Winter in Florida can be fun. It is one of the best times to visit the state. That’s because the winter there isn’t harsh – the thermometer doesn’t usually read below 50°F and the temperature can reach up to 82°F on the hottest days. In other words: the mild climate facilitates the walks, as the region does not usually have heavy rains, nor the strong summer heat.
That’s why we have selected amazing tours to enjoy winter in Florida. On the list, there are options for both the more cultural travelers and the on-call shoppers.
There are also, of course, lots of activities for children and beautiful sites. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the cities of Orlando and Miami, but there is also a lot of cool stuff in other parts of the state.
1. Have fun at amusement parks
Visiting Florida’s famous amusement parks is much easier without the hot sun and summer heat. The city of Orlando concentrates the most famous parks and is an essential destination for those who enjoy this type of tour. The parks are famous not only for the amount and quality of attractions, but for the incredible environments full of details that make visitors feel like they are in another universe.
And most water parks are also open during the winter in Florida – the waters are usually warm. So, it’s worth checking out the websites of the parks you want to visit just to confirm that they’ll be open on the days of your trip.
2. Shop at malls and outlets
For some tourists, Florida’s real amusement parks are actually the countless malls and outlets, which sell branded goods at cheaper prices. How about taking advantage of the days of your trip when the weather is not so good to give your wardrobe a new look?
Shopping in Orlando
Orlando International Premium Outlets features nearly 200 clothing, shoe and accessory stores for men, women and children, as well as a food court full of options. There, you can find brands such as Armani, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, as well as other popular brands such as GAP, Victoria’s Secret and H&M.
Shopping in Miami
Aventura Mall in Miami is another mall worth visiting. The architecture, designed by German artist Carsten Höller, is just a taste of what visitors find at the mall, which also displays artwork throughout the corridors (in addition, of course, to the more than 300 brand stores).
Doplhin Mall is another mall in Miami that tends to please. There are more than 240 stores selling products, and an impressive food court.
Watch ice hockey and basketball matches
It’s during the winter in Florida that basketball and ice hockey leagues catch fire. The seasons, which usually start in October, are already coming to an end, and, as a result, the games are more competitive and lively. And few events in the US guarantee so much excitement: the fans sing anthems, the cheerleaders do choreographies and, every now and then, the famous kissing camera rolls.
In Orlando, ice hockey and basketball matches take place at the Amway Center, a huge stadium that has also played host to concerts by singers like Elton John, Lady Gaga and Shakira — so don’t forget to check out the calendar for events on the website. Suddenly, in addition to the games, you get to watch an amazing concert.
4. Tour the Fort Lauderdale canals
Perhaps many visitors know Fort Lauderdale as a gateway to Florida, as the city’s airport is one of the most important for international flights arriving. But know that it’s worth staying a few days there to enjoy the beach town atmosphere, with its charming canals, that gave Fort Lauderdale the title of Venice of the Americas. And as the place isn’t as busy as Miami, you can get to know the beaches with more tranquility.
If the water is too cold for your taste, don’t worry, there’s a lot to explore there. Set aside part of your day to stroll along stretches of Fort Lauderdale Beach, a seven-mile long waterfront filled with parks, courts, restaurants, cafes, malls, and even public areas for your own picnic.
Afterwards, how about a gondola ride through the canals that cut the city? It is possible to see boats and yachts, parked near the mansions that are on the water’s edge. And, as many residents use these waterways to get around on a daily basis, it’s interesting to see the comings and goings of the water.
5. Discover Miami and Orlando Museums
Miami and Orlando have very interesting museums capable of pleasing even the little ones, as they are also usually interactive, with activities that involve children. Here’s just a few ideas for more cultural tours:
Museums in Miami
The Wolfsonian Museum, in South Beach, Miami, features an incredible collection of more than 200,000 pieces related to art and design from the US and Europe from the 1850s to the 1950s. The museum offers special guides for those traveling with children, proposing activities for the little ones to find curious creatures in the corridors and explore the building with even more curiosity.
And are you a fan of castles? If so, then you need to visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This is an impressive property built in early 20th Century Miami, as the home of millionaire James Deering. He wanted a place where he could improve his fragile health, so he built the mansion (which looks more like a palace) in a place with lots of sun, from which he could go sailing with one of his three yachts whenever he wanted.
Museums in Orlando
Want to take a picture with Hollywood stars like Jennifer Aniston and Will Smith? What about superheroes like Batman or Wonder Woman? At Madame Tussauds in Orlando, this is almost possible. In fact, there you can enjoy and take pictures with the full-size wax statues of these and many other famous people.
Another cool option in town is WonderWorks, which follows the concept of “edu-tainment”, that is, it combines education and entertainment. The museum has spaces that entertain and educate children and adults, such as areas dedicated to art exhibitions, 4D cinema and even a laser tag arena.