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Wondering what to wear in Florida in December? You’re not alone! Many travellers find themselves puzzled over the perfect packing list for the Sunshine State’s winter season.
With temperatures that can swing from pleasantly warm to a cooler, breezy chill, your suitcase will need to contain a smart mix of light layers, comfortable footwear, and versatile pieces that can transition smoothly from a sunny beach day to an evening at a laid-back bar or upscale event.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the wardrobe essentials that promise to keep you looking stylish while ensuring you’re prepared for Florida’s unique December climate.
Lets Get Started!
Understanding Florida’s December Weather
Visiting Florida in December is a treat. The weather is generally mild, with average high temperatures reaching a comfortable 22°C.
However, fluctuations are common, so it’s not all about flip flops and sun hats. In Orlando, for example, the temperatures can range from a cool 15°C to a warm 23°C.
You might also experience some rain as you explore the state. The average rainfall in December is around 2 inches, but can vary in different areas. For instance, Miami sees around 59mm over 3 days, while St. Augustine gets about 70mm over 4 days.
Despite these occasional showers, Florida in December is mostly sunny and pleasant, making it an attractive destination for winter sun.
North vs South Florida
Keep in mind, as you plan your visit to Florida, that the weather can be quite different between the northern and southern parts of the state. In the north, you can expect cooler temperatures ranging from 20°C to 9°C. So, if you’re heading to cities like Jacksonville, pack some warmer clothing.
On the other hand, South Florida, which includes areas like Miami and the Florida Keys, enjoys warmer weather with an average temperature of around 24°C and rarely reaches the maximum temperature. The sea temperature in this region also contributes to the pleasant climate.
Here, you can:
- Enjoy the warmth as the sun rises on Miami Beach
- Lounge around in South Beach
- Explore the natural beauty of the Everglades without worrying about freezing temperatures.
Coastal vs Inland Areas
Not only do north and south have distinct climates, but coastal and inland areas also experience different weather patterns. Coastal regions, like Miami Beach and Key West, tend to have more moderate temperatures due to sea breezes, making them ideal for beach activities even in December.
However, it’s important to be mindful of the hurricane season when planning your visit.
Inland areas, on the other hand, like Orlando, may experience slightly higher rainfall and humidity levels. So, if you’re planning to visit the theme parks in Orlando or explore the natural parks in the central areas, it’s wise to have an umbrella or a rain jacket handy.
Essential Clothing Items for Florida in December
Now, with a better understanding of Florida’s December weather, let’s talk about the essential clothing items. The key here is versatility. Given the variable temperatures and wide range of activities, you’ll want to choose clothes that can adapt to different conditions and occasions.
When considering what to pack, think of basic tank tops and T-shirts for easy layering, a light jacket for the cooler evenings, jeans for when the temperatures dip, and shorts or jumpsuits for the warm afternoons.
And of course, don’t forget your swimsuits for those moments by the ocean and poolside relaxation.
Layering becomes invaluable in coping with Florida’s variable December temperatures. Starting your outfit with a basic tank top or T-shirt allows you to add or remove layers as the day progresses and temperatures change.
Consider packing cardigans, light jackets, and long-sleeve shirts. These can easily be added to your outfit when the temperatures drop, especially during the cooler mornings and evenings.
Remember, the key to stylish layering is sticking to a complimentary colour palette or versatile basics for an easy mix-and-match approach.
Swimwear and Beach Essentials
Swimwear is a must-have when visiting Florida, even in December. With ocean temperatures averaging around 24°C in the south and heated pools available at many resorts and theme parks, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take a dip.
But swimwear isn’t the only beach essential you should pack. Consider bringing a beach towel for beach lounging, a beach bag for your essentials, and of course, don’t forget sun protection items like sunscreen and a sun hat.
These items will ensure you’re ready to enjoy the sandy shores of South Beach, Palm Beach, or any of Florida’s stunning beaches.
Selecting appropriate footwear for your Florida trip is of paramount importance. You’ll need something comfortable for the long walks in theme parks, stylish for the nightlife, and suitable for beach activities.
Consider packing the following shoes for your trip:
- Sandals for the beach
- Flip-flops for casual outings
- Comfortable walking shoes for extensive walking
- Stylish wedges for a night out
- Water shoes to protect your feet from sharp objects on rocky or shell-covered beaches.
Dressing for Different Occasions
Given the wide range of attractions and activities in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, dressing suitably for varied occasions will ensure both comfort and style throughout your trip.
From theme parks to casual dining, and outdoor exploration, each activity requires a certain style and comfort level when you visit Florida.
A floral or tropical maxi dress, for example, is a versatile choice suitable for many events and activities. Pairing it with a cardigan can provide additional warmth on cooler days, ensuring comfort without sacrificing style.
Theme Parks and Attractions
Imagine spending a day at Disney World. Exciting, right? But remember, dressing appropriately is crucial for an enjoyable day at the theme parks. With mornings and nights being chilly and afternoons warm enough for T-shirts, layering is the way to go.
Include the following items in your packing list:
- Long-sleeve shirts
- A light jacket or sweatshirt
This will allow you to comfortably adjust for temperature changes throughout the day. And remember, while long boots can add style to your outfit, they aren’t a necessity given the typical temperatures.
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Casual Dining and Nightlife
When it comes to casual dining and exploring Florida’s nightlife, comfort and style go hand in hand. For women, a stylish maxi dress paired with a light cardigan or denim jacket can accommodate for cooler December evenings and still look chic.
Men, on the other hand, can opt for chinos or lightweight trousers paired with a casual button-down shirt for a relaxed yet sophisticated dinner attire.
And don’t forget about footwear. Casual drawstring trousers or skinny jeans paired with comfortable footwear strike a balance between style and comfort, making them ideal for casual dining and exploring Florida’s nightlife.
Whether you’re planning to hike, bike, or kayak, choosing the right attire for outdoor activities is crucial. Comfortable and stylish walking shoes are essential for activities like hiking and biking, while lightweight long trousers like leggings are suitable for cooler weather activities.
Don’t forget about sun protection. A sun hat or cap should be part of your outdoor attire, along with sunglasses to protect your eyes from the strong sun.
And remember, a swimsuit is crucial for water-based activities, which can still be enjoyed in Florida’s December climate.
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Tips for Staying Comfortable and Stylish
Staying comfortable and stylish in Florida’s December weather is all about smart choices. From picking the right fabrics to adapting to temperature changes, these tips will help you make the most of your Florida holiday.
Choose versatile pieces like a stylish pair of slacks or a chic sundress that can be dressed up or down for different Florida attractions. And remember, staying hydrated is crucial in Florida’s warm weather, so carrying a reusable water bottle is a must.
We should discuss sun protection. The Florida sun can be intense even in December. Sunscreen is a must-have for any outdoor activity to protect the skin from harmful rays, and it should be reapplied every two hours or after swimming to maintain its effectiveness.
For additional coverage against the sun, a sun hat or cap is key. A wide-brimmed hat not only enhances your personal style, but it also offers extensive protection for the face, neck, and ears against sunburn. And don’t forget about your eyes – carry sunglasses to guard them against the bright Florida sun.
Adapting to Temperature Changes
As previously noted, Florida’s December weather can change from hour to hour. To stay comfortable, be prepared to adapt your outfit according to these changes by keeping an eye on weather data.
Layering remains an essential strategy. Start your outfit with basic tank tops and T-shirts, and add layers such as cardigans, light jackets, or long-sleeve shirts as needed.
Scarves or pashminas can complement an outfit by providing additional warmth when needed, and can be easily removed as the day gets warmer.
Choosing Fabrics Wisely
The material of your clothing can significantly impact your level of comfort. In Florida’s humidity, certain fabrics can keep you cool and comfortable, while others may leave you feeling hot and sticky.
Cotton, for example, is a highly breathable fabric that allows air to circulate freely around the body. This aids in heat and moisture dissipation, making it a great choice for Florida’s December weather.
However, it’s best to avoid fabrics like rayon and silk as they retain moisture and may not dry quickly, leading to potential discomfort.
Packing Tips for a December Trip to Florida
Though creating a packing list may appear overwhelming, it’s a vital aspect of trip planning. A well-organised packing list ensures you won’t forget any essentials and helps you prioritise what to bring.
Start by listing all the must-haves, from clothes and footwear to toiletries and travel documents. Then add items specific to your trip, like swimwear for the beach or hiking boots for outdoor adventures.
Prioritise items that are essential and hard to replace over others.
Maximising Luggage Space
We’re all familiar with the challenge of cramming everything into our suitcases. But with some smart packing techniques, you can maximise your luggage space and bring everything you need for your Florida holiday.
Consider using the following packing techniques to make the best use of space and prevent wrinkling:
- Use packing cubes to categorise clothing
- Roll clothes to save space
- Use compression bags for bulky items like sweaters or jeans
- Stuff boots with socks to utilise every available gap
- Lay shoes heel to toe with soles facing outward to make the best use of space.
Preparing for Unexpected Weather
Lastly, always be ready for unforeseen weather conditions. Even in the Sunshine State, a sudden rain shower can catch you off guard. Carrying a light rain jacket or umbrella is recommended, as Florida’s winter can still see occasional rain showers.
And don’t forget to protect your tech too. A waterproof phone case can shield your phone from sand and water while capturing those holiday memories.
Florida in December offers a unique experience. The weather is mild with occasional fluctuations, and there’s plenty to see and do. From exploring theme parks and beaches to enjoying the vibrant nightlife, your Florida holiday can be as relaxed or action-packed as you want it to be.
By understanding the weather, packing versatile clothing items, dressing appropriately for different occasions, and taking steps to stay comfortable and stylish, you can make the most of your December trip to Florida.
So, get ready to embrace the Sunshine State’s unique winter wonderland, where the sun shines, the waves crash, and adventures await at every turn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still got questions about Florida in December? Check out our FAQ section below.
How to pack for Orlando in December?
Pack layers when visiting Orlando in December to prepare for potentially cold weather, especially in the shade and after dark. The average high is 75 degrees, so bring long sleeve shirts, jackets, hats, and gloves for the little ones.
Is it worth going to Florida in December?
Yes, it’s worth going to Florida in December because many attractions and theme parks are still open, and the quieter streets and cooler weather make it a great time to visit. So, Florida has something for everyone, no matter when you choose to visit.
What is the weather like in Florida in December?
In December, the weather in Florida is typically mild, with average high temperatures around 22°C. However, there may be occasional rain showers.
What fabrics are best for Florida’s humidity?
Cotton is the best fabric for Florida’s humidity because it’s breathable and allows air to circulate, unlike rayon and silk which retain moisture. So, go for cotton to stay comfortable in Florida’s humidity.