There are a lot of people celebrating the holidays right here in Southwest Florida in 2019. They are escaping the north for fun on the sand and in the water.
We learned other reason from visitors who are enjoying the slice of paradise we call home.
In other parts of the country, they have snowmen on Christmas. But, here on Fort Myers Beach, we’ve got sandmen.
Visitors say they were more than happy to skip snow this Christmas for warmth in Southwest Florida.
For beachgoers we spoke to, Christmas isn’t about the snow. What’s more important is getting away from those ice-cold forecasts at home.
“It’s brutal,” Jennifer Hawkins said. “There’s no need to even go into the detail.”
Others we spoke to say there is no place like Southwest Florida in the winter.
“What is the warmest spot in the continental USA in December and January?” David Universal said. “It’s Fort Myers Beach.”
It might not feel like an average Christmas to the northerners trading the snow for the sand.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Scott Sheehan said. “It doesn’t feel like your traditional New England holiday season.”
“You know, it’s not the unwrapping gifts in the morning, definitely different,” Tammy Syakovich said.
But they say it’s well worth the sacrifice.
“I think the scenery makes up for that,” Sheehan said.
\Most visitors we spoke to say they will be here for the remainder of the week, so it looks like it will continue to be a busy rest of the holiday season.
“The spirit of Christmas is absolutely here,” Syakovich.
Because, for them, Christmas is about who you’re with. Not where you are.
“Fort Myers Beach is beautiful to me,” Universal said. “The best spot in the country to be for Christmas. I don’t think there’s anywhere else you’d wanna be.”