As the winter months approach and much of the northern hemisphere bundles up against the cold, Florida emerges as a paradise for nature lovers seeking warmer weather and a variety of outdoor activities.
Whenever you visit Florida, remember to carry your sunscreen, hats, and camera!
Best Places to Visit in Florida in Winter – December
With its extensive coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida offers a great deal of options to enjoy its mild temperatures and sunny days even in December. If you’re planning a getaway during the holiday season, here’s a guide to the best places to visit in Florida in December, where you can bask in the warmth and experience the true essence of the Sunshine State.
Miami is an excellent place to discover, whether it is summer time or spring break. Visitors to Miami will enjoy the weather, water temperature, warmest beaches, nature’s charms, and multiple attraction sites.
Miami Seaquarium would be a wonderful place to go in. It is located at 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway at Key Biscayne.
All kind of events are held during the year such as, Franklin Street Mall Arts Festival in January, Winter Equestrian Festival between March and April, and Tastes of Ybor in May.
Are you looking for an ideal place to relax, experience breathtaking moments, and have fun with the kids? Tampa Bay would be an extraordinary choice and a great option.
If you are interested in a zoo, live performances, and adventures – visit Busch Gardens. Located at 300 East Busch Boulevard, this terrific park would be an ideal recreational area for kids. The whole family will enjoy the time exploring Tanganyika Tidal Wave, Lowry Park Zoo, and Museum of Science and Industry.
Orlando would be my third choice family vacation spot in Florida. It is a great vacation destination to have fun and enjoy the warm temperatures. Recently, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios are the most popular attractions in Orlando.
There is more to Orlando than just theme parks though!
Full of artists, eccentrics and world famous Key Lime Pie, Key West is one of the most beautiful little places in the entire United States. With cozy little Bed and Breakfasts and cafes everywhere it is a relaxing and charming and a favorite spot for a December destination.
The slower pace of a bygone era and modern fun collide in this little town, where you can jet ski by day and explore the vibrant but relaxed night scene.
For the ultimate winter escape head to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States. With average temperatures hovering around 77˚, it’s the perfect time to explore its white sandy beaches, indulge in water activities, and experience the vibrant arts scene.
Don’t forget to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and witness the breathtaking sunsets.
Less well known then Miami, it is also a calmer, quieter family destination. With plenty of kid friendly museums – the Museum of Discovery and Science and Young at Art’s Children’s Museum, just to name a couple – as well as boat tours of celebrity homes, it is a great place for a relaxing family vacation.
With an average high temperature of around 73˚, it’s a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the white sand beaches life. The city’s vibrant atmosphere, numerous golf courses, and water sports opportunities make it a great spot for outdoor activities.
If you want to add a little education into your travels, visit the elegant 150 year old state capital and enjoy the parks, historic district, museums, stately buildings and the state’s only reconstructed Spanish mission.
America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, is surprisingly located in a state known more for its Art Deco architecture then for its historical buildings. St. Augustine is an old world gem with ghost tours and helicopter rides among the many fun things a family can do together.
Experience the holiday season in the historic town of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S. With mild temperatures around 70˚, you can explore the charming downtown area, stroll along cobbled streets, and visit historic sites that come alive with Christmas lights and decorations.
Clearwater and Sarasota beaches are the best in Florida, boasting some of the best fried grouper sandwiches in the state.
December in General
Florida is one of the premiere vacation spots in all America, with theme parks, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, historical attractions and beautiful national parks. Add to that year round good weather and it’s no surprise that tourism is one of the major industries of the state.
Florida in December is a paradise for nature lovers seeking warm weather and outdoor activities. Whether you’re enjoying the white sandy beaches, exploring diverse ecosystems, or immersing yourself in cultural attractions, the Sunshine State offers a range of options to beat the winter blues.
So pack your bags, escape to Florida’s warm embrace, and create unforgettable memories during your winter getaway.
Merry Christmas and happy travels!
Best Places to Visit in Florida in Winter – January
The Florida coastline runs along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. White sandy beaches and blue-green water can be found in Florida, as well as the Miami Seaquarium, SeaWorld and Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Some of the best vacation places for the winter months are located in Florida, including romantic quick getaways, and family vacation destinations.
Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Sea World and Aquatica (SeaWorld’s Water Park), Gatorland, Universal Studios and WonderWorks. There are many activities to do in the surrounding area such as going to the nearby Daytona Beach, paddling a swan boat on Lake Eola, count the manatees at the Blue Spring State Park, or viewing stars from the largest refractor telescope at the Orlando Science Center.
According to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, the city of Destin has 4.5 million visitors yearly and this generates approximately $1 billion to the local economy. Tourists and visitors come to enjoy Destin’s 12 beautiful beaches that have white sand and blue-green water.
Attractions in Destin include The Track Recreation Center, Southern Star Dolphin Cruises and Blackwater Canoe Rental. The Blackwater Canoe Rental is located on the Blackwater River and is the only sand river in the nation. You can kayak, tube or canoe down this river.
Many dinner cruises are also available around Destin and some of these offer dolphin watching as well.
There are many things to do in Daytona Beach for tourists and visitors. The beach is usually the main reason for tourism in Daytona Beach, with activities like surfing, swimming, parasailing, riding the banana boats, building sandcastles and just relaxing.
Daytona Beach is also home to the Daytona Speedway and there are several major races that take place here every year. The Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier is also located here and offers a variety of endless fun for tourists. The Boardwalk has video arcades, restaurants, go-carts, thrill rides, souvenir shops and the “Salute to Speed” exhibit. The Pier stretches out a quarter mile over the ocean and has a restaurant and features fishing from the pier.
The Florida Keys is a chain of islands just off the southernmost tip of Florida including Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Key West, Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys. The warm waters and white sand beaches surrounding the Florida Keys offers opportunities to participate in water sports such as fishing, snorkeling, diving and boating.
Local attractions include museums, shopping strips, clubs and restaurants.
The Tampa Bay area is home to different activities that nature lovers of all ages can enjoy. The Treasure Island or John’s Pass areas offer places to spend the day at the beach, go on a boating excursion, go shopping, dining, take a ghost tour and view live entertainment.
Just up the road are two of the area’s wineries, Winery Road and Johnson Brothers of Florida, which offer tours and wine tastings. Attractions in the Tampa Bay area include Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo and the St. Pete Pier, which is home to the Pier Aquarium.
The Kennedy Space Center and the Astronaut Hall of Fame are two of the biggest attractions on the Space Coast. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the space center or explore the hall of fame where they can watch a movie in a life-sized replica of the Space Shuttle.
Miami Beach plays host to different cultural dining experiences, including Cuban, Italian, Greek and Japanese restaurants. Recreational opportunities in Miami include spending time at the beach on sunny days, taking a glass bottom boat tour, golfing or bus tours of the city.
For the sports fans, Miami has the Dolphins, Heat, Marlins, Panthers and Hurricanes. Gulfstream Park in nearby Hallandale Beach offers thoroughbred racing and a casino. The South Beach area offers nightclubs, live music, dining and entertainment.
Miami’s energetic vibe, Latin influence, and stunning beaches create a captivating blend. Explore the Art Deco Historic District in South Beach, indulge in delicious cuisine, and dance the night away in lively nightclubs. January offers milder temperatures, allowing you to explore the city and crystal clear waters without the sweltering heat of summer.
Ideas for January Weekend Getaways in Florida
With sandy beaches and wooded retreats just a few hours from almost every Florida city, finding the perfect weekend getaway may be a problem of too many choices. From cabins snuggled amid sun-dappled forests to sugary sand-front beach cottages, Florida has a plethora of excellent weekend getaways.
South Florida’s Pine Island missed the boat with developers; somehow, no high rise ever made its way to this island. Ringed with red and black mangroves, five towns comprise this island that has no beach. People don’t come to Pine Island for beaches; they come for fishing and the kayaking.
Matlacha bridge, called the “World’s Most Fishingest Bridge” lures anglers of all ages. Likewise, paddlers put in at Bokeelia, the island’s north end, and paddle to Cayo Costa State Park. Bokeelia has several bed and breakfasts and inns, as well as several cottages on state land. The state’s cottages come with the essentials: air conditioning, beds, linens and basic kitchen equipment and utensils.
Siesta Key is a west central Florida small town that evokes old Florida at every corner. Homes hide behind dense walls of tropical foliage; miles of cream sand join the green of the Gulf with the bright colors of the homes. Spending a weekend on Siesta Key might consist of sun, sand and surf all day and fish, oysters and crabs for dinner at night.
Many beachfront condos here don’t offer rentals for less than a month, but a few cottages with beach views have shorter rentals. Beach Palms has a suite that will get you to the beach in less than a minute’s walk; the proprietor requires a two-night minimum stay from May through mid-December and three nights the rest of the year.
Everglades National Park
For those who crave an outdoor adventure, the Everglades National Park offers an unparalleled experience. January marks the dry season, providing an excellent opportunity for airboat tours and wildlife sightings. Witness the unique ecosystem of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and marvel at the diverse flora and fauna.
The Florida Panhandle has an abundance of two things: springs and forests. The Florida Division of Forestry manages the Wakulla Forest, which boasts tall pines, springs, fox squirrels and tortoises. Edward Ball Wakulla State Park abuts the forest and visitors there can hike through the hardwood forest trails. The park also has a 1937 lodge built by the park’s namesake. Wakulla Springs Lodge, listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places, has a full-service dining room for day visitors and overnight guests alike. The park has a riverboat tour and a swimming area in the springs.
January in General
January is a perfect time to explore the best places Florida has to offer. Whether you’re seeking theme park thrills, historical intrigue, or tranquil warmest beaches getaways, the Sunshine State provides a variety of options is is one of the best destinations to visit in January. With warm temperatures, fewer crowds, and a lot of popular attractions, Florida in January is a great way to beat the winter blues and embrace the sunny side of life.
So, pack your bags and get ready to make unforgettable memories in this perfect place to visit in the winter.
Once you’re done exploring all of the above mentioned locations you’ll practically be a Floridian yourself. There’s a good reason Florida is called the Sunshine State, both due to the weather and the friendly natives who are used to welcoming tourists with open arms.
Enjoy your next Florida location!