Take a break from the harsh winter with its dark days and chilly winds. Instead, why not escape to the Sunshine State of Florida? As soon as you arrive at this popular sunny destination you can feel the warmth of winter while everyone at home adds another layer and turns up the heat.

Florida isn’t just about the great all-year round weather. There’s an abundance to see and do while you’re over there. We’ve listed some of our favorite activities and where to find them in Florida that will banish those winter blues and give you a vacation to remember. Check them out below!

Fantastic Fort Lauderdale

A boat cruises along a waterway surrounded by palm trees in Fort Lauderdale

Take a trip to the ‘Venice of America’ and over 23 miles of palm lined beachfront and promenades. Great Fort Lauderdale has eight main towns, each of which offers something unique to the visitor whether it’s a meal in a world class restaurant, a game of chance in a glamorous casino, or soaking up some culture at a local art gallery.

Of course, you could just spend your break sitting on the beach enjoying the breathtaking colors of glorious sunrises and sunsets. January is the coldest month but even then the temperatures can reach 75 degrees and beyond. Bring your swimming gear and go diving with the sea turtles in the turquoise waters. We’d also recommend a boat tour that will show you the sights and take you to the must-go places. Alternatively, rent a bike and embark on a leisurely adventure at your own pace.

Snap a Gator

An alligator crawling through Everglades National Park

Florida is home to 1.3 million American alligators who play a crucial role in the local ecosystem. Seeing these astonishing prehistoric beasts up close is definitely a bucket list experience and they can be encountered all over the state, from lakes to golf courses. Winter is a particularly good time to go gator watching as they leave the cooler waters looking for their own burst of winter sun.

If you fancy a gator experience, there are plenty of tours available that will give you the proximity you want without the fear of ending up as tonight’s dinner. Head for the Everglades National Park and board an airboat to join the creatures in their natural environment. Get your camera ready because the Park is packed with other examples of amazing nature including 28 different varieties of snakes.

Start swinging

A lake on a golf course in Florida

The Sunshine State has more golf courses than any other in the US; one of the reasons so many people retire there. If you enjoy driving and putting in beautiful surroundings then take a week to try out a few of these world class venues. If you book early then Palm Beach is a once in a lifetime opportunity with 18 holes at PGA standard. But there are plenty of other places where you can walk in the footsteps of Tiger Woods such as Shingle Creek and Mystic Dunes.

Even if you’re having a bad round, losing the ball in the rough is still a pleasure thanks to the glorious scenery and mood enhancing weather.

Miami Spice

The city skyline is amplified by palm trees overlooking the water

If you fancy some big city action then head south to Miami. There is something for everyone here including amazing beaches, shopping malls that go on forever and the personal touch of Coconut Grove. Art galleries sit alongside legendary nightclubs, the streets throb to the rhythm of Cuban beats and the local Creole food is irresistible.

Miami is an amazing city, with a Latin-American vibe and people like no other. And, in the winter, there are few better places to enjoy a cocktail or three after a long laze on the beach.

Head to Orlando to see Mickey and Pals

The skyline of Orlando in the background of Lake Eola

We can’t talk about Florida without mentioning Walt Disney World. Book your vacation in Orlando and enjoy the first and best Magic Kingdom experience with four theme parks spread over 25,000 acres. The attractions are legendary such as Thunder Mountain and the Epcot Center. Not to mention the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where Star Wars fans will find it to be their new go-to destination. There’s very little we need to add about this legendary vacation.

If you and the family are Disney fans or adventure park enthusiasts, you can wander around for days without running out of things to do. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Mickey!

Skip Winter 

Plan your own Florida getaway this winter here and for more sunny inspiration check out VISIT FLORIDA on Instagram.