Winter Vacations in Florida

A trip to Florida in the depths of winter is often just the thing to warm up your bones and get you through to spring. You may have visions of lying on the beach or playing in the surf, but remember that Florida has its seasons, too. Be prepared for whatever your Florida vacation brings your way by following a few tips.

Flight Problems

While it may be sunny and warm in Florida, your home state could be in the middle of a blizzard that cancels flights or causes significant delays. It's a good idea to use your carry-on bag to bring along items you may need if forced to spend the night somewhere due to a weather-related delay. Items may include toothbrush, hair accessories, make-up, change of clothing and medications. Make sure you have phone numbers with you to notify hotel reservations, house sitters or airport pick-ups.

Cool Periods in Florida

Though Florida is known for its year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, cold fronts do dip down from the northern states in large weather patterns that cause overcast skies and temperatures sometimes into the 40s. Pack sweatshirts, fleece jackets and long pants to ensure that you are ready for whatever fluctuations occur. Even if the air is cool, you can still enjoy beach time, walking, shell-collecting and taking photographs. The brisker weather can be perfect for enjoying other activities, such as visiting museums and historical sites in the area or enjoying a nature hike in a wooded area filled with native Florida plants. Many people find that golfing is the perfect activity for days of cooler temperatures.

Wear Your Sunscreen

Although the winter months are the "dry season" in Florida, you may encounter some cloudy days. Don't think the sun's harmful rays disappear when there is heavy cloud cover or cool temperatures in Florida. Sun-sensitive individuals can still get a nasty burn. Infants and small children can be particularly vulnerable. Bring your sunscreen and wear it faithfully even on cloudy days.

Boating During the Winter Months

Florida winters are generally free from rainstorms, but boaters may find that weather patterns produce strong winds on the water. Always check the weather forecast before you set out for a day of boating. Most Florida resort areas offer boat rentals with navigation maps of the area. Stick to designated areas to avoid low water levels during the dry season and the danger of running aground.


Winter fishing in Florida offers some of the best catches of the year. Snook, spotted seatrout, redfish and flounder can be found in abundance. Sheepshead may be biting when no other species will. Black drum and Spanish mackerel are also available during the winter months. Surf fishing is a popular option, but the water may be brisk, as low as 55 degrees in the northern part of the state and in the 70s in the southern section, so have dry clothing available when you get out of the surf.