Are you a Canadian looking to spend your first winter in Florida? For snowbirds seeking to escape the cold, Florida is one of the most popular vacation spots. But before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you need to know. That's where this guide comes in handy. You will find out everything you need to know about spending your first winter in Florida, from what to pack to where to stay.
What to expect when spending a first winter in Florida as a Canadian snowbird
When you arrive in Florida, the first thing you'll notice is the heat and humidity. It can take some time to get used to, but soon enough you'll be basking in the warm sun and enjoying all that Florida has to offer. Isn’t that the main appeal of Florida: winters are much milder, and there is little chance of seeing snowfall?
Another thing to keep in mind is that Florida is a very popular destination for snowbirds, so expect crowds. Many of the popular tourist attractions and beaches can get quite busy during winter. So, if you're looking to avoid the crowds, you may want to consider visiting some of the less popular spots.
The state is home to some of the best beaches in the world, as well as countless attractions and activities. You can explore the Everglades, take an airboat ride, or visit one of the many theme parks. There's truly something for everyone in Florida.
The weather in Florida during winter
During the months of December, January, and February, the average temperature in Florida hovers around 20-25 degrees Celsius. However, it is not uncommon for temperatures in South Florida to reach 30 degrees Celsius or higher during the day. At night, temperatures usually dip down to around 15-20 degrees Celsius.
It is also important to note that Florida experiences a lot of rainfall during the winter months. So, if you're planning on spending time outdoors, be sure to pack a raincoat or umbrella.
What to pack for your trip
When packing for your trip, be sure to pack light and comfortable clothing. The temperatures in Florida can range from hot during the day to cool at night, so it's important to have a versatile wardrobe. And don't forget to pack your sunscreen! The last thing you want is to get sunburned on your vacation.
Types of accommodation available in Florida for Canadian snowbirds
When it comes to finding accommodation in Florida for Canadian snowbirds, there are a few different options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular types of accommodation available:
● RV Parks: There are many RV parks located throughout Florida that cater specifically to snowbirds. These parks usually have a variety of amenities and activities available, making them a great option for those who want to enjoy the outdoors.
● Vacation Rentals: Vacation rentals are another popular option for Canadian snowbirds. There are many vacation rental properties available throughout Florida, ranging from apartments to condos to houses. Check out everything you need to know to find the perfect snowbird vacation rental in Florida.
● Hotels: Hotels are also a popular choice for Canadian snowbirds. There are many hotels located throughout Florida, offering a variety of amenities and services.
● Motels: Motels are another type of accommodation that is popular among Canadian snowbirds. Motels are usually less expensive than hotels and offer basic accommodations.
● Camping: Camping is also an option for Canadian snowbirds. There are many camping sites located throughout Florida, offering a variety of amenities and activities.
Where to stay in Florida as a Canadian snowbird?
With so many options—from the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between—it can be tough to decide where to stay. To help you narrow down your choices, here is a list of some of the most popular places to stay in Florida, no matter what your budget or preferences may be.
Florida’s Eastern Coast
If you're looking for an affordable place to stay on Florida's east coast, Deerfield Beach is a great option. Located just south of Palm Beach, Deerfield Beach offers access to all the shopping, dining, and nightlife you would expect from a larger city but without the crowds (and prices) of some of its more well-known neighbours. Jupiter and Wellington are also great options for those who want to be close to all the action but don't want to spend a fortune on accommodations. And if you're looking for a little bit of everything—city life, beach life, and everything in between—West Palm Beach is definitely worth considering.
Florida’s West Coast
Tampa is a popular choice for Canadian snowbirds, thanks to its proximity to both beaches and attractions like Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Fort Myers and Dunedin are both excellent choices if you're looking for something a little more low-key, Fort Myers and Dunedin are both excellent choices. And if you want to be close to the water but don't necessarily want to stay right on the beach, Bradenton and Treasure Island are both great options that offer access to all the amenities you could want without breaking the bank. Lastly, St. Petersburg is perfect for those who want to experience all that Florida has to offer—from its world-renowned museums and galleries to its lively nightlife scene.
Orlando is obviously one of the most popular destinations in Florida (if not the entire country), thanks largely to its many theme parks and attractions. But it's not just families who enjoy Orlando—snowbirds love it too! If you're looking for a place that's a little more relaxed but still offers plenty to do, The Villages is definitely worth considering. And if you want easy access to Orlando but don't necessarily want to stay in the city itself, Kissimmee and Lakeland are both excellent choices. No matter your budget or preferences, there's definitely a place for you in Central Florida.
Destin is definitely worth considering if you're looking for somewhere on Florida's gulf coast that's a little off the beaten path. This quaint little town has everything you could want—from gorgeous beaches and championship golf courses to upscale shopping and dining—but without the crowds (and prices) of some other popular gulf coast destinations like Naples or Marco Island. Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, and Pensacola are also great options for those who want to enjoy all that Northwestern Florida has to offer without breaking the bank. So whether you're looking for a quiet place to relax or a lively place with plenty to do, there's a place for you in Northwestern Florida.
Things to do during your first visit to Florida as a snowbird
Now that you know a bit more about Florida and the different types of accommodation available, it's time to start planning your trip! Here are ten great activities not to miss when visiting the Sunshine State:
1. Visit the beaches: One of the best things to do when visiting Florida is to spend some time at the beach. With over 1,200 miles of coastline, there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Whether you want to relax on the sand, go for a swim, or try your hand at surfing, you’ll be sure to find a beach that suits your needs.
2. Check out the Theme Parks: Florida is home to some of the most popular theme parks in the world, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. If you’re looking for thrills, these parks have plenty of rides and attractions to keep you entertained.
3. Take a Tour of Kennedy Space Center: Located on Florida’s Space Coast, Kennedy Space Center is a must-see for anyone interested in space exploration. Visitors can take tours of the facilities, see rockets and spacecraft up close, and learn about the history of the US space program.
4. Explore the Everglades: The Everglades is a large subtropical wetland located in southern Florida. It is home to abundant wildlife, including alligators, crocodiles, snakes, birds, and fish. Visitors can explore the Everglades by taking airboat tours or hiking through the many trails that wind through the park.
5. Sample the Local Cuisine: No matter what kind of food you’re into, you’ll be able to find it in Florida. From fresh seafood dishes to Cuban sandwiches and Key lime pie, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Check out some local favourites, such as Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, Bern's Steak House in Tampa, and Restaurant Orsay in Jacksonville.
6. Go fishing: Florida is known for its outstanding fishing opportunities. Whether you want saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or freshwater fishing in one of the many lakes or rivers, you’re sure to have a good time reeling in some big catches.
7. Visit St. Augustine: Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States. The city is full of historical landmarks and sites, such as Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas, and The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
8. Take a scenic drive: Florida has a lot of beautiful scenery, so take some time to enjoy it by taking a scenic drive. Check out Florida’s Emerald Coast for a ride on the panoramic 30A.
9. Play Golf: With its warm climate and beautiful scenery, Florida is a great place to play golf. There are over 1,000 golf courses located throughout the state, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your skill level and budget.
10. Explore the State Parks: Florida is home to over 175 state parks, so there’s no shortage of places to explore. Whether you’re looking for a place to hike, camp, fish, or just enjoy some time outdoors, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of Florida’s state parks. Rainbow Springs State Park, Big Lagoon State Park, and Myakka River State Park are a few of the well-known ones.
Best food to try in Florida
Thanks to the state's diverse cultural influences, there is a wide variety of food to try in Florida. Some of the best food to try in Florida include:
● Conch Fritters: If you're looking for a delicious and unique seafood dish, look no further than conch fritters. These fried balls of dough are made with fresh conch meat, which is a type of shellfish found in the waters around Florida. Conch fritters are typically served with a dipping sauce, such as aioli or tartar sauce.
● Gator Tail: Gator tail is another popular seafood dish in Florida. As the name suggests, this dish is made with the tail meat of an alligator. Gator tail is typically fried or grilled and can be served as an appetizer or main course. If you're feeling adventurous, give gator tail a try!
● Stone Crab Claws: Stone crab claws are a must-try if you're visiting Florida during stone crab season, which runs from October 15th to May 15th. Stone crabs are caught in the waters off the Florida coast this time of year, and their claws are harvested. The claws are then boiled and served with melted butter, making for a delicious and decadent seafood dish.
● Key Lime Pie: Key lime pie is a classic Florida dessert you cannot miss. This tart and sweet pie is made with key lime juice, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and graham cracker crust. Key lime pie is the perfect way to end your meal if you're looking for something refreshing and indulgent at the same time.
● Cuban Sandwich: The Cuban sandwich is a famous sandwich that originated in Cuba but has since become a staple in Florida cuisine. This sandwich is made with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread. It's then pressed and grilled until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. If you're looking for a hearty sandwich that's packed with flavour, be sure to try a Cuban sandwich while you're in Florida.
These are just a few of the best food to try in Florida. So, if you're looking for something new to eat, be sure to check out some of these dishes.
Soak up the sun in the Sunshine State
As a Canadian snowbird spending your first winter in Florida, you are in for a treat! The weather is fantastic, the accommodation options are endless, and there are plenty of fun things to do. Best of all, you'll experience some delicious food you can't find anywhere else.
Contact a soNomad agent for travel insurance needs today, and enjoy your time in Florida worry-free!
And once you're all set, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sunshine!