If you’re visiting Florida in December, possibilities are high that you’re right here to storage the holidays. While Florida doesn’t offer the snowy Christmas atmosphere that you’d discover in states further north, it’s acquired lots of unique things to entertain you this season.
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We created this big guide to Sunshine State in December so you can obtain the most out of her trip. If you’re provided to white Christmases, this time the the year in Florida will be one of the most interesting holiday experiences you’ve ever had.
Table that Contents hide
1 Florida Weather in December
2 Florida Affordability & Crowds in December
3 best Things to carry out in Florida in December
4 ideal Florida Beaches in December
5 top Florida Attractions in December
6 December occasions in Florida
This post is part of lasignoralaura.com’s series of expert Florida travel guides for every month of the year.
For a an introduction of every Florida month & season all in one place, inspect out our large guide to the finest Times that the Year to Visit Florida.
Florida Weather in December
December weather in Florida will certainly be cooler, but usually never truly cold. The humidity is frequently waning at this point, with an extremely low chance of showers and almost never a possibility of snow. The wind will certainly pick increase on occasion, however for the most component expect cool and also dry days and also nights.
Florida is the only place in the United claims that maintains a subtropical come tropical climate every year round. But based on where you’ll be traveling, temperature are likely to vary. In the Northern component of the state (Central Florida come the Panhandle) average everyday highs in December will be approximately 63°F (17.7°C) and lows will be about 43°F (6.1°C). In the Southern part (Central Florida come the Keys) typical highs will certainly be closer to 76°F (24.4°C).
When packing, it’s finest to carry a selection of layers together the mornings will start cold and also get warmth throughout the day, climate turn earlier to cold in the evenings.
Florida Affordability & Crowds in December
December crowds in Florida will certainly vary relying on which an ar you visit this month. However, December often tends to it is in a bit busier throughout the board due to the fact that the holidays are underway. Many parts that Florida will endure the hype of the season, especially in tool to large cities.
The areas where you’ll experience the biggest influx of tourists will it is in in towns that are well-known with “snowbirds” who usually arrive in October and stay v May. Places like St. Petersburg and also Clearwater, Naples, ft Myers and Hollywood, FL, will see several of the largest quantities of winter visitors, if the big cities prefer Orlando, Jacksonville and also Miami will simply be busy in general.
It should come together no surprise that Florida travel rates will it is in a little pricier this time of year, though you deserve to still find cheaper choices available. Kind hotels in Orlando will variety from $175 – $300 every night, many hotels in Tampa will selection from $150 – $250 per night, and the more populous city the Miami will certainly see rates from $250 – $450 every night.
Best things to perform in Florida in December
Visit St. Augustine
St. Augustine is taken into consideration to be the earliest city in the united States, very first founded by the Spanish in 1565. To this day, the remains significant by Spanish design and background in the beautifully maintained buildings and also homes, The Castillo de mountain Marcos fortress and also Ponce de Leon’s fountain of Youth.
The city is a truly remarkable place to holidays at all times the the year, v lovely beachfront lodging on St. Augustine, Flagler and also Crescent beaches, historical tours, very delicious restaurants, Ripley’s think It or Not! Museum and also Colonial quarter in historic Downtown.
At Christmas, this old city will dazzle v Nights of Lights all season long. Residents and visitors to walk or journey over 20 blocks through the historical District to check out the gorgeous lights draped over structures from rooftop come foundation. There’s additionally the vacation Regatta that Lights; a sensational lighted boat parade on Matanzas Bay. The St. Augustine Ballet additionally performs the Nutcracker and also the Lighthouse hosts households for arts & crafts and also a possibility to accomplish Santa.
Visit Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay an ar of Florida is made up of Tampa, St. Petersburg and also Clearwater. Together the cities have actually grown, visitors from outside the area still watch this region as one easily obtainable cluster the cities. However, each lays about 30-45 minutes from each other and also is vastly different. On new Year’s Eve, parties room being held at restaurants and big attractions in each city and also firework screens can be regarded on the water all follow me the Bay.
Tampa is the largest city in Tampa Bay and is most renowned for it’s historical Cuban society in Ybor City, for the annual Gasparilla flotilla and also as the house of the Tampa only Lightning. The food step serves all tastes native upscale to downhome and also the funny nightlife takes locations at the walkable restaurants ~ above Howard Avenue. Throughout the holidays, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park transforms right into Winter Village, the Tampa Riverwalk hosts a lighted boat parade, The Nutcracker is performed in ~ the Straz Center and also you can fulfill Santa at the Florida Aquarium.
St. Petersburg is the second largest and also has a fully different atmosphere. The city is recognized for it’s award-winning beaches, historic places and also overall casual vibes. St. Pete has very relaxed technique to life and also fun, which is ideal witnessed in their plenty of eclectic shops and restaurants in the downtown area. In December, the Sundial hosts complimentary photos through Santa and snow drops every night, Snowfest is at phibìc Straub Park, The Florida Orchestra performs at the Mahaffey Theatre and the Dali Museum will have special holiday displays.
Clearwater is the beachiest that the three cities, well-known amongst tourists together a beach vacation destination. In some areas, Clearwater has similar vibes come the crucial West coast style, with more shopping, dining and also live entertainment. In addition to the white sandy beaches, consider seeing the Holidays at Clearwater naval Aquarium and also Downtown hosts a holiday Extravaganza.
Stay in Celebration
Celebration is Walt Disney Resort’s very own city, situated only a couples miles from the theme parks and also built with traditional American architecture. Residents have developed a solid neighborhood tradition the Christmas festivities throughout the whole month of December. Celebration event is a small 10 mile stretch the land, but there space plenty cute AirBnB rentals and also hotels to remain in with accessibility to Walt Disney World.
The town’s biggest attract during the holidays is Celebration’s Winter Wonderland, following at town Center. Snow falls every solitary night, carriages pull festive riders follow me the streets, light mirrors take location on the buildings and also ice skating is open to the public. Lakeside Park also puts top top a holiday Fest, where makeshift snow hills permit kids and adults come sled and also tube to your heart’s content.
In addition to the fun in this small community, girlfriend have accessibility to all that Walt Disney human being has come offer. Throughout December, Mickey’s really Merry Christmas Party is going on in Magic Kingdom, Festival that the Holidays is ensuing in Epcot and Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), which is complimentary to the public, has actually a Christmas Tree Trail, live entertainment and holiday magic roughly the purchase center.
Golfing is a popular past time all throughout the state of Florida and also there are countless resorts and also cities with great courses. Few of the ideal you’ll discover in December are down in south Florida wherein the weather remains temperate with the Winter, though there space some terrific courses in main and phibìc Florida that are hard to pass up.
One the the best under-the-radar references is Streamsong resort & Spa in central Florida. That a small out of the method located on old phosphate property, therefore prepare to do this a vacation in and of itself. Streamsong is the perfect golf retreat featuring several high-class courses, with the Red course gift it’s most popular and also favorable. The resort is developed for can be fried relaxation whether you play golf or prefer the spa treatments.
Another good choice is the tournament Players society at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach toward the Northwestern component of Florida. It’s a 400-acre residential or commercial property beloved by several of golf’s most renowned pros who use it because that the competition Players Championship each year. That self-described together the human being headquarters of experienced golf, which makes it fantastic place because that a golf trip.
Ocala is a lowkey location in the Northern central part the Florida, recognized for it’s abundance of horse farms, professional equestrian trainers and race tracks. It’s humbly renowned as the Horse funding of the World. December clues the start of the Ocala Winter Circuit, a competition the lasts through March. Every week master a different equestrian competition through prizes ranging from $50k come $1mil.
Many of the over 1,200 horse farms located in Ocala will offer tours and horseback rides for families and also groups. They likewise offer feeding and also carriage rides for special occasions. But horse farms aren’t the only entertainment roughly this huge area; Ocala is also home to several of the many beautiful herbal habitats in inland Florida.
Tourists will revel in the landscapes that both silver Springs State Park and Ocala national Forest, featuring organic springs, waterways and also tree-lined wetlands. Ocala additionally has Juniper Springs, Rainbow Springs State Park and KP feet Park. In ~ Christmas, circle Square Commons will have actually a radiant light display, the Ocala Christmas Parade will march with downtown and guests can reduced down their very own Christmas tree in ~ Ocala national Forest.
Best Florida Beaches in December
Beaches in Florida are always a good time, no matter the season, but December will tend to it is in a little colder and windier than other times that the year. We’ve ranked the best beaches by weather in December because that you to consider on your vacation around Christmastime.
Treasure Coast: finest All-Around
The Treasure shore is located just above Miami’s beaches and has few of the warmer temperatures – about 75.9°F (24.4°C) – you deserve to experience in Florida in December. The cities that consist of this area incorporate West Palm and Palm Beach, renowned beach towns well-known for glamorous resident on pristine white sands. Over there are countless things to execute in this area, making it a nice place to vacation.
Our top beach referrals in this area are West Palm, Delray, Pompano, Palm Beach, and also Boca Raton. All attribute slightly various styles. Delray coast not just has terrific beaches, but has a booming arts district. Pompano Beach has multiple diving sights to discover coral reefs and shipwrecks. Boca Raton is an excellent for recreational activities like golf and also shopping.
Gold Coast: Bustling Beaches
The Gold coastline is located in the southwest side of Florida, comprised of the Miami and also Fort Lauderdale areas. Miami has the highest temperatures in Florida every year round, making that the top location for December tourists who room looking to protect against the cold. The beaches in this area are really popular v tourists, so mean them come be reasonably crowded, with water temps in ~ 74.7°F (23.7°C).
Our optimal recommendations for Gold coast beaches include Las Olas Beach, Miami Beach and also South Beach. The best component about visiting this area is seafaring down s Drive, selecting from a wide variety of dining and hotel alternatives and enjoy it the night life in the city. No to mention the vast variety of holiday events going on in this busy metropolis.
The Florida Keys: finest Weather
The tricks are really popular destination all year round, and January is no exception. January supplies a winter reprieve for snowbirds and tourists alike, therefore the secrets will likewise be packed through visitors this time of year. The water averages 74.5°F (23.6°C). Our favourite spots encompass beaches on key West, key Largo and also Marathon, and also Bahia Honda State Park and also the dry Tortugas nationwide Park.
Some fun and unique points to carry out in this area incorporate exploring historical places like the Hemingway House, the old civil war base at fort Zachary Taylor and also getting a snapshot at the southernmost Point. We very recommend flying in for those looking come do prolonged weekend in the Keys, yet driving native Miami will provide you few of the most scenic ocean views you’ve ever witnessed.
The an are Coast is situated slightly north of Orlando ~ above the Atlantic next of the state. Well-known as the house of Kennedy room Center in Cape Canaveral and the well known Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, this area has been a well-known Spring Break location for decades. When the beaches don’t rock as much as they go in the early on 2000’s, tourist still enjoy what the space Coast needs to offer.
December will certainly be cooler top top the space Coast, through the water temperature averaging 73.4°F (23°C) i m sorry is cold to Floridians, yet vacationers may not mind. The finest beaches on the an are Coast room Melbourne, Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach. All have a very similar structure and also atmosphere, so picking your location may be based upon their proximity come Orlando – in which instance Cocoa will certainly be your best option.
The Paradise coastline is opposite of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, special a much more natural habitat and also relaxing setting for winter visitors and also older audiences. The area has tendency to it is in a most appealing setup for snowbirds, with lots of events and activities within a tranquil atmosphere. It’s likewise the closest shore to the Everglades, offering visitors a variety of choices and adventures for your Winter vacation.
The renowned spots will certainly be busy this time the year, however might no be to dance with world like you’d check out in those previously mentioned. The waters space cool and also clear, averaging 71.2°F (21.8°C). The top destinations on this shore are Marco Island, Naples, and Fort Myers.
We are most partial to the social Coast as it’s been the favourite summer location for our families due to the fact that before us were born. In December, the water and weather will certainly be slightly cooler than you’d endure farther South. The beaches room beautiful here, however the water will average 68.5°F (20.3°C).
Our ideal suggestions for visiting the cultural Coast are Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Siesta vital and Sanibel Island. Anna Maria Island is the picturesque coast town through a very relaxed environment that urges walking and biking about the island. Longboat key on the other hand put on much more of the ritz. Siesta crucial has entertain accommodations because that the totality family and also Sanibel has a great natural habitat in the J.N. “Ding” Darling national Wildlife Preserve.
The Sun coastline is phibìc of the cultural Coast on the Gulf side of the state, with comparable weather to the social Coast with water temps in ~ 68.5°F (20.3°C). The Sun shore boasts Tampa Bay’s ideal beaches, consisting of Dunedin, Clearwater and also St. Pete Beach. While these beaches are heavily marketed and also popular through tourists, the coasts mentioned above will have an ext pristine offerings and also lodging.
Our finest recommendations because that this area are to visit Caladesi Island State Park or Honeymoon Island State Park. Both call for ferry trips native the mainland in Dunedin. These well-preserved state parks have actually designated dog-friendly areas, picnic tables and walking paths to take it in the natural island habitats. You’re guaranteed to check out gopher tortoises, sea turtles and ocean birds v every visit to these islands.
The first Coast is Florida’s coldest coast on the Atlantic side, special the historical cities and also beaches the St. Augustine, Jacksonville and also the Sea Islands. The water temperatures in the month the December will certainly be about 66.4°F (19.1°C). Visitors to this area will certainly love the historical facets of this an ar even more so than the beaches themselves this time that year.
St. Augustine is well-known as Florida’s oldest city and has numerous landmarks come explore, consisting of the Castillo de mountain Marcos fort. Jacksonville is Florida’s many populous city with plenty of parks, gardens and also museums come experience. Amelia Island is the perfect escape for a high-end resort remain with upscale golf courses and shopping districts.
The Emerald coast makes up Florida’s panhandle native Pensacola come Tallahassee. This coast will endure the coldest temperature in Florida throughout the Winter, so expect December water temperatures to be roughly 64.4°F (18°C). In spite of the cooler weather, the Emerald shore has a lot to market in the month the December.
Our height beach references in this area room Pensacola, southern Walton Island, Destin and also Panama City. Swimming may not be your top alternative this month, yet beach walks and also inland activities will make a good vacation. Pensacola has plenty of museums to visit, while Panama City has several state parks to experience. South Walton has actually a good art scene and also Destin has excellent golf courses and other to chat activities.
Top Florida Attractions in December
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney world is the vacation funding of the world, as such it’s Florida’s biggest attraction. Walt Disney world is comprised of four various theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) and also two water parks (Blizzard Beach and also Typhoon Lagoon). Disney is located external of Orlando in Lake Buena Vista. In the month the December, the weather will be cool however dry and the parks will certainly be very crowded.
Lots the park goers, whether they be locals or tourists, space at Disney this month to see all the Christmas festivities. Disney resorts room glittering v decorations and also every solitary park is adorned with twinkling lights and festive decor.
The top events this month will be the Festival of the Holidays in Epcot, Mickey’s really Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom and the Flurry that Fun present in Hollywood Studios. By far, the many well-attended is the Christmas Party, i beg your pardon is a individually ticketed nighttime event with distinct shows, a parade, personality meet and also greets, as well as a firework spectacular.
Universal Orlando is Disney’s greatest rival, special two various theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) along with one water park (Volcano Bay). It’s located on the suburbs of Orlando and has it’s very own resort accommodations because that guests come enjoy. The parks are recognized for movie-themed roller coasters, rides and also attractions for every ages.
Holidays at universal Orlando Resort space going on with the entire park decorated for Christmas. There room special shows, food selection items and also character meet and greets walking on transparent the park for every attendees to experience.
SeaWorld is most renowned for that aquatic animals, shows and coasters. It’s an extremely close to global Orlando and makes a good full job of entertainment. SeaWorld has actually recently added large roller coasters favor Manta and also Mako to up your thrill video game for older audiences. Over there is many for civilization of all periods to reap inside this ocean-themed park.
SeaWorld Christmas celebration event kicked off in November with December complete of vacation traditions, distinct treats, live entertainment, and an ext for families and also people of every ages.
Busch Gardens is the greatest theme park in the Tampa bay area, located in phibìc Tampa. That a an excellent option because that a full day to include into her weeklong holidays in Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater, about 15 miles from the Tampa global Airport. Howl-O-Scream, Tampa Bay’s Bier Fest
Busch Gardens is recognized for it’s huge coasters, choose Cheetah Hunt and Kumba, along with it’s african themed pet habitats wherein guests can see wildlife in designated areas. Busch Gardens Christmas solemn event is going currently through January, consisting of a Winter Wonderland suffer filled with Santa and also friends, Christmas lights and also holiday treats and entertainment.
Legoland is one of Florida’s newest theme parks situated in Winter Haven, ideal in the center of central Florida. As you deserve to imagine, Legoland is entirely themed after these popular tiny toy block which have inspired movies, roller coasters and water rides. There’s also a Lego resort wherein you deserve to stay top top vacation.
Holidays in ~ Legoland is underway in December, inviting guest to sign up with in the Lego fun v festive decor, delicious food and special friends prefer Lego Santa, the believe Man and also the Gingerbread Man.
Gatorland is a lesser known amusement park when compared to the likes of Walt Disney World and also Universal, yet a well-known attraction nonetheless. Travellers love to learn much more about Florida’s swamp creatures and also natural habitat in this fun experience. Gatorland is southern of Orlando and offers ziplining fun, off-road adventures and petting areas. It doesn’t generally do a Christmas-themed occasion in December, but you’ll likely find holiday specials top top ticket prices.
December occasions in Florida
Santa’s fascinating Forest
Touted as the “World’s largest Holiday theme Park”, this Miami occasion is to fill with delight for people of all ages. For whole month, guests have the right to ride rollercoasters, watch live entertainment, reap holiday treats and special foods, watch twinkling lights and meet the huge man himself.
Pensacola’s Winterfest is a flurry of funny for households with young youngsters to come satisfy Santa Claus and also choose in between two various experiences that entertainment. The Polar Express tour is a fun event taking motivation from the motion-picture’s hot chocolate scene and also the brand new Cajun Christmas takes friend on a tram drive to satisfy Papa Noel that will check out a Cajun fairytale publication by candlelight.
Ice! at the Gaylord Resort
This occasion held in ~ the Gaylord resort in Orlando every holiday season has been a renowned experience that countless guests have thrilled to see. Ice! has actually a different theme each year, acquisition you top top a walk v ice castles and sculptures inside the will lobby. This vast display is preserved up because that over a month and visitors space given gigantic parkas upon entry.
Key West holiday Fest
What key West lacks in snow and that general White Christmas feeling, it provides up for with a spectacular display screen of lights approximately town. The Harbor walk of lamp is aglow each evening throughout the month honoring the maritime background of the Keys. There’s an historical holiday inn tour and pets can also take images with Santa.
West Palm coast lights up through the yearly Sandi Land. “Sandi” is the lovingly bestowed name for the city’s Christmas tree made totally of sand. The spectacle that this artist development is only part of the event – the totality month is booked with light shows, conference Santa, a Plein wait fair, pancake breakfast and also a sing-along storytime for children.
Nights of Lights
St. Augustine hosts this annual holiday occasion showcasing this city’s beautiful holiday light display, which adorns virtually every building with Spanish design in the downtown area. This enormous display screen can be checked out for totally free every night from mid-November through beforehand January.
“Merry and also Bright”
The Orlando Museum puts on this one-of-a-kind showcase special the Festival that Trees. The trees room elegantly decorated with different themes and accompanied by miscellaneous vignettes, gingerbread houses, Christmas wreaths and also other equipment on display. No only deserve to you see these items at the museum – all of them are obtainable for acquisition so you can take the lovely decor home!
New year’s Eve
New year’s Eve occasions are happening in every solitary city throughout the state, some elaborate and also some modest, however all fun and enjoyable for all. Relying on where you end up, examine out the local events to watch where the new Year will be celebrated in town v either fireworks or a large party.
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We told friend there’d be plenty to perform on a December holidays to Florida! even if it is you choose to stay in a coastal city to experience Christmas on the beach, visit the theme parks because that the ultimate holiday or choose a much more relaxing environment for the season, you’re sure to have a Christmas come remember.
Let us recognize if you pick to visit Florida in December and tell us your think on how the expedition went!