Florida in December: go snorkeling amazing sites in the Florida Keys!

Florida in December: Is Florida A Good Winter Destination? (2024)

Are you tired of shoveling snow and bundling up in layers of clothes in the weeks before Christmas? Florida in December is a captivating destination that promises a much-coveted escape from the winter blues and breath you can see!

If you are dreaming of a warm and sunny escape, Florida offers a fantastic holiday experience with its balmy weather, stunning landscapes, and myriad attractions!

I spent last December in Miami, Florida, and the very last day of the year in Miami Beach on New Year’s Eve. I can tell you that the fireworks were incredible; there were thousands and thousands of people there celebrating, and it was a perfect end to the year.

Let me share with you what you can expect in the Sunshine State during the magical holiday month of December.

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Florida In December

Florida in December: Fort Lauderdale boat show in evening lights.

Even though the temperatures in the air and waters in Florida are significantly lower than in the summer, you can still pack your bikini and sun hat heading down here in December.

Snow is not gonna show up in any way, shape, or form, and December is also the first complete month of the dry season in the region.

There will be very little rain, hurricanes are very unlikely, and the temperature is wonderful for outdoor adventures and activities.

So make the journey down south this December to escape the cold and enjoy Florida’s inviting summery weather!

The Friendly Florida December Weather

Fireworks on Miami beach on the last day of December and the entire year.
New Years Eve on Miami Beach is spectacular

One of the best reasons to head to Florida in December is the weather, plain and simple.

Unlike many other parts of the country, Florida enjoys mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine during this time of year, which is also the start of the dry season in the Caribbean.

The average temperature in the state hovers around 70 friendly degrees Fahrenheit, with some areas experiencing slightly cooler temperatures in the evenings.

While Florida does get some rain during December, the showers are typically brief and scattered, so they will not ruin your day.

You can expect plenty of blue skies and sunny days (yet not too hot), making it the perfect time to hit the beach or explore the outdoors.

In addition to the pleasant weather, December also brings a festive atmosphere to Florida as Christmas is closing in (too fast, as always).

Whether you’re looking for solo travel adventures, family-friendly fun, or a romantic getaway with your soul mate, Florida has everything from holiday parades to events and activities to keep you entertained.

7 Best Florida Destinations To Visit In December

Florida in December: Miami beach is a great December destination.

Miami

First, Miami is a bustling city that never sleeps, and December is no exception.

The city has plenty of events and activities throughout the month, with one of the highlights being Art Basel Miami Beach.

This annual art show features works from over 200 leading international galleries, attracting artists and art lovers from around the world to Miami.

Key West

If the fast-paced city vibe is not for you, you can find a more laid-back atmosphere a few hours southwest, in Key West, where you still find lots of activities, amazing dining, and vibrant nightlife.

This charming destination on the tip of the US is a great year-round destination, with its small-town feel, and known for its beautiful beaches and its own unique culture.

Key West transforms into a “winter wonderland” (without the snow) with the annual Key West Holiday Fest in December.

This festival features a variety of events, including a lighted boat parade and a holiday gift bazaar.

Also read: 4 Best Ways For Day Trips From Key West To Cuba From An Expert

Orlando

Another great destination for a Florida December gateway is Orlando. While theme parks are a popular attraction year-round, they take on a whole new level of magic during the holiday season.

Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld all have special events and shows taking place in December, including special parades and fireworks displays.

Try to make it to the annual tree-lighting ceremony, or go indoor ice skating before you go back out and hit the beach.

Tampa

Because of its geographical location on Tamba Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa in December is warmer than average, which means amazing beach lounging possibilities.

In the festive month in Tampa, you can explore the Zoo Tampa for a wilderness Christmas experience, stroll through Busch Gardens Christmas Town, or go ice skating at the Downtown Tampa Winter Village.

Also, check out the Gingerbread Village at Glazers Children’s Museum for Christmassy flavors.

EpicNomadLife tip: Opt for the Tampa Bay City Pass to get considerable discounts on the most popular events and sights in the area.

Fort Myers

During the month of December, you will find a plethora of cultural events in Fort Myers, everything from hilarious comedies to musical experiences in all varieties.

The famous tourist attractions Edison and Ford Winter Estates stay open at night in December, and so does the Holiday House, which is elaborately decorated for the celebration.

The Palms Dinner Theatre sets up special holiday-themed shows and an amazing buffet inspired by the season.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale from the air with the white sandy beach, the surf, and lots of hotels where you can have spectacular holidays.
Fort Lauderdale beach line

In Fort Lauderdale in December, the warm weather, the beautiful beaches, and the festive atmosphere make it a great place to visit this holiday season.

Do your Christmas shopping at Galleria Mall, go on a holiday-inspired food tour, or go for an evening of cultural immersion at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts!

This beach town offers everything from several fun boat parades to ice skating rinks, and the Winterfest Boat Parade is a magical annual December event where you can see the city’s most beautiful sites from offshore!

Take a trip down Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale dressed for the holidays, with or without your credit card in Christmas mode, and see all the unique shops and restaurants lit up for the celebration.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a beautiful destination for the holiday season in December.

This tropical city is filled with natural beauty, inviting beaches, and festive activities that are perfect for this time of year.

Check out Sandi the Christmas Tree, the Palm Beach holiday boat parade, Santa in the Square, and the 100-foot Christmas tree!

Many outdoor events occur throughout West Palm Beach in December, including various Christmas parades, tree-lighting ceremonies, live music performances, and much more.

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Must-See Florida Attractions In December

Airy helicopter ride over Fort Lauderdale and Miami beach! The view out of the glass cupola over the long white sandy beach on a sunny day is bright and spectacular, and you see my and the pilots feet in the tiny cockpit.
How about an airy helicopter ride

In Orlando, the parades and otherwordly fireworks display is unlike anywhere else or any other time of the year.

Situated only a four-hour drive from Miami, you can rent a car and do a multi-destination tour of Florida to get the best of “all worlds”.

In Miami, the Art Basel Miami Beach takes place in the first week of December each year and has become a global attraction.

This arts festival connects leading collectors, galleries, and artists from across the globe.

The Florida Keys offer a spectacular experience for lovers of nature and the beach combined with a small-town vibe dressed up for the holidays.

The Keys are more than the famous Key West; you have Key Largo with great scuba diving and snorkeling sites, where you can also explore the Everglades.

You can still experience magic snorkeling or diving adventures in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, one of the most well-known coral reefs globally, or explore the Dry Tortugas National Park.

EpicNomadLife tip: Learn how to scuba dive in Key Largo. I am an advanced PADI diver myself, and that certificate has given me incredible adventures which I wholeheartedly recommend.

Sun-Drenched Beaches: Unwind and Rejuvenate

Top rated hotels in Key West with private beach
Explore the Florida Keys underwater also in December

In December, Florida’s beaches exude a tranquil charm that captivates visitors.

Picture yourself strolling along the soft, sandy shores with the gentle waves lapping at your feet. The radiant sun casts a golden glow, inviting you to bask in its warmth.

From the pristine shores of Miami Beach to the laid-back beauty of Clearwater, Florida boasts a coastline that dreams are made of!

Many of Florida’s beaches also offer amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and showers, making it easy to spend the whole day without having to leave the area.

One of the best things about Florida’s beaches in December is that they tend to be less crowded than during the peak summer season.

You can fully enjoy the beautiful surroundings and indulge in some much-needed relaxation without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Now that we’ve explored the beaches, let’s discover some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy in Florida during December.

Cultural Delights: Immerse Yourself in Art and History

The Wynwood Walls Art Center in Miami, Florida
The Wynwood Walls Art Center in Miami Florida

Florida’s rich cultural heritage is particularly reflected in a vibrant art scene and historical landmarks.

Visit the vibrant city of Miami, where Art Deco architecture in Wynwood and world-class museums converge.

Explore the charming streets of St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States, and immerse yourself in its fascinating history.

Discover the captivating blend of Cuban and Floridian cultures in the vibrant neighborhoods of Tampa’s Ybor City and Little Havana in Miami.

Florida’s cultural tapestry is as diverse as it is captivating!

EpicNomadTravel tip: Do a combined food and art tour in Wynwood, I found this tour to be a wonderful way to explore both street art and cuisine.

Thrilling Adventures: Indulge Your Adventurous Spirit

My speedy airboat adventure on the Everglades in Miami, a small group tour where we are close to the elements and animals. The view here of the Everglades green grassy water marches is infinite!
My speedy airboat adventure on the Everglades in Miami

December offers the perfect ambiance for outdoor adventures in Florida, as the temperatures are not too high, and the region has just come out of the wet season.

Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Keys and discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with marine life, scuba diving, or snorkeling.

Embark on an unforgettable airy airboat ride on the Everglades, where you can witness the awe-inspiring beauty of this unique ecosystem.

Get up close with the local wildlife, including alligators, panthers, and bald eagles.

For a more thrill-seeking adventure, consider a trip to one of Florida’s many theme parks. Ride the coasters at Universal Studios or get up close with the animals at Busch Gardens. You can even go snorkeling with sharks in several Florida destinations.

Or indulge in adrenaline-pumping water sports along the coast, such as jet skiing, parasailing, or surfing.

Don’t forget about the water parks, which are still open during the winter months, providing a refreshing break from the sun.

If you’re looking for a more low-key activity, consider renting a bike or taking a stroll through one of Florida’s many beaches and state parks.

With Christmas just around the corner, many of these parks offer holiday-themed events and light displays. It’s time to experience the magic of Christmas at Florida’s many fairs and festivals.

Festive Celebrations: Experience The Magic Of The Holiday Season

December in Florida brings an enchanting atmosphere of festivities and celebrations in all its captivating and fun destinations. From dazzling light displays to cheerful parades, the holiday spirit permeates the air.

One of the most popular Christmas fairs in Florida is the St. Augustine Nights of Lights. This festival runs from November to January and features millions of twinkling lights throughout the historic city.

You can get lost on carriage rides, shake your legs to live music, and have sweet holiday treats while taking in the breathtaking light display.

Another must-see event is the Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale. Watch as boats decorated with lights and festive decorations make their way down the Intracoastal Waterway.

This event is free and can be enjoyed from various locations along the route.

Head to the Key West Holiday Fest for a unique twist on the classic Christmas fair. This festival features a lighted boat parade, a holiday-themed bar crawl, and even a festive pet parade

Experience the magic of the renowned Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, where the theme parks come alive with stunning decorations and joyful performances.

Attend captivating holiday concerts, explore lively Christmas markets, and indulge in seasonal sweet treats that will delight your taste buds.

Natural Wonders: Discover Florida’s Breathtaking Landscapes

John Pennecamp State Park in Key Largo, the Florida Keys
John Pennecamp State Park in Key Largo the Florida Keys

Beyond its pristine beaches, Florida is blessed with an abundance of natural wonders.

If you want to do a full-day tour off the beaten path, choose to experience the otherworldly landscapes of the Dry Tortugas National Park outside Key West, a cluster of islands boasting pristine waters and a historic fortress.

If you love exceptional nature experiences, you will find absolute peace amidst Florida’s diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes.

Are There Any Downsides To Florida In December?

Well, if you feel that December and lots and lots of snow belong together, closing in on the holiday season, Florida might not be for you!

Also, December is one of the high seasons for tourism and visitors in the state, and prices are higher and crowds larger than in the spring and fall shoulder seasons.

Wrap-Up Florida In December

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a warm-weather getaway, Florida is the perfect destination for a December vacation.

With mild temperatures, sunny skies, and plenty of outdoor activities, you’ll forget all about the cold winter weather back home.

Florida in December offers sunny beaches, thrilling adventures, cultural delights, festive celebrations, and breathtaking natural wonders. Whether you seek relaxation, excitement, or cultural immersion, the Sunshine State has it all.

From the best Florida destinations to the must-see attractions and the exciting Christmas fairs, there’s something for everyone.

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