Winter is the best time of year for a visit to Florida. The crisp air and blue skies of winter transform Florida into a true paradise. Temperatures are mild, humidity is reduced, and the sudden downpours of summertime have passed. This winter consider these five best winter vacation locations in Florida, and you’re sure to have an exquisite vacation!
Orlando and Central Florida
Central Florida theme parks are top destinations for many visitors. Universal Studios and Walt Disney World Resort provide endless enjoyment. Other area attractions can provide alternative activities at a lower cost. Dining and lodging options are available at every price point.
Even better, if you’re visiting from the northeast, you can get to central Florida via the Amtrak auto train. Sanford is a suburb just north of Orlando. Taking the auto train means you can have your own vehicle on your Florida vacation without having to drive all the way here yourself.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands
On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are one of the best winter vacation locations in Florida. They boast white sand beaches, clear blue waters and plentiful dolphin sightings. Captiva is one of the top shelling spots in the country. This destination is for the truly laid-back vacation. Explore the island by bicycle, visit the historic Sanibel lighthouse or enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour.
As the oldest city in the United States, Saint Augustine affords visitors the opportunity to discover the rich history of this city. Since 1565 this city has served under Spanish, British and American rule. History buffs will be interested in visiting the Castillo de San Marcos, among many other sites of historical value. Beachgoers will enjoy miles of quiet shoreline. Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum is fun for those who enjoy all things eccentric.
St. Augustine also has delicious food options. Try Pizza Time for a casual dining experience with the best pizza you’ll ever taste. Make sure to bring cash because they don’t accept cards. For a more elegant evening out, the Peruvian offerings at Llama can’t be beat! Or, for drinks and live music al fresco, try Casa de Vino 57.
Racing enthusiasts will find the renowned Daytona Beach to be a must-stop destination. The famed Daytona International Speedway offers a full day of activities. Daytona’s hard sand beaches allow cars to drive right along the surf. This unique characteristic of Daytona Beach delights visitors of all ages.
Just minutes to the north, Ormond Beach provides respite for those wanting to stay outside of Daytona. Ormond gives more of a true Florida experience, where Daytona Beach itself is more touristy. Both are great options depending on which kind of experience you prefer.
The Florida Keys
Pristine waters and abundant wildlife make the Florida Keys one of the most unique locales in the country. This chain of islands is linked by bridges, ultimately leading to Key West, the southernmost point in the United States. Fishermen and water enthusiasts will find endless hours of entertainment. Shopping, music and dining round out a perfect day of relaxation. Quaint bed and breakfasts or luxury resorts offer a perfect evening retreat for every preference.
It’s a myth that all of Florida is ALWAYS warm, as about half of the state is above the frost line. But once you get south of the Tampa-Orlando–Cocoa Beach line, you cross into areas where it never freezes. It can still be a mild chilly winter, so the further south you go, the warmer it tends to be. Key West is the southernmost city in the United States, so of course it’s almost always going to be warm!
Which location will you choose?
Florida’s winter weather allows visitors to vacation in comfort, so why not choose one of these best winter vacation locations in Florida? Skip the sweltering summer heat and vacation in the Sunshine State this winter for a warm, fun trip!