Looking for a festive getaway this winter that doesn’t include cold weather and snowstorms? Look no further than the Christmas towns in Florida!
While Florida may not be your first instinct as far as Christmas trips go, the state actually has a handful of lovely Christmas towns among sandy shores, and we’re here to break down the best ones! So grab some hot chocolate, put on your favorite sweater and whip out the festive tunes; Christmas is starting now!
9 Festive Christmas Towns in Florida
The epicenter of many popular Christmas activities, Orlando has no festive shortage, making it one of the best Christmas towns in Florida! Christmas starts on November 1st in the theme parks, so if you’re wanting to get the earliest start possible, this may be your ideal Christmas town in Florida.
Orlando has no shortage of festive activities, so whether you’re looking to check out Give Kids The World’s Night of a Million Lights, explore Gaylord Palm’s offerings or check out Universal Studio’s Grinchmas, your itinerary will be stacked.
Disney World is an obvious pick for festive findings, with all 4 theme parks getting decked out in decor and treat offers. Hollywood Studios usually hosts a holiday edition of their Frozen Sing-A-Long show and cast projections onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel, while Magic Kingdom has an after-hours, separately ticketed event called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, with all you can eat Christmas treats and drinks, and special shows and parades.
However, if you’re not looking to whip out the cash for a theme park day, Disney Springs, the outdoor shopping center offers a Christmas Tree Trail scavenger hunt, a free game where you search for themed trees around the area to win a commemorative button.
Where to stay in Orlando:
The Delaney Hotel: Check rates on Hotels.com
Named as one of the top ten holiday light displays in the world, Saint Augustine is the home of Nights of Lights, a nightly festival of beautiful light displays. An art festival is also hosted within the event, where you can explore offerings from The St. Augustine Art Association.
This Christmas town in Florida even has its very own Christmas parade, with displays, floats, and even Santa Claus himself! A classic and cozy town to spend Christmas in.
Where to stay in Saint Augustine:
Marker 8 Hotel and Marina: Check rates on Hotels.com
While Miami is quite far from being a town, it has its fair share of festivities, making it, in our book, one of the best honorary Christmas towns in Florida!
Considered to be the world’s largest holiday theme park, you can explore Santa’s Enchanted Forest, which runs from November to January. Located here is the biggest Christmas tree in south Florida, a light show, carnival rides and more. Or, for another family-fun-filled option, Zoo Miami hosts its own Christmas spectacle with 3D light displays and seasonal lights.
Where to stay in Miami:
Aloft Miami Doral: Check rates on Hotels.com
Sanibel and Captiva
On Sanibel Island, locals are known to deck out their boats with elaborate Christmas decor, and in traditional Florida fashion, their palm trees as well! If you want a true Christmas town in Florida, Sanibel and Captiva have all of the offerings.
If you’re looking to explore a bit of national history on your trip, enjoy Edison and Ford Holiday Nights at their respective winter estates, using Edison bulbs! You can attend tours, or just admire the showcase on your own.
With the array of beaches from Fort Myers to Captiva, these closely located isles offer charming musical spectacles, Christmas cheer, and overall a quaint and classic vibe, sure to satisfy your need for some holly jolly.
Where to stay in Sanibel and Captiva:
Lani Kai Beachfront Resort: Check rates on Hotels.com
This riverside Christmas town in Florida has some great offerings! In the middle of Tampa’s beautiful downtown area is Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park, the home of a popular outdoor ice rink overlooking the riverwalk. This space also hosts special events, a mini Christmas train and of course food and drink offerings, perfect for a chilly night.
However, if chills combined with thrills are more your style, you can check out Busch Gardens theme park and their Christmas Town event, where along with checking out roller coasters and animal exhibits you can explore the tree maze and meet Santa among festive decorations and lights!
Where to stay in Tampa:
The Barrymore Hotel: Check rates on Hotels.com
The home of the key lime pie, Key West is a cozy and quaint option for the holidays. From the annual parade to meet and greets with Santa Claus himself, festive cheer won’t be hard to find within this Christmas town in Florida.
The Old Town Trolley Holiday Lights Tour is a local staple, with a 60-minute tour of the island and treats and cider to match. Or, if a historical venture is more your vibe, explore the holiday architecture with the Historic Inns.
Where to stay in Key West:
The Garden House: Check rates on Hotels.com
Heading to the beach for your not-so-winter getaway? Naples, Florida has sun and sand for days, with a handful of must-do annual holiday traditions.
Victoria Park and Third Street offer free entertainment from local parades to live music, or check out the Naples Botanical Gardens for some luscious wandering. Illuminated with Christmas lights, the sculptures and plants have a holiday overlay, and you can round out your night by grabbing themed cocktails.
Where to stay in Naples:
Bellasera Resort: Check rates on Hotels.com
If a classic (as classic as you can get in the sunshine state) winter wonderland is more your style, check out Celebration Florida, and Celebration’s Winter Wonderland.
This Disney-built town has random “snowfalls,” horse-drawn carriage rides and other festivities to make you feel like you’ve been placed in a Hallmark film, like boutique shopping and the Christmas express train.
Where to stay in Celebration:
The Grand Orlando Resort: Check rates on Hotels.com
West Palm Beach
The sandy shore of West Palm Beach is the home of Sandi, the 700 ton Christmas tree made entirely of sand, so if that’s not enough to make you want to visit this Christmas town in Florida, not sure what is!
Snow falls from the 32-foot tall banyan tree covered in twinkling lights, and you can take classes to craft wreaths and ornaments. This town is a beautiful sight if you skip the Ugly Sweater Brunch of course.
Where to stay in West Palm Beach:
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham: Check rates on Hotels.com