Sure, winters in South Florida may not be known for roaring fires or a “white Christmas,” but take a closer look and you’ll see—our holiday spirit is alive and well! Just read on to see a few of our favorite festive ways to spend the season, on and off the water.  

Do holiday shopping by the water

Looking for ways to avoid the holiday shopping scramble? Head to a unique destination where the emphasis is on the pleasure of shopping for one-of-a-kind-finds, not deals and doorbusters! There are many waterfront destinations throughout South Florida where you can have some fun and do a little shopping, too. One of our favorites is the West Palm Beach GreenMarket, which takes place every Saturday right by the water. Here, you will be able to snack on fresh baked goods—their scents wafting through the coastal air—as you browse through candles, soaps, gourmet goodies, dog treats, flowers and many more meaningful gifts for the people on your list. The market is held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., so keep your afternoon open for some boating fun!

Participate in a holiday boat parade

Pair your love of boating and festive fun at one of South Florida’s famous boat parades! You can deck out your boat and participate in events like the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 7, Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 15, or the Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 14! Even if you’re not cruising in the parade, you can still swing by and enjoy the show from shore—these extravagant light displays and beautiful boat decorations are not to be missed.

See snow…

There’s a lot to love about winter in South Florida—but for those who pine for the majestic beauty of a snowy holiday, South Florida has you covered. Head to CityPlace in West Palm Beach to enjoy nightly snowfall and a truly beautiful, playful scene the whole family will enjoy.

… and a new kind of Christmas tree

South Florida’s “Sandi” isn’t your average Christmas tree—in fact, sculpted out of 700 tons of sand, there’s no tree in the world like her! See the uniquely Sunshine State sight for yourself in West Palm Beach from Dec. 5-30.

Enjoy quality time with your furry friend

Who better to spend the holidays with than your furry best friend? On a beautifully brisk South Florida afternoon, head to a dog-friendly destination like Bark Beach in Boca Raton where Fido can run around, dig in the sand, enjoy the water and, most importantly, share your company! Your pet can even enjoy some quality time off-leash in designated areas. This is also a great time of year to bring your dog out for a ride on the water—she probably likes the sea breeze and salty air just as much as you do!

Warm up with the manatees

You didn’t need another reason to visit South Florida Yachts’ new location in Riviera Beach, but here’s one anyway: manatees!

FPL’s Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center is home to a natural manatee lagoon thanks to its warm water—at this time of year, when the weather gets a little cooler, nature’s gentle giants (a.k.a. sea cows) gather at the lagoon to warm up, much to the delight of spectators up above. Gathering around the lagoon with family and friends to try and spot a family of manatees (or a few dozen of them, depending on the day!) is a great way to spend the holiday season, and has become a sort of holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike.

(Tip: While there are no boats in Manatee Lagoon, you may find yourself sharing the water with manatees this winter. Always keep an eye on posted speed limits and other signage, as well as the water below you, and cruise carefully to help keep the water safe for these beautiful creatures.)

Go fishing

Stuart is the Sailfish Capital of the World, and winter is the best time to fish for this majestic catch! For avid anglers, there’s no greater gift than the thrill of landing one of these skilled swimmers. Get your fellow anglers together for a holiday outing at your favorite offshore spot.  

Host holiday gatherings on the water

Even if you’re not going fishing, your boat is a great place to host holiday gatherings! Invite friends and family out for an al fresco lunch of easy bites like fruit skewers or grilled seafood sandwiches. You can even use your boat as the venue for fun holiday traditions like a White Elephant gift exchange. After all, there aren’t too many places where you can sport shorts and a light sweater during the middle of December, so embrace it!

We hope that these seasonal ideas help you embrace the holiday spirit on and off the water! Of course, if you’re looking for the perfect gift this season—even a gift for yourself—South Florida Yachts is here to help make it happen with the boat of your dreams. Call or visit us today to learn more.