I used to avoid traveling in the winter months. I didn’t think it was worth the headaches associated with the unpredictable New England weather. All it takes is a good “nor’easter” to ground air travel for days. I thought winter months were best for playing catch up on bills and work, but after seeing enticing pictures on social media of others escaping the long winter, I began to rethink my perspective. I allowed myself to day dream about the warm sunshine beating down on me in January! The day dream alone released dopamine in my brain and I started to realize that I had a case of the winter blues.
I knew I had to go outside of my comfort zone and book a trip someplace warm. I wasn’t sure where the best place to go was for my winter escape, so I did some research and decided on southern Florida. It was only a three-hour flight from Boston and I was able to find great deals on airfare. I went and had the most amazing time. When I returned home, I couldn’t believe how refreshed I felt and that it took me this long to realize how great winter travel can be. I decided then, that I would make it a point to do whatever I can to do this every year.
Throughout my repeated visits, this is what I have learned to love about the area. There are three major airports to fly into. They are Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). Accommodations are abundant. A few of my favorite are Shelborne https://www.shelborne.com/, Biltmore https://www.biltmorehotel.com/), and Hyde Residence https://www.hydehollywoodbeach.com/ . The Shelborne is an oceanfront hotel directly on South Beach. You do not need a car to enjoy this resort. Located on Collins Ave, you are within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. What I love about this resort is that it is a mid-range hotel that is right in the heart of Miami action. The Biltmore is a gorgeous, five-star , luxury resort that leaves you feeling like you are truly on vacation. The location of this resort is slightly removed from the busy ocean front area of Miami so you will need a car if you stay here. Hyde Residence are oceanfront condos with full kitchens. This resort has all the amenities you need to never leave. There are three restaurants on site, including a pool side bar and grill. Two beach chairs and one umbrella are included in your rental for a fun beach day. They have DJ’s at the pool that make it feel like you are at a real pool party! I find it cheaper to book this resort from private owners on Airbnb, and hit the grocery store before arrival.
Another reason I love this area is that there are two cruise ports, Port Everglades and Port Miami. I love cruising and sometimes find that it’s cheaper to go on a weekend cruise where all of your food, entertainment, and accommodations are included than it is to stay at a resort. Many of them will stop at their private islands that are packed with fun stuff to do that does not cost you any money. Even lunch on the private islands are included in the cruise fare.
With so many resources in this area, it makes it easy to find affordable flights, cruises, and accommodations – and return year after year with a new experience. I personally prefer to spend a little more on accommodations (or take a cruise) and save money by simply enjoying beach/pool days and eating light. There is plenty else to do if you are not a beach person. A few of my favorite is a stop at Wynwood Walls https://thewynwoodwalls.com/ , air-boat rides https://www.evergladessafaripark.com/ , a day at the track https://www.gulfstreampark.com, and trying new restaurants. South Florida does experience occasional cold fronts in January and February, but winters are generally mild – rarely dropping below 75F. This summer like weather makes for the perfect escape from seasonal blues. It’s a thriving place that is rich in culture with the most beautiful beaches. Despite how many times I visit, my heart is captured more and more with each visit.