South for the Winter: The Best Time to Visit the Florida Keys

You probably know that the Florida Keys are a classic destination for “snowbirds” escaping the icy northern winter. But how much do you know about what a winter in the Keys is actually like? Here’s an overview of all that you can expect when visiting these enchanting islands in December, January, or February.

Perfect Weather

As the rest of the country cools down, the Florida Keys warm up: The average high is a balmy 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit in December, 74.8 degrees Fahrenheit in January, and 75.4 degrees Fahrenheit in February. The rainy season of early fall has also worn off by now (along with the attendant humidity), so the months between December and March bring minimal precipitation— an average of roughly two inches per month.

A Lively Atmosphere

It’s peak season in the Keys this time of year, and many of the eateries and dive bars that close up during the summer months roar back to life. Hit up spots such as the Tiki Bar at Holiday Isle or The Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar for tasty seafood, refreshing tropical cocktails, and world-famous sunset views. The scene at shopping centers from the Rain Barrel Artisans Village to the Mallory Square also picks back up; it’s a perfect time to search for that perfect Key-lime-pie mix or a lovely ocean-inspired painting.

Exciting Events

The best time to visit the Keys is December, when lit-up boats sail over the Key West Bight and Harbor, Key West Old Town holds the “Holly Jolly Holiday” trolley, and Christmas shows, Nutcracker performances, and holiday concerts takes place. Other events throughout the winter, mainly down in Key West, run from the annual car show to the New Year’s conch drop to the January Literary Seminar and Food & Wine Festival.

Ready for a winter getaway? Browse the accommodations at Cheeca Lodge & Spa and start planning your trip.

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