America’s first European settlement was established here in August
1559—and soon abandoned as uninhabitable, thanks in part to a hurricane that hit about a month later. The
hurricanes still come, but there’s no
keeping modern-day visitors away.
Winterfest Performance Tours
(November 26, December 4, 10, 17, 18, 19)
Take a 50-minute downtown walking
tour accompanied by guides who sing
holiday tunes. You’ll stop along the
way for 16 short vignettes—including a
ALL HAIL London has the best taxis in
the world, a new Hotels.com poll finds.
New York City came in second, but for
rudeness, Big Apple cabbies rank #1!
GALVESTON Above: The port city’s historic
waterfront district turns Victorian during
December’s Dickens on The Strand.
living nativity scene, Charlie Brown’s
Christmas, Scrooge and his ghostly
visitors, and an Elvis impersonator
singing “Blue Christmas” (850-417-
New Year’s Eve Pelican Drop
(December 31) New York City drops a
Waterford Crystal ball; Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, drops a giant marshmallow Peeps chick. At midnight on
New Year’s Eve, Pensacola drops a
13-foot, half-ton illuminated pelican
from a 100-foot crane. Concerts, food,
and fireworks ensue, though really it’s
all about the pelican (850-435-1695;
Greater St. Petersburg/
With its swaying palms and frolicking
dolphins, the Tampa Bay area is an un-
likely winter wonderland. Yet it’s amaz-
ing what a determined populace will do
to conjure up visions of sugarplums.