As outlandish as it may seem to the Frozen North, this time of year in Central Florida brings the first signs of Spring. In fact, this month it’s experiencing something of a heatwave. Ah yes, the joys of Spring in February in Florida.
Indeed, by February 19, there have already been NINE days at 80F or above (27C for friends in Europe), with the mercury hitting a whopping 86 on several occasions, close to a monthly record for Orlando.
The grass is growing, too, to such an extent that the landscapers are already out on a weekly basis, and locals are having to get used to the drone of lawnmowers and edge-trimmers once again after a relatively mower-free December and January.
Yes, that’s right. The seasons change quickly in Florida. The month started out dry and pretty cool, with the thermometer reading below 40 on a couple of mornings, but now it’s alternating between the 80s and upper 70s with great regularity.
As well as the grass, the trees are already in blossom and the geckos have made their magical annual reappearance, going from zero to plenty in the seeming blink of an eye, just one more example of the marvels of Mother Nature.
And, while it is still possible to get another cold morning or two, the likelihood is that there will be a need for air-conditioning more than the heating in the next few weeks.
It, therefore, is about time to head to the beach, maybe, or other outdoor pursuits like kayaking, paddle-boarding and surfing. So, with that in mind, here are the Real Florida Adventures Top 10 activities at this time of year, when it’s not quite Spring, but it’s certainly not winter, either! Enjoy the joys of Spring in February in Florida.
It’s Still ‘Manatee Season’
Yes, right up to the end of March is the official season for manatee-spotting in Central Florida. And that, of course, means it is still the ideal time to take a Real Florida Adventure tour, heading out to beautiful Crystal River for a chance to snorkel among these amazing creatures (the only place where it is legal to do so in America). The waterways are home to about 100 manatees year-round, but, from November to March, their numbers can reach 500 or more, and that makes for some memorable snorkeling adventures!
While they are all about getting out into the real outdoors of Florida at RFA, it can’t be denied that Walt Disney World’s most ambitious park and its pair of Spring festivals are worth a visit. The International Festival of the Arts runs from January 8 to February 22 and is closely followed by the Flower & Garden Festival, from March 3 to July 5 for a rich tapestry of Disney creativity.
While the true splendor of Mardi Gras is primarily the preserve of The Big Easy, New Orleans hasn’t completely cornered the market for seasonal fun of the harlequin variety. Many Orlando parks, attractions, and restaurants get in on the act, too, and you’ll find some excellent festival-style food, parades, and other entertainment on offer at the likes of Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and others, ensuring this is a wonderful time to be in Central Florida.
Last year saw the Kennedy Space Center put together no fewer than 35 launches, from its various partners like Space X and the United Launch Alliance, as well as NASA’s own operations. And there will be even MORE in 2021, possibly as many as 50. It is therefore an ideal time to consider one of the RFA variety of Space Center tours. Get your timing right, and you might also be able to witness the magnificent sight of a rocket blasting into the Florida sky. There really is nothing like it.
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
With the arrival of early Spring, Florida’s bird population has its first annual explosion of life and activity (there’s another one in the late Fall). From birds beginning to head north again, and those that nest from February to May, the region’s birdlife goes into overdrive. And one of the best places to see it is on the (free) Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive just west of Orlando, where the one-way, 11-mile route provides a terrific up-close viewing of the lake, marshes, and surrounding wetlands.
Talking of the wildlife, this family-owned roadside attraction in Orlando has gone from strength to strength in recent years and consistently provides a really personal experience of not only its hundreds of alligators but other native animals, as well as a positive profusion of egrets that nest in the trees in and around the breeding marsh. If you ever want to see nesting birds in their hundreds, this is the place to do it!
Back to the Beach
While Floridians typically enjoy the splendor – and variety – of the world-famous beaches pretty much year-round, it’s fair to say they do get a bit wary of dipping their toes in the sea from late December to late February, when the waters are distinctly chilly. But, with the current warm spell, it’s enough to have locals grabbing the beach towels and heading to the St Pete-Clearwater coast. You can join them on the Clearwater Beach and Lunch tour, which offers the best of this seaside extravaganza. The MOST Florida way to enjoy February in Florida.
Black History Month
Many people overlook Orlando’s arts and cultural side in their rush to get to the theme parks and other headlines, but there is a LOT to admire in the museums and art centers, especially throughout February, when the focus switches to African-American events and entertainment. This Year, Visit Orlando put together a comprehensive registry of African-American culture and history that can be enjoyed this month, and year-round. You can find it on this link. A beautifully educational way to enjoy February in Florida.
While on the subject of Orlando’s artsy side, it’s also worth pointing out that the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts downtown is experimenting with a series of specially-created open-air concerts that go by the overall title of the Frontyard Festival, and this is a unique, fully socially-distanced array of concerts and other live entertainment (now through May).
A Bit of What You Fancy
Because everyone is a bit jaded and tired and wants a bit of normal back, here’s something that should resonate with all visitors. Any tour that RFA offers can be arranged on a totally personal level, with private transport, if required. Or a bespoke tour of your own choice, if you contact them in advance. Because, as the (British) saying goes, a bit of what you fancy does you good!
So remember, Real Florida Adventures are here for YOU, their loyal customers, and are always ready to go that extra mile, quite literally, to ensure they’re providing that personal, professional service that is the bedrock of every great vacation. Just give them a call (407 573 2535) and find out how they can tailor-make that ideal trip for your family or group. Find the best way for you to celebrate February in Florida.