Have you thought about squeezing in some more travel during these last days of summer? With summer coming to an end, local travel might just be the best option. Flights, rental cars and even gas for road trips can eat up a big chunk of your travel budget. A family vacation can easily cost you thousands of dollars, especially when you add the price of transportation on top of already costly lodging, meals and activities. As a single mom, this is why I often choose to stay close to home for family vacations and weekend getaways. Plus, we have so many wonderful things to do here in Central Florida.
I’ve partnered with Ibotta for this sponsored post to talk about local travel, and share the best places to visit in Central Florida. The Ibotta cash-back and rewards app can help you save money throughout the year, that can be put towards your vacation fund. You can even earn rewards and cash-back when booking your travel with some of Ibotta’s partners like HotelsTonight and Hotels.com.
The Central Florida region includes many top vacation destinations such as Tampa Bay, beaches on both the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast, and the Orlando area. All of these places are within a few hours drive of each other.
Best Places to Visit in Central Florida
Located along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa offers a multitude of activities, attractions and adventures. If you’re traveling with children, I recommend checking out Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park, and the Florida Aquarium. For outdoor adventures, I recommend visiting Lettuce Lake Park, Morris Bridge Park and Tampa Riverwalk. Tube down the Manatee River or rent canoes and float down the Hillsborough River. I also recommend kayaking at Weedon Island Preserve or on the Weeki Wachee River. Rentals are available at both.
(Kayaking the Weeki Wachee River.)
One of three historic Landmark Districts in the state of Florida, Ybor City is known for boutiques and vintage shops on 7th Avenue, and a variety of restaurants and breweries, bars and clubs. Ybor City boasts a lively nightlife. The Ybor City State Museum has exhibits on the cigar industry and the area’s immigrant communities. The Centro Ybor Mall has a movie theater and GameTime Mega Arcade.
Just a short trolley ride away from Ybor City, Tampa’s Channel District is home to Florida Aquarium, Port of Tampa, and Channelside Bay Plaza entertainment complex.
Central Florida Beaches
About an hour from Tampa, the Clearwater and St. Pete Beaches are very popular with tourists because of their sandy white beaches, calm water, and plenty of restaurants and hotel options. One of my favorite Florida East Coast beaches is Daytona Beach. Just steps from the beach the Daytona Beach Boardwalk offers rides, arcades, a movie theater, restaurants, and Daytona Lagoon water park with go-carts, laser tag and waterslides.
(A beautiful day on Daytona Beach.)
The Orlando area is home to more than a dozen theme parks including Walt Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You’ll easily find just as many water parks like Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Universal’s Volcano Bay. A short drive away you’ll also find LEGOLAND amusement park with an adjoining water park.
International Drive is the center of fun in Orlando. I-Drive is home to many hotels and restaurants, the Orlando Eye, Fun Spot America adventure park, miniature golf, indoor skydiving, Topgolf Orlando, go-karts, arcades and so much more.
(Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park)
How to save for your next vacation with the Ibotta app.
Download the Ibotta app for a better way to save time and money while you shop. Simply download the app, choose the items you’d like to purchase, claim the deal, and then save your receipt.
You can use the Ibotta app both in-store and for online shopping. After you shop, upload the receipts, and within 24 hours, the money that you saved is in your account. It’s literally that easy. Your savings are tracked through the app and once you hit $20, you can cash out either to PayPal or Venmo or via a gift card. Such a great way to start a vacation fund!
Travel Planning Tip: When planning your travel, be sure to check out Groupon offerings in the Ibotta app, for cash back offers similar to Hotels.com, etc. It’s a great way to find additional cost savings when planning activities and meals!
As summer comes to a close, easing back into your usual routine can be hard. Luckily, getting cash back with Ibotta is easy! Download the free Ibotta app and start earning cash back today.
I feel very fortunate to live nearby so many fun things to do in Central Florida. With so many great Florida beaches and attractions just a short drive away, a staycation makes a lot of sense for me, and the savings I get from using Ibotta while I shop helps me pay for it. Have you done much local travel in your state or have you ventured to Central Florida? I’d love to hear about it! Please leave me a comment below.