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POSTCARDS FROM FLORIDA

Check out budget options to explore Jacksonville

Jim Abbott on Travel

Postcards from Florida

March 12, 2011

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Money is tight, so the time is always right for budget-conscious travel tips.

Here are some low-dough options for a Jacksonville road trip, courtesy of the folks at VisitJacksonville.com:

Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier: It's not just for fishing. It also offers a fine view of the Atlantic Ocean and Jacksonville's shoreline. $1 for walkers; free age 6 and under; $4 for fishermen

The Ritz Theatre & Museum: The exhibit allows visitors to stroll re-created streets depicting the daily lives of African-Americans in Jacksonville in different eras of the city's history. $6 adults; $3 children and seniors

Tree Hill Nature Center: Discover Florida's ecosystems through 50 acres of trails, a natural history museum, butterfly and hummingbird gardens and animal displays. $4 adults; $3 seniors, students, military; $2 children

Sports: The Jacksonville Suns, the double-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins, play each spring at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Tickets start at $6.50.

Parks: There's bird-watching on the Great Florida Birding Trail at Huguenot Memorial Park, kayaking on the creeks winding through the Talbot Island State Parks and hiking on the trails of the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. Entrance fees are often less than $5.

Art and history: The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and the Museum of Science & History all offer daily adult admission for $10 or less.

The Riverwalk: A stroll along the St. Johns River can be relaxing, romantic and even a good way to exercise. Free

Kingsley Plantation: At the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve, visitors can tour Florida's oldest plantation house and its barn, gardens, house, kitchen and 20 preserved slave cabins. Free

Beaches Museum & History Center: Exhibits at Pablo Historical Park include the Mayport Railway Depot. $5 adults; $3 ages 6-17; free age 5 and under

Quirky Museums: Jacksonville's Maritime Museum is now at The Jacksonville Landing, another spot to view the river. Free admission