Historic Old School Square in Delray Beach

Delray Beach: Lots of things to do for a great weekend getaway

Delray Beach makes a great weekend getaway: It’s a charming, walkable urban area with outstanding gardens, historic buildings, a great downtown main street and an open, natural beach.

Free in Key West: Things to do without breaking your budget

Free in Key West: Things to do without breaking your budget

No doubt about it: Key West is expensive. But despite its small size, Key West is packed with things to do and see — and some are even free. Here are a half dozen places to go where you’ll soak up Key West culture without opening your wallet.

Hillsboro Lighthouse seen from the inlet

Climb a lighthouse on April 20 for Florida Lighthouse Day 2013

Florida lighthouses are so spectacular, you don’t need an excuse to visit one. But sometimes we take our favorite spots for granted. So here’s a good reason to give some love to a lighthouse: April 20 is Florida Lighthouse Day and folks who care about lighthouses are planning special opportunities for visitors.

Orchid lovers will enjoy the gardens, which burst with bromeliads and tropic vegetation.

Key West Audubon House: Fascinating characters, enchanting spot

One of the prettiest places is Key West is the Audubon House, also known as the Geiger House, and its gardens. Like the best spots in Key West, the Audubon House is full of fascinating stories with larger than life characters. It also features a great collection of Audubon’s work in Florida.

Spanish Point "Window to the Past"

Indian mound unwrapped at historic Spanish Point

Witness 5,000 years of history through a glass wall at this Indian midden at Spanish Point, and learn about the Palmer family’s profound impact on Sarasota County.

Lobby of historic Hotel Jacaranda in Avon Park.

Jacaranda Hotel: Affordable historic Avon Park inn

Here’s an interesting stop far off the beaten path: The Jacaranda Hotel opened in 1926 and has been providing comfy rooms and good food ever since. It’s located in the historic district of Avon Park, a little town in the middle of the state’s cattle and orange-grove country.

Gamble Mansion in Ellenton, Florida

Gamble Mansion: Civil War history near Sarasota

The Gamble Mansion has white columns to rival Tara and was the site of a dramatic Civil War event. It’s the only antebellum mansion left in South Florida.

Celebrate 100-year birthday of Keys railroad

Celebrate 100-year birthday of Keys railroad

The Florida Keys railroad built by Henry Flagler is a Florida icon. In January, celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first train in these historic, beautiful spots. Or, participate in a special event, including a 115-mile kayak trip from Key Largo to Key West.