Considering a March trip to Florida and need some help? We’ve got you covered!
March in Florida is one of the busiest months outside of summertime in the state. Tourists love to come to Florida for it’s warm weather during Spring Break. It helps that there are many fun activities and events being hosted in cities all over the state this month. Whether you’re looking for a party town, family-friendly trip or couples getaway, there is plenty to choose from this month.
Some of the top Spring Break destinations will include Miami, Orlando, Florida’s Panhandle and the Space Coast, but those seeking a quieter vacation may enjoy exploring the Florida Caverns, diving in Devil’s Den or experiencing the flowers in bloom at Bok Tower Gardens.
No matter what you choose for your March trip in Florida, we’ve got loads of great tips to make your vacation the best it could possibly be.
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.
Florida Weather in March
March weather in Florida can be cool, with warmer days sprinkled throughout. March is the beginning of Spring, and 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.
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. Most of the state will average lows of 50°F (10°C) to highs of 75°F (23.9°C) in the month of March.
March is considered the dry season in Florida with rain being fairly rare. Humidity levels will remain high most of the year, but March tends to have drier air with the exception of the morning hours. One of the main cautions for March is the fogginess of the morning hours. 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.
Florida Affordability & Crowds in March
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 in the month of March. Most of the beach towns and big cities will be pretty busy this month, so if your goal is to vacation on a budget, March may not be the month for you.
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 host the most winter visitors.
A lot of travelers will experience higher rates for Florida’s best hotels in March. Decent accommodations in Orlando will range from $200 – $400 per night, hotels in Tampa will range from $200 – $350 per night, and the more populous city of Miami will see rates from $300 – $600 per night.
Best Beaches in Florida in March
Florida has a multitude of great beaches to visit all year. Below we’ve listed the best beaches in each area for all types of Spring Breakers and what the experience will be like in the month of March.
Gold Coast: Best All-Around
The Gold Coast is one of the most famous in the United States, home to Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Miami has the highest temperatures in Florida all year round and it’s known for it’s all-night parties, making this a perfect destination for Spring Break fun. The beaches in this area are very popular with tourists, so expect them to be crowded, with water temps at 74°F (23.2°C).
Our top recommendations for Gold Coast beaches during Spring Break include Miami Beach, South Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Expect the atmosphere to be lively, with crowded beaches, crowded lodging and crowded cities, teeming with people of all ages. Because of the major influx of visitors to the area, the nightlife and beach days will be fun but pricey. Despite the extra costs, this is one of the most highly recommended places for Spring Break.
Emerald Coast: Party City
The Emerald Coast makes up Florida’s panhandle from Pensacola to Tallahassee. This coast will experience the coldest temperatures in Florida during the Winter, so expect March water temperatures to be a chilly 64°F (17.7°C). Despite the cooler weather, the Emerald Coast has a lot to offer in the month of March.
Our top beach recommendations in this area are Pensacola, South Walton Island and Destin, but Panama City rules them all during Spring Break. Panama City Beach has been known for decades as a Spring Break destination with parties and free concerts going on all month. There are also plenty of bars and clubs to visit during your stay. While Panama City does a lot to accommodate the college crowd, Fort Walton may be a better option for older vacationers.
Space Coast: The Original Spring Break Spot
The Space Coast is located slightly north of Orlando on the Atlantic side of the state. Known as the home of Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, this area has been a popular Spring Break destination for decades. While the beaches don’t rock quite as much as they did in the early 2000’s, tourists still flock to this part of Florida.
March will have cooler temps than you’d see in the South, with the water temperatures averaging 66°F (18.9°C) which is cold to Floridians, but vacationers may not mind. The best beaches to party it up on the Space Coast are Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach. Both offer a very similar experiences, with in town offerings varying slightly.
If you’re looking for warm weather and a nice beach vacation, but want to avoid the party madness typical of the Space Coast, check out New Smyrna Beach or Merritt Island, which appeals more to those older than college-age.
Sun Coast: Fun in the Sun
The Sun Coast is on the Gulf side of the state, with mild weather and water temps at 66°F (19.3°C) in March. The Sun Coast boasts Tampa Bay’s best beaches, including Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. While these beaches are heavily marketed and popular with tourists, they are just slightly less busy than the above mentioned coasts.
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 beaches and state parks will be busy this time of year, but the Sun Coast is more appealing to families than the college crowd. Expect to see more family-friendly activities and events happening this time of year, with the occasional drinking party.
Cultural Coast: Family Friendly Beaches
We are most partial to the Cultural Coast as it’s been the favorite summer destination for our families for decades. In March, the water and weather will be slightly cooler than you’d experience farther South. But beaches are beautiful here despite the cold water average of 66°F (19.3°C).
Our best suggestions for visiting the Cultural Coast during Spring Break 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. 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.
Paradise Coast: Refined Vacation
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 an idyllic setting for snowbirds, with lots of events and activities within a serene atmosphere and it happens to be closest to the Everglades.
The vacation areas will be fairly busy this time of year, but might not be hopping with people like you’d see in our top hot spots. The waters are cool and clear, averaging 69°F (20.4°C). The top Spring Break destinations 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 Florida Keys: An Old Favorite
The Keys are an extremely popular destination all year round, and March is no exception. March offers a winter reprieve for snowbirds and tourists alike, so the Keys will also be packed with visitors this time of year. The water averages 73.2°F (22.9°C). 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, squeezing every last bit out of the lobster season. Foodies will always find a great dive or popular restaurant to try. And of course, Key West is the ultimate destination for Spring Break on island time.
First Coast: Scenic Atmosphere
The First Coast is Florida’s coldest coast on the Atlantic side, featuring the historical cities and beaches of St. Augustine, Jacksonville and the Sea Islands. The water temperatures in the month of March will be about 60°F (16°C). Visitors to this area will love the historical aspects of the region even more so than the beaches themselves this time of year.
St. Augustine is a great spot to visit year round, though it’ll be a little more crowded for Spring Break. Nearby Flagler Beach offers a more secluded feeling with pristine, less crowded beaches for your Spring Break. Jacksonville Beach has been marketed more recently to kids and families, so Spring Break won’t have the party vibes that other places would. Overall, this area is great for anyone looking for a nice Florida vacation in March.
Treasure Coast: Quiet Shores
The Treasure Coast is located just above Miami’s beaches and is not nearly as popular as it’s Southern sister. It shares some of the warmer water temperatures – about 75°F (24.2°C) – with fewer tourists. The cities that make up this area include West Palm and Palm Beach; nice beach towns known for glamorous residences on pristine white sands. There are many things to do in this area, making it a great place to vacation.
Our top beach recommendations in this area are West Palm, Delray, Pompano, Palm Beach, and Boca Raton. Delray Beach not only has excellent beaches, but has a booming arts district. Pompano Beach has multiple diving sights to explore coral reefs and shipwrecks. Boca Raton is great for recreational activities like golf and shopping. We’d say if you’re well past the Spring Break age, the Treasure Coast is going to be your preferred option.
Top Florida Attractions in March
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 March, the weather will be warm or cool but dry. The parks and resorts are typically crowded this month with lots of events and tourists in town for Spring Break.
Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is going on from March through May, with special events and merchandise featured inside the park. Resort rates will be moderate this month, along with ticket pricing and even food pricing (which fluctuates with tourist volumes).
A lot of places in Disney will be celebrating their own version of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, but our absolute favorite place to be is Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs. Several days leading up to the holiday, they’ll host live concerts with real Irish bands, step dancers and special performers. The main event is the Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival with flowing pints of beer and happy customers singing away to old Irish jigs and ballads.
If Disney World is on your radar, check out this massive list of 110 Disney World “Must Do’s”.
Universal Orlando is Disney’s biggest rival, 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.
March weather will be warm or cool and dry and the parks are likely to be crowded. Mardi Gras is the biggest draw to the park this time of year, lasting from February through March. There are festivities happening all over the park with special merchandise and themed foods, as well as a daily Mardi Gras Parade and live concerts with nationally recognized entertainers.
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, along with the rest of the state will an influx of visitors in the month of March. SeaWorld’s main event this month will be the Bands, Brews and BBQ featuring craft brews, live concerts and special merchandise from mid-February to mid-March.
Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower is located in Polk County, at the very center of the state of Florida. You’ll find it in the city of Lake Wales and will travel a fair distance to get here. However, it’s quite a sight to see if you plan to visit Lakeland, Winter Haven or Auburndale in Polk County. The 250-acre gardens are made up of multiple walking trails and bird sanctuary to entertain guests in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere.
The most popular attraction, and a great photo op, is the Singing Tower. It’s a 205′ tall architectural beauty with carillon bells that sing the tune of recognizable songs that change to the season. In March, most of the flowers are blooming, making the gardens much more vibrant than other times of the year and it’s usually not extremely busy.
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. In March, it shares the Bands, Brews and BBQ event with it’s sister theme park Sea World, featuring live concerts with food and drink specials.
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 entirely themed after these popular little toy blocks which have inspired movies, roller coasters and water rides. There’s even a Lego resort where you can stay with the whole family. March crowds may be little larger, but the weather is great this time of year.
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. March will be a busier month for the park, with Spring Breakers taking over.
Best Things to Do in Florida in March
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. The Central Florida Fair also takes place in the month of March and is great for a family outing.
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.
Many of the Spring Breakers will flock to the beaches in March, but there are a variety of other things going on in Jacksonville this time of year. Jacksonville is one of Florida’s top 5 largest cities in the state and offers attractions like MOSH (Museum of Science and History) a great family activity, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the historic Florida Theatre, and Five Points in the bohemian district of Riverside and Avondale. Golfers will enjoy the Ponte Vedra Beach Players Championship this month.
For beaches, the most popular this month will be Jacksonville Beach, Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island. While hotel pricing may be somewhat favorable this month, you can find more secluded options elsewhere. For a couples getaway, check out the beaches of Ponte Vedra, Neptune or the scenic Fort Clinch State Park. Surfers should makes plans to visit Mayport Beach.
Experience Miami & Fort Lauderdale
Miami has loads of things to do in a variety of exciting environments. Miami, of course, is well-known for it’s white, sandy beaches and exquisite nightlife. We highly recommend booking a hotel on Miami Beach to get access not only to on-the-water vacationing, but also be near the sights and sounds of downtown Miami. March will have loads of visitors, but it’s a nice environment for a lively trip. We recommend taking a boat or helicopter tour of the city, exploring Little Havana and seeing the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
In the same trip, you can easily get to Fort Lauderdale via car in about half and hour. Fort Lauderdale offers a big city atmosphere with a more exclusive vibe, featuring upscale dining, entertainment and excursions. There are many day cruises perfect for a family outing while taking in the scenery, and fishing and sportfish charters you can take into the Atlantic. Peruse the storefronts on Las Olas Boulevard for when you need some high class dining and shopping to rival Miami.
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 searching outside the typical Spring Break on the beach, 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.
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 get away. It’s currently the only state park offering public tours and it’s located in the city of Marianna in Florida’s panhandle.
Florida Caverns State Park is 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.
See the Space Coast
If you’re staying in Orlando this month, your trip wouldn’t be complete without making a day trip to the Space Coast for a beach day at Cocoa or a visit to Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. But if you’re not planning to stay in Orlando, a three to four day stay on the Space Coast is sure to be lively this time of year.
The Space Coast includes Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and surrounding cities on Florida’s Atlantic side. If you find yourself in Daytona this month, the Daytona International Speedway is a must-see. Depending on the week, they could be hosting racing events for go-carts, cars and motorcycles. The Daytona Boardwalk and Pier is another area worth visiting during your trip and Bike Week is usually held this month, as well.
A trip to Cocoa Beach could result in fun watersports rentals, surfing lessons, crowded beaches and a shopping excursion to the legendary Ron Jon Surf Shop. But the best and most highly recommended attraction is the nearby Kennedy Space Center. The center is completely dedicated to space travel and education, with replicas and actual artifacts from real space missions. It’s always worth checking the scheduled launches, as well, to witness real-life astronauts propelled into orbit.
March Events in Florida
Spring Training Games
Many Northeastern baseball teams come to Florida for Spring Training since it’s the only state not snowing on the field this month. They call it the “Grapefruit League” and each team makes it’s “home away from home” in different cities throughout the Sunshine State. You’ll find the New York Yankees in Tampa, the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers and the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, to name a few. Check the schedule to see if teams are playing in your vacation destination this March.
Florida Renaissance Festival
There are several Renaissance Festivals that occur around the state, but the Florida Renaissance Festival is held right on Deerfield Beach in Quiet Waters Park. Attendees get access to shows, demonstrations, rides and games with multiple ticket options to suit many needs. The food, drink and costumes will transport you back to this bygone era.
Florida Strawberry Festival
The Florida Strawberry Festival kicks off prime strawberry season in the month of February through early March. Plant City in Central Florida is home to some of the best strawberry farms in the state and hosts this festival annually for everyone to enjoy. The festival has rides, games and vendors scattered around the grounds, along with live concerts and strawberry shortcake stands.
Sarasota Jazz Festival
Sarasota Jazz Festival is a week packed with daily events, concerts and parties of all sorts. Guests will get to hear music from local artists, as well as nationally recognized musicians and singers this week. There are multiple ticket options to get you into one or more events throughout the week, while you take in the beautiful scenery of the city.
Between Spring Break and Spring Training, there are loads of things going on in the month of March here in the state of Florida. Tourists may have a tough time securing restaurant reservations, hotel accommodations and excursion bookings this month, but the vast number of experiences available will make it all worth while.
Whether you choose to take a more natural approach to your Spring Break with a visit to the Florida caverns or seek out the action and parties of Miami, Daytona or Panama City, the Sunshine State has so much to offer any type of traveler.
Let us know where you decided to Spring Break and tell us about your March in Florida experience down in the comments!