things to do in florida in winter

Winter’s never looked as good as it does in Miami. (Photo: Getty Images)

Beach Travel

Who Knew Winter Could Be Like This? Heat Things Up on an Indulgent Florida Getaway

While the rest of the country is blanketed in snow and ice, Floridians are enjoying the best part of the year to live in the Sunshine State: winter.

Florida’s summer is known to be hot, and afternoon rain falls like clockwork, but from October through March, temperatures are mild, and rain is rare. This is the time to head outdoors, enjoy the low humidity and treat yourself to a luxury getaway with a few brag-worthy adventures to soak up some much-needed vitamin D.

Here are some fun-filled, ultra-fabulous ways to spend those sunny days and take advantage of the best winter weather in the country.

As always, check for travel guidelines or closures before planning your trip.

Bike, Picnic and Go on a Private Lighthouse Tour

things to do in florida in winter
Bike through Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. (Photo: The Ritz-Carlton)

At The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, tucked along the shores of the southernmost barrier island in the United States, let the concierge organize a bicycle journey to remember. Order a picnic lunch from the resort’s Key Pantry, complete with bottle of wine or champagne (and nonalcoholic beverages, of course), and then hop on the resort’s bicycles and head to the Cape Florida Lighthouse in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

The concierge will provide guests with a bicycle map, showcasing the trails within the park, and directions on how to get to the state park from the resort. The ride is just half a mile, no hills, and is appropriate for all skill levels.

As a bonus, ask the concierge to arrange a guided private lighthouse tour of the structure, which opened in 1825, for photobomb-free snaps and selfies.

things to do in florida in winter
Snap a selfie at the lighthouse. (Photo: Getty Images)

Stretch Your Purse Strings in the Open Air

It’s never too early to get a head start on shopping for spring, and the haute fashion boutiques near The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort always carry a selection of slinky sundresses and linen separates perfect for getting a leg up on the season’s sleekest collections.

Spend a day swiping at the Bal Harbour Shops, an open-air shopping mall just a few minutes walk from the hotel. There, try on everything possible at Versace, Dior, Chanel, Gucci or any one of the more than 100 other boutiques.

Once you’ve got your hands full, walk or book a rideshare to take you back to the hotel to toast the sunset on the wraparound 1,200-square-foot balcony of the resort’s Presidential Suite. Of course, you’ll want to wear one of your new frocks for a fabulous dinner at the hotel’s onsite French restaurant, La Gourmandise.

Catch a sunset

It’s a Florida Gulf Coast tradition to toast the sunset, and on a Naples Princess private charter cruise, sip champagne, spot dolphins and take in the spectacular sites of Naples Bay and Port Royal.

The 105-foot, three-level yacht has enough room to spread out and either soak up some sunshine on the sundeck or grab a cocktail from one of the full bars inside. The yacht also has a complete galley, and the boat’s chefs can customize menus for hors d’oeuvres or full meals.

See Miami from a super-luxe ride

things to do in florida in winter
Zip through Miami Beach in a hot ride. (Photo: Getty Images)

In Miami, you never know who you might run into: The area is home to movie stars, musical artists, professional athletes and business moguls. But one thing you’re sure to see are some of the coolest wheels from global luxury automakers.

Since it’s still sunny but not sticky, rent a luxury or exotic car — better yet, a convertible — from one of the exotic-car rental companies in town, like Dynasty Luxury Rentals, and cruise down Collins Avenue in Miami Beach like a true baller. That bright orange Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder convertible or T-top Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder is sure to turn heads and drop jaws when you drop the keys with the brunch restaurant’s valet.

Adventures with a trail boss

Thrill seekers should head out on the two-mile mountain bike trail surrounding The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes on the hotel’s SCOTT bikes, the top-quality bicycle brand used by world mountain-biking champions and Olympians.

The trails you’ll ride are exclusive to the property, so you won’t have to share your spot on the adventure. Either set out solo or hightail it alongside the hotel’s “Trail Boss,” who can point out wildlife along the way.

Other exclusive outdoor activities organized by the property include fishing, kayaking along Shingle Creek or a morning “safari” with a certified Florida Master Naturalist by your side.

Hit the links like (and with) a pro

things to do in florida in winter
Tee off on the greens in Naples. (Photo: The Ritz-Carlton)

Guests of both The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón enjoy the incredible opportunity to golf at the Tiburón Golf Club, home to two 18-hole championship courses, designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman. The club is also open to its members and located on the property of The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón.

Whether you’re a relative newbie on the greens, or practically a pro, Tiburón will meet your every need. PGA Tour winner Bobby Clampett and his team of instructors offer private and group lessons at Tiburón’s Impact Zone Golf® Academy, while Mental Game Coach Dr. Shannon Reece coaches golfers using her unique mental formula.

Even your little ones are given a nod — from May through October, for each paid adult round, children 18 and under can play complimentary rounds.

Sail up, up and away

Florida might be few places in the country where you could even consider a hot air balloon ride in the middle of winter. Bob’s Balloons in Orlando offers guests the opportunity to charter a private flight for two to see the city’s iconic landmarks (think Epcot’s golf ball–shaped Spaceship Earth and Cinderella Castle), as well as the downtown skyline, the way few can say they have — from 1,000 feet in the air.

Even better, the air temperature on a hot air balloon is only slightly different than the temperature on the ground, so there’s no need to bundle up if it’s already a balmy 65 degrees. Flights are 365 days per year, weather permitting.

At ride’s end, as is hot air ballooning tradition, you’ll be treated to a Champagne toast to fete the fabulous occasion.