When you think of the holidays, you probably envision the leaves changing, icy weather and snowfall, scarves and mittens.
But holidays in Florida can be just as festive as up North—we just do things a little differently.
Winter weather on Anna Maria Island rarely requires bundling. Our snow-white landscape comes in the form of soft quartz sand. The Gulf of Mexico will not freeze over, but welcomes you into its emerald-green waves year-round. Our driveways never need to be shoveled. We don’t tend to stare into fireplaces; our firy show comes on the horizon in the form of spectacular sunsets.
It’s a winter tradition in Florida to send pictures to friends and relatives trapped in the snow up North. Ice cream cones from Joe’s. Selfies in shorts, flip-flops and a tank top.
Imagine waking up on Thanksgiving morning or on a weekday in December, stepping out of your waterfront accommodation and right into the sand to take a barefoot walk along the beach, getting your feet wet and never even once feeling the urge to shiver. Our peaceful island has a neighborhood feel, so the festive, family atmosphere comes in the form of smiles from strangers on the beach, the warmth of gratitude for being able to share in this wonderful setting.
Rather than spending the whole day in the kitchen, you can kick back and sunbathe. Our holiday meals may come in the form of a turkey-bacon-cranberry seasonal special sandwich from the Holmes Beach Publix just up the road (Floridians love a Publix sub). While you’re there, you can stock up on tropical ingredients for some festive holiday cocktails to be fixed in your room’s kitchenette and enjoyed on the beach, watching the sunset.
Sunsets in southwest Florida reach their peak in the winter time. The angle of the earth is just right, so that the sun sets over just a sliver of Mexico, allowing for a vast array of the spectrum to shine through, with just enough interference from the atmosphere to scatter the colors in every direction.
Holiday cheer is what you make of it, and you can make a lot of it here.