6 Perfect Florida Beaches for a Warm Winter Getaway | RatesToTravel


Florida is home to alluring beach destinations perfect for curing the winter blues with sun-kissed coastlines and a no-worries attitude. These charming beach towns offer year-round sunshine and beautiful shorelines where you can enjoy crystal-clear waters, scenic nature trails and family-friendly attractions.

With over 400 million annual visitors to RatesToTravelinfo, we’ve traded our sweaters and scarves for swimsuits to explore Florida’s top beach towns for winter. From secluded islands dotted with quaint beach bungalows to luxury coastal havens home to 5-star resorts, we’ve narrowed it down to six of the Sunshine State’s most gorgeous getaways.

Why You Should Visit Sanibel Island & Captiva Island

Photo| Gettyimages | PAUL CARTER – EYEEM

Sanibel and Captiva islands are two of Florida’s most beloved beach destinations, often paired in one holiday due to their close proximity. It’s all about the outdoors on these pristine islands, where small-town charm meets alluring natural attractions and adventures. Sanibel is famously known as the “Shelling Capital of the World”, with over 300 species of shells regularly washing up onto its shore.

Best Winter Experiences on Sanibel Island & Captiva Island

  • Stroll Sanibel’s shoreline to discover perfect pastel coquinas, conch shells and sand dollar shells.
  • Hike scenic trails and spot local wildlife, such as herons, ospreys and crocodiles, at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Visit nearby Lovers Key State Park for swimming, kayaking and sunbathing.

Best Hotels on Sanibel Island & Captiva Island

Island Inn Sanibel

Photo| Island Inn Sanibel | Provided by ISLAND INN SANIBEL | LEONARDO

Set on a private beach, Island Inn Sanibel has been welcoming guests for more than a century. This historic haven boasts rooms with full kitchens, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs and screened balconies overlooking the Gulf. Suites add full kitchens and the Gulf-front cottages offer an abundance of space.

Swim in the heated Gulf-side pool, kick back in a hammock or enjoy a drink at the bar fireside, then tempt your taste buds with award-winning cuisine at Traditions on the Beach. Bike, kayak and paddleboard rentals are perfect for active travellers, while barbecue grills provide a venue for Gulf-front cookouts.

Nearby Attractions

●  J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (4.9 kilometres)
●  Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum (4.1 kilometres)
●  Bowman’s Beach (9.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 189 – USD 390
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 3111 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel, Florida, United States

South Seas Island Resort

Photo| South Seas Island Resort | Provided by ICE PORTAL

With four kilometres of beautiful beachfront property, South Seas Island Resort is an ideal playground for family fun in Captiva. Accommodation ranges from spacious rooms with ocean views to beach cottages and luxury villas with extra rooms and living areas. Most include private balconies and beach access.

Fill your days with kayaking, sailing and boating adventures, relax poolside in a cabana or play the nine-hole golf course. There are multiple dining options, including local favourite Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, which serves fresh fish sandwiches and signature island mojitos.

Nearby Attractions

●  Turner Beach (5.3 kilometres)
●  The Sanctuary Golf Club (11.5 kilometres)
●  Blind Pass Beach (5.6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 215 – USD 1,070
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva, Florida, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Clearwater

Photo| Shutterstock | AMDIZDAREVIC

Clearwater is one of Florida’s most family-friendly beach spots, known for its powdery white sand and array of kid-friendly attractions. It’s often ranked one of the best beaches in the United States and is dotted with alluring oceanfront properties. It’s also a popular base for parasailing, jet-skiing, snorkelling and dolphin-watching cruises.

Best Winter Experiences in Clearwater

  • Observe dolphins, river otters and sea turtles at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
  • Visit the free nightly sunset celebration with local musicians and street performers at Pier 60.
  • Take the family to Sand Key Park, an expansive white-sand beach with picnic tables, beach cabanas and a dog park.

Best Hotels in Clearwater

Sandpearl Resort

Photo| Sandpearl Resort | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Sandpearl Resort is surrounded by the powdery white sand of Clearwater Beach, offering a zero-entry pool and lavish day spa. Visit Caretta’s on the Gulf for seasonally-inspired cuisine or hear the iconic sunset bell ring at Tate Island Grill, which offers nightly beachside fire pits and live music.

With coastal-inspired decor, Gulf View King Rooms overlook the coastline and feature private balconies, king-size beds and flat-screen TVs. Got the kids in tow? Up to four guests can stay in the spacious Two Queen Rooms, while Suites add full kitchens, sleeper sofas and washer/dryers.

Nearby Attractions

●  Pier 60 (1 kilometre)
●  Clearwater Marine Aquarium (2.1 kilometres)
●  Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise (900 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 249 – USD 815
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 500 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater, Florida, United States

Opal Sands

Photo| Opal Sands Resort | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Opal Sands is a serene beachfront escape, home to beach-chic rooms with plush beds, flat-screen TVs and Gulf views. One Bedroom Premium Suites add floor-to-ceiling windows and living rooms, while The Opal Suite has an outdoor lounge area and wrap-around balcony.

Get pampered from head to toe at Opal Spa or cool off with a tropical drink at the zero-entry pool. Sea Guini serves Italian hand-made pastas, Neapolitan pizzas and handcrafted cocktails.

Nearby Attractions

●  Crabby’s Beachwalk Bar & Grill (270 metres)
●  Pier 60 (800 metres)
●  Caladesi Island State Park (4.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 237 – USD 801
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 430 Gulfview Boulevard, Clearwater, Florida, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Palm Beach

Photo| Shutterstock | PISAPHOTOGRAPHY

Snowbirds looking for a dose of upscale luxury or a shopper’s paradise should head straight for Palm Beach, the former winter home of the Vanderbilts, Kennedys and Rockefellers. Tempting beachgoers with 5-star luxury hotels, luxury spas and a renowned shopping street, Palm Beach is also home to wildlife attractions, art museums and historic landmarks.

Best Winter Experiences in Palm Beach

  • Shop until you drop at the designer boutiques on Worth Avenue, the “Rodeo Drive of Florida”.
  • Explore the Edwardian-style mansion at Flagler Museum, built by oil tycoon Henry Flager for his wife in 1902.
  • Learn about threatened and endangered sea turtles at Loggerhead Marine Life Center in nearby Jupiter.

Best Hotels in Palm Beach

The Breakers Palm Beach

Photo| The Breakers Palm Beach | Provided by LEONARDO

Set on a private beach, The Breakers Palm Beach is a sprawling resort with two golf courses, four pools, five whirlpool spas and 10 tennis courts. Relax in a poolside bungalow at the private beach club or enjoy a tailored massage at the spa. You’re spoilt with choice with multiple gourmet restaurants, including the refined HMF restaurant with bespoke cocktails.

Atlantic Guest Rooms feature private Juliet balconies with ocean views, plush bathrobes and in-room movies, while Junior Suites add separate sitting areas. Celebrating something special? The Imperial Suite has five Juliet balconies with panoramic views of the coastline. 

Nearby Attractions

●  Flagler Museum (1 kilometre)
●  Norton Museum of Art (3.3 kilometres)
●  Clock Tower (2.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 475 – USD 2,357
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: One South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida, United States

Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Photo| Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach | Provided by LEONARDO

Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is a glamorous 5-star resort with sophisticated rooms and suites. Ocean View Rooms boast mini bars, 24-hour in-room dining and LCD TVs, while elegant Suites add separate living areas and terraces with Gulf views.

The spa’s signature massage is its best-selling treatment, while water sports rentals cater to adventurous travellers. Florie’s restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, along with garden-inspired cocktails at Florie’s Bar. A kids’ club will keep the little ones entertained, while poolside drink service is available for adults.

Nearby Attractions

●  Lake Worth Golf Club (2.6 kilometres)
●  Benny’s On The Beach (800 metres)
●  Palm Beach International Airport (13.5 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 450 – USD 9,605
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 2800 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, Florida, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Sarasota

Photo| Shutterstock | SUNCOAST AERIALS

One of Florida’s most underrated vacation destinations, Sarasota is an idyllic winter getaway with a string of eight picturesque islands tucked into the Gulf coast. Spoilt with a collection of nearby beaches, including the famed Siesta Key Beach, this year-round holiday haven also offers an array of cultural attractions, outdoor adventures and shopping opportunities. 

Best Winter Experiences in Sarasota

  • Feel the sugary white sand, often described as the finest in the world, at the award-winning Siesta Key Beach.
  • Admire European antiques and artwork and unique clown memorabilia at The Ringling.
  • Spot local wildlife in the lush wetlands along the canopy walkway at Myakka River State Park.

Best Hotels in Sarasota

Holiday Inn Sarasota-Lido Beach at the Beach

Photo| Holiday Inn Sarasota-Lido Beach @ the Beach | Provided by HOLIDAY INN SARASOTA-LIDO BEACH @ THE BEACH

Set on Lido Key’s white-sand beach, Holiday Inn Sarasota-Lido Beach at the Beach overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Spacious rooms feature flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and private balconies, while upgraded Suites have separate living areas.

Along with offering easy access to the shops and restaurants at St. Armand’s Circle, the hotel boasts a heated outdoor pool and modern fitness centre. Visit the Sand Dollar Restaurant for 7th-floor ocean views and local cuisine, then toast the sunset with tasty libations at the Kokonuts Pool Bar.

Nearby Attractions

●  St. Armands Circle (650 metres)
●  Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium (2.8 kilometres)
●  Dry Dock Waterfront Grill (3.8 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 152 – USD 425
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 233 Ben Franklin Drive, Lido Key, Sarasota, United States

Lido Beach Resort

Photo| Lido Beach Resort | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Located on a private white-sand beach near Siesta Key, Lido Beach Resort invites you to kick back at the two year-round heated pools and a welcoming Tiki Bar. Lido Beach Grille serves tropical cocktails and American fare, while a complimentary shuttle service takes you to St. Armands Circle.

Florida-inspired decor can be seen throughout the rooms and condo-style suites, many of which include kitchenettes and private balconies with ocean views. For two bedrooms and full kitchen facilities, upgrade to a Two King Two-Bedroom Suite.

Nearby Attractions

●  South Lido County Park (1 kilometre)
●  St. Armands Circle (1.2 kilometres)
●  Florida Studio Theatre (5 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 150 – USD 615
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: 700 Ben Franklin Drive, Lido Key, Sarasota, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Marco Island

Photo| Shutterstock | ANTHRO PROF

The largest barrier island in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island is a sun-drenched jewel along the Gulf coast. In addition to white-sand beaches, the laid-back region is known for its local seafood restaurants, cultural attractions and outdoor activities, including dolphin-watching cruises and eco-tours.

Best Winter Experiences on Marco Island

  • Spend a sunny afternoon collecting colourful seashells along Marco Island’s shoreline.
  • Browse historic artefacts and local artwork at Marco Island Historical Museum.
  • Take a day trip to see Florida’s fiercest wildlife in Everglades National Park.

Best Hotels on Marco Island

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

Photo| JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort | Provided by JW MARRIOTT ISLAND BEACH RESORT

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is set on a private beach on Marco Island, offering a range of contemporary Gulf-front rooms. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, mini fridges and balconies, while certain Suites are adults-only and on a private floor. Upgrade to a Sirene Suite for a corner ocean view.

Sample cuisine from across the globe at one of the 12 on-site restaurants, tee off at one of the two championship golf courses or rejuvenate your muscles at the luxury spa. Don’t miss the 10K Alley gastropub with bowling, mini-golf and virtual reality games.

Nearby Attractions

●  Marco Island Historical Museum (3.4 kilometres)
●  Tigertail Beach (3.6 kilometres)
●  Collier Seminole State Park (19.6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 298 – USD 1,005
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 400 South Collier Boulevard, Marco Island, Florida, United States

Marco Beach Ocean Resort

Photo| Marco Beach Ocean Resort | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Only a five-minute walk from the boutique shops at Marco Walk Plaza, the intimate Marco Beach Ocean Resort boasts one and two-bedroom suites with king-size beds, separate living rooms and full kitchens. Each room has a private balcony, many of which boast expansive Gulf of Mexico views.

Take advantage of the inviting rooftop swimming pool, whirlpool spa and direct beachfront access. Treat yourself to a body wrap at the on-site spa or tempt your palette with gourmet Italian cuisine at Sale e Pepe. Bury your toes in the sand while dining on casual fare at Beachfront Bar & Grill or choose from tropical refreshments at the Poolside Bar.

Nearby Attractions

●  Marco Walk Plaza (700 metres)
●  Marco Prime Steak & Seafood Restaurant (400 metres)
●  CJ’s on the Bay (4 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 255 – USD 685
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 480 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island, Florida, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Amelia Island

Photo| Shutterstock | MADISON Y PHOTO

Amelia Island and nearby Fernandina Beach are two of Florida’s most beloved small-town gems, offering kilometres of quiet beaches, a historic downtown area and memorable outdoor excursions, such as horseback riding on the beach. Weather in winter might be too cool for sunbathing, but visitors can explore Civil War-era forts, history museums and cobbled streets dotted with local boutiques instead.

Best Winter Experiences in Amelia Island

  • Paddle the calm waters of Amelia’s salt marshes on a guided kayaking tour.
  • Hike scenic trails and explore a 19th-century Civil War-era fort at Fort Clinch State Park.
  • Enjoy a cold beverage at the Palace Saloon, the longest-operating bar in Florida dating back to pre-Prohibition.

Best Hotels in Amelia Island

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

Photo| Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort | Provided by OMNI AMELIA ISLAND PLANTATION RESORT

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is nestled on 546 hectares at the tip of a barrier island, offering resort-style pools and two championship golf courses. Spend the day kayaking or get pampered at the full-service spa, then retreat to Bob’s Steak & Chop House for prime steaks or Falon’s Nest for build-your-own burgers.

Beachfront rooms all feature private balconies and patios with ocean views, as well as Serta Pillow Top mattresses, plush Terry cloth robes and HDTVs. Enjoy complimentary premium coffee while enjoying the coastal view or head to Sunrise Cafe for the Art of Breakfast buffet.

Nearby Attractions

●  Amelia Island Museum of History (14.5 kilometres)
●  Little Talbot Island State Park (14.7 kilometres)
●  Amelia Island State Park (4.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 179 – USD 548
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 6800 First Coast Highway, Fernandina Beach, Florida, United States

The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island

Photo| The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island | Provided by LEONARDO

With 20 kilometres of pristine beachfront, The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island is most famous for its AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Salt. Both an indoor and outdoor pool are available, as well as a tennis court, opulent spa and 18-hole golf course. Just steps from the beach, Ocean Bar & Grill serves tropical drinks and smoothies.

Coastal View rooms have balconies with scenic sunrise views, while Fire Table Terrace rooms offer a private fire table to snuggle up outdoors. You can marvel at sweeping ocean views from a private balcony in an Ocean View Suite or upgrade to an Amelia Suite for Exclusive Club Level access.

Nearby Attractions

●  Fort Clinch State Park (9 kilometres)
●  Amelia Island State Park (9.1 kilometres)
●  Marlin and Barrel Distillery (10 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 342 – USD 1,375
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach, Florida, United States

Hotel Location

Don’t wait for summer to visit these top beach getaways in Florida, as you’ll find plenty of sunshine and outdoor adventures throughout the year. Offering a mix of gorgeous scenery, outdoor adventures and Florida-style charm, these alluring warm-weather winter destinations boast an array of beachfront accommodation with inviting perks, such as outdoor pools, on-site restaurants and luxury day spas.

Which destination do you want to visit in Florida this winter? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.



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