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HWY 64 near Cashiers and Highlands N.C.
Love waterfalls? I've never seen so many in such a small area! It seems like every few bends in the road you can find one. The windy roads in this area of N.C. zigzag along rivers, so you're never far from rapids, rivers to play or fish in, or waterfalls to visit.
We visited half a dozen in just a two days, without having to hike more than a couple minutes to see them. Get there early, avoid crowds or parking issues, and enjoy nature for free!
418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534
Ready for one of the tallest waterfalls in the Eastern US? It's in northern Georgia!
With a lot of different hiking trails for any fitness level, including an ADA path right up to the waterfalls for Americans with Disabilities, this is one of the prettiest, nicest waterfalls I've ever been to!
With fresh air, wildlife, and a lot of roaring water around you, it's a very nice place to be on a summer day... or any season of the year!
950 Old Sugar Mill Rd, Port Orange, FL 32129
Like free places? Like gardens? Like dinosaurs? Where can you get all of those in one place?
Head out to Port Orange, Florida, in the Daytona Beach area and visit Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens.
It's part historical field trip, part botanical gardens, and part art walk for kids! Visit the dinosaur statues, check out the gnome home, and take in the fresh air and scenery!
Are you ready to go yet?
10901 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33905
Like nature, walking, animal sightings, and kayaking? I think we've found the place for you. Just off of Palm Beach Blvd. in Fort Myers, there's a nice little park with all of that stuff! It's Manatee Park.
In the colder months you can see manatees. The rest of the year, you can still see wildlife, learn about animals, talk to guides, take a kayak or canoe ride, and more! Even better, other than a minimal parking fee, it's pretty much free!
This is one you're going to want to visit for sure!
2500 SE 24th St, Cape Coral, FL 33990
Like Nature Walks? Love being near the river? The Four Mile Ecological Preserve in Cape Coral, Florida is a great place for you!
It's a hidden treasure right off the Caloosahatchee in the Fort Myers area. It's almost an immediate exit off the bridge in Cape Coral. It's free to visit, although you might need to pay that $2 bridge toll, depending on which way you come in.
It has a finished boardwalk trail for most of its length, with two piers or docks to look out from. With over 300 acres of preserve, you never know what kind of animals, especially aquatic creatures or birds you may see.
Does this look like the trip for you?
Mackinac Island, MI
Want a Five Minute Field Trip that can keep your family busy for a few days? This might be it!
To get to Mackinac Island, Michigan, you need to take a ferry ride. Check for coupons and deals, and buy tickets online to save!
Once you're there, you can do a LOT of walking and hiking, or look into horse taxis, horse carriage tours, rental bikes, and a lot of options to get around.
When you're there:
Plus, this all requires a great boat ride back and forth, which may include a quick tour of the Mackinac Bridge!
This is more expensive than most of our trips, but if you pack some snacks and only visit outside most of the locations, it can still be reasonably priced!
41382 W M-123, Paradise, MI 49768
Check out one of the largest waterfalls East of the Mississippi River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula! At 200 feet wide, this frothy, foaming waterfall is super fun to visit! It's also a very easy hike from the Upper Falls park entrance. Feeling like a bit more of a hike? Park at the Lower Falls and hike up to the Upper Falls!
With campgrounds, a pub/brewery restaurant, facilities, and gift shops, this is an excellent place to spend a weekend. Imagine the Fall colors, too!
This is one of my favorite places in Michigan.
Peter White Dr, Marquette, MI 49855
Lake Superior has a lot of scenic views, but some of the best ones require you to get on boats or kayaks. This one matches a lot of those views, but you can do a lot of it from a car! Also, it's FREE!
So check out Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan! There are scenic overlooks, places to swim, ore docks, cliff divers, rocky beaches, and some amazing scenery!
This one is a definite is you're in northern Michigan!
2800 M-28, Marquette, MI 49855
Do you like nature and art? Lakenenland outside of Marquette, MI is definitely for you! Take a nice stroll down a wooded path and check out dozens of pieces of metal art! Many are junkyard salvage type art pieces. They're all pretty unique and interesting!
This site also has a bathroom, a picnic area, a small pond, a playground, and plenty of things to keep your field trip squad busy for an hour or more! Don't forget, this is a FREE location, too!
When you're done, cruise around Marquette or drive a few minutes to hit Lake Superior!
3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905
This place has a lot of stuff going on! It's a nature center, with hiking trails, wild animals, butterfly gardens, and it has a planetarium! It's actually the only planetarium in SWFL, so it's pretty neat! That's actually my favorite part, too!
Things you can do:
While other places nearby might do the animals better or the hiking trails better, this place's Planetarium and inexpensive cost make it worth a visit.
Five Minute Field Trips
Learn about all sorts of cool places to visit alone or with your family. We look for inexpensive but fun places to visit. Being an educational spot is always a plus!