Hey hey hey. So this has been in my draft box for quite some time. But with summer approaching and  people traveling around for family vacations, it might be a good time to post this up to bookmark and save for a later date. Ya never know, right? And hey, if you’re local, maybe you’ll learn of a few more spots. Most of my friends are pretty surprised when I tell them there is a botanical garden across the street from the airport 🙂

Realistically, this list could be miles long. There’s a lot to do between here (West Palm Beach) and Miami (And beyond: Homestead, FL!) — but this is a list of our own personal mostly inexpensive favorites.

Traveling without kids? Check out A South Florida list of bars that don’t suck. And a list of restaurants— great for vegans and meat eaters too 😉

loggerhead marine life center, juno beach florida.
This place totally won’t take up your whole day, but if you’re in the area, it’s a really nice stop in! Behind the center, there is a beach and a park too— so really, if you planned a beach day, picnic, and a stop in, it would be a really nice almost free activity day. Loggerhead works to help out the florida eco-system and injured and endangered turtles. There’s a few tanks— big and small turtles, a story time, and a tiny inside spot to learn a bit too. A five dollar suggested donation.

fruit and spice park, homestead, florida.
one word: yum! This park is pretty awesome most of the year, but come the month of May, holy amazingness. HUNDREDS of mango trees— as well as 500 species of other fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, etc. The rule is, you can’t pick fruit from the trees, but you can eat anything that falls to the ground. Bring a pocket knife and a towel and have yourself a messy fruit feast. They also have tons of events and festivals— I’m itching itching to try a moonlight event— but it never quite works with our schedule. One day! Eight bucks an adult, two dollars a kid— and a lot of free food 😉 See more of our photos: HERE.

mounts botanical gardens, west palm beach, florida.
Okay, so this place is definitely kid-friendly, but could also get a bit boring for little ones too? I did see something about a story time, but we haven’t checked it out yet. But if you plan to visit for a plant sale, then yes, you will be pleased. We LOVE their plant sales. Also, theres a cute maze and a lot of butterflies that your kid may enjoy– we do. 5$ suggested donation. See more of out photos: HERE.

riverbend park, jupiter, florida
If you guys missed THIS post on our visit, then I suggest you check it out. We had a BLAST. I would absolutely recommend this place for locals and visitors in search of alligators 😉 Bring a picnic lunch and a swimsuit 🙂

john macarthur state park, north palm beach, florida
So this bridge? Leads to that green ahead? Go through the green, and BAM beach/ocean. Nice path to a relazing day, right? There’s also things like kayaking, a turtle center, and the big appeal, manatees— though I still haven’t seen one in the wild, but everyone else who has gone here, supposedly has! You can see more of our photos: HERE. I think it’s something like two or five dollar parking. 

wynwood, miami, florida
This is absolutely more adult friendly than anything, but if you have a kid who likes art, going for city walks, and just overall being a cool kid, this is a nice spot to check out. Galleries, restaurants, a few shops, vegan cupcakes. See more: HERE.

fairchild botanical garden, miami, florida
Not free— not super cheap either, but a great way day to spend the day. I highly recommend choosing to go for a festival date if you’re looking for more activity— and a weekday if you’re looking for an easy and relaxing trip. Alex and I were members long before Marlowe, it was a nice getaway then, and it’s still great to bring her now, as a toddler (baby too!) Check out one of our outing there: HERE.

any beach (duh), floriduh.
Pack a blanket, and a lunch and have a beach picnic. Bring sunscreen, watch out for jellyfish, and enjoy your day! 

palm beach zoo, west palm beach, florida
A lot of people have mixed opinions on zoos— At one point, I said, we enjoy them. A few comments and some visits to other zoos later, I realized, one commenter was absolutely right, not all zoos are created equal. A trip to a northern zoo left me very, very sad for glass caged concrete floor living animals. The palm beach zoo? We like. It’s non profit, well designed (lots of shade!), has smaller, but interesting animals, and no glass houses. Make sure you say hey to our friend, Norman. We love that “crazy bird”.

west palm beach green market, west palm beach, fl
This is great during our “winter” months. I’m not sure if it runs year round, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t— it’s waaaay too hot. Kid friendly, lots of venders, by the water, free. See a few more of our photos: HERE.

Yay! if you have other spots you enjoy, our family would love to hear about them!

This post has been brought to you by me being way too full and needing to take a cooking break in the kitchen 🙂 Phew! HAPPY MAY! Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t forget about our giveaway


  1. Love the loggerhead marine life center and botanical gardens. Great place for all the family. South Florida has so much to offer. Lovely article.

  2. Love the loggerhead marine life center and botanical gardens. Great place for all the family. South Florida has so much to offer. Lovely article.

  3. I lived in West Palm Beach for 2 years while going to college. I would walk to the green market on Saturdays which was definitely a favorite. Another awesome place is Blowing Rocks Preserve! The bike trail on palm beach island is also a fun day activity!

  4. These look like some awesome places to spend some time as a family, if we ever come to the Florida I'll need check them out xo

  5. Awesome list! I grew up in west palm (Live in Portland, Maine now) and remember going to so many of these places! I even remember seeing my first manatee!

  6. Those all look so fun and beautiful! Someday maybe I'll get to drive down the East coast again and stop at some of these places! That herb and spice park is amazing and I want one here in PA!

  7. Drea! This is perfect! Lola and I are coming to Fort Lauderdale in three weeks. Will definitely be using this guide!

  8. This is perfect! The only one I've been is the fairchild botanical garden, so that means I need to go out more! 🙂

  9. Gumbo Limbo down in Boca is similar to the Juno Beach turtle place — we go all of the time! One day I really want to see a sea turtle release back into the ocean, but they say no kids 5 or under and mine is only 3. He would love it!

    We love the Palm Beach Zoo, too! My son loves Mardi the white alligator. He's sort of obsessed.

  10. Lovely to see the places you guys go. Quite similar to the sorts of things we look for and enjoy here in England, but with fewer turtles and alligators. We love the outdoorsy natural things though.

  11. Love the Palm Beach Zoo and John MacArthur! I want to go Wynwood and I'll have to check out the botanical gardens the next time I'm there.

  12. Oops one more.. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter – non-profit wildlife rehab and sanctuary. Very, very cool great for kids. They rehab injured animals and actually release some at Grassy Waters, I brought an injured owl there.

  13. I still have to check out loggerhead! You covered all the good spots but some recommendations: Arthur R Marshall Refuge – out West but it has a board walk, visitor center and a kayaking. (I wouldn't bring your kid to kayak though) They also have Bedners Farmers Market right in front where you can pick strawberries, tomatoes and peppers from the field. Also, Grassy Waters Preserve out West for the boardwalk, wildlife and visitor center. Oh and Jonathan Dickinson in Hobe Sound is great, too.

  14. Great post! We lived in south Florida for awhile, and are 50/50 about going back someday. Bookmarking this just in case though!

  15. For southwestern Florida, the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota is a great place to spend a day. It's very educational. There are great eco boat tours that depart from the aquarium. And the nearby New Pass Grill has the most delicious take out. I love the fish sandwich. We visit Sarastoa every year from Toronto, Canada and always visit the Mote and New Pass Grill.


  16. Ooooh, love a kid-friendly travel guide! The fruit and spice park sounds really cool. I never imagined such a place even existed!