This Underrated Florida Destination Is Great For A Warm-Weather Winter Vacation

Fighting dreary, cold, winter days can be tiresome. Bundling up from head and toe just to leave the house, and then scurrying from your car to the entrance of where you're going can get old fast. Yet, these are the routines that winter requires if we want to stay warm. Sunshine on bare skin rather than wind biting through layers of clothing can feel like a distant dream in the dead of winter. For those of us who are sick of such a scene, a summery escape sounds like a divine opportunity. It just might be worth taking the time and money to escape the wintry cold and embrace warm water and bright skies.

Pine Island, Florida is just the spot to make the dream of golden sunlight and warm temperatures come true. The island of almost  9,000 people is home to five towns, ocean views, and mangrove trees. You'll find colorful shops and restaurants as you explore the town, and a wide variety of plants if you choose to hike.

Spending time outside

For those who have an interest in everything from plants to history, then you'll have to check out the Calusa Heritage Trail at the Randell Research Center. On the path, you'll learn about the Calusa people as well as the environment. You can explore the trail on your own or you can call ahead to set up a private tour if you have a group of four or more. This trail is outside, meaning you'll be able to bask in sunlight and enjoy nature, unlike back at home where the biting cold prevents you from doing so.

If you're itching to spend your days in the water, then a kayaking and/or paddle board tour are nice options. Gulf Coast Kayak offers them at just about all times of the day. The tours are both educational and adventurous. If you'd rather paddle on your own time and explore solo, you can rent a kayak or paddle board — the company also offers daily rentals as well as multi-day rentals.

Fishing is another great water sport you can engage in. Tarpon Lodge offers fishing tours, charters, guides, and equipment. You'll likely reel in a variety of fish including redfish, tarpon, sea trout, snook, and more.

Food and sleep

When your stomach starts growling after a day of being outside, you'll want to pull up a seat at one of these restaurants. Florida-based publication News-Press recommends The Lazy Flamingo, a seaside restaurant serving seafood and burgers. Phuzzy's Boat Shack is another great seafood, sandwich, and burger joint that has a rating of 4.5 out of five stars on Google.

For the night, you can book at one of the chain hotels or go for something a little bit different, like an AirBnB. You can choose from a beachfront house, a home with a pool, and more. Tarpon Lodge offers more than just the fishing adventures we mentioned earlier, they also offer lodging, and you can choose between cottage and boathouse rooms for your stay.

Next time you're looking for your next warm weather winter destination, consider Pine Island, Florida. You can soak in the sun and learn something new during your stay here.