x
Breaking News
More () »

Wake Up & Save: First Coast family 'staycations' for $30

Summer is wrapping up, but the fun isn’t over yet. We found three places for a fun day with the family for less than the price of a full tank of gas.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — You have about $30 to spare and a day with your kids ahead of you. 

Summer is wrapping up, but the fun isn’t over yet. We found three places for a fun day with the family for less than the price of a full tank of gas.

Day 1: Hop aboard the St. Johns Ferry for a different kind of beach experience. Show your family the First Coast from a different point of view. The ferry takes you to from Mayport to Fernandina Beach. Cars are only $7 and pedestrians are $1. The ferry arrives every 30 minutes.

When on the ferry, park your car and take a peek over the side. Feel the wind in your hair as you and your family to spot jellyfish.

The drive up to Fernandina Beach is beautiful. Click here for information about beach access points and parking.

Credit: First Coast News

Day 2: Head to the Jacksonville's northside to find furry rescued friends looking for some love and attention. Celestial Farms is a safe haven for animals and a great place to take the family. They’re donation based, so you can donate your $30 when you get there to keep the place open. However, there is no set donation amount.

Credit: Katie Jeffries

Day 3: Need a staycation by the water? Camp Chowenwaw in Clay County is tucked away on Black Creek.  The park offers camping, event facilities, hiking, fishing, kayak access, volleyball court, picnic areas, seasonal pool, museum, nature center, and a playground. 

You can stay in on of their tree houses for $35 a night. 

They have nine treehouses that fit four people total.

Credit: Leah Shields

These are my top three picks, but here are some other fun activities on the First Coast for $30.

  • Rent boogie boards, skim boards, or a 2-person kayak at Jacksonville Beach with Beach Life Rentals. Rental prices start at $5.
  • Bring your family and your dogs for a hike on different trails at Jacksonville Arboretum. Donation suggestion is $3.
  • Visit Gilchrist Blue Springs and camp out for the night at the state park. It's $6 admission and $18 for a camping spot for a tent or RV. Make sure you book ahead of time.