Wondering what month or season is the best time to travel to Florida? Our team of Florida locals have you covered!
Florida is one of the United States most popular tourist destinations for travelers of all types and styles. Florida is highly rated and well known for it’s many amusement parks, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and miles upon miles of white sandy beaches. The Sunshine State is the also the only peninsula in the country and the only place that maintains a true subtropical climate year-round.
If you’re booking a trip to Florida this year and wondering when to go and what to do, we’ve covered every single detail to consider before planning your trip. This article describes each season of the year, the best times to visit and the various excursions and activities you can do each month.
Everyone will be visiting Florida for different reasons, so we’ve broken down the best times for each and every circumstance.
Best Times to Visit Florida: Quick Summary
Best Time for a Beach Vacation in Florida: April, May and November (great weather, lower crowds)
Best Time for Going to Theme Parks in Florida: January, February, September and October (lower crowds and cost)
Best Time to Visit National Parks in Florida: Spring and Fall
Best Time for Fishing in Florida: Summertime; June, July, August and September
Best Time for Golfing in Florida: almost all year with Winter months having the best weather
Best Time to Visit Miami & the Keys in Florida: January, February, March, April and May
Best Time for Lower Crowds in Florida: July, August and September
Best Time for Lower Prices in Florida: January & September
We’ll explain each of these times of year in greater depth later in this post, as each topic deserves a more detailed description of why it’s best to select specific months for certain purposes.
Florida At a Glance
Peak Beach Season in Florida: We realize many visitors will be coming to Florida with one thing in mind: getting to the beach! It’s nearly impossible to come to Florida without considering where you’ll be beaching on vacay, especially if you’re coming from a landlocked area. And because Florida is literally the warmest state in the country, there’s almost no bad time to go to the beach. However, March seems to be peak season for the beaches will everyone coming down here for Spring Break.
If we had to choose, we’d suggest going when there are fewer people and optimal temperatures. The best months for going to the beach in Florida are April, May and November. At this point in the year, there may be a moderate crowd, but you’ll be getting some of the best wind and water temperatures. In the Winter, the ocean breeze and waters can be quite cold for swimming and in the Summer months you have very high chances of hurricanes, tropical storms and daily rain showers that could ruin your plans.
Peak Theme Park Crowds in Florida: It’s shocking that theme park high seasons don’t necessarily follow the peak and slow seasons of Florida’s tourist crowds. We base our theme park volume on Walt Disney World, which is the vacation capital of the world and the place that most vacationers will be headed upon arrival in Orlando. However, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Sea World and Legoland are all in close proximity and will fluctuate similarly.
Despite rainy weather being at it’s worst, most crowds will be at the theme parks in June, July and August. Not only will you be competing with other tourists at this time, but locals are also coming to have fun in droves. Amusement parks will also see an uptick in March for Spring Break and December for Christmas. This leaves the great weather months ripe for the picking with lower ticket and accommodation prices. To take advantage of this, plan to visit Florida’s theme parks during the months of January, February, September or October (can still be hot).
Slow Season in Florida: Florida is a “snowbird” haven, harboring Winter visitors and retirees who either come for extended vacations or who will be here for a full six months before heading back North for the hot months. They often arrive in October and go North in or before May. When they’re here, the state will be noticeably fuller, especially around the holidays and in the Spring when more tourists are here.
The slow season is inevitably the time when few people, even Florida residents, want to be here: Hurricane Season. Hurricane season lasts June through November, but the worst weather tends to be in July, August and September. Not only are these months riddled with daily thunder storms (and the somewhat rare potential hurricane or tornado), but the air is at it’s hottest and muggiest. Most people try to avoid this when vacationing in Florida.
This breakdown for each month will help you determine which time of year is the best fit for your preferred activities. Even though Florida weather is pleasant year-round, each month has small changes from the other. We’ve covered these in detail from month to month.
Florida in January
January weather in Florida is usually the coldest month of the year. In the Northern part of the state (Central Florida to the Panhandle) average daily highs will be around 65°F (18.3°C) and lows will be about 36°F (2.2°C). In the Southern part (Central Florida to the Keys) average highs will be closer to 72°F (22.2°C). You’ll almost never see snow, even in the Northern part of the state and rain is fairly scarce this month. When packing, it’s best to bring a variety of layers as the mornings will start cold and get warm throughout the day.
January crowds in Florida tend to be some of the slowest of the year. The places where you’ll experience the biggest influx of visitors will be in towns that are popular with snowbirds. Most travelers will be pleasantly surprised with the cheaper accommodations in Florida this time of year.
Best Beaches in January: Gold Coast, the Florida Keys, Treasure Coast
Best Things to Do in January: Everglades National Park, Mount Dora, Diving in the Keys, Golfing, Amusement Parks, Hog Hunting
Events in January: South Florida Fair, Florida Manatee Festival, Saint Augustine Film Festival, Homestead Championship Rodeo, Art Fort Lauderdale, Mecum Auto Auction, Key West Food & Wine Festival, Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Florida in February
February in Florida can vary each year, but it’s usually cooler. The Northern half of the state will average highs around 68°F (20°C) and lows at 45°F (7.2°C), while the Southern half will average highs closer to 74°F (23.3°C). Very often the cold air collides with humidity at this time, creating fog on the roadways for a few hours every morning until about 10am.
February crowds in Florida will vary depending on which region you visit this month. However, February tends to be a little slower month for vacationing. Most parts of Florida will experience a lull, even on the beaches, as most families will not be traveling this month in general, but snowbirds will keep the state busier this month.
Best Beaches in February: Gold Coast, Treasure Coast, the Florida Keys
Best Things to Do in February: South Florida, Ocala, Mount Dora, Swimming Crystal River, Diving in the Keys, Everglades National Park, Golfing, Amusement Parks, Spring Training
Events in February: Valentine’s Day, Spring Training Games, Florida State Fair, Florida Strawberry Festival
Florida in March
March weather in Florida can be cool, with warmer days sprinkled throughout averaging lows of 50°F (10°C) to highs of 75°F (23.9°C). Spring in Florida tends to have drastic changes in temperature each day, so expect to pack light layers you can put on and strip off when necessary. March is also a windy month for Florida with fogginess of the morning hours.
March crowds in Florida see a bit of uptick with most residents around the country vacationing for Spring Break. Florida is a popular Spring Break destination for it’s abundance of beaches and warm weather so most of the beach towns and big cities will be pretty busy.
Best Beaches in March: Gold Coast, Space Coast, Emerald Coast
Best Things to Do in March: Orlando, Jacksonville, South Florida, Space Coast, Snorkel Devil’s Den, Explore Florida Caverns, Golfing, Spring Training
Events in March: Spring Training Games, Florida Strawberry Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival, Florida Renaissance Festival
Florida in April
April weather in Florida is starting to feel warmer, with less fog and less wind and more sunshine and breezy afternoons. April is also considered the last month of the dry season; rains will start to pick up in late May through the summer. Most of Florida will average 55°F (12.8°C) to 85°F (29.4°C) in the month of April. Humidity levels are always fairly high, with April seeing approximately 70% humidity.
April crowds in Florida die down just a little after the surge of Spring Break visitors in March. April is an excellent time to take advantage of lower hotel rates, while experiencing the oceans, beaches and inland areas before the heat becomes unbearable in the summer months. Snowbirds are still in town this month, so their most popular cities will still be fairly busy.
Best Beaches in April: Treasure Coast, the Florida Keys, Gold Coast
Best Things to Do in April: Orlando, West Palm, Apalachicola, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Explore Florida Caverns, Snorkel Devil’s Den, Hike National & State Parks, Dive in the Keys
Events in April: Florida Keys Island Festival, Pioneer Days Festival
Florida in May
May weather in Florida is definitely warmer than the start of the year with temperatures rising throughout the month. May tends to have the nicest weather out of the Spring months, with significantly less fog and more sunshine throughout the day. May is the start of the wet season in Florida, so expect random rainfall during your trip. Most of Florida will average 65°F (18.3°C) to 85°F (30°C).
May crowds in Florida are moderate. It’s usually the point in time when the snowbirds will begin to head back North with the increasing rise in temperature this month. It’s an excellent time to take advantage of lower hotel rates, while experiencing the oceans, beaches and inland areas of the state before the heat rises. The beaches should be fairly busy, but not full like they were in Spring Break.
Best Beaches in May: the Florida Keys, Treasure Coast, Gold Coast
Best Things to Do in May: Key West, Sarasota, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Bahia Honda State Park, Big Cypress State Park, Tube the Itchetucknee, Offshore Fishing
Events in May: Cinco de Mayo, Suwannee River Jam, Oceanfront Bandshell Concert Series, Orlando International Fringe Festival, Megacon, Jacksonville Jazz Fest
Florida in June
June weather in Florida will feel noticeably hotter and more humid than the other Spring months. June is in the wet season, so expect random showers and thunderstorms to occur at any point during your trip this month. Typically, rainfall in the Summer months in Florida will happen in the afternoons for about an hour or so and then taper off in the evening. But some days will have thunderstorms lasting all day through the night.
Even though the weather can be overcast and rainy, the sun still shine brightly and often in the month of June. The sun will be out most of the day this month, so come prepared with plenty of protection and sunblock because sunburn and heat rashes can happen quickly with limited sun exposure in Florida. It’s extremely important to stay hydrated, too. Most of the state will average 70°F (21.1°C) to 90°F (32.2°C) with high humidity.
June crowds in Florida are busy. Many tourists like to travel to Florida at the beginning of the summer when the weather isn’t unbearable and the kids are out of school. There are plenty of beautiful white, sandy beaches around the state, so most visitors will spread out, but the popular public beaches like Miami, Cocoa and Clearwater will remain highly populated.
Best Beaches in June: Emerald Coast, First Coast, Treasure Coast
Best Things to Do in June: Tallahassee, Central Florida, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Tube the Itchetucknee, Boating, Offshore Fishing
Events in June: Savor Sarasota, Sarasota Music Festival, Summer Sizzle Restaurant Week Naples, Bands on the Beach Pensacola, Rock the Docks Destin
Florida in July
July weather in Florida is very hot and muggy and even considered the hottest month of the year. This is the official start of summer, and summer in Florida is always pretty warm, sunny and rainy. Daily showers and thunderstorms are typical of July with higher chances of hurricanes. Average temperatures stay around 90°F (32.2°C) with high humidity.
July crowds in Florida start to taper off. Being the hottest and most times wettest month of the year, most families aren’t crowding the beaches, but will still fill up the inland tourist spots and theme parks. Again, the sun is powerful even when it’s cloudy, so sun protection is always a must.
Best Beaches in July: First Coast, Treasure Coast, Cultural Coast
Best Things to Do in July: Panama City, Anna Maria Island, Central Florida, Fishing, Boating, Water Parks
Events in July: Independence Day, Fireworks at the Fountain Orlando, Star Spangled Spectacular Celebration, America’s Birthday Bash Miami, Celebrate America Tallahassee, Key Lime Festival Key West
Florida in August
August weather in Florida is very hot and muggy, usually the second hottest month of the year. We’re well into hurricane season at this point, so tropical storms and hurricanes are always likely this month. Aside from the major storms, expect random showers and thunderstorms to occur daily. It’s extremely important to have plenty of sun protection and hydration no matter the weather. Average temperatures will still be around 90°F (32.2°C) with high humidity.
August crowds in Florida are fairly low. Even though August is ghastly hot and rainy and most families are heading back to school, the theme parks can still have decent crowds this month. Most beach goers will favor the Northern part of Florida up through the panhandle. The Southern beaches, especially those on the Atlantic side can be dangerously hot and more susceptible to bad storms.
If you’re looking for lower crowds when visiting Florida, definitely don’t miss our list of the 12 Quietest Beaches in Florida.
Best Beaches in August: Emerald Coast, First Coast, Sun Coast
Best Things to Do in August: Panama City Beach, Anna Maria Island, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Fishing, Boating, Water Parks
Events in August: Miami Spice, Key West Lobster Fest
Florida in September
September weather in Florida is still hot and muggy and it’s the main month that is heavily affected by hurricane watches and warnings. Also, Florida is often called the lightning capital of the world and while most visitors aren’t in danger, boaters should use caution. When it’s not overcast and rainy, the sun will shine brightly, so it’s important to prepare yourself with sun protection and hydration.
September crowds in Florida are low with most children back in school. Plus, hurricane season keeps tourists at bay. This makes it a nice month to visit the beaches and theme parks, but the weather can turn on you in an instant. Most of the state will average about 85°F (29.4°C) in the month of September, reaching over 75% humidity.
Best Beaches in September: Emerald Coast, First Coast, Sun Coast
Best Things to Do in September: Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Venice, Florida National Scenic Trail, Fishing, Boating, Amusement Parks, Water Parks
Events in September: Key West Sunset Celebration, Miami Spice, Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, Flavor Palm Beach
Florida in October
October weather in Florida is cooling off and getting drier. Hurricane season is nearly over and October typically won’t have too many hurricane watches or warnings. Daily rain showers and thunder storms begin to slow down this month. October is one of the first months that you begin to see cooler temperatures, as well, though hot days will still occur. Temperature averages a high of about 80°F (26.7°C) and a low of 67.5°F (19.7°C) occurring at nighttime.
October crowds in Florida are low. Most people aren’t traveling much this month anyway, but with the hurricane season unpredictability, it tends to keep visitors away. This is one of the last best times to get in a good beach day or go to a theme park with lower crowds.
Best Beaches in October: Sun Coast, Cultural Coast, Emerald Coast
Best Things to Do in October: Palm Beach, Amelia Island, Gainesville, Weeki Wachee, Florida National Scenic Trail, Amusement Parks
Events in October: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Howl-O-Scream, Halloween Horror Nights, Sea World Spooktacular, Brick or Treat Legoland, Halloween Zoo Bashes, Fantasy Fest Key West, Pensacola Interstate Fair, Ghost Tours, Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes
Florida in November
November weather in Florida is usually cool and dry. Hurricane season is over by the end of the month, but that doesn’t mean chances are eradicated completely. November temperatures may not be cold, but they’ll usually be comfortable with less humidity, making it easier to be outdoors for longer periods of time. The average a high is 77°F (25°C) and low is 62°F (16.6°C).
November crowds in Florida are beginning to grow again with the increasing number of snowbirds coming back to the state for the Winter. This is one of the last times you can get to the beach without it being overly crowded with winter guests. The Southern beaches, especially those on the Atlantic side, can still be very warm and more susceptible to bad storms, but these are infrequent.
Best Beaches in November: Gold Coast, the Florida Keys, Treasure Coast
Best Things to Do in November: Melbourne, Venice, Weeki Wachee, Big Cypress National Park, Swimming in Crystal River, Hiking National & State Parks, Golfing
Events in November: Ice! at the Gaylord Orlando, Nights of Lights St. Augustine, Merry and Bright Orlando, Thanksgiving Day
Florida in December
December weather in Florida will be cooler, but usually never truly cold. The humidity is typically waning at this point, with very low chance of showers and almost never a chance of snow. The wind will pick up on occasion, but for the most part expect cool and dry days and nights.
It’s best to pack a variety of layers as the mornings will start cold around 43°F (6.1°C) and get warm throughout the day around 63°F (17.7°C), then turn back to cold in the evenings. Except for South Florida, which remains an even 76°F (24.4°C) on average.
December crowds in Florida will vary depending on which region you visit this month. However, December tends to be a bit busier across the board since the holidays are underway. Most parts of Florida will experience the hype of the season, especially in medium to large cities. It should also come as no surprise that Florida travel rates will be a little pricier this time of year, though you can still find cheaper options available.
Best Beaches in December: Gold Coast, the Florida Keys, Treasure Coast
Best Things to Do in December: St. Augustine, Tampa Bay, Celebration, Ocala, Hiking National & State Parks, Golfing, Holiday Events, New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Events in December: Santa’s Enchanted Forest Miami, Pensacola Winterfest, Ice! at the Gaylord Orlando, Key West Holiday Fest, Sandi Land West Palm, Nights of Lights St. Augustine, Merry and Bright Orlando, New Year’s Eve
There are many great things to do in Florida at every season throughout the year. It’s one of the best states to visit year-round for it’s warm climate and it’s vast number of things to occupy your time all over the state, so it’s very difficult to objectively rank one season ahead of the others.
If you plan to only go to the beach or even explore the National and State Parks, you may want to consider coming in the Spring or Fall for great weather and water temperatures. If you want to visit Walt Disney World, you’d best come early Fall or late Winter for the best prices. If saving money is your goal, you can’t beat the great rates in the cold month of January or the hot month of September for a Florida vacation.
Our personal favorite things to do in our home state of Florida are going to the beach and heading to the theme parks. With that in mind, we suggest coming for a beach trip in May when the weather is warm and less rainy with fewer people crowding the beach at this time. For a week-long trip to Walt Disney World, we suggest coming in late September for lower crowds and better experiences in the parks.
Ultimately, you as the visitor determine what the best time of year is for going to Florida. The Sunshine State has so many different opportunities available all throughout the year, giving you a huge range of choices for your own vacation.
Whether you’re coming to experience the hot, lively beaches of Miami, hitting up the amusement parks in Central Florida, taking an historical trip through St. Augustine or exploring the Everglades, each trip has something special to offer.