Florida Trips in December: Best Winter Escapes

florida trips in december

As winter comes, we dream of places with sun and warmth. Florida, the Sunshine State, offers just that. It has constant sunshine, beautiful beaches, and a lot to do.

Picture yourself walking on the soft sand by the ocean. The sea breeze gently touches your face. Sunlight warms you as you enjoy the day. Here, you can find both thrilling adventures and peaceful spots. Whether it’s lively cities or quiet nature, Florida caters to all.

In December, Florida welcomes you with mild weather and a festive feel. It’s a perfect time to have a dreamy winter vacation. Let’s dive into some great spots and fun things to do. Your trip here will be something you won’t forget.

Key Takeaways:

  • Florida is a popular destination for winter getaways, especially in December.
  • The state offers year-round sunshine and stunning beaches.
  • There are countless activities and attractions to explore.
  • Discover the best places to visit in Florida during December for a memorable vacation.
  • Plan your winter escape and enjoy the warm, sunny weather in the Sunshine State.

Key West: A Tropical Christmas in Florida

Key West is a tropical paradise that is perfect for escaping the winter chill. It offers warm temperatures, with highs around 77 degrees, and lots of sunny days. This makes it a great place to be in Florida during winter. In December, the island becomes a magical wonderland. Festive Christmas celebrations make the island even more charming.

The Key West Boat Parade is a top highlight in December. It features beautifully decorated boats with twinkling lights. These boats sail through the harbor. This event lets you enjoy the holiday spirit in a tropical setting, all while watching the parade from the shore.

“Key West boat parade is a true spectacle of light and enchantment. Each year, locals and visitors come together to celebrate Christmas on the water, creating unforgettable memories.”

The Historic Inns Holiday Tour lets you visit Key West’s charming streets and historic inns. These inns are beautifully decorated for the season. The tour highlights the island’s rich history and adds to the Christmas joy.

Don’t miss exploring the lively Duval Street while in Key West. It’s full of eclectic shops and great dining options. Also, visit the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum. It’s a chance to learn about the author’s ties to the island. Plus, you can see the beautiful gardens and the six-toed cats.

Make sure to see the sunset at Mallory Square. Locals and visitors gather there to see the amazing colors over the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a magical moment showcasing Key West’s natural beauty.

Key West is an amazing place with its mix of tropical charm and Christmas magic. It’s the perfect winter escape. Enjoy the warm sunshine and make great memories in this tropical paradise.

Biscayne National Park: Snorkeling and Kayaking Adventure

Biscayne National Park is a stunning place to snorkel and kayak. It’s filled with a colorful coral reef, shipwrecks, and many ocean creatures. It’s perfect for people of all skill levels, whether you’re new to snorkeling or a pro.

Best places to snorkel in Florida

The park’s coral reef is a highlight. It’s home to bright fish and other interesting sea life. Snorkelers can see these wonders up close in the clear water. Make sure to bring your snorkeling gear for an unforgettable experience.

Kayaking here is also very exciting. Join a guided tour and paddle by lush mangroves. These tours go through tunnels that show off the park’s beauty. They also teach you about the park’s history and why it’s important.

Winter is the best time to visit for snorkeling and kayaking. The weather is great, and it’s unlikely you’ll run into a storm. It’s a fantastic time to enjoy being in the water.

Discover Biscayne National Park

“Biscayne National Park is a hidden gem for snorkeling and kayaking enthusiasts. Its diverse underwater landscapes and thriving marine life make it a paradise for adventure seekers.”

– Adventure Magazine

There are different ways to experience the park. Taking a boat tour from Homestead is a popular choice. These tours let you see the coral reefs and diverse sea life.

Kayak tours are also available for a more hands-on approach. They offer the chance to paddle through the park’s unique forests. Guides will tell you all about the park as you explore.

Plan Your Winter Adventure

Before you go, always check the park’s website for updates. It’s important to follow the park’s rules. This helps protect the park’s environment for everyone to enjoy.

Best Time to Visit Water Visibility Temperature Snorkeling Difficulty
Winter Excellent Moderate Easy to Moderate
Spring Good Warm Moderate
Summer Variable Hot Moderate to Difficult
Fall Good Moderate Easy to Moderate

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to snorkeling or kayaking. Biscayne National Park promises a great time for everyone. Dive into the sea or paddle through the trees. You’ll make memories that last forever.

Everglades National Park: Wildlife Viewing and Outdoor Adventures

Everglades National Park is perfect for those who love wildlife and the outdoors. It’s a huge, subtropical wilderness full of fun things to do, like seeing alligators and crocodiles or kayaking.

When you visit, you’ll see a lot of plants and animals that live here. This includes rare animals like the Florida panther, the American alligator, and the West Indian manatee.

The best time to go is from December to March. This is when it’s not too hot, and the water levels are lower. This makes it easier to explore the trails and see wildlife up close.

One of the best parts of visiting is seeing all the different animals. You might spot alligators, turtles, and many birds. If you’re lucky, you could see a Florida panther or hear a barred owl.

Kayaking in Everglades National Park

Kayaking is an exciting way to see the park’s beauty. In the mangrove forests, look out for manatees and dolphins. For a deeper experience, take a guided tour to learn more about the park.

You can start your kayaking adventure at the Flamingo Marina. From there, you can paddle through the park’s waters and discover its secret places.

“Everglades National Park is a paradise for nature lovers. The quietness of the park allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the wetlands while observing remarkable wildlife. It’s truly a special place.” – Visitor Testimonial

Activity Best Time to Visit
Wildlife Spotting Winter (December to March)
Kayaking Year-round, with winter being optimal
Hiking Winter (December to March)

Remember to pack binoculars and a camera. Whether you love wildlife or just want to enjoy nature, the Everglades is a place of wonder. Its beautiful scenery and diverse animals will amaze you.

Crystal River: Up Close with Manatees

Crystal River, on Florida’s central coast, is known as the “Manatee Capital of the World.” It’s your chance to see and even meet these gentle giants. In winter, many manatees come into the area’s warm springs. This makes it perfect for a visit, whether by kayak or swimming.

The river’s waters are known for their beauty, offering an amazing winter scene. As you float in its clear waters, you’re truly in the heart of Florida’s natural beauty. Getting to swim with manatees lets you see their beauty and their playful side. It will deepen your respect for them and their homes.

Swimming with Manatees: An Unforgettable Adventure

When in Crystal River, join a tour for a safe and responsible experience with the manatees. Guides will teach you about these creatures and the importance of protecting them. They’ll also give you the right gear and how to approach the manatees without disturbing them.

Being in the water with these gentle giants feels serene. You can watch them swim gracefully and peacefully. This special time with the manatees will show you how important their home is and inspire you to help protect it.

Seeing manatees in their natural home is unforgettable. It’s a powerful moment that reminds us all to care for these animals and their environments.

No matter if you’re experienced or just starting out, being with Crystal River’s manatees is amazing. It will make you feel closer to nature and appreciate our oceans more.

Benefits of Swimming
with Manatees
Guidelines for Responsible
Manatee Interaction
1. Intimate and unique
encounter with manatees
1. Observe from a distance
to prevent disturbance
2. Learn about manatee
conservation efforts
2. Do not touch or chase
the manatees
3. Unforgettable memories
and photo opportunities
3. Abide by the designated
swim areas
4. Appreciation for the
fragility of their ecosystem
4. Use eco-friendly sunscreens
and cleaning products

Visit Crystal River to be amazed by its beauty and the manatees. This experience will stay with you and remind you to protect our oceans.

South Walton Beach: Winter Getaway on the Emerald Coast

Looking for a peaceful winter holiday in Florida? Head to South Walton Beach. It sits on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast. This spot is ideal for escaping the daily rush. It’s known for its clear beaches and cozy coastal towns.

You’ll find pretty beach towns like Seaside and Rosemary Beach in South Walton. They are perfect for a laid-back family holiday. These towns are full of charm, welcoming everyone who visits.

The area is famous for its long, white sandy beaches by the Gulf Coast. A stroll by the sea is perfect for relaxing. Let the warm sand touch your feet as you breathe the ocean air. It’s great for unwinding and enjoying Florida’s natural beauty.

There’s a lot to do in South Walton Beach. You can check out the local art scene, shop in unique stores, and eat at great restaurants. For more active fun, try kayaking or biking on scenic paths. Finally, catch the stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

Family-Friendly Fun in South Walton Beach

South Walton Beach is a top spot for a family holiday in winter. The Gulf Coast offers calm and warm water. This is perfect for swimming and playing in the sand. Don’t miss the family events happening all winter long.

South Walton Beach has it all for a peaceful and fun winter break with your family.

Recommended Activities in South Walton Beach:

  • Visit Seaside, known from “The Truman Show,” and enjoy its shops and galleries.
  • See the unique coastal dune lakes, found only in a few places worldwide.
  • Bike the Timpoochee Trail, a beautiful 19-mile path through beach towns.
  • Fish in the Gulf or dune lakes for a chance to catch different fish.
  • Take a boat trip to see dolphins up close in the wild.

Make memories at South Walton Beach that you’ll always cherish. It’s perfect for relaxation, outdoor fun, and spending time with family. It offers everything for a great winter vacation on the Emerald Coast.

South Walton Beach 30A Beach Towns Winter Vacations in Florida Family Vacation in South Walton Beach
Snow-white sand beaches Charming coastal communities Serene escape Family-friendly activities
Art scene and unique boutiques Scenic trails for cycling and walking Relaxation and rejuvenation Warm and calm Gulf Coast waters
Delicious coastal cuisine Special events and attractions Outdoor adventures Dolphin-watching cruises

St. Petersburg: Sunshine and Art in Florida

St. Petersburg is often called the “New Portland.” It’s a lively place with lots of art, culture, and sunny days. The city gets sun nearly every day, which makes its downtown beautiful. You can see unique murals and enjoy great food. Don’t miss the chance to visit places like Clearwater Beach and the famous Dali Museum. With warm weather and gorgeous coastal views, it’s a perfect spot for winter fun.

st. petersburg

St. Petersburg in Florida is a wonderful place for those who love art and culture. The city is full of galleries, museums, and outdoor art. The Dali Museum is a must-see, offering the world’s biggest collection of Dali’s art outside Spain. It’s filled with surreal artworks that take you into the mind of this famous artist.

“The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg is a testament to the city’s commitment to embracing and celebrating art. It’s a haven for art lovers seeking inspiration and a deeper understanding of Dali’s enigmatic creations.”

– Art enthusiast

Besides art, there are plenty of things to do outside in St. Petersburg. You can walk by the beautiful Vinoy Park waterfront or visit Sunken Gardens. This garden has bright flowers and waterfalls to enjoy.

Discover Artistic Neighborhoods

Downtown St. Pete is famous for its vibrant street art. You’ll see colorful murals all around. The Central Arts District and Warehouse Arts District have lots of galleries and art spaces to explore. They show off work from local and international artists.

The food in St. Petersburg is another big draw. You can try farm-to-table dishes and foods from around the world. There are many cool restaurants and cafes to check out.

For those who love nature, St. Petersburg will not disappoint. There are beaches and parks to explore. Fort De Soto Park, in particular, is great for a day out. You can relax on the beach, watch birds, go kayaking, or fish. It’s a beautiful spot to fully enjoy Florida’s nature.

St. Petersburg has it all: sunshine, art, great food, and outdoor fun. It’s an amazing place for anyone who enjoys culture, nature, or just good times.

Miami Beach: Year-Round Sunshine and Vibrant Nightlife

Miami Beach is a top spot for those who love the sun, sand, and a lively night scene. It’s known for its warm weather and stunning coast. This makes it a hit all year. In winter, you can enjoy the sunny days without the usual summer crowds.

On Miami Beach, you can chill and catch some rays. Or, jump into the clear waters of the Atlantic. The beach’s white sand and incredible views have earned its place among Florida’s top shores.

But Miami Beach is more than its beaches. It buzzes with diverse culture and a wild nightlife. Dive into the city’s spirit by strolling through the Art Deco District in South Beach. Here, you’ll find a variety of places including cool restaurants and happening nightspots. Miami Beach is famous for its great views from rooftop bars and its party scene with famous DJs. It’s an experience that you won’t forget.

Are you dreaming of a break by the beach, love exploring cultures, or want a fun night out? Miami Beach fits the bill. Thanks to its non-stop sun and exciting vibe, it’s ideal for a fun winter holiday in Florida.


What are some popular destinations to visit in Florida in December?

In December, Key West, Biscayne National Park, and Everglades National Park are perfect. Crystal River and South Walton Beach are great, too. Don’t forget St. Petersburg and Miami Beach for a visit.

What can I do in Key West during December?

Key West has warm weather even in December. Explore Duval Street and the Hemingway House. Don’t miss the boat parade or the Historic Inns Holiday Tour.

What activities can I enjoy in Biscayne National Park in December?

Enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and boat tours in Biscayne National Park. You’ll see colorful coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks. There’s lots of marine life to spot.

What is there to do in Everglades National Park during December?

Everglades National Park is perfect for spotting alligators and crocodiles. Kayak through the wetlands and walk the Anhinga Trail to see wildlife. Visit Flamingo Marina for a chance to see manatees.

What makes Crystal River a unique destination to visit in December?

Crystal River is the “Manatee Capital of the World.” You can get close to these gentle creatures. Kayak or swim in the warm springs. It’s a unique experience.

Why should I consider South Walton Beach for a winter getaway?

South Walton Beach has beautiful coastal communities and white sand beaches. It’s perfect for a quiet winter vacation. There are plenty of family-friendly activities.

What attractions can I explore in St. Petersburg during December?

Visit downtown St. Petersburg to see unique murals. Explore the Dali Museum and enjoy the beaches like Clearwater Beach. It’s a perfect place to enjoy warm weather and beauty.

What makes Miami Beach an ideal destination for a winter getaway?

Miami Beach is perfect for warm winter vacations. It offers a famous beach, diverse culture, and vibrant nightlife. You can enjoy the sunny weather without the summer crowds.

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