Charity De Souza is a Florida native and travel enthusiast. Traveling to over 50 countries abroad and residing in 6, she has a passion for exploring new cultures. While Central Florida is where she calls home, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland and watching the sunset in Morocco.
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While everyone defines romance differently, few can argue with the alluring charm of Florida’s coastal cities. Winter is the perfect time to escape to these sun-drenched destinations, as you’ll find intimate stretches of beach and quality time to bond and reignite your love. Plan a trip for two at one of these romantic winter getaways in Florida.
Offering couples the chance to go horseback riding along the beach at sunset, Amelia Island is as romantic as it gets. Experience this memorable outdoor activity as a couple, then spend your afternoon exploring the area’s unspoiled landscapes and charming local seafood joints. A great place to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, you can meander through local art galleries and boutiques or take a tour of the historic downtown area on the Amelia Island Trolley.
Home to miles of clear blue waters set against a backdrop of blue skies, Santa Rosa Beach is the perfect destination for a trip for two. This underrated Panhandle beach destination has a convenient location between Pensacola and Panama City, which means you’re never far from the action, while its quiet beach landscapes offer you the chance to connect and unwind. For a day out in nature, head to Point Washington State Forest, a 15,000-acre park with more than 10 miles of trails.
Grayton Beach is a tropical paradise known for its quirky arts scene and Hemingway-style wooden homes that line its picturesque streets. Browse the local boutiques and art galleries or go kayaking and hiking at Grayton Beach State Park. Adventurous couples can hit the road and take a day trip to some of the small-town charms nearby, such as Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach and Rosemary Beach.
Sitting south of Naples, Marco Island is home to sun-kissed, white sand beaches and is the largest barrier island in the Ten Thousand Islands. Couples can indulge in water-based activities such as kayaking, dolphin-watching cruises, and eco-tours. Head to Briggs Nature Center to walk along a scenic boardwalk or take a day trip to Keewaydin Island and enjoy the area’s primitive natural beauty.
Couples who find the idea of pampering themselves to be a romantic treat will want to head straight to Palm Beach, an area that is often referred to as the “Rodeo Drive of the East Coast.” You’ll find luxury retailers such as Chanel and Gucci sitting next to beautiful mansions and lush ocean landscapes, while a collection of upscale resorts treat visitors to luxurious spa treatments and 5-star services.
Known for its silky white sand made of quartz, Siesta Key is an eight-mile barrier island along Florida’s Gulf Coast. It’s a popular trip for couples throughout the year, as its cool Gulf breezes, turquoise blue waters, and abundance of outdoor activities make it an ideal getaway destination. Go on a dolphin-watching cruise, take a stroll through the romantic gardens in the Ca’ d’Zan mansion at The Ringling or grab your binoculars for a birdwatching excursion at Venice Area Audubon Rookery.
Nature-loving couples will love the opportunity to explore Naples, from the powdery white sand on Lowdermilk Beach to the miles of stunning shoreline at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Go on a wildlife excursion through Corkscrew Sanctuary, admire the modern and contemporary art collections in The Baker Museum, or simply walk hand-in-hand along the shoreline to watch dolphin pods, fishing boats, and beautiful sunsets.
If you’re looking for a secluded stretch of beach in winter, St. George Island has you covered. Known as the Forgotten Coast, it is noted as being one of the last beaches in Florida that’s not covered in hotels and is the ideal place to find peace and serenity. Take a romantic stroll along the miles of white sand beach and stop at local seafood restaurants to indulge in their famous oysters.
St. Augustine’s charm needs no introduction, and this historic city is the perfect place to travel in the winter season as there are endless things to do. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the cobblestone streets and admire the intricate Spanish-influenced architecture. Have a picnic on nearby Vilano beach, drink from Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth, and capture stunning panoramic views from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
Cayo Costa and nearby Cabbage Key are some of Florida’s best-kept secrets, only accessible by boat and boasting wooden cottages and 100 acres of under-developed tropical vegetation. Those who truly want to soak up the natural surroundings can book a cabin at Cayo Costa State Park, where its secluded landscapes are perfect for cooking dinner on the outdoor grill and spending your time snorkeling, hiking, and stargazing.
*Due to Hurricane Ian, the park is currently closed.
Vero Beach is a breath of fresh air, as its lack of tourist crowds throughout the year means couples can enjoy the miles of shoreline to themselves. Located on the Treasure Coast, it is a sophisticated hamlet that offers plenty of cultural attractions and natural wonders. Sit back and enjoy the sun-kissed beaches, meander through the colorful McKee Botanical Garden, and treat yourself to fresh seafood offerings at the abundance of seafood restaurants.