Growing up in Southwest Florida, a “coastal” holiday season is what I remember the most. It wasn’t until I visited other states that I realized our warm holiday season here in Florida looked slightly different than the snowy “white Christmas” elsewhere. Recognizing our uniqueness, I thought you might enjoy a list of five “must do” holiday activities here in Southwest Florida.
- Palm Tree Lighting
For obvious reasons, this holiday tradition is unique to tropical locations. While you might break a sweat trying to hang your lights during the day, at night, the dark sky and reflective water create an amazing backdrop for outdoor palm tree lighting. If you haven’t had the chance yet, check out the Captiva Holiday Village, where you can stroll along the South Seas property admiring the tall royal palms decorated with lights.
- Boat Parades
Every city from Sanibel, to Cape Coral, to Naples now has it’s own holiday boat parade! Captain and crew members decorate their boats with elaborate lights and parade the canals, spreading holiday cheer. It’s certainly a “must sea” coastal event! While most of the areas have already held their annual boat parade event this year, you can still catch the Cape Coral Christmas Boat Parade this Saturday, December 16th, 7:00pm at the Four Freedoms Park!
- Night Light Bike Riding
Say that three times fast. A popular way to view Christmas lights here in Southwest Florida is to hop on your beach cruisers and pedal your way through the neighborhoods. Often times, residents are sitting outside, enjoying the evening breeze, and happily exchanging holiday wishes with passerbyers. So hop on your bikes and hit the paths of Sanibel to check off this holiday tradition in your books!
- Decked Out Historical Homes
The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, the Burroughs Home & Gardens, and the Historic Palm Cottage are just a few of the area’s notable, historic homes that get into the holiday spirit. Elegant light displays make these already beautiful homes even more eye-catching to view at night. Even if you’ve toured these properties in the past, the holiday season will be a completely different experience for you, I promise!
- Beach Firework Shows
We start each New Year with a bang at no other place than the beach! Each town shoots off their fireworks along the coast, creating yet another cool viewing experience from the water and ashore. Don’t miss this unique coastal celebration.
I could go on and on about my favorite SWFL holiday activities! I hope you get to experience a few of these unique events for yourself. From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Holiday Season!