December is an ideal time to visit Florida, especially if you’re looking to escape the cold weather and enjoy some sunshine. Florida boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and in this blog post, we’ll take a look at the 15 best beaches in Florida in December to visit.
It’s important to remember that even Florida can get chilly in certain areas during December – so I’ve focused this list on beaches in the southern half of the state. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, I’ll share the best beaches for soaking up some sun in December.
As a Florida resident for many years, I have personally visited almost every beach on this list. From the powdery white sand of Siesta Key to the crystal-clear waters of Clearwater Beach, I can confidently say that these are some of the best beaches in Florida. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing but they are also incredibly peaceful and relaxing.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or just a place to escape the cold weather, these are all fantastic options. I highly recommend visiting one of these beaches as possible during your December trip to Florida!
Best Beaches in Florida in December
This list of the 15 best beaches in Florida in December to visit is full of stunning and peaceful locations, perfect for a romantic getaway or simply escaping the cold winter snow weather. From the powdery white sand of Siesta Key to the crystal-clear waters of Clearwater Beach, each beach offers its own unique experience that will be sure to satisfy even the pickiest beach-goer.
1. South Beach, Miami 🏖️🏊♀️🌴🍹🌅
South Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Florida, and it’s known for its white sand, crystal clear water, and lively atmosphere. The beach is home to a variety of restaurants, boutiques, and bars – making it the perfect spot for visitors who are looking for an energetic atmosphere.
South Beach also has an amazing boardwalk about the stretch of the beach which is perfect for running, biking, or just taking a leisurely stroll. You’ll definitely want to take a walk down it and pass by “Muscle Beach” which is a great spot for people-watching!
When in South Beach, I love to grab lunch at one of the authentic Cuban restaurants for an unforgettable experience. South Beach is very walkable and it’s easy to get around without a car – so I definitely recommend making the trek out here during your December Florida trip.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Art Deco Historic District to see the iconic architecture and colorful buildings or better yet, take a private helicopter tour of Miami for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The average temperature in December is around 76°F (24°C).
2. Clearwater Beach, Clearwater 🏖️🌊🌴🐬🚣♀️
Clearwater Beach is famous for its crystal clear water, soft white sand, and friendly dolphin pods that can often be seen from shore.
The beach is also home to some of the best fishing spots in Florida and there are always people out kayaking, sailing, or just relaxing on the sand. And there are a ton of charter fishing boats available nearby.
My favorite restaurants in Clearwater Beach are Frenchy’s and Island Way Grill. Make sure to stop by for a bite when you are there!
Or if you’re looking to stay for the weekend, make sure to check out my favorite hotels: The SandPearl, Wyndman, or The Opal!
💡A local tip is to take a sunset sail on a catamaran to see the breathtaking views of the beach and the Gulf of Mexico or book a ticket for the infamous pirate ship sailing if you have little ones. The average temperature in December is around 71°F (22°C).
3. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota 🏖️🌴🏊♂️🏖️🌅
Siesta Key Beach is a picturesque beach that features unique quartz sand, making it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The powdery white sand is incredibly soft and cool to the touch, and it’s a great spot for sunbathing or swimming.
There are also plenty of restaurants and activities nearby – including parasailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to see the exotic plants and flowers or book a fun tour of Siesta Key on an electric bike at Sunset. The average temperature in December is around 73°F (23°C).
4. Naples Beach, Naples 🏖️🏊♀️🌅🍹🌴
Naples Beach is a stunning stretch of sand that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Naples Beach is known for its luxurious resorts and high-end shopping, but also offers miles of white sand and crystal clear water.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Naples Pier to see the sunset and try your hand at fishing. You can also take a scenic sunset boat tour of the area or try some of the fresh seafood at the many restaurants in the area. The average temperature in December is around 75°F (24°C).
5. Delray Beach, Delray Beach 🏖️🌊🍹🏖️🌅
Delray Beach is a gorgeous stretch of white sand with clear waters and abundant sea life.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens to experience the serenity and beauty of the gardens. The average temperature in December is around 75°F (24°C).
6. Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Lauderdale 🏖️🏊♀️🌴🌅🍹
Fort Lauderdale Beach is a favorite destination for both locals and tourists. It offers miles of white sand and crystal-clear water, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun.
If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure, Fort Lauderdale Beach is your go-to destination! With its wide range of restaurants, bars, hotels, and boutique shops along with incredible snorkeling and kayaking opportunities – boredom will never be a factor.
💡A local tip is to take a water taxi to see the beautiful canals and mansions. The average temperature in December is around 75°F (24°C).
7. St. Pete Beach, St. Pete Beach 🏖️🌅🌊🌴🏊♂️
St. Pete Beach is a scenic stretch of white sand that offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s famous for its amazing sunsets, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby to explore.
You can stop by the famous Don Cesar hotel for an appetizer or a drink, and be sure to keep an eye out for the local dolphins that often pass by. Or better yet, stay at the Don Cesar for a weekend getaway!
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Salvador Dali Museum to see the incredible art collection. Or take an evening yacht cruise with dining for an extra special time. The average temperature in December is around 72°F (22°C).
8. Key West Beach, Key West 🏖️🌅🏄♂️🍹🌴
Key West Beach is a popular destination for its crystal clear water and miles of white sand. There aren’t actually that many beaches in the Florida Keys, but Key West Beach is one of the best. The beach offers plenty of activities such as renting a scooter, kayaking, fishing, and more.
Key West has an eccentric nightlife full of bars and restaurants. A local tip is to visit Mallory Square for the daily sunset celebration which happens every day when the sun goes down.
Stop by the Southernmost Beach Cafe or Alonzo’s Oyster bar for a bite to eat or a refreshing beverage.
💡A local tip is to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum to learn about the history of the famous author and see the six-toed cats that roam the property. You can also take a sunset sail on a catamaran or visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory to see exotic butterflies and birds. The average temperature in December is around 74°F (23°C).
9. Cocoa Beach, Cocoa Beach 🏖️🏄♀️🌅🌊🍹
Cocoa Beach is known as the “Surfing Capital of the East Coast” and offers miles of white sand and perfect waves for surfing.
While the waves don’t get as big here as they do in Hawaii, it’s a great spot for beginners and experienced surfers alike. There are also plenty of nearby bars and restaurants to explore, as well as the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Kennedy Space Center to learn about space exploration and see rockets and shuttles up close. The average temperature in December is around 71°F (22°C).
10. Hollywood Beach, Hollywood 🏖️🌴🍹🌅🏊♀️
Hollywood Beach is a family-friendly beach that offers a wide variety of activities and attractions. Nearby you’ll find the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, a two-and-a-half-mile-long promenade that winds along the beach and is lined with shops, restaurants, and more.
For those looking for nightlife, head over to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort for live music, tropical drinks, and food. There’s also Gulfstream Park, a racetrack-casino that offers horse racing and other entertainment.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Anne Kolb Nature Center to see the wildlife and take a guided kayak tour. You can also take a stroll on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk and enjoy the many shops and restaurants. Or you could book a private beach photo session and capture all the memories of your trip. The average temperature in December is around 75°F (24°C).
11. Sanibel Island, Sanibel 🏖️🌅🌴🦀🐚
Sanibel Island is known for its unique shell beaches and breathtaking sunsets. It’s a picture-perfect spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
You can go shelling, kayaking, or fishing in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For a bite to eat, be sure to check out The Island Cow for some freshly caught seafood and tropical drinks.
Sanibel Island isn’t too far from Sarasota either, so you can take a day trip to explore the city and its attractions.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see the wildlife and take a guided kayak tour. You can also try some of the fresh seafood at the many restaurants on the island. The average temperature in December is around 73°F (23°C).
12. Anna Maria Island, Anna Maria 🏖️🌴🌅🏄♀️🍹
Anna Maria Island is a charming beach town that offers a laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches.
What I admire most about Anna Maria Island is its rustic beach cottage atmosphere, without many large resorts. If you’re in the mood to walk or bike around and visit quaint shops and restaurants, Anna Maria Island is the perfect spot.
I also love the architecture and gorgeous new homes here – definitely worth a look.
For those looking for nightlife, head over to The Sandbar Restaurant for live music and great drinks. Be sure to take a stroll along the historic Bridge Street pier or enjoy some of the local seafood at one of the island’s many restaurants.
💡 A local tip is to visit the nearby Robinson Preserve to see the wildlife and take a guided kayak tour. You can also try some of the fresh seafood at the many restaurants on the island or rent a bike and explore the island on two wheels. If you’re feeling adventurous, then make sure to check out this highly-rated parasailing adventure while you are there! The average temperature in December is around 73°F (23°C).
13. Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers 🏖️🌅🌊🌴🍹
Fort Myers Beach is a laid-back beach town that offers a variety of activities and attractions. It was recently hit by a hurricane, but it still offers plenty of things to do.
You can spend your days relaxing on the beach or strolling around Times Square, a lively entertainment district with shops, restaurants, and street performers. For some adventure, head over to Bowditch Point Park to kayak in the calm waters of Estero Bay.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Lovers Key State Park to see the wildlife and take a guided kayak tour. You can also take a sunset sail on a catamaran or try some of the fresh seafood at the many restaurants in the area. The average temperature in December is around 74°F (23°C).
14. Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Rocks Beach Florida
Indian Rocks Beach is a small, but vibrant beach town located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It’s known for its beautiful shorelines and abundance of seafood restaurants.
The town of Indian Rocks Beach is short-term rental friendly, so if you’re looking for a place to stay other than a hotel, you’ll have plenty of options. Or if you’d rather explore the town, there are plenty of little shops and restaurants along Gulf Boulevard.
Nestled between St Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach, this location allows you to experience the best of both locations without straying too far from all the action.
A local tip is to have dinner at the Salt Rock Grill for some fantastic seafood dishes with a view of the sunset. If you’re feeling adventurous, try kiteboarding or stand-up paddle boarding in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The average temperature in December is around 73°F (23°C).
15. Honeymoon Island, Dunedin FL
Honeymoon Island is a gorgeous state park located in Dunedin Florida. It’s known for its beautiful shorelines, wildlife, and abundance of outdoor activities.
The island boasts 4 miles of white sandy beaches and plenty of opportunities to explore the natural beauty like kayaking, bird watching, and hiking.
Honeymoon Island is home to a variety of wildlife including ospreys, bald eagles, manatees, and dolphins. You can also take a ferry over to Caladesi Island State Park located just across the bay.
There is also a portion of Honeymoon Island State Park that is dog friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friends along for the adventure! But remember, you’ll be limited to the areas where dogs are allowed.
💡A local tip is to visit the nearby Historic Downtown Dunedin for some shopping, art galleries, and great restaurants. You could also book a half day private boat charter right out of Dunedin! The average temperature in December is around 72°F (22°C) so make sure to pack plenty of sunscreens.
Wrapping It Up: Best Beaches in Florida in December
Florida has some of the best beaches in the world, and December is the perfect time to visit. With mild temperatures and fewer crowds, you can enjoy all that these beaches have to offer. Whether you’re looking for surfing, wildlife, or just a relaxing day on the beach, Florida has something for everyone. So pack your sunscreen, grab your flip-flops, and head to one of these 15 Best Beaches in Florida in December to visit.
What is the warmest beach in Florida in December?
The warmest beach in Florida in December is Miami Beach, South Beach or Key West Beach. The average temperature in December is around 76°F
What are the best beaches to visit in winter in Florida?
Some of the best beaches to visit in winter in Florida are Clearwater Beach, Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Sanibel Island, Anna Maria Island, and Fort Myers Beach. All these beaches offer a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.
What are the best activities to do at the beach in Florida in December?
Some of the best activities to do at the beach in Florida in December include swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, biking, and strolling around entertainment districts. You can also take a sunset sail on a catamaran or visit nearby wildlife reserves for guided kayak tours. There are endless possibilities to explore!
What is the warmest place in Florida in December?
The warmest place in Florida in December is Miami, with an average temperature of 78°F (26°C). It’s the perfect destination if you’re looking for a warm beach getaway.
What part of Florida is best to visit in December?
The best part of Florida to visit in December is the southwestern region, which includes Clearwater Beach, Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Sanibel Island, Anna Maria Island and Fort Myers Beach. This area offers mild temperatures and fewer crowds for a relaxing beach vacation.
Can you swim in Florida beaches in December?
Yes, you can swim in Florida beaches in December. However, the temperature of the ocean varies depending on where you are in Florida. In southern parts of the state, like Miami and Fort Myers Beach, it’s usually warm enough for swimming. The average temperature in December is around 73°F (23°C). However, if you are visiting the northern part of the state, like Daytona Beach, it might be too cold to swim in December.
Can you sunbathe in Florida beaches in December?
Yes, you can sunbathe in Florida beaches in December. The temperatures in the sunshine state are usually mild enough to bask under the sun without feeling too hot or too cold. Just make sure to use sunscreen and take regular breaks from the sun’s rays to prevent sunburns.