So, you’re heading to Central Florida for the Holiday period? Good choice. There simply is nowhere better at this time of year, as the Orlando area puts on a special level of finery and enchantment throughout December and the New Year. This is when you can truly revel in a proper family break and kick back for some well-earned time off. There is still sunshine and certainly the attractions to make things feel distinctive and indulgent. Even better, it is an ideal opportunity to book an excursion on one of Real Florida Adventures Winter tours and add a whole new dimension to your holiday experience.
While the majority head for the theme parks (and end up on the end of extremely long lines), they are able to whisk their guests away on an adventure that has few of the madding crowds you’ll encounter elsewhere. That means more time to enjoy what you’re actually here for and none of the hassles of battling with the hordes and wondering if you’ll even get in!
In fact, here’s a little Central Florida secret – the locals largely avoid the theme parks at this time of year in favor of the more small-scale charms and discoveries that await in places like Crystal River and Clearwater Beach, which tend to get overlooked by visitors in their rush to enjoy Mickey and Co.
And, while it may seem counter-intuitive to consider a beach break or manatee swim in the winter, it is actually a sneaky-good choice for several reasons:
1) It’s still Florida, right?! The average daytime temperature remains a gentle 72 degrees, and it’s not uncommon to be well into the 70s. In fact, the first three days of 2020 were all in excess of 79 and we hit a positively tropical 85 on January 12! Just remember to pack some warm clothes for the early mornings, and if you are out and about in the evening.
2) Just about everywhere stays open. This is SUCH a big part of the tourist season, all the main attractions and most restaurants and shops don’t shut down, even on Christmas Day. So there’s no reason to think you’ll miss out on any of the key parts of the Orlando vacation experience, whether it’s January or not. Even better, Real Florida Adventure tours also run throughout the holidays.
3) It’s officially Manatee Season. What does that mean? In short, it’s the BEST time of year to see Florida’s iconic “sea cows,” as they positively flock to the inland waterways and rivers, and it makes Crystal River – home of the signature Real Florida Adventure Tour – the manatee Capital of the World for the next few months.
As if all that Central Florida splendor isn’t enough, there are a few other seasonal specialties that really help to make this period go with a swing.
While their range of Kennedy Space Center tours is rightly renowned for their customer-friendly nature and value for money, there is an additional bonus from the KSC’s “Holidays in Space” program, which runs from December 21 to 30 and adds a winter wonderland edge to the home of One Small Step for Man. The Visitor Complex undergoes a full festive transformation, and, from 1 pm to 4 pm each afternoon, guests can enjoy a unique “snowfall” as well as a DJ dance party in NASA Central. Throughout the park, there are Holiday decorations, trivia, and videos, while the must-have seasonal selfie features a giant NASA logo ornament at the main entrance!
And all this bonus magnificence is included with general admission on every tour, so be sure to book early for this particular occasion as it is always popular.
Having mentioned the manatees, it should also be pointed out that the key reason there are suddenly hundreds of these adorable creatures on the tours instead of the dozens that are usually in evidence at other times of the year. It’s the springs, you see. While the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico cool down in late November through to April, all the spring-fed sources of Florida’s subterranean waterways maintain a constant 73.3 degrees right through the winter, and that is a BIG attraction for manatees that can suffer cold shock in the sea at less than 68 degrees.
The crystal-clear Three Sisters Springs is at the heart of the King’s Bay waterway where Real Florida Adventures Manatee Snorkel is located, and, in this true aquamarine environmental jewel, it is not unusual to see the manatees packed in here almost shoulder to shoulder!
But, while both the Kennedy Space Center and Real Florida Adventure Tour are fantastic, the delights of a Holiday excursion to Clearwater Beach, where the array of different tours is equally appealing. To start with, you will rarely encounter a crowd at this time of year because (whisper it quietly) the locals all think it’s positively freezing once the thermometer drops below 70! That leaves the beaches and their attendant attractions largely free for out-of-state visitors to revel in for the next couple of months.
In the end, though, whatever you choose, you will enjoy the delights of the region the Real Florida Adventures. Since their launch in early November, they have been amazed and delighted at the positive reaction to this new endeavor. Enjoy Real Florida Adventures Winter Tours and look forward to what they have in store all year.