Snowbirds: 10 Mini-Vacation Ideas to Spice Up Your Winter in Florida

If you're spending the winter in Florida, why not plan short getaways to explore other sunny corners of the Sunshine State?

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Snowbirds: 10 Mini-Vacation Ideas to Spice Up Your Winter in Florida

If you're spending the winter in Florida, why not plan short getaways to explore other sunny corners of the Sunshine State? Whether you're a history enthusiast, a golf aficionado, a wildlife observer, or simply in search of relaxation, Florida offers a variety of amazing places that combine luxury and unique experiences.

To help you organize some small excursions during your extended stay, here are ten ideas for getaways in Florida.

1. Amelia Island

You've probably heard of Amelia Island! Located in northeast Florida, this little slice of paradise with sun-kissed beaches and cobblestone streets is full of places to discover. Visit the historic centre of Fernandina Beach, take a horseback ride on the beach, and explore the stunning trails of Fort Clinch State Park.

Step back in time with a drink at the Palace Saloon, Florida's oldest bar, which was the last American establishment to close its doors during Prohibition.

Where to stay: Opt for the charming B&B Addison for an authentic experience.

Where to eat: For a gourmet experience, Salt au Ritz-Carlton won't disappoint.

2. Crystal River

If you dream of swimming with manatees, Crystal River is the perfect place. This small town on Florida's west coast is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and magical encounters with these gentle creatures. Enjoy nature by canoe or kayak at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.

Where to stay: Book a room at the Plantation on Crystal River, a beachfront resort.

Where to eat: Head to Vintage on 5th for delicious local cuisine.

3. Anna Maria Island and Sarasota

For a mix of beach relaxation and culture, head to Anna Maria Island. With its white sandy beaches and small shops, it's a perfect destination for unwinding. Nearby, Sarasota offers world-renowned museums, botanical gardens, and a vibrant art scene.

Where to stay: Enjoy privacy and rent a private villa on Anna Maria Island.

Where to eat: For a taste of tropical and laid-back Florida as it used to be, visit the Waterfront Restaurant on Anna Maria Island for an exceptional culinary experience and savour some seafood.

4. Key West

The Florida Keys are a chain of tropical islands that offer a true paradise for diving, fishing, and beach enthusiasts. Explore Key West, sample local cuisine, and enjoy stunning sunsets on this lively island. Don't miss getting a photo at the southernmost point of the American continent, marked by the famous "Southernmost Point Buoy."

Where to stay: Choose the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel for its spectacular location. Activities abound, with a pool, direct beach access, kayaking, or even jet-ski adventures.

Where to eat: Enjoy a seafood breakfast or dinner at the renowned Latitudes restaurant, elegant and beachfront.

5. St. Augustine

Travel back in time to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, offering rich history, colonial buildings, and unique charm. Stroll along the cobblestone streets, visit the Castillo de San Marcos fort, and explore the historic district.

Where to stay: Reserve a suite at the Casa Monica Resort & Spa for a touch of luxury in the heart of the historic district with Spanish charm.

Where to eat: Choose Sainte-George Restaurant, a unique place offering upscale European and American dishes made from local ingredients.

6. South Beach, Miami

Welcome to South Beach, where sun-kissed sands meets iconic Art Deco architecture. Explore Espanola Way for vibrant nightlife and culinary delights, indulge in retail therapy on Lincoln Avenue, and toast to life at Sweet Liberty, one of the nation's finest bars.

Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, is synonymous with luxury in Miami.

Where to eat: Located in the chic South of Fifth district (also known as SoFi), book a table at Stubborn Seed, which holds a Michelin star, . 

7. Sanibel Island

A weekend on Sanibel Island will make you unwind like never before. Explore the  J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, collect seashells on the beach, and admire the local wildlife.

Where to stay: Rent a villa at South Seas for a beachfront stay.

Where to eat: Enjoy a meal at Cielo, a restaurant offering refined American cuisine and incredible piano performances.

8. Marco Island

Marco Island is an elegant destination on Florida's west coast. Enjoy luxury shopping, upscale restaurants, and unspoiled beaches. Don't miss a visit to the Marco Island Historical Museum to learn more about the region.

Where to stay: The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort offers luxurious comfort.

Where to eat: Spend an evening at Sale e Pepe, where the elegant restaurant at the Beach Ocean Resort offers refined Italian cuisine and breathtaking views.

9. Pensacola

In the northwest of Florida, Pensacola stands out from other state destinations with its unique blend of history and pristine beaches. Discover Fort Pickens National Park, stroll through the historic downtown, and relax on the white sand beaches of Pensacola Beach.

Where to stay: Choose the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pensacola Beach, ideally located on the white sandy beach with emerald waters.

Where to eat: For a quality gourmet experience, visit Jackson's Restaurant in the historic district, where you can savour excellent local oysters.

10. St. Pete

Opt for a weekend in St. Petersburg, also known as St. Pete. This Florida beach city offers beautiful beaches and a thriving art scene. Explore the city's museums, art galleries, and magnificent botanical gardens.

Where to stay: The famous The Don CeSar hotel, known as the "Pink Palace," is a luxury option for an unforgettable stay in St. Pete.

Where to eat: Allelo is a trendy restaurant offering a selection of wines by the glass and craft cocktails.

Take mini-getaways during your Florida winter!

Whether you prefer paradise beaches, wildlife, culture, or history, Florida has something to offer every type of traveller.

With so many unique destinations to explore, it's time to start planning your next weekend getaway in Florida. Before heading to the United States, contact a soNomad agent to find the best travel insurance for Snowbirds.

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