Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Long Key Nature Center and Natural Area in Davie

Yesterday I went to explore the Long Key Nature Center and Natural Area in Davie, Florida. I was hoping for long walking trails, as it is one of the largest natural areas in South Florida. The only available walking trail was a half-mile long paved trail though, and while it did offer a peak into the oak hammock, it surely was disappointing that there was only half a mile to explore.


The nature center is rather big, and the admission is $1. It is part of the 18,000 sqare foot building that includes an assembly hall, the nature center exhibit hall, a theater, classroom and a catering kitchen for big events such as wedding receptions and conferences. From the nature center a bridge will take you over a restored wetland area and into the walking trail.


As the 0.5 mile walking trail come to an end, you will find the Broward Victim's Right Coalition Memorial park, which consist of a bench area, where the ground is covered in seashells.

The Long Key Natural Area in Davie consist of more 164 acres, most of which is an elevated oat hammock. This area is a historical area of great significance, as the area was both a habitation site for the Tequesta Indians as well as for the more recent Seminole Indians in the area.

Besides being one of the largest hardwood forests in the county, it also includes a 14 acre orange grove, wet marches and The Baez house an old 40s farmhouse. Unfortunately both the orange grove and the Baez house is not currently open to the public. The Baez house is currently being restore and a new trail is being made, so check the website for more information.

The Long Key Natural Area in Davie do have a a 1.5 mile equestrian trail that connects with the Davie multipurpose trail, and close by about half a mile from the nature center you will find the Oakhill Equestrian Park.

Before you enter the Nature Center you will come to a lake, where it is possible to see plenty of wildlife. We had our lunch at one of the benches, and it was quite amazing to sit there and watch nature up close. We saw many different birds, and on the island at the western part of the lake we spotted several enormous iguanas, birds and a turtle. 

You can find the Long Key Nature Center and Natural Area at 3501 SW 130th Avenue, in Davie, FL 33330. To get more info you can call 954-327-8797 or go to the website. It is located just north of Griffin Road and west of Flamingo Rd just across from Flamingo Gardens.

There is no cost to enter the natural area, but there is a $1 fee to enter the exhibit in the nature center.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Drive-In Movie Theater at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop

One of our family's favorite splurges is going to the drive-in movie theater at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. With 14 screens this drive-in movie theater is the world's largest, and it is no wonder that it is one of South Florida's major attractions.

During the day it is a huge flea market, and after dark it turns in to a movie theater.

I love going to the Swap Shop Drive-in theater for many reasons including the fact that it is an affordable way for my family to watch a new movie, spend time together and we don't have to worry about the kids making noise. We do not have to get a babysitter for the little one, because he can easily stay with us in the car.

The sound comes through your own sound system as you just need to tune in to the Swap Shop's radio channel.

The tickets are very affordable, and at $6 for adults and $2 per child it is a big money saver compared to the regular movie theater, where an adult ticket now cost more than $10. Another money saver is the fact that you can bring your own snacks and drinks.

If you do want to get snacks at the Drive-In theater, there is a great concession stand, where you can get anything from hotdogs to popcorn. Bringing the drinks and snacks will save you a lot though.

The Drive-In Movie Theater at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop is a great way to spend some time with your family and friends. We always seem to meet friends or neighbors there, but for anyone visiting South Florida, this is definitely a great way to experience some of the best that Florida has to offer. With the amazing weather we have here in South Florida, going to the drive in is a year-round event, and it is a great way to spend a cool evening after a long day in the sun.

For more information about the latest showings check out the Swap Shop's Website.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

South Beach Miami The Frugal Way

South Beach Miami is definitely the place to be, if you are looking for a frugal way to see Miami. If you are in Miami on vacation, investing in a cheap beach umbrella while you are here, will save you both money and a sunburn.

South Beach, Miami, Florida is a fantastic beach all year round, and while you might encounter waves at times, you can also luck out and spend the day in a heated swimming pool, as the water often is crisp and clear.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bahia Honda State Park - Paradise in the Florida Keys - Best Florida Beaches

If Key West is your vacation destination, there is one spot you must not forget. When driving along US 1 with Key West in mind, you will come across a little island at MM37 called Bahia Honda Key. While this key might seem like any other of the islands along the Overseas Highway this key is home to my favorite beach, one of the best Florida Beaches, and it has in fact been named as both one of the best beaches in Florida and in the world.

Bahia Honda State Park is a treasure with beautiful beaches, walking paths, incredible animal life, and if you are into Camping make sure to make reservations well ahead of time, as this campground is very popular. We usually leave the mainland early to be able to eat our lunch at Calusa beach. When we leave Key West to return home we leave early again to make it to Bahia Honda State Park just in time for opening.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome to Florida Free & Frugal

Florida Free & Frugal is a blog that has been underway for a long time. Since I first set foot in Florida I have been in love with the state, and my love has only grown after moving here permanently. My family lives in South Florida, and our favorite thing to do is watch the sun rise on the beach. Enjoying everything that Florida has to offer does not have to be expensive, as there are so many things to experience on a low budget, and most often the best part - the beach - is free.

When we travel, we travel on a low budget, but our experiences only seem to get get richer because of it. Our favorite travel destination is the Florida Keys, and this is where I will start of this blog.


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