has what they refer to as a Christmas tree.
Typical passageway within the Caverns.

Please note: If you are the least bit squeamish about being in dark, enclosed spaces or passing through very narrow passages or under heights of around four feet at times you may want to reconsider this visit. For everyone else, I highly suggest a tour of these caves. They really are a fantastic sight and certainly one not to miss on your travels through Florida! There are even camp sites available on a limited basis.

For more information on Florida Caverns State Park, please click the name or go here:

Click HERE for a map.

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