Are you looking to spend the winter in Florida?
If you're dreaming of escaping frigid temperatures and snow shoveling for a season of sun, sand, and serenity, then spending Winter in Florida might just be your ideal solution.
I like to fly down south when the days get shorter, and temperatures dip here in New York.
But what is winter like in Florida?
Let's dive in and talk about the weather, things to do, and some of the best places to visit during the Winter in Florida.
Visiting Florida in Winter
Visiting Florida in the winter is nothing short of a magical experience.
The state's sun-soaked beaches, turquoise waters, and towering palm trees offer a stark contrast to the biting cold and snowy landscapes that dominate much of the country during this season.
The temperate climate allows for various outdoor activities that would otherwise be unthinkable in winter, from kayaking in the clear waters of the natural springs to picnicking on the white sands of Siesta Key Beach.
Plus, the cooler weather and fewer crowds make winter the perfect time to visit popular attractions like Universal Studios in Orlando or the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.
As someone who spent numerous winters in Florida, I can assure you that there's a reason snowbirds flock to the Sunshine State – there's just no other place that offers such a unique blend of sun, fun, and relaxation during the winter months here in the U.S.
Florida Winters By Region
Each region of Florida has its distinct winter charm. Each offer unique experiences and climate variations during the winter months.
From the cooler north, still boasting temperatures milder than many states, to the tropical south, where you can comfortably lounge on the beach, Florida's regional diversity in winter is truly extraordinary.
South Florida is the epitome of warmth and relaxation during the winter months. The temperatures in this region average around 76°F for the highs and 60°F for the lows. This balmy climate makes South Florida a haven for sun-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the winter.
One of the most iconic places to visit in winter is Miami. Known for its vibrant nightlife, culturally diverse neighborhoods, and pristine beaches, Miami offers a warm, tropical getaway.
Visit the colorful art deco buildings in Miami Beach (this is a great art deco walking tour), explore the diverse culinary scene in Little Havana (my fave spot to visit is Versailles for cafe and croquetas), or take a scenic drive to the Florida Keys (this is a great option for a day trip), where you can enjoy water sports, fishing, and stunning sunsets.
The Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is another must-visit destination in South Florida. It offers unique opportunities to explore its vast wetlands, spot alligators, and take airboat rides. Winter is the dry season here, making it the best time for wildlife viewing.
🚤 Looking for a fun Everglades wild life and airboat tour. This one is highly recommended. Click here for rates and availability.
Central Florida is known for its unique blend of thrilling attractions and natural beauty, making it a fantastic winter destination. It's where I typically spend my winters when I am in Florida.
Typical winter temperatures here range from highs of 70°F to lows around 50°F, providing a comfortable environment for exploring the great outdoors or the myriad of amusement parks.
The heart of Central Florida is home to Orlando, famously known as the theme park capital of the world.
Winter is an ideal time to visit world-renowned parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld, as the weather is pleasant and the crowds are less dense than during the summer months.
This is also the time of year where you can take in the magical holiday-themed events hosted by these parks throughout the season.
Beyond the thrill of theme parks, Central Florida boasts natural attractions that are equally captivating. A visit to Blue Springs State Park is a must-do winter activity.
Here, you can witness a heartwarming spectacle as hundreds of manatees seek refuge in the park's warm spring during the cooler months.
🤿 🏊🏽♀️Want to see the Manatees in Blue Spring Park. This tour is one of our favorites. Click here for rates and availability.
For birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge provides a tranquil winter getaway with abundant bird species and other wildlife.
If you're more inclined towards art and culture, the city of Winter Park (yes, that's the name) offers a charming downtown filled with museums, art festivals, and scenic boat tours.
The Morse Museum houses the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his renowned leaded-glass lamps.
East Coast of Florida
The East Coast of Florida, stretches from Jacksonville to Miami. Here, you'll find a mix of bustling cities, charming towns, and serene natural landscapes, all basking under the gentle winter sun.
This region has a broad temperature range during winter, with Northern Florida cities like Jacksonville experiencing lows around 40°F, while southern Miami enjoys a much warmer winter with highs around 76°F.
Jacksonville, known as the “River City by the Sea,” boasts excellent winter fishing, scenic waterfront parks, and the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.
Further south, Daytona Beach, famous for its NASCAR history, offers winter visitors a unique opportunity to drive their cars right onto the beach, a tradition that dates back to the early days of motor racing.
🏎️ Head to Daytona in February for a chance to attend the NASCAR 500. Click here for rates and availability for this once in a lifetime experience.
The Space Coast, which includes Titusville, Cocoa Beach, and Melbourne, allows you to marvel at a winter rocket launches at the Kennedy Space Center.
You also won't want to miss the Brevard Zoo, which offers an exciting kayak tour that provides a new perspective on the zoo's wildlife.
West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale provide a luxurious escape with their upscale dining, shopping, and entertainment venues.
The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, which is known for its impressive collection of American, European, and Chinese art, is worth a visit. And if you're in Fort Lauderdale, don't miss a stroll along the city's iconic riverwalk.
Gulf Coast of Florida
The Gulf Coast of Florida, also known as the “Suncoast,” is a treasure trove of unique experiences waiting to be discovered during the winter months.
With winter temperatures ranging from 60-75°F, it's a delightful haven for snowbirds seeking a warmer climate.
The region's largest city, Tampa, is a vibrant metropolis with cultural attractions such as the Tampa Museum of Art, Cuban-influenced Ybor City, and the Florida Aquarium.
🚶🏽♀️This historic walking tour in Ybor City is one our favorite things we have done in Tampa. Click here for rates and availability.
Winter also signals the start of the manatee viewing season at Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center, where these gentle giants gather in the warm water discharge canal.
Just a short drive from Tampa, you'll find St. Petersburg, often called the ‘Sunshine City.' It houses the world-renowned Salvador Dalí Museum and the Chihuly Collection, a stunning exhibit of Dale Chihuly's large-scale installations.
The city is also known for its lively arts scene and outdoor markets, making it an appealing winter destination.
Further south, Sarasota boasts of the Ringling Museum of Art, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
Visitors should not miss the Siesta Key Crystal Classic, a world-class sand sculpting competition in November.
Panhandle of Florida
The Florida Panhandle, often called “Florida's Forgotten Coast,” is a hidden gem during the winter season.
Here, the winter temperatures average from 40-60°F, providing a mild and comfortable climate for outdoor exploration.
In Pensacola, history buffs can enjoy the historic Pensacola Village and the Naval Aviation Museum. For those who love the outdoors, the Gulf Islands National Seashore, with its pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, is a must-visit.
Heading eastward, you'll find Panama City Beach, known for its sugar-white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. In winter, these beaches become tranquil retreats, perfect for a peaceful stroll or a sunset picnic. For a unique experience, visit Camp Helen State Park to see the rare coastal dune lake.
The weather can be cool for some beach dwellers however what makes this a great place to spend the winter is that there are very little crowds so you will have the whole place to yourself.
🐬Head out on the water for some dolphin watching and mimosas with this Panama City Beach dolphin cruise. Click here for rates and availability.
North Florida, often overlooked in favor of its southern neighbors, has a charm all its own during winter. Here, temperatures typically range from 40-65°F, offering a cooler, more traditional winter experience.
The state's capital, Tallahassee, is a hub of history and education, home to the historic Florida State Capitol and Florida State University. Winter visitors can enjoy the Tallahassee Winter Festival, where the city comes alive with twinkling lights and festive celebrations.
Just a short drive from Tallahassee is the picturesque town of St. Augustine, known as the oldest city in the U.S. During Winter. The city is adorned with three million white lights during the Nights of Lights festival, turning the historic district into a sparkling wonderland.
This BYOB Night of Lights Boat Cruise is a super fun way to enjoy the festivities. Click here for rates and availability.
In the northwestern parts of North Florida, Gainesville offers many outdoor activities perfect for winter's milder days. The Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a hotspot for wildlife viewing, while the Florida Museum of Natural History provides an educational respite from outdoor explorations.
Southwest Florida, known for its tropical allure, offers an exceptional winter experience. As temperatures linger between 55 and 75°F, this region provides a warm refuge from harsh winter climates.
At the heart of Southwest Florida is Fort Myers, boasting of its historic estates such as the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. In this popular attraction, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford spent their winters.
Winter is also the perfect time to explore the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers, a 3,500-acre wetland offering opportunities for wildlife viewing.
A stone's throw away lies Naples, a city of luxury and charm. Winter in Naples is filled with high-profile events like the Naples Winter Wine Festival. And did I mention the breathtaking sunsets. The sun sets earlier in the winter making the sunsets that much more special.
Marco Island, the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, is a paradise of unspoiled beaches and serene environments. Winter visitors can explore the island's natural beauty through activities such as kayaking, fishing, and bird-watching.
Punta Gorda offers a captivating blend of the old and the new. Winter travelers can explore the historic downtown area, Fishermen's Village, or venture into nature at the Peace River Wildlife Center.
This sunset cruise is a great way to end a day in Naples while enjoying the spectacular sunset. You can find rates & availability here.
Fun Things to Do In Winter In Florida
Florida's mild winter climate offers various recreational activities, many of which take full advantage of the state's stunning natural beauty.
From the magic of a dolphin cruise (we love this one) in the Gulf of Mexico to kayaking through the mangrove tunnels in Everglades National Park, there are many opportunities for outdoor exploration.
One quintessential Florida winter weather activity is bird-watching, as migratory birds flock to the state's many sanctuaries. Visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island or the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples for an unforgettable experience.
For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, winter is the perfect time to stroll through one of Florida's many botanical gardens. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota are enchanting in winter with their vibrant blooms.
The state also hosts several winter festivals. From Pensacola's Winterfest to St. Augustine's Nights of Lights, these festive events offer a unique blend of entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences.
Places to Visit During the Winter in Florida
With the average high winter temperatures in Florida hovering near the 70s, there are plenty of places to visit during the winter months. However even in regions where the Florida winter temperatures are a bit cooler you will still find some amazing winter activities.
Crystal River, located on Florida's Gulf Coast, is a gem of a destination during the winter months. Known as the “Manatee Capital,” it offers an unparalleled opportunity to interact with these gentle creatures.
With average temperatures hovering between 60 and 70°F, Crystal River provides a comfortable winter escape.
January, the coldest month, is the best time to visit as the mild winter weather draws hundreds of manatees into the warm waters of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
While visiting, don't miss the chance to snorkel with manatees in the Three Sisters Springs, a unique experience that will undoubtedly be the highlight of your trip.
If you're an outdoor enthusiast, go hiking, bird-watching, or kayaking at the Crystal River Preserve State Park. Or, try fishing and scalloping, two popular winter activities in the area.
For a change of pace, visit the quaint downtown area with its unique shops and fine dining establishments. No matter what you choose to do, a winter visit to Crystal River promises a mix of adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty.
One of the best things to do in Crystal River in the winter is swim with the manattee. Guided tour takes you out the swim these amazing animals and includes underwater photos. Click here for rates and availability.
Blue Springs State Park
Blue Springs State Park, located in Orange City, is the idyllic place to spend a winter day in Florida. The park is renowned as a refuge for the West Indian Manatee, with hundreds migrating to the warmth of the spring during the cooler months.
The winter temperature at the park remains relatively mild, with averages ranging from 50 to 72°F, making it perfect for outdoor exploration without the sweltering summer heat.
The best month to visit Blue Springs State Park is typically January. During this month, the cooler sea temperatures drive manatees towards the consistently warmer spring waters, offering visitors an unforgettable experience of seeing these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
Our favorite thing to do when visiting Blue Springs is the scenic walk along the boardwalk that winds through the park. This walk offers fantastic views of the spring and the St. Johns River.
Wintertime also serves as an excellent opportunity for bird watching, as the park is home to a variety of bird species. For those interested in water activities, canoeing and kayaking are popular, with rentals available onsite.
However, do note that swimming is usually not allowed during manatee season to protect these endangered species.
Renting a kayak or paddle board is a great way to enjoy Blue Springs and the manatees during the winter months. You can find rates and availablity here.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Often referred to as “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg consistently offers sunny and mild winters, making it a fantastic winter destination.
The average winter temperature ranges from 50 to 72°F, ensuring a comfortable getaway from the harsh winters in other parts of the country. January, with its balmy weather and plenty of sunshine, is considered the best month to visit.
St. Petersburg is renowned for its vibrant arts scene. Spend a day exploring the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum, which houses the largest collection of Dali's works outside Europe.
Art lovers should also stop by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Chihuly Collection, featuring stunning glass sculptures.
If you are an outdoor enthusiasts like us, the city boasts miles of pristine beaches perfect for a stroll or a picnic. Fort De Soto Park, with its tranquil beaches and nature trails, is a must-visit. If you're into bird watching, the Sunken Gardens, a century-old botanical garden, is home to many exotic bird species.
Daytona Beach, famous for its motor races and expansive beaches, is an enchanting winter destination in Florida.
During winter, the average temperatures in Daytona Beach fluctuate between a comfortable 50 and 71°F, making it a pleasant escape from the colder climates found in most parts of the country. January is the optimal month to visit, with the weather being just right for outdoor exploration.
Daytona Beach presents an array of fun-filled attractions and activities. Start with a stroll or bike ride on the hard-packed sands of the world-renowned Daytona Beach, stretching 23 miles along the Atlantic coastline.
The Daytona International Speedway, home to the iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race, offers fans thrilling behind-the-scenes tours.
Culture enthusiasts will appreciate the Museum of Arts and Sciences, housing an eclectic mix of exhibits ranging from fine art to Coca-Cola memorabilia. A stop by the Daytona Beach Bandshell, an outdoor oceanfront concert venue, guarantees an evening of great music amidst a picturesque setting.
Nature lovers can head to the Tomoka State Park for bird-watching or canoeing. If you're up for an adventure, climb to the top of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Florida's tallest lighthouse offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
With its exciting lineup of attractions coupled with its mild winter weather, Daytona Beach serves as an excellent winter getaway, promising a blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment.
🏎️ Head to Daytona in February for a chance to attend the NASCAR 500. Click here for rates and availability for this once in a lifetime experience.
Henderson Beach State Park
An oasis of serenity and natural beauty, Henderson Beach State Park in Destin is a delightful winter destination in Florida. The park is known for its sandy white beaches and emerald green waters.
Winter temperatures at the park are typically mild, ranging between 42 and 66°F, a perfect respite from the harsh winters found elsewhere in the country. The best month to visit is February, when the weather is pleasantly cool, inviting visitors to spend their days exploring the park's natural splendor.
Henderson Beach offers a myriad of activities for visitors of all ages. Start your day with a leisurely walk along the nature trail, offering stunning views of the coastal dune ecosystem.
If you're into bird-watching, the park is a haven for different bird species, especially during the winter months. The park's pristine beach, stretching over a mile, is perfect for shell collecting or a tranquil stroll.
For those who love water activities, the park's shoreline provides ample opportunities for fishing. You can try catching pompano, redfish, flounder, and whiting. Remember to bring your fishing gear, as the park does not provide rentals.
Camping enthusiasts will love the park's campgrounds, with amenities like electricity, water, picnic tables, and grills. Stargazing on a clear winter night is a memorable experience here.
A winter visit to Henderson Beach State Park promises a serene escape enveloped in natural beauty, offering a blend of leisure and adventure. It's a must-visit winter destination in Florida.
Stunning beaches, waterways, and vibrant nightlife is just some of what you will find in Fort Lauderdale. With winter temperatures ranging pleasantly between 60 and 75°F, its another one of our favorite places to visit in the winter.
The best time to visit Fort Lauderdale is in February, when the weather is delightful and perfectly conducive for outdoor activities.
Start your exploration by strolling along the city's picturesque beaches, especially Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Beach. These are perfect spots to soak in the sun or indulge in a picnic.
If you're into boating, take a scenic water taxi ride along the city's famous Intracoastal Waterway, offering stunning views of the city and the opulent mansions lining the waterway.
For a dose of culture and history, visit the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a historic estate filled with art, history, and nature. The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, with its vast collection of contemporary and 20th-century art, is another must-visit.
Nature enthusiasts can explore the Flamingo Gardens, a 60-acre wildlife sanctuary housing various birds, alligators, and the famous Florida panther. The Everglades Holiday Park, with its exciting airboat tours and live alligator shows, provides an enriching wildlife experience.
Culinary buffs will love exploring the city's thriving food scene, with Las Olas Boulevard being the hub of trendy restaurants and bars. Don't miss the Riverside Market, a local favorite for craft beer and delicious pizza.
This craft food tour is a fan favorite and comes highly recommended. Click here for rates and availability.
Famed for its beaches, fishing, and historical attractions, Fort Myers is a charming winter destination in Florida. During the winter months, the city enjoys average temperatures between a comfortable 53 and 77°F.
The weather in January is particularly ideal, offering the perfect balance of sunshine and cool breezes, making it the best month for a visit.
Begin your journey by visiting the famous Edison & Ford Winter Estates, the former winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Stroll through the 20 acres of historic buildings and gardens and explore the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the Edison Ford Museum.
Nature enthusiasts should head to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, a wetland preserve rich in plant and animal life. The boardwalk trail is perfect for spotting wildlife and absorbing the serene beauty of the preserve.
For beach lovers, Fort Myers Beach is a must-visit with its soft sand, clear waters, and abundant shell-collecting opportunities.
Anglers will enjoy the excellent fishing opportunities Fort Myers offers, particularly at the city's piers and on fishing charters. For a dose of history and art, visit the IMAG History & Science Center and the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.
This sunset and dolphin tour combines some of the best of what Fort Myers has to be offer. Click here for rates and availability.
The Florida Keys, a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, is an ideal destination for a winter escape. The region experiences a tropical climate, making winters mild and enjoyable.
The average winter temperatures in the Keys range from a comfortable 65 to 75°F, offering a warm retreat from colder climates. January is the optimal month to visit, as it brings a pleasant mix of balmy breezes and abundant sunshine.
Your visit to the Florida Keys should begin with a drive on the Overseas Highway, a 113-mile highway that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding turquoise waters.
Stop by Key Largo, the first of the fabulous Florida Keys, and visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Here, you can indulge in snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. We love this half day snorkel tour.
Head next to Islamorada, renowned as the ‘Sport Fishing Capital of the World.' Charter a boat and enjoy a day of fishing in the rich waters. Back on land, visit the History of Diving Museum to learn about mankind's attempts to explore under the sea.
Your final stop on your Florida Keys journey is Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S. Explore the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum or the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. As the day ends, join the sunset celebrations at Mallory Square.
This full day Florida Keys tour is a great way to enjoy everything the keys have to offer. Click here for rates and availability.
Marco Island, the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, is another exemplary winter destination. The island offers a subtropical climate, with average winter temperatures ranging from 51 to 76°F.
With mild temperatures and lower humidity, February is often the best month to visit Marco Island for a winter escape.
Kickstart your Marco Island journey with a visit to Tigertail Beach, renowned for its pristine white sands, calm waters, and abundant seashells. It is actually one of the best places to go shelling in Florida.
For nature lovers, a visit to the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is highly recommended. The reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and the guided kayak tours offer an immersive nature experience.
If you're an avid angler, embark on a fishing charter to explore the rich fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico. Marco Island is also known for its golf courses, so golf enthusiasts can tee off at one of its premier golf clubs.
For a dash of history and culture, visit the Marco Island Historical Museum to learn about the island's Calusa Indian roots. Round off your day with a delightful waterfront dining experience at one of the island's upscale restaurants.
This Marco Island Tour combines the best of Marco Island. Click here for rates and availability.
Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park, located just south of Miami, is another one of our faves. The park, majorly water-based, offers a subtropical climate that makes winters mild and pleasant.
Average winter temperatures range from a comfortable 55 to 75°F, creating an inviting outdoor environment. The best month for a winter visit is February, when the weather is mildest and most predictable.
Start your adventure at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, where you can learn about the park's diverse ecosystems through interactive exhibits.
Take a guided boat tour to explore the park's magnificent coral reefs, the northernmost in the continental U.S., and the lush mangrove forests that are teeming with wildlife.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are unparalleled experiences, offering views of vibrant coral formations and various marine life.
For a more relaxed experience, canoe or kayak through the park's calm waters or try fishing in one of the park's designated areas. If you're a history enthusiast, don't miss a visit to the historic Stiltsville, a collection of wood stilt houses located one mile offshore in Biscayne Bay.
🚤 This tour of historic Stiltsville is a great way to get to know the beauty and history of Biscayne National Park. Click here for rates and availability.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park, often called the ‘River of Grass,' is a phenomenal winter destination in Florida. The park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, experiences a dry and mild winter season, with average temperatures ranging from 53 to 77°F.
This comfortable climate makes December through April the optimal time to visit, with February being the prime month due to its mild and dry conditions.
Upon arrival, start exploring at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center, where you can acquaint yourself with the park's unique ecosystems and wildlife.
One of the park's main highlights is its wildlife viewing opportunities. Be sure to embark on a guided boat tour or airboat ride to spot alligators, manatees, and tropical birds.
For those interested in hiking, the Anhinga Trail offers an easy and enjoyable walk, frequently rewarding hikers with close-up views of alligators and wading birds. The Shark Valley Tram Tours, a two-hour narrated tram ride, is another excellent way to explore the park's diverse landscapes.
If you're a water enthusiast, canoeing or kayaking through the park's 99-mile Wilderness Waterway will be thrilling. For those interested in fishing, the park offers both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities.
🐊 This tour which includes a walk through the Anhinga Trail and an airboat tour through the River of Grass is a great way to get to know the Everglades up close and personal. Click here for rates and availability.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park, located approximately 70 miles west of Key West, is a treasure trove of historical and natural allure, making it a fantastic winter destination in Florida.
The park, largely composed of water and encompassing seven small islands, boasts mild winters, with average temperatures ranging from 65 to 75°F, which is just perfect for outdoor activities. The most favorable month to visit is February when the weather is most predictable.
Start your visit by exploring the historic Fort Jefferson, one of the largest 19th-century forts in the United States. The fort, once used as a prison during the Civil War, offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. To explore the area's natural wonders, embark on a snorkeling adventure.
The park's clear waters offer excellent visibility and host abundant marine life, from vibrant corals to tropical fish.
For bird watchers, winter presents a spectacular opportunity as migratory birds make the park their temporary home. Alternatively, you might simply relax on one of the park's tranquil sandy beaches or take a leisurely swim.
Skip the ferry and rent a private boat for a visit to Dry Tortugas on your own time. Click here for rates and availability.
Cedar Key, a tranquil island city on Florida's Gulf Coast, is a delightful winter destination. The mild climate makes it an inviting getaway, with average winter temperatures ranging from 50 to 70°F. February, with its moderate and predictable weather, is the most desirable month for a winter visit.
Cedar Key offers a wide variety of activities that cater to different interests. For nature lovers, the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit. You can explore the refuge via kayak or canoe, immersing yourself in a world of lush mangrove forests and diverse wildlife.
Bird-watching is particularly rewarding here, with the opportunity to spot the majestic American bald eagle amongst other species.
If you're a fan of history, don't miss out on the Cedar Key Historical Museum. Here, you'll gain insight into the island's rich past, tracing back to Cedar Key's time as a significant port.
Alternatively, you might unwind on the island's serene, undisturbed beaches. The sunsets here are spectacular, providing the perfect end to your day. Fishing enthusiasts will also find Cedar Key to be a paradise with its abundant, clear waters.
Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto Park, spanning over five interconnected islands or ‘keys,' is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a must-visit winter destination in Florida. The park's climate during winter is generally mild and agreeable, with average temperatures ranging from 50 to 72°F.
The most favorable month for a visit is typically February, characterized by the most predictable and pleasant weather conditions.
Engage in a wide variety of activities as you explore the park. History buffs can tour the historic Fort De Soto, a remnant from the Spanish-American War era.
Nature lovers will appreciate the park's abundant wildlife and dedicated trails, perfect for biking or hiking amidst diverse Florida ecosystems. The park's two fishing piers offer a fantastic opportunity for anglers.
Bird watching is particularly rewarding in winter as migratory birds flock to the park, turning it into a bird enthusiast's paradise. If relaxation is what you seek, the park boasts several beautiful, white-sand beaches, consistently rated among the best in the United States.
For an immersive experience, consider camping overnight in one of the park's well-equipped campgrounds. As the sun sets, the park's remote beaches provide stargazing opportunities that are second to none.
🚲 This electric bike tour is a fun way to enjoy Fort De Soto Park. Click here for rates and availability.
Seaside, a picturesque town located in Northwest Florida, is a charming winter escape offering a mild climate and a myriad of activities.
Average winter temperatures in Seaside typically range from a moderate 42 to 62°F, making it a lovely spot to enjoy cooler weather without the harshness of snow. The most favorable month for a winter visit is January, known for its steady, mild conditions and fewer crowds.
During your visit, stroll around Seaside's quaint town center. This walkable hub features unique shops, artisan boutiques, and delightful local fare eateries. Take a break and enjoy a hot beverage at one of the cozy cafes, a perfect way to warm up on a cool day.
The town's white sandy beaches, though cooler this time of year, still provide a serene setting for a leisurely walk or a peaceful beachside picnic. If you're looking for a bit of culture, the Seaside Repertory Theatre offers a variety of performances throughout the winter season.
Nature enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Point Washington State Forest, which boasts over 15,000 acres of beautiful landscapes and trails. Go hiking or biking to enjoy the stunning pine forests, cypress swamps, and coastal scrub environments.
Clearwater Beach, renowned for its miles of white sand and sparkling waters, offers a delightful winter escape in Florida. Throughout the winter, the climate remains remarkably temperate, with average temperatures ranging from a mild 50 to 73°F.
January is the most favorable month to visit Clearwater Beach due to its stable, pleasant weather and reduced crowds.
Start your visit with a relaxing stroll along Pier 60. This iconic landmark offers incredible Gulf views and is a hot spot for fishing. Each evening, the pier becomes the venue for a festive sunset celebration featuring local artisans, performers, and stunning sunsets.
For those seeking marine adventure, winter is a fantastic time for a dolphin-watching cruise in the clear, calm Gulf waters.
These tours provide opportunities to see these playful creatures in their natural habitat. If you're a bird enthusiast, the Clearwater Audubon Society offers guided bird-watching tours, turning your visit into an ornithological adventure.
Winter in Clearwater Beach also brings unique events such as the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, a two-day extravaganza of seafood and blues music held in February.
🐬 This is one of our favorite dolphin watching cruises in Clearwater. Click here for rates and availability.
Perched on the westernmost edge of Florida's panhandle, Pensacola offers a refreshing winter retreat with its distinct historical charm and natural beauty. During the winter months, Pensacola enjoys a mild and comfortable climate with average temperatures varying between a cool 43 to 61°F.
For the most stable and enjoyable weather conditions, consider planning your visit in February, when the region typically experiences the least rainfall and most sunshine.
Start your winter visit with a trip to the Historic Pensacola Village, an impressive complex of 28 historic properties and museums that glimpse the city's rich heritage. Take a guided tour and immerse yourself in the city's past, from the colonial era to the Victorian period.
🚂 This hop on hop off tour which includes the historic Pensacola Village is a great option. Click here for rates & availability.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Pensacola offers plenty of opportunities. The Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches across miles of pristine beaches, dunes, and marshlands, creating an idyllic setting for hikes and bird-watching.
Winter is also a prime time for fishing in Pensacola, with various species like redfish, trout, and sheepshead populating the local waters.
Pensacola also has a vibrant downtown. Stroll through Palafox Street, lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafes. In winter, the street hosts the Palafox Market, a popular farmer's market brimming with fresh produce, baked goods, and beautifully crafted artisan items.
Delray Beach is an enchanting winter getaway with its balmy weather, beautiful beaches, and lively cultural scene. In the winter, Delray Beach enjoys a comfortable tropical climate with average temperatures hovering between a mild 58 to 75°F.
The best month to visit is February, offering consistent sunny weather, fewer visitors, and a host of captivating events.
When the weather is on the cooler side we enjoy a stroll down Atlantic Avenue, dotted with unique boutiques, art galleries, and world-class restaurants.
The Pineapple Grove Arts District, just off Atlantic Avenue, is a burgeoning artistic hub teeming with studios, galleries, and public art installations.
For beach lovers, Delray Beach offers more than two miles of pristine, award-winning beaches. Even in winter, you'll find the conditions perfect for walks along the shore, beach picnics, or simply basking in the Florida sun.
If you're a nature enthusiast, the Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a must-visit. This nature reserve offers a serene setting for bird watching and houses a variety of wildlife.
For tennis fans, the Delray Beach Open in February is a high-spot event where you can witness top-ranked international tennis stars in action.
🥙 Winter is a great time to explore Delray Beach's food scene. Check out this craft food tour which includes spots at some of Delray's biggest hot spots. Click here for rates and availability.
Often referred to as the ‘New England of the South,' Mount Dora offers a charming winter retreat with its quaint historic downtown, vibrant festivals, and beautiful natural scenery.
During the winter months, Mount Dora experiences a comfortable subtropical climate with average temperatures ranging from a pleasant 52 to 72°F. The ideal month for your visit is February, which typically boasts the most sunshine and least rainfall, making it perfect for outdoor exploration.
The historic downtown area, brimming with antique shops, unique boutiques, and iconic landmarks like the historic Lakeside Inn and Donnelly House is a must visit.
This tour of historic downtown Mount Dora is a great way to spend your day enjoying Mount Dora. Click here for rates and availability.
The Renninger's Antique Center and Farmer's Flea Market is also a must for antique enthusiasts and bargain hunters, offering a vast collection of vintage items and fresh local produce.
For nature lovers, Palm Island Park provides a serene setting for a winter walk with its extensive boardwalk that reveals stunning lake views and abundant wildlife. If you're a fan of boating, take a scenic cruise on Lake Dora to relish the delightful views and tranquil waters.
One of the highlights of Winter in Mount Dora is the annual Mount Dora Arts Festival held in February, where the downtown area transforms into an outdoor gallery showcasing the works of local and national artists.
St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., offers a fascinating winter getaway with its rich historic charm, stunning architecture, and mild climate. During the winter months, St. Augustine enjoys a comfortable subtropical climate with average temperatures ranging from a pleasant 46 to 68°F.
One of the highlights of winter in St. Augustine is the annual Nights of Lights Festival. Held from mid-November to the end of January, the festival sees the city adorned with millions of twinkling lights, creating a magical winter spectacle.
The best month to visit for great weather and fewer crowds is February when the city is bathed in sunshine and the holiday rush has subsided. However we personally love visiting in December when the city lights up during the annual night of lights festivities.
The winter is the best time of year to go on a tour of the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, offering a unique glimpse into the city's Spanish colonial history.
A stroll down St. George Street, the city's historic heart, is another must, lined with centuries-old buildings, unique boutiques, and charming cafes.
For nature lovers, Anastasia State Park offers a tranquil winter escape with its vast sandy beaches, tidal marshes, and nature trails. Bird watching is especially rewarding in winter, as various migratory species make the park their home.
This BYOB Night of Lights Boat Cruise is a super fun way to enjoy the festivities. Click here for rates and availability.
Destin, a gem on Florida's Emerald Coast, makes for a serene winter retreat with its stunning white beaches, emerald-green waters, and plentiful marine life.
During the winter months, Destin experiences a mild subtropical climate with average temperatures ranging from a brisk 42 to 63°F. The ideal month to visit is February, with plenty of sunshine, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to partake in the annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival.
Begin your winter vacation with a visit to the Henderson Beach State Park. Even in winter, the park's powdery white sand beaches and the warm Gulf of Mexico waters are perfect for leisurely walks and beachside picnics.
For the more adventurous, winter fishing is a popular activity in Destin, often dubbed the “World's Luckiest Fishing Village .”Whether from the shore or aboard a fishing charter, you might reel in catches like flounder, redfish, or sheepshead.
For a dose of local culture, make your way to the HarborWalk Village. This bustling hub offers a range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. During winter, you can enjoy the Mardi Gras Parade and Gumbo Contest, a lively event held in February.
Ever wanted to try going deep sea fishing? Destin is the place to do it and this private charter is the perfect way to enjoy this amazing experience in Destin with your friends and family. Click here for rates and availability.
Warmest Places in Florida In Winter
So what are the warmest places to visit in Florida in the winter? Most will be located in South Florida where the weather is more tropical. While there can be a chill in the air you are more likely to get beach weather if you head south.
Key West, the southernmost point of the continental U.S., is the warmest in Florida during Winter, with average temperatures ranging from around 65 to 75°F.
A paradise for sun-seekers, Key West offers a vibrant mix of history, art, and outdoor activities.
Explore the historic Old Town with its beautiful Victorian and conch-style homes, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or stroll in the lush, tropical Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. End your day with a spectacular sunset view at the popular Mallory Square.
Miami and South Florida
Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cultural diversity, Miami also enjoys warm temperatures throughout the winter, averaging between 60 to 77°F.
It's warm enough to lounge by the outdoor pool but cool enough to enjoy the bustling streets of Little Havana or the Art Deco historic district in Miami Beach. There's so much to explore.
Don't miss out on the stunning Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the vibrant street murals in the Wynwood Walls area. Miami is one of the most popular destinations year-round, but it is especially great to visit during the winter months.
Located on the Gulf Coast, Naples is not just warm in winter, with temperatures between 53 to 77°F. It's also the gateway to the Everglades. It boasts beautiful beaches and a sophisticated dining scene.
Visit the Naples Pier, stroll in the Naples Botanical Garden, or explore the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, home to the largest remaining virgin bald cypress forest in the world.
What to Wear and Pack When Visiting Florida in Winter
When packing for your Florida getaway planning is key. Because weather can be unpredictable (i.e. cold fronts or heat waves) you want to check the weather before you go.
However, the state's mild subtropical winter weather usually calls for lightweight clothing with the occasional need for warmer layers.
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Starting with the essentials, pack a selection of short-sleeve or long-sleeve tops, lightweight pants, and comfortable walking shoes. I personally love packing long sleeve maxi dresses like this one.
Florida is renowned for its beautiful beaches, so don't forget to pack a bathing suit, beach sandals, and a cover-up. Even if you're not a beachgoer, many hotels have heated pools that remain welcoming throughout winter.
Since the temperatures can dip in the evenings and early mornings, especially in northern and central Florida, it's a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweater. If you plan on dining out or attending an event, a smart-casual outfit would be ideal, as some restaurants and venues have a dress code.
In terms of accessories, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are must-haves for protecting yourself from the Florida sun, even in winter.
Packing for a winter trip to Florida should focus on versatility – a mix of lightweight clothing for the daytime heat, warmer layers for cooler mornings and evenings, beachwear for those inviting waters, and a few dressier options for dining out or attending events.
While Florida has been known to have a cold wave occasionally, the average temperature is fairly mild; therefore, packing layers will keep you prepared no matter the weather.
Winter in Florida: FAQs
Let's talk more about what to expect during Florida's winters. It's one of my favorite times of year to visit Florida but there are a few things you should keep in mind before heading down south.
What are winters like in Florida?
Unlike the Northern States, winters in Florida are mild and temperate, with temperatures typically ranging from 42 to 77°F depending on the region. Less humidity, fewer crowds, and abundant outdoor and cultural activities characterize the season.
How cold does it get in Florida?
The cold weather in Florida hits a little different depending on where you are. In Florida, winter temperatures can vary, depending mainly on the region. Generally, in the northern and central parts, low temperatures can occasionally dip to around 40°F, while in southern parts like Miami and Key West, winter lows usually hover in the mid-50s to mid-60s°F.
Will Florida have a cold winter in 2023?
It is hard to predict what the weather will be like this year or how cold it will get. However, Florida is forecasting El Nino for winter 2023, which in years past has brought a wetter rainy season and cooler temperatures.
What's the coldest month in Florida?
The coldest month in Florida is typically January when average temperatures range from around 49°F in the north to about 65°F in the south. However, regional variations can occur, so it's best to check specific locations for more accurate weather information.
How long does winter last in Florida?
Winter in Florida typically begins in late November and lasts until mid-March. However, these dates can vary slightly depending on the year and specific location within the state.
Are Florida Winters Different from Other Warm Weather States?
Yes, Florida winters are unique compared to other warm-weather states like Arizona or Texas. Florida, especially the southern parts, maintains higher average temperatures throughout the season.
Its coastal regions bring humid, subtropical conditions that contrast with the drier winters often experienced in southwestern states.
Does it Snow in Florida?
It rarely snows in Florida due to the state's generally warm climate. However, the northern and central regions have experienced light snow or snow flurries on rare occasions, particularly during severe cold snaps.
When does it get cold in Florida?
In Florida, it generally gets cold during the winter months of December, January and February. Temperatures can dip into the 40s and 50s during these months. Additionally, in certain areas like North Florida, temperatures can reach freezing or below.
Winter in Florida: Final Thoughts
I love visiting Florida in the winter. The Florida weather in the winter is milder, there is less rain, a ton of stuff to do, and the crowds are lighter. And while it may not be as warm as summer, it's still a welcome break from the colder weather in other states.
Plus, you don't have to worry about packing bulky winter clothing or dealing with snowy roads. So why not plan a trip to one (or more) of Florida's beautiful destinations this winter? What is your favorite place to visit during the Florida winter season?