Why You Should Visit Central Florida During the Holidays

So, you’re heading to Central Florida for the Holiday period? Good choice. There simply is nowhere better around Thanksgiving and Christmastime than Orlando!

The Orlando area puts on a special level of finery and enchantment throughout December and the New Year. A trip to Central Florida is when you can truly revel in a proper family break and kick back for some well-earned time off.

We still have the sunshine and we certainly have the attractions to make things feel distinctive and indulgent. For even more travel inspiration beyond this blog, check out our list of the 10 best family vacation destinations in Florida.

Even better, book one of our carefully crafted Florida tours from Orlando and add a whole new dimension to your holiday experience.

*This blog was updated on 22/08/2023

manatee sightings sarasota

Get Away from the Big Florida Tourism Crowds During the Festive Season

While the majority of tourists head for Florida’s theme parks (and end up on the end of extremely long lines), Real Florida Adventures are able to whisk our guests away on an adventure that has few of the madding crowds you’ll encounter elsewhere.

This means you’ll have more time to enjoy what you’re actually here for and none of the hassles of battling with the hordes and wondering if you’ll even get in!

In fact, we’ll let you in on a little Central Florida secret: the locals largely avoid the theme parks at this time of year in favor of the more small-scale charms and discoveries that await in places like Crystal River and Clearwater Beach, which tend to get overlooked by visitors in their rush to enjoy Mickey and Co. If this sounds like your kind of Florida trip, consider our Private Manatee Tours in Crystal River and our Private Clearwater Beach Day Trip from Orlando.

And, while it may seem counter-intuitive to consider a beach break or manatee swim in the winter, it is actually a really good choice for several reasons.

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Central Florida During The Holidays

Snowman enjoying holidays in central florida

1) Florida is Still Warm – Even in Winter

It’s still Florida, right?! The average daytime temperature remains a gentle 72 °F (22.22 °C), and it’s not uncommon to be well into the 70s. In fact, the temperatures in December and January can sometimes be as high as 79 °F (26.11 °C). Just remember to pack some warm clothes for the early mornings, and if you are out and about in the evening.

2) Most Places Stay Open in Florida During the Holiday Season

Just about everywhere stays open. This is SUCH a big part of our tourist season — all the main attractions and most restaurants and shops don’t shut down, even on Christmas Day. So there’s no reason to think you’ll miss out on any of the key parts of the Orlando vacation experience, whether it’s January or not. Even better, our tours also run throughout the holidays. 

This point is key for anyone who wants to take a trip to Central Florida during the holidays but is frightened that the best places and attractions will be closed. Florida is always open for business!

3) Winter is Officially Manatee Season in Crystal River

manatee in Crystal River

It’s officially Manatee season during the holidays. What does that mean? In short, this is the BEST time of year to see Florida’s iconic “sea cows” as they flock to our inland waterways and rivers, and it makes Crystal River – home of our signature Manatee Snorkelling Tour at Crystal River — one of the best places to be in Florida between November and January!

For a few months, Crystal River is the manatee Capital of the World and we really can’t recommend it enough. But if swimming with these gentle giants doesn’t appeal to you, browse our extensive range of tours from Orlando and please get in touch if you have any questions!

And if all that Central Florida splendor isn’t enough for you, don’t worry, as there are many other seasonal specialties and surprises to discover. Come, explore Central Florida this holiday season!