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9 of the Best Outdoor Winter Getaways in Florida

If you are like us and live in the northern regions of the US, you understand.  Winter can seem like it is going on forever. Many of us want to escape to someplace warm, and Florida is one fun destination.  Not to mention that it is easy to get to. It is completely different than the warm states of the west, as it certainly has a more tropical climate.  When most people think of Florida, they think of Disney, Miami, or the Keys. But, did you know there are other, just as fun, destinations to visit? Let’s take a look.

St Augustine

The home of the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, this is a great place to visit for history buffs.  It is considered “Best holiday displays in the world” by national geographic. And, there are all kinds of quaint cafes and small shops to explore.

Mount Dora

This town has a vintage, waterfront feels with 19th-century clapboard homes and diverse shopping.  There is a large antique marketplace that is full of treasures to be found. Lots to see and do in this small but fun town.  And, if you go around the holidays, be sure to check ou the Cannonball Christmas Express, where you will find yourself singing with Santa!

Crystal River

A favorite for some.  This is home to manatees.  This is found about 1.5 hours south of Tampa.  This is the spot where the Gulf of Mexico drops in temperature that is perfect for these gentle giants. At the Homosassa Springs State Park, you can swim with them.  You will learn how to take care of them and what their lives are like. Not only that, there are mermaids to be found at Weeki Wachee and amazing seafood.

St Petersburg

This is a great destination for those that love art and food.  Sometimes this city is called “New Portland” as it has a bit of a Portland Oregon feel to it.  There is Dali Museum that has a lot of fun activities for the kids as well.

Big Cypress National Preserve

This is about as south as you’ll get before you are in the Everglades or the 10,000 islands.  This is home to many of Florida’s wildlife. There is camping here but if that isn’t your thing, there are hotels as well.  A great way to explore nature and the wild side of Florida.

Titusville

Known for its seafood and wonderful beaches.  It is less known and therefore less crowded than some of the other places around Florida.

Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs is a must-see place.  This is about an hour from Tampa and home to the historic sponge dock.  You can learn about the history of sponge diving and even take a boat tour.  This area was settled by the Greeks, so you can enjoy some Greek food as well.

Cocoa Beach

Found on Florida’s space coast, it is full of cruise ship watching, beach-going, and water fun.  There are plenty of places to explore when not on the beach as well.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville if more in the northern region.  But, it is great for a little family getaway with wonderful beaches and shops.

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