Closest Places To Find Snow Near Florida

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Sometimes even in the Sunshine State of Florida, winter may bring the yearning for snow. Florida rarely gets snow. To enjoy the snow, Floridians will have to drive north.

The closest place to Florida to find real snow is in the Georgia Mountains or the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

The Georgian mountain towns of Sapphire and Talluljuh Falls often have snow flurries.

Head to the Blue Ridge Mountains for the best opportunity to enjoy the snow. Here you will find ski resorts for winter fun.

The mountains of Georgia and North Carolina have high enough altitudes to stay cold for snow to fall and sometimes accumulate. The research is all here, so keep reading to learn about snow fun outside Florida.

Aerial photo of Hollywood Florida at a sunny day, Closest Places To Find Snow Near Florida

Come to Georgia to See Snow

Floridians can drive north of Atlanta to the northeast Georgia Mountains to see snow. This region's beauty comes from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. During December - February, when the temperature dip, you may find snow falling and accumulating up these mountain roads.

northeast Georgia Mountains

Stay in Dahlonega, Georgia

Head to the small town of Dahlonega, Georgia, for its historic downtown shopping, many inns, and Bed and Breakfasts. You could choose a room at the Mountain Top Lodge, where winter snow makes the 15 acres glisten. For the full spa experience, give the Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa a try.

Dahlonega, Georgia

Gold Panning in Dahlonega, Georgia This Winter

On a visit to Dahlonega, after enjoying the snow, head to one of the open gold mines to see if you might find a nugget for yourself. Buy a bucket of ore at Crisson Gold Mine for panning. On the Consolidated Gold Mine tour, you will descend into the mine to learn how miners searched for gold.

Amicalola Falls State Park

Amicalola Falls State Park

If there is snow falling in the Georgia Mountains, head north of Dahlonega to Amicalola Falls State Park. You can hike the 175 steps alongside the lower section of this 729-foot height cascading waterfall.

Many people begin their Appalachian National Scenic Trail hiking in this park with a stay at the hiking-only Len Foote Hike Lodge five miles into the woods.

Woman wearing red boots trekking at a snowy trail

Hike the Appalachian Trail This Winter

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail begins at Springer Mountain, Georgia, 8 hiking miles south of Amicalola Falls State Park.

Springer Mountain

Gorgeous blue ridge Appalachian mountains in North Carolina

This famous trail stretches 2180 miles from Georgia to Maine. On the winter trail, you will probably see falling snow as the trail climbs between 2,000-4,500 feet above sea level.

How Far is Dahlonega, GA From Flordia?

Dahlonega and the Georgia Mountains are northeast of Atlanta, nearly to the Tennessee and North Carolina borders. Here are the driving distance and average times from Florida:

  • Jacksonville - 411 miles, 6 hours
  • Miami - 729 miles, 10 hours and 30 minutes
  • Orlando - 503 miles, 7 hours and 15 minutes
  • Tampa - 520, 7 hours and 30 minutes
  • Tallahassee - 330 miles, 5 hours and 30 minutes

Wineries and Distilleries in the Georgia Mountains

Come to the Georgia Mountains to see snow and stay to explore the wineries and distilleries.

You can enjoy excellent wines at the  12 Spies Vineyards that celebrate the Old Testament of the 12 spies Moses sent into the Promise Land who returned with fat, delicious wine grapes - a true taste of heaven.

Or, if you are craving hand-crafted whiskeys, gin, bourbon, and more, visit the Moonrise Speakeasy Bar at Moonrise Distillery.

Stay in Tallulah Falls this Winter

Tallulah Falls

Tallulah has lots of cabins you can rent, or you may try an inn. Each of the 16 rooms of the Glen-Ella Springs Inn will give you a fantastic view of the Georiga Mountains.

Enjoy a winter stay at the Lake Rabun Hotel to marvel at the great views of snow falling over Lake Rabun.

Tasting a barrel of Whiskey

The Tallulah Falls Gorge

You can hike many different rim trails to the overlooks above the six waterfalls that make up the 2-mile-long and up to 1,000 feet high Tallulah Falls Gorge.

The Tellaula River begins in North Carolina and flows through the Georgia Mountains before merging with the Chattooga River. Get one of the 100 permits per day to hike into the gorge along the river itself.

How Far is Tallulah Falls, GA From Flordia?

Tallulah Falls is just south of the North Carolina borders. Here are the driving distance and average times from Florida:

  • Jacksonville - 437 miles, 6 hours and 30 minutes
  • Miami - 754 miles, 11 hours
  • Orlando - 530 miles, 8 hours
  • Tampa - 547, 8 hours
  • Tallahassee - 352 miles, 6 hours

Snow tubing at a Snow park

Come to North Carolina to See Snow

In the mountains of North Carolina, you will find a cluster of small towns ready to welcome your winter vacation. In the Sapphire Valley, up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will find skiing, tubing, and all types of winter fun.

Winter Fun in the Sapphire Valley, NC

Sapphire Valley, NC

Are you ready for snowy fun? You can ride an inner tube down a 500-foot run at Frozen Falls Tube Park. From the bunny hill to the Main Ski Hill, you can learn to ski or ski your heart out on the trails.

Find a Wonderful Rental Home in Sapphire, NC

The Sapphire Valley hosts many rental homes for your winter [or any season] vacation. With whimsical names like "Top of the Rock," "Winter Steam," or "Hawk's Nest," you will have modern amenities paired with great views.

All the home rentals share access to an indoor pool, golf course, and the Ski Sapphire Valley options.

How Far is Sapphire Valley, NC From Flordia?

The Sapphire Valley, NC, is just north of the Georgia border. Here are the driving distance and average times from Florida:

  • Jacksonville - 416 miles, 7 hours
  • Miami - 767 miles, 12 hours
  • Orlando - 590 miles, 9 hours
  • Tampa - 605 miles, 9 hours and 30 minutes
  • Tallahassee - 380 miles, 7 hours

Ski lift with seats headed up the mountains at a snow park

Great Down Hill Skiing in North Carolina NC

Outside Boone, NC, you will find two great ski resorts. Beech Mountain Resort has nine lifts for its many ski trails. The tubing park has 700 feet slides for winter fun runs.

Nine miles south of Beech Mountain, you will find the wonder of Sugar Mountain Resort. Sugar Mountain enjoyed 56 inches of snow in the winter of 2021. You can ski, ice skate, tube, and more at Sugar Mountain.

Want to read more about ski resorts? Click here for the "11 Best Things to Do in and Around Big Sky, Montana." 

How Far is Beech Mountain, NC From Flordia?

1007 Beech Mountain Prkwy

Tallulah Falls is just south of the North Carolina borders. Here are the driving distance and average times from Florida:

  • Jacksonville - 489 miles, 8 hours
  • Miami - 834 miles, 13 hours
  • Orlando - 630 miles, 10 hours
  • Tampa - 685, 11 hours
  • Tallahassee - 534 miles, 10 hours

Does it Snow in Florida?

It does not snow much at all in Florida. The Florida panhandle to Jacksonville has snow flurries a few times a winter in some of the colder winters. Some years, Florida sees no snow flurries at all.

Snow Storm in Jacksonville in 1989

The folks in Jacksonville still remember the "big snowstorm" that hit the area around Christmas in 1989. This snow event dropped .8 inches of snow in downtown Jacksonville. Jacksonville Beach received 2.5 inches of snow. Children could make snow angels. The snow lasted two days.

When it Snows in Florida, Stay Home

Though the snow accumulation amounts are small by northern standards, this was the most snowfall in 50 years.

Floridians may not be used to such snow. The communities have no salt and snow removal trucks, so staying home is the safest option when freezing rain and snow fall from the sky.

Click here to learn What's the Warmest Place to Visit in Florida in December?

What is the Furthest South It Has Snowed in Florida?

The National Weather Service says that before a  1977 snowfall, flurries had not been recorded south of Fort Myers, Florida since 1899. Overnight on January 18, 1977, snow accumulated across the state, with flurries even spotted in Homestead and Miami.

Which Southern States Get Snow?

All the southern states from Texas to Florida have received some snow historically. But only in the hill country of Alabama, the Georgia Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina does snow fall most years.

Final Thoughts

Aerial photo of Hollywood Florida at a sunny day

Driving to snow outside of Florida will take you over 400 miles north of the state line. The Georgia Mountains and the winter ski resort towns of western North Carolina have a lot to offer for snowy fun.

You can go for a long weekend or a week's vacation to enjoy the 20-32 degree chilly, snowy temperatures. Then when you are ready for warmer weather, head south to the beautiful Sunshine State.

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