There are very few places left in Florida where you can get the “old Florida” feel, but DeLand is one of those places! It has a quaint little downtown area, with Stetson University right there as well. There are several close by nature spots to visit in the vicinity. Here is my top free or very low cost in DeLand and Deltona area.
1) Hontoon Island- FREE
Hop on a free ferry over to Hontoon Island State Park. The ferry holds 6 people and runs from sunup to sundown. Free parking on site as well.
Great place to pack a picnic lunch, freshwater fish, hike (6 miles of trails), or rent a canoe or kayak ($5 for an hour).
There is a 3 mile round trip shaded hike to an old Indian Mound site.
2) Blue Springs State Park – $6 Entry Fee
Blue springs in another great nature spot in South DeLand. $6 per car entry free ($4 if you are a single car rider)
The springs features swimming, snorkeling, and tubing on a small slow moving current.
There is a playground for the kids and a nice boardwalk where you can look for manatees.
Stetson has a great campus to walk around and our favorite spot was this little gem & rock museum the Gillespie Museum. This is free and open Tuesday-Saturday 10-4.
It has a great display of different fossils and crystals and gem rocks.
There is a tiny bin where kids can search for their own tiny rocks to keep- for free. There are also microscopes where children can look for rocks.
4) Downtown DeLand- FREE
It’s always free to window shop! Lots of cute little stores here, candy shops, boutiques, toy stores, coffee, and ice cream.
There is a brewery there called Persimmon Brewery. It’s dog friendly and has lots of board games you can play while you have a beer from their microbrewery (or wine with they also have).
5) DeLand Naval Air Station Museum- Free
For the history buffs, a quaint little military museum featuring tons of military memorabilia and photographs. A PT boat you can explore, a helicopter, and a single engine jet.
If you’re in the area, don’t miss our page on Daytona for more things to do with your friends and family!