Here’s the scene. Summer has started. You’re itching for a vacation, but your bank account is running low … like Netflix and chill low — and by Netflix, I mean your parent’s account, and by chill, I mean running the old floor fan because you can’t run the air conditioning. Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. Here are some drivable options to enjoy time away from home without massive expenditures. You might have to bring 40 of your closest friends, but who doesn’t love some company!
Rise Above it All
Near High Springs: So, you want to camp, but you hate tents — but you also love treehouses. Perfect. You can rent a raised yurt near the Santa Fe River. This screened-in dwelling is a favorite of middle-aged hippies and post-modern hipsters alike. Elevate your outdoor experience and your Instagram postings at this campsite located in the woods of Gilchrist County. Nearby natural sites such as the Sunshine Spring or the Black Pool afford visitors more opportunities to experience Florida wildlife. Alternatively, you can stay inside the yurt and watch the night sky through the clear dome center of the roof. Running water is not included.
Starts at $50 per adult per night. [Google “Yurt Treehouse Santa Fe”]
Bring on Bradford
Starke: Get close and personal with the infamous town of Starke. The city has far more to offer than illegal speed traps, and this KOA is just the beginning. Think of it as the start to your very own National Lampoon-style adventure. To get you going, the campground features a pool, basketball court and clubhouse (board games included). Best of all, it’s only a mile from the closest Walmart Supercenter. In all seriousness though, you can enjoy some of Florida’s best bass fishing in nearby lakes Rowell, Sampson and Crosby.
Daily rates for cabins start at $49.75 [starkekoa.com]
Beautiful Marsh Views
Just North of Big Talbot Island: Remember those 40 friends? Good. Lose five of them, and then head north to Black Hammock Island. There’s a two-story, three-bedroom home very close to several national and state parks. According to the owner’s description, this property is a “little rough around the edges” but to be fair, if you’re able to stay in the Florida marsh and not have to fight alligators and wood storks for space, it’s a win.
Average $119/night. [Listing #4021254ha on VRBO.com]
Coastal Highway Getaway
North of St. Augustine: If the marsh isn’t your style of waterfront locations, there’s always the family-owned North Beach Camp Resort. Along with the standard camping fare, they offer cabins that sleep up to five. Collect some more friends and enjoy sunrises and sunsets with this property’s location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal. Tides included, surf subject to availability and weather conditions … please bring your own bocce ball set.
Starts at $110/night. [northbeachcamp.com]
Callahan: Escape to a down-home bed and breakfast at NaVera Farms. This is the place for a quiet getaway and not just because there’s a policy of no phones and no Wi-Fi, but also because you’re in the middle of Callahan. Who else lives there?! So, leave your Tinder app at home and swipe right on meeting hundreds of farm animals at NaVera including rabbits, alpacas, cows, hens and more. Plus, you can opt in for a tour that supports the mission of the Farm Life Foundation. Take a break from Facebook and support a non-profit!
Nightly rate $75 for bunk room. [Google NaVera Farms Bed & Breakfast]