How to Get into Florida's State Parks for Free

L. Cane

Florida is partially known for its natural bounty. From its beaches to its forests to its preserves and refuges, Florida has much to offer for nature lovers or people who just want a scenic place to hike, bird watch, snorkel, kayak, tube, or swim, to name just a few possible activities.

Some of Florida's most beautiful lands are protected because they are state parks. The state of Florida has 175 state parks scattered throughout the state. Some of the parks offer overnight stays. Some are on the beach. Others have historical or archeological significance.

How Much Do Florida's State Parks Cost?: According to the fee schedule, the price for admission varies depending on the park. But prices range from $5-$10 per vehicle. Some parks charge $4-$10 for sunset admission. This is arguably an inexpensive outing by many standards, but there is a way to get into the parks for free until September of 2022.

Florida's Public Libraries Allow You to Get A State Park Pass for Free: Currently, Florida's state parks and libraries are teaming up for a program called Real Florida Reader Pass. Simply visit your local library and check out a reader pass, which allows up to eight people in a vehicle to enter one of Florida's state parks for a day at no cost.

The pass will allow you to visit for one day only and does not include overnight visits or camping. It also excludes Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife, Skyway Pier, and Weeki Wachee Springs state parks. When you're done with the pass, you'll need to return it to the same library where you checked it out. The offer is good until Sept. 12, 2022.

If you need help choosing a state park to visit, Florida State Park's website has a "find a park" feature that allows you to enter keywords and experiences to find the perfect park for a visit.

According to Visit Florida, the most visited state park in Florida is Honeymoon Island State Park.

Other popular choices include Henderson Beach State Park, Lovers Key State Park, Egmont Key State Park, Caladesi Island State Park, and St. Andrews State Park.

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