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From the fabulously clear, blue ocean water to the wildly wonderful Everglades and beyond, I truly love southern Florida -- particularly during the winter -- and I know I'm not alone in that thinking. Most people who have been to or live in south Florida during the summer can attest to how blisteringly hot it is, and for this reason, general consensus agrees that winter is the best time to visit. Crazy to think that the coldest season of the year would be nice anywhere, right? With that being said, if you're looking for a reason to travel south during the chilly season in search of great weather and plenty to do, rest assured that south Florida should certainly be first on your itinerary. Here are the top reasons to vacation in south Florida during winter.
We already know that Florida is hot (like, uncomfortably hot) during the summer, but what are temperatures like during the winter - and why South Florida - not north or central Florida, you may ask? The reason is mainly because the northern and central regions of the state still get pretty cold during the winter months, particularly at night, whereas SoFlo doesn't experience quite the same extreme fluctuations in temperature. I live near Tampa and it's not uncommon for me to wake up to frost on my lawn.
If you need more proof, here are the average temperatures in Miami during the coolest months:
December 77° / 60°
January 75° / 57°
February 78° / 59°
VS Jacksonville's same averages:
December 68° / 49
January 66° / 46°
February 69° / 49°
Sure, even Jacksonville's averages aren't awful, especially when compared to the rest of the United States, but if you want to ditch the heavy coats... well, you know what to do!
Equally as notable, winter is south Florida's dry season (averaging about 5-6 days of rain per month) so you won't have to worry about your plans being stormed out - nor any hurricanes as hurricane season ends on November 30.
There's tons to do
We have palm trees and white sand, what more could you really ask for? While some people (like me) would be happy with just that, if you're thinking that there's not much more to do at this beachy destination, you couldn't be more wrong.
South Florida has a lot more to offer than just coastline - especially if you love the outdoors. That, coupled with the great weather, opens a huge window of opportunity to do outside things, even if it's as simple as grabbing coffee with a friend. For those a little more adventurous, we have everything from kayaking and snorkeling to skiing and hiking trails right around the corner. And since you won't be the only one taking advantage of the great weather, you can rest assured there will be an influx of special events that go on throughout the season like outdoor concerts, food festivals, and so much more. If you plan on spending time in Miami and want your dollar to go farther, consider investing in a sightseeing pass!
And let's not forget to mention that there are always cruises and private charters leaving for day trips to the Bahamas from SoFlo. Ya know, just in case you need a getaway from your getaway.
There are less vacationers
This is great for you and your wallet! As mentioned, south Florida becomes less like a swamp and more like an oasis during the winter, and this is especially true when it comes to tourists. During the spring and summer months south Florida becomes packed with summer break vacationers from all over the world, but in the winter, we share our beautiful beaches and attractions with much fewer people (yay).
Also, because there are fewer people around there's usually plenty of parking at key attractions - meaning you can more easily avoid premium parking prices. How premium, you ask? Last time I was in Miami, during spring break, there was literally no parking except at one garage on South Beach - it was $60 for 4 hours. I still just shudder at the thought. Another good way to avoid this is to book your parking space ahead of time!
You can save tons of money
Besides better parking spots, airfare (especially if you fly during weekdays), resorts and hotels in south Florida offer fantastic discounts during the winter. In fact, you can find deals for up to 50% off, making your vacation even more affordable. Seriously, check out the cheap flights that you can get here.
Don't let the chill of winter keep you from enjoying a beautiful getaway. Just grab a warm coat and hit that road or book that flight because it's going to be a great time in sunny South Florida this and many winters to come!