Planning on being in Florida in April and need some travel help? You’re in special luck on this one, as the Roundtript staff are born-and-raised Florida locals!
April is a slower month for Florida, acting as a peaceful period before the Summer visitors start heading in. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or casual weekend trip to the Sunshine State, April is a great month to consider.
April is also a great in-between month for weather in Florida, as well. The cold winds of March have settled and the warmth of Summer has not quite rolled in yet, making April air warm and dry, instead of Florida’s typical hot and humid.
Whether you choose to chill in Apalachicola for a quick getaway or turn it up a notch with a lively trip to Orlando or Miami, Florida’s got lots to choose from for your unique vacation.
This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Florida travel guides for every month of the year.
Spring in Florida
Summer in Florida
Fall in Florida
Winter in Florida
For a summary of each Florida month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit Florida.
April weather in Florida is starting to feel warmer, though the temperatures have been consistently warmer than the rest of the country up to this point. April tends to have slightly better weather than March, 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.
Florida is the only place in the United States that maintains a subtropical to tropical climate all year round. Based on where you’ll be traveling, temperatures are likely to vary with the warmest temps occurring in the Southern half of the state. 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.
Affordability & Crowds
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.
The places where you’ll experience the biggest influx of visitors will be in towns that are popular with “snowbirds” (Northern residents who stay in Florida for the Winter and Spring). The snowbirds usually arrive in October and stay through May. You’ll want to avoid traveling to places like St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Naples, Fort Myers and Hollywood, FL, as these will see some of the largest amounts of winter visitors.
Most travelers will experience moderate rates for Florida’s best hotels in April. The best accommodations in Orlando will range from $200 – $350 per night, hotels in Tampa will range from $150 – $300 per night, and the more populous city of Miami will see rates from $175 – $500 per night.
Best Things to Do in Florida in April
Visit West Palm
As mentioned before, the Treasure Coast is one of the top places to be in April, with the warmest ocean waters in the state. With April’s decreasing visitors, West Palm will be a grand old time before the heat of summer sets in. Though we do note that West Palm can be a haven for snowbirds, so we suggest visiting late April to ensure fewer crowds in town.
Downtown West Palm has a beautiful South Florida feel, with Clematis Street and CityPlace serving as the hotspots for residents and visitors alike. While visiting, we recommend seeing the city by way of a 2-hour Segway Tour or hopping on a Party Bike Pub Crawl. Families should check out the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, as well as the Lion Country Safari or Manatee Lagoon for some interesting Florida animal encounters.
SunFest is a giant waterfront music and arts festival taking place in April on West Palm’s downtown area, drawing thousands of visitors for specific shows and festivities. While hotel rates, crowd levels and commotion won’t be affected for the entire city of West Palm, this lively event will be worth the visit.
See Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park was established in the early 1900’s as a marine sanctuary for visitors and residents to enjoy. Today’s tourists can have fun exploring the beaches and wading in the shallows of this gorgeous tropical vista. The preserved beauty of Bahia Honda has been visited by thousands over the last century, with lots of things to occupy guests.
The park is a popular beach and swimming destination in the Florida Keys. The area is equipped with several rental centers for kayaking, snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Keys. For those seeking a little more adventure, there are boat trips and snorkeling excursions available, as well. There’s also a Sand and Sea Nature Center with information on the local wildlife and foliage of the island.
On land and out of the water, the island is great for hiking, walking and running the trails. Biking is also allowed, and there’s a campground and picnic pavilion for those staying a few days. To take the trip up a notch, Bahia Honda also has cabins to rent which can accommodate six people, have wheelchair access and central heating. The state park makes a beautiful natural getaway for anyone looking for a relaxing vacation.
Orlando is one of Florida’s top destinations, serving as one of the main hubs for international travel. Most tourists use Orlando as home base for visiting Walt Disney World, Universal and other closely located theme parks, but that’s not all Orlando has to offer. A visit to Orlando can take multiple turns with so many great things to offer visitors.
Downtown Orlando is a teeming metropolis with many unique restaurants, events and attractions to visit. Some of the best family friendly attractions include WonderWorks indoor science themed escape, Sea Life Orlando aquarium, and ICON Park overlooking I-Drive. The Mall at Millennia and the outlet malls of Orlando are great places for shopping, as well as the local boutiques scattered about the city.
If you’re looking for a more beautiful, quiet place to stay, look no further than Winter Park, just north of Orlando. Winter Park features beautiful buildings and shopping areas, more similar to a mid-size Southern town than a modern city like Orlando. Some of the best things to do in this area include walking or biking tours of the city, like Mister Roger’s Walking Tour, Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, Wekiwa Springs State Park, and the popular Park Avenue Shopping district, near the beautiful Rollins College campus.
See Gulf Islands National Seashore
Gulf Islands National Seashore is located in Florida’s panhandle on the Emerald Coast. It has gorgeously preserved historic buildings and forts on scenic beach real estate. It houses some of the most pristine beaches in Florida with Perdido Key and Santa Rosa. The area offers plenty of recreational activities and things to do for all types of vacationers, including hunting, camping and boating.
The top places for seeing some of Florida’s historical sites on the beach are Fort Barrancas (a Civil War era Spanish water battery) and Fort Pickens (Pensacola’s 1816 waterfront defense). Both are architectural marvels that have withstood the test of time. Rangers lead groups of visitors through these forts, as well as other outdoor areas on the island.
One of the best outdoor spots is the Naval Live Oaks Area, whose trees served as the US Navy’s most ideal wood for building warships. The Andrew Jackson Trail in this portion of the seashore is Florida’s first major federal highway, connecting Pensacola and St. Augustine in the early 1800’s.
Explore the Florida Caverns
Most tourists don’t immediately picture caverns when thinking of a trip to Florida, but if you’re interested in a vacation off the beach, Florida Caverns State Park is a great natural place to experience. It’s currently the only state park offering public tours and it’s located in the city of Marianna in Florida’s pandhandle.
Florida Caverns State Park is actually a beautiful experience, with stalagmites, stalactites and cave-dwelling creatures. The cool, dry air in the caves are also a nice reprieve from Florida’s typically hot and muggy weather. The State Park has several designated camping and picnicking areas, along with natural springs for fishing, canoeing and boating.
The coastal town of Apalachicola experiences a short lull in the month of April, making it a great time for visitors to take in the breathtaking ocean views. It sits right on the Apalachicola River and residents take pride in their hometown hospitality. In April, tourists will enjoy scouring the Downtown and Farmers Curb Markets held each Saturday throughout the month. They have vendors ranging from local artisans to farmers to small retailers. It’s an exceptional way to browse the local shops and cafes while taking in the scenery of the town square.
In addition to typical beach vacation activities like paddleboarding, fishing and kayaking, Apalachicola has several attractions in town that will interest visitors. The Apalachicola Chamber has a map you can pick up with sites for the Historical Walking Tour, featuring The Raney House Museum, John Gorrie Museum State Park and the Orman House Museum. The nearby Crooked River Lighthouse and Cape St. George Light are also worth seeing.
Snorkel in Devil’s Den
Devil’s Den has come to light more recently as YouTubers and young couples have raised awareness for this hidden gem. If you’re looking outside the typical Florida beach vacation, this is a spot that’s worth looking into. It’s aptly named Devil’s Den since this natural spring is located inside a cave. Visitors are welcome during the day and both natural and electric lights will help guide the way as you snorkel or dive through this unique Florida spring.
The camp ground is about $25 per night with full hookups, making it a great location for campers, with admission ranging from $15-$20 and gear rental around $10. Weekdays will be less busy than the weekends and you’ll be limited to two hours max in the spring. It’s recommended that you bring your own food, but there will be a food truck available on occasion.
Best Florida Beaches in April
Florida has a multitude of great beaches to visit all year. Below we’ve listed the best beaches in each of Florida’s coasts and what the experience will be like in the month of April. This is the first month of the year that the ocean is noticeably warmer.
Treasure Coast: Best All Around
The Treasure Coast is located just above Miami’s beaches and is not quite as popular as it’s Southern sister. It shares some of the warmer water temperatures – about 78.3°F (25.7°C) – with fewer tourists. The cities that make up this area include West Palm and Palm Beach, which are ritzy beach towns known for glamorous residences on pristine white sands.
Our top beach recommendations in this area are West Palm, Delray, Pompano, Palm Beach, and Boca Raton. All feature slightly different styles with many great recreational activities and luxury accommodations in all of them.
The Florida Keys: Best Weather
The Keys are an extremely popular destination all year round. April is a great time for fishing and boating after the Winter winds have died down. The water averages 77.7°F (25.4°C) and our favorite spots include beaches on Key West, Key Largo and Marathon, as well as Bahia Honda State Park and the Dry Tortugas National Park.
The Keys are bound to be busy with a plethora of different activities for vacationers of all types. There are many historical landmarks and tours to take. Sportsman will love the fishing, diving and boating this time of year. Foodies will always find a great dive or popular restaurant to try.
Gold Coast: Best Atmosphere
The Gold Coast is located in the southeast side of Florida, mainly encompassing the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area on the Atlantic side. Miami has the highest temperatures in Florida all year round and it’s one of the liveliest beach areas to be in. The beaches are very popular with tourists, so expect them to be fairly crowded, with water temps at 77°F (24.9°C).
Our top recommendations for Gold Coast beaches in April include: Miami Beach, South Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Expect the atmosphere to be energetic, with crowded beaches, decent lodging and a busy downtown area with a culturally diverse atmosphere. The Miami area is always a great place to go to escape any cold weather that other parts of the country are still experiencing.
The Paradise Coast is opposite of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, featuring a more natural habitat and relaxing environment for winter visitors and older audiences. The area tends to be appealing to snowbirds, with lots of events and activities within a serene atmosphere. It’s also a short drive to the Everglades.
The popular spots will be fairly busy this time of year with waters that are cool and clear, averaging 75°F (23.9°C). The top beaches on this coast are Marco Island, Naples, and Fort Myers. Marco Island is great for fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding, making it a fun beach trip for families and active seniors. The Naples and Fort Myers area are most appealing to retirees, so there will be a slow-paced, laidback feeling here.
The Space Coast is located slightly north of Orlando on the Atlantic side of the state. The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, are some of the most recognizable attractions in this area.
April will have cooler temps than you’d see in the South, with the water temperatures averaging 74°F (23.7°C). The best beaches on the Space Coast are Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Cocoa Beach. All offer very similar experiences, with Melbourne being the most mild.
If you’re looking for warm weather and a nice beach vacation, but want to avoid the any of the leftover Spring Break madness of the Space Coast, check out New Smyrna Beach or Merritt Island, which appeals more to those older than college-age.
We are most partial to the Cultural Coast as it’s been the favorite summer destination for our families for decades. In April, the water and weather will be slightly cooler than you’d experience farther South. The beaches are beautiful here and the water will average 73°F (22.8°C).
Our best suggestions for visiting the Cultural Coast are Anna Maria Island, Sanibel Island, Captiva and Siesta Key. Anna Maria Island is a charming beach town with a very relaxed atmosphere that encourages walking and biking around the island. Longboat Key to the south of it has luxurious accommodations and wider beaches. Siesta Key has recreational and lodging accommodations for the whole family. Sanibel and Captiva Islands offer the ultimate seclusion, being the least busy of the three.
The Sun Coast is on the Gulf side of the state, with mild weather and water temps at 72.7°F (22.6°C) in April. The Sun Coast boasts Tampa Bay’s best beaches, including Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach and the islands off Dunedin. These beaches are heavily marketed and popular with tourists.
Most guests will be flocking to St. Pete Beach and Clearwater, but Caladesi Island State Park and Honeymoon Island State Park are other more secluded islands that are highly recommended in this area. Both require ferry trips from the mainland in Dunedin. These well-preserved state parks have designated dog-friendly areas, picnic tables and walking paths to take in the natural island habitats.
The Emerald Coast makes up Florida’s panhandle from Pensacola to Tallahassee. This coast will be the last to heat up after Winter in Florida, so expect April water temperatures to average 70.3°F (21.3°C). Despite the cooler weather, the Emerald Coast has a lot to offer in the month of April. Our top beach recommendations in this area are Pensacola, Destin and Panama City. The Emerald Coast is ideal for families, couples and friend groups, with lots to accommodate all types of vacationers.
Tourists love the sugar-white sands and turquoise water of the Emerald Coast, as well as the homey beach town atmosphere. If a relaxing Florida beach day is what you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it in the panhandle.
The First Coast is Florida’s coldest coast on the Atlantic side, featuring the historical cities and beaches of St. Augustine, Jacksonville and Amelia Island. The water temperatures in the month of April will be a crisp 67.8°F (19.9°C). Visitors to this area will love the historical aspects of the region, along with the beautifully quiet shores.
St. Augustine is a great spot to visit year round. As the United States’ oldest city, it’s got lots of great historic tours and delicious restaurants to indulge in. Nearby Flagler Beach offers a more secluded feeling with pristine, less crowded beaches and Jacksonville Beach is a nice getaway for the whole family. Overall, this area is great for anyone looking for a nice Florida vacation in April before the summer crowds start coming down.
Top Florida Attractions in April
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is the vacation capitol of the world, therefore it’s Florida’s biggest attraction. Walt Disney World is comprised of four different theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) and two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). Disney is located outside of Orlando in Lake Buena Vista. In the month of April, the weather will be warm and dry. The parks and resorts are less crowded this month, making it a great time to go.
Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is going on March through May, with special events and merchandise featured inside the park. Resort rates will be moderate this month, along with ticket pricing and food pricing (which fluctuates with tourist volumes). The Star Wars Rival Run, a several mile race through Hollywood Studios, typically takes place in April.
Universal Orlando is Disney’s biggest competitor, featuring two different theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) along with one water park (Volcano Bay). It’s located on the outskirts of Orlando and has it’s own resort accommodations for guests to enjoy. The parks are known for movie-themed roller coasters, rides and attractions for all ages.
April weather will be warm and dry and the parks will be less crowded than they were in March. There are no special events taking place this month, which will make Universal feel a little nicer with a leisurely pace and lower wait times.
SeaWorld is most popular for it’s aquatic animals, shows and coasters. It’s very close to Universal Orlando and makes a great full day of entertainment. Sea World has recently added big roller coasters like Manta and Mako to up their thrill game for older audiences. There is plenty for people of all ages to enjoy inside this ocean-themed park.
The park will have fewer visitors in the month of April. SeaWorld’s main event this month will be the end of Seven Seas Food Festival featuring unique food samples and options, live concerts and special merchandise from February to the first days of May.
Aquatica & Discovery Cove
April is one of the first months that we would recommend visiting the water parks. While some areas can have controlled water temperatures, it’s not generally desirable to swim in cold water parks during the Winter months. April will also have lower crowds, so there’s no better time to go.
Aquatica is an Orlando-based water park that’s great for kids and families. There are many different water features, slides and pools for all ages to enjoy, along with more relaxing areas with cabanas and umbrellas for those not seeking to get wet. They’ve even got manmade beaches and a wave pool. The most popular attraction is the Dolphin Plunge: a fast water slide with a clear tube that sends you through the dolphin exhibit.
Discovery Cove is near Aquatica and is best known for it’s dolphin encounter. The entire resort has a more relaxing atmosphere with a focus on getting you up close and personal with Florida’s native sea creatures. Discovery Cove offers multiple diving, snorkeling and swimming tours for each comfort level. It’s even got a Certified Autism Center and beaches for little ones to play.
Busch Gardens is the biggest theme park in the Tampa Bay area, located in north Tampa. It’s a great option for a full day to add into your weeklong vacation in Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater, about 15 miles from the Tampa International Airport.
Busch Gardens is known for it’s big coasters, like Cheetah Hunt and Kumba, along with it’s African themed animal habitats where guests can see wildlife in designated areas. There are no special events in April and the park will be less crowded.
Legoland is one of Florida’s newest theme parks located in Winter Haven, right in the middle of Central Florida, a quick drive from Orlando. Legoland is almost entirely made out of blocks which have inspired movies, roller coasters and water rides. There’s event a Lego resort where you can stay with the whole family. April is a great time to visit Legoland with warm, dry weather and fewer visitors.
Gatorland is a lesser known amusement park when compared to the likes of Walt Disney World and Universal, but a popular attraction nonetheless. Visitors love to learn more about Florida’s swamp creatures and natural habitat in this fun experience. Gatorland is south of Orlando and offers ziplining fun, off-road adventures and petting areas. April will be a slower month for the park, with more locals visiting than tourists.
April Events in Florida
Florida Keys Island Festival
Islamorada in the Florida Keys holds The Florida Keys Island Festival for residents and visitors to participate in. The festival features many different attractions and events, including an art show, car show, live music, and food vendors. Attendees also get to cast their vote for their favorite food from these vendors, with a People’s Choice awarded at the end of the week.
Pioneer Days Festival
Deerfield Beach hosts Pioneer Days Festival every April, celebrating their roots from hundreds of years ago. The festival has a carnival, arts and crafts, food and drink and live music for all. The three-day event ends with a parade and fireworks display.
April in Florida is a very relaxing time for residents and tourists alike. The hustle and bustle of the Summer crowds have yet to make their initial appearance and the Spring Break days have faded away.
April is most ideal for families seeking to get a peaceful trip on the books before school lets out, but it’s also great for older travelers searching for a bit of warmth in Florida’s dry Spring air. The oceans are beginning to warm up this time of year, but hotel rates will be quite favorable.
Let us know if you plan a trip to Florida in April and tell us how your experience was in the comments!