Most places around the US are bracing themselves for cold weather and snow as fall comes to an end. Why not switch it up this winter with a beach vacation in Florida?
The sunshine state enjoys mild temperatures year-round. Florida goes out of its way to accommodate winter visitors. From Festivals to outdoor activities, here are just a few reasons Florida should top your list as a winter vacation destination.
Excellent Winter Weather
During winter, Florida experiences mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s. A world of difference from icy temperatures up north. Another benefit of this time of year is the decreased humidity. You can expect fewer pesky insects around.
Cooler days give you the opportunity to be more active. Winter provides ideal golfing conditions. Play a round at Naples Grande or Royal Poinciana, two of the 90+ courses in the ‘world golfing capital’ of Naples.
Florida winters give the best of both worlds. Pack your shorts for boardwalk strolls and picnics on the beach. In the evenings it gets chilly enough to cuddle up with your partner for a good glass of wine.
Winter Sea & Sand Activities
Since it’s outside of hurricane season (June to November), winter is the best time to go boating in Florida. Get out on the water with a fishing charter or take a tour to see dolphins in their natural habitat. Yacht rentals at Fort Lauderdale are your opportunity for a private sunset cruise.
Swap snowmen for sandcastles and hit one of Florida’s many beaches. Siesta Beach, Sarasota is considered one of the best beaches in the US.
Get a headstart on your tan or take a dip in the calm, cool waters. If you are feeling active, rent a kayak or paddleboard for an excursion along the coast.
Heaps Of Festive Spirit
Florida goes all out for the holiday season, this makes for a top family vacation. Join the celebration with tree lighting ceremonies or visit Walt Disney World for festive joy to the max.
Head to St Augustine in December for one of the country’s best light displays. The city gets decked out in millions of white lights for the annual Night Of Lights festival.
For a few days in December, The Charles Dickens Festival transforms Fernandina beach into a Victorian town. Snack on hot chestnuts and watch live theatre.
For something unusual, head to Cocoa Beach from 8am on Christmas eve. Hundreds of Santas gather here for a surf, an annual tradition.
Winter is the best time to visit the everglade swamps. With less rain, animals come out into the open. This means you get to spend more time in the swamps with better wildlife sightings.
From November to April it’s manatee migration season. Head to Sisters Springs in Crystal River.
Manatees gather at this 57-acre wetland park to escape colder temperatures. You can swim, kayak, or snorkel beside these majestic creatures. Tours start at about $100pp.
For bird watchers, several migratory species fly into Florida from October to May. Look out for spoonbills, wood storks, flamingoes, and more.
NASCAR’s most famous annual event, The Dayton 500, takes place in mid-February. Thousands of fans gather at Daytona Beach for the iconic race.
Take the family for a day of festival fun. The annual Sand Sculpting Festival at Fort Myers and The Key West Holiday Festival are two of many.
In December, art lovers can head to Naples Art in the Park or Miami’s annual Art Basel. Rub shoulders with the who’s who of the art world. Take in panel discussions and browse galleries.
If you are looking for a good party, there is no better place than Miami. Several venues go all out for New Year’s Eve
Embrace Those Winter Food Cravings
With less traffic around major destinations, winter is a perfect time to explore Miami. Take a guided food tour in search of the best Cuban sandwiches and key lime pie.
Winter is Florida’s citrus season. Oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit abound. Visit the Orange shop in Citra Florida to stock up on fresh fruit and jams. Several orchards let you pick your own fruit.
If you live for the catch of the day, don’t miss the Everglades City’s Seafood Festival. The event is in aid of charity and entrance is free.