By Michele D. Baker
Although Florida is primarily known for its warm, white sand beaches and perfect picnic weather, TheTravel.com recently released an article called “10 Most Beautiful Places in Florida to Visit That Actually Feel Like A Winter Wonderland.” This fun article by Rehan Braylon rates three of the top 10 cities in the Lifestyles After 50 readership area!
Whether you want to marvel at holiday decorations, go ice skating outdoors, or stroll around quaint towns full of twinkling lights, these Florida locales will make you feel like you are in a winter wonderland.
10 – Orlando Winter Wonderland
The world-famous theme parks transform into winter wonderlands with special holiday attractions and shows. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party allows access to Disney parks for festive entertainment after hours. Enjoy incredibly detailed Christmas decor and themed treats like hot Butterbeer at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Gaylord Palms Resort hosts ICE! – a dazzling exhibit of ice sculptures. Their Christmas Town event includes ice tubing and live shows. SeaWorld presents a Christmas Celebration with roller coasters, shows, Santa meet-and-greets, and a sea of decorative lights.
8 – Tampa Winter Wonderland
From dazzling light displays to Christmas villages and festivals, Tampa knows how to deck the halls. The centerpiece is the Downtown Tampa Christmas Tree towering over Curtis Hixon Park as the Riverwalk lights up along the Hillsborough River.
At the Florida State Fairgrounds, Snowfest transforms an area into a winter wonderland with real falling snow. Enjoy light displays synchronized to holiday music, snow tubing, ice skating, and photos with Santa at his outpost. Under the dome at Tropicana Field, Enchant Christmas features a festive light maze and ice-skating trail. Historic Ybor City gets into the holiday spirit with the Holly Jolly Trolley for festive drinks, live music, and light displays along 7th Ave.
5 – Naples Winter Wonderland
Naples’ mild winter weather still allows holiday magic. The centerpiece is the lavish Christmas tree display at Cambier Park along the Naples Pier. Over 100,000 twinkling lights illuminate palm trees and the boardwalk. Nearby, the Baker Museum puts on an immersive light show synchronized to holiday classics on their facade. Tinsel Together at the Conservancy Nature Center decks out the trails and gardens in winter cheer lights. Downtown 3rd Street South comes alive with elegant holiday decorations, carolers, and festive ambiance.
Beyond the lights, Naples offers holiday boat parades, seasonal shows at Artis—Naples, holiday concerts from the Naples Philharmonic, and Christmas events at top resorts like The Ritz-Carlton.