Best Time to Visit Florida

Florida is one of the best holiday vacations during almost any time of the year.

However, depending on the time you visit and the part of Florida you are going to, your experience in the sunshine state will be different.

Additionally, it depends on the activities you are planning for your vacation: Hitting the gorgeous beaches throughout the state, visiting Disney World or Universal Studios in Orlando, or immersing yourself in nature and the outdoors.

Are you looking for the cheapest rates, the lowest crowds, or the best weather? We got you covered. Find everything you need to know about the best times to visit Florida in our complete guide. Don’t forget to check the detailed monthly Florida guides we link to in the monthly overviews (in the middle of the article):

When Is the Best Time to Visit for Great Weather?

South Beach, Miami

The best time to visit Florida is in the spring (April, May) and fall (October, November). Both periods offer the best weather with warm temperatures and less rainfall.  The northern regions will usually be cooler. The south has the best combination of sunny skies, warm waters, and hot temperatures.

The humidity levels in Florida are always high, but because of the winds that come along with spring, the humidity isn’t as unbearable compared to the summer months.

What Is the Cheapest Time to Visit Florida?

Avalon Hotel, Miami Beach

The cheapest time of the year to visit Florida is the fall season and the start of the new year. During the months of September and October, kids are back in school, and hurricane season is well underway. Due to the unforeseen weather forecasts, rates and prices tend to be lower this time of year. 

The start of the new year is often a cheap time of year to visit the sunshine state as well. January usually has great deals on flights, hotels, and attractions, due to it being directly after the holiday season. Most people are still recovering from Christmas, and have used their holiday/vacation time to spend with family and friends over holidays. Christmas break is over,  and the start of the year is normally a very critical time for many businesses and schools.

The hotel links above are really useful to save time and money. Bookmark your preferred hotels/cities and make your reservations a few weeks in advance as possible to save money.

When Is the Best Time to Visit for Fewer Crowds?

Fort Myers, Florida

The best time to visit Florida to avoid higher crowds is during the months of October and February. These are the two slowest months of the year for tourism. This is a great time of year to visit Florida if you are trying to have an ideal experience and avoid jam-packed areas.

October is the slowest month of the year for tourism in Florida and this month brings the least number of visitors to the state. This is mainly due to kids being back in school, the rainy season, and the higher chance of tropical storms or hurricanes.

February is the second slowest month for tourism in Florida. This month will have higher crowds in cities where snowbirds reside, such as Naples or St. Pete. However, kids are still in school and very few family vacations happen this month, keeping crowds low in most regions of the state.

When is the Best Time to Hit the Beaches?

May is the best month to visit Florida for beach fun. It tends to be the best ‘all around’ month for a perfect combination of warm temperature and warm waters. Water temperatures vary based on location, but the average temperature is anywhere from 74-80°F.

May also brings lower crowds and rates as well. Kids are still in school during this month, and all of the ‘snowbirds’ have headed back north to enjoy the season. This is the last chance to take advantage of the low crowds and lower humidity levels before summer arrives.

The Best Tours and Activities in Florida

 

SEASONS AND MONTHLY GUIDE

Every season and month in Florida is a great time to visit the sunshine state. However, every period has its benefits as well as some possible downsides:

Florida in the Spring

Sunshine, little rain, low humidity, and the occasional ocean breeze characterize Florida’s springtime weather. The weather during the spring months allows you to spend the majority of the day outside without being too hot or humid.

  • Check out our complete guide to Florida in the spring for more tips (we also compare the three spring months)

Average high temps during spring in Florida’s most popular cities:

  • Miami: 77-83°F (25-28°C)
  • Tampa: 77-88°F (25-31°C)
  • Orlando: 79-84°F (26-31°C)
  • Jacksonville: 75-86°F (24-30°C)
  • Destin: 70-82°F (21-28°C)

Rain: In comparison to other states in the US, Florida’s springtime doesn’t bring as many rain showers. In particular, March is typically very dry, while April marks the end of the dry season. Rainfall averages 2.0-4.5 inches in the spring, increasing as the season progresses.

Water Temperature: In general the ocean is warm enough to swim in the spring months, especially in May with temperatures above 80°F. However, the panhandle water temperatures are lower at 64-76 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

March

March in Florida can have substantial temperature swings from day to day, so bring light clothing that you can put on and take off as needed. Expect a lot of sun throughout the month, but be prepared for very windy and foggy days as well.

Average high temperatures during March in the popular cities:

  • Miami: 77°F (25°C)
  • Tampa: 77°F (25°C)
  • Orlando: 79°F (26°C)
  • Jacksonville: 75°F (24°C)
  • Destin: 70°F (21°C)

Crowds: The month of March is one of the busiest in Florida. Spring break numbers will be heavier in the Panhandle, the Northern Atlantic coast, and southern Miami. Snowbirds are still in Florida this month, so expect crowds in St. Pete, Clearwater, and Fort Myers.

Best Time: March is the best month to visit ‘off the beaten path’ or lesser-known destinations, due to the high number of spring breakers flocking to beaches and theme parks.

 

April

April is a peaceful and relaxing time to visit Florida. Massive crowds and the extreme humidity haven’t arrived yet. Additionally, the prices are still cheap or moderate. This is one of the best times of the year to plan a vacation to the sunshine state.

April’s average high temperatures in the popular cities:

  • Miami: 80°F (26°C)
  • Tampa: 84°F (29°C)
  • Orlando: 84°F (29°C)
  • Jacksonville: 80°F (27°C)
  • Destin: 77°F (25°C)

Crowds: April is not as busy as other months. Kids are still in school and most spring break visitors are at the end of their vacations. The heat and humidity are still low and the ocean water is still a bit chilly, making the beaches less crowded and more enjoyable. However, early in the month spring breakers may still cause crowded beaches in Fort Lauderdale, Panama City, Fort Myers, and Jacksonville.

Best Time: Late April is a great time to visit Disney World or Universal Studios in Orlando because crowds aren’t as high as during other periods.

May

This is one of the best months to visit Florida. Lower rates, beautiful weather, and lots of fun await you in May. The weather is warming up, the winds are calming down, and the sun is shining brightly. Snowbirds are heading north, while summer visitors haven’t arrived.

Averages high temperatures across the state:

  • Miami: 83°F (28°C)
  • Tampa: 88°F (31°C)
  • Orlando: 84°F (31°C)
  • Jacksonville: 86°F (30°C)
  • Destin: 82°F (28°C)

Crowds: With the winter visitors (the snowbirds) gone, May is one of the best times that brings lower crowds and lower rates. It gets a little busier towards the end of May due to some schools already getting out during the month. Keep in mind that beaches are always somewhat busy. However, they are not as crowded as during spring break of course.

Best Time: May is the best time to partake in activities such as boating and fishing since the winds aren’t as strong as in the previous spring months.

Florida in the Summer

Despite the heat and rain, summer is ideal for a family holiday because it provides something for everyone. Visit a theme park, go sightseeing around the cities, and relax at the stunning beaches when the sun is not at its peak.

However, there are a few drawbacks in the summer: Extreme humidity at certain times, heavy rain, possible thunderstorms, or jam-packed theme parks.

  • Check out our complete guide to Florida in the summer with local tips on how to make your visit in summer unforgettable, despite its downsides. We also compare the summer months in this season guide.

Average high temperature ranges in the summer:

  • Miami: 86°F (30°C) to 88°F (31°C)
  • Tamp: 90°F (32°C) to 91°F (33°C)
  • Orlando:: 91°F (33°C) to 91°F (33°C)
  • Jacksonville: 90°F (32°C) to 91°F (33°C)
  • Destin: 88°F (31°C) to 90°F (32°C)

Rain: Summer in Florida is part of the wet season, which lasts from late May through mid-October. In the summer months, Florida receives an average of 4.5-6 inches of rain. Throughout the season, you should expect a lot of wet days.

Rainfall is practically certain almost every day, and it is most likely to fall in the afternoon. However, Rain can also be a blessing on hot and muggy days throughout the summer.

Water Temperature: During the summer in Florida, the water temperature in the ocean maintains over 80°F (27°C) in most spots, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. It has some of the country’s warmest ocean waters and is frequently compared to bathwater temps.

June

It’ll be a lot hotter and muggier than before during this month. You should always stay hydrated and pack the appropriate clothes (read our complete June guide for clothing tips).

Rainfall usually occurs in the afternoons. These are often brief showers or rain which won’t last longer than one or two hours. In the evening, it’s typically dry again. However, Thunderstorms can happen all day and be there during the night on some days.

Average high temps in June:

  • Miami: 86°F (30°C)
  • Tampa: 90°F (32°C)
  • Orlando: 91°F (33°C)
  • Jacksonville: 90°F (32°C)
  • Destin: 88°F (31°C)

Crowds: June is a very busy month, especially in popular places like Orlando (theme parks), Miami, or Jacksonville. Early June is even more popular for some visitors, as the weather is more pleasant in terms of less heat and humidity compared to the end of the month.

Best Time: June is the best time to visit inland Florida due to the beaches being so populated. Enjoy the many state parks and nature venues Florida has to offer.

July

July is the hottest month of the year, with some of the country’s warmest ocean temperatures. It’s in the middle of the rainy season and may experience a lot of thunderstorms and incredibly high humidity levels.

As you head south in Florida during July, the higher the sun and the warmer the water temperatures. However, cloudy days with showers are more common in the south.

Average highs in July in the most visited cities:

  • Miami: 87°F (31°C)
  • Tampa: 91°F (33°C)
  • Orlando: 92°F (33°C)
  • Jacksonville: 92°F (33°C)
  • Destin: 89°F (32°C)

Crowds: The crowds in Florida begin to thin out in some areas, particularly on the beaches, as tourists go to more inland destinations instead. However, keep in mind that this is Florida, so the beaches will always be crowded, although not to the extent that they were in past months. Expect larger crowds at theme parks and water parks.

Best Time: July is the best month to visit one of the many water parks in the state. Cool off from the humid temperature at Aquatica or Typhoon Lagoon.

August

The sun is in full force now and perfect for die-hard tanners, beachgoers, and outdoor lovers. Expect hot and humid conditions during August, with a high percentage of thunderstorms and a chance of hurricanes.

However, the weather during this month is ideal for visitors from northern states, where summer weather fades a lot earlier.

During this month, the rainy season is still in effect. A good idea is to make backup plans for rainy days. These can be indoor activities like Kennedy Space Center for example).

Average highs for the popular cities::

  • Miami: 88°F (31°C)
  • Tampa: 91°F (33°C)
  • Orlando: 91°F (33°C)
  • Jacksonville: 91°F (33°C)
  • Destin: 90°F (32°C)

Crowds: Tourist crowds are generally lower in August and continue to decline throughout the month. Florida is busier at the start of the month, as it hosts visitors on their final few vacation weeks of the season.

Best Time: August is the best time to hunt for shells along the coastline, especially in southern regions. The ocean has some magical things under the surface, and tropical storms wash up loads of beautiful seashells this time of year

Florida in the Fall

Temperatures in Florida are more moderate in the fall than in the summer months. However, early fall is peak hurricane season, with possible thunderstorms, tropical storms, and a chance of hurricanes.

  • Check out our complete guide to Florida in the fall with local tips on how to make your visit unforgettable. We compare the three fall months in this season guide.

The average high temperatures in the fall months:

  • Miami | September: 86°F (30°C), October: 83°F (28.3°C), November: 79°F (26.1°C)
  • Tampa | September: 90°F (32°C), October: 85°F (29.4°C), November: 78°F (25.5°C)
  • Orlando | September: 89°F (32°C), October: 85°F (29.4°C), November: 78°F (25.5°C)
  • Jacksonville: September 88°F (31°C), October: 82°F (27.7°C), November: 74°F (23.3°C)
  • Destin | September: 87°F (31°C), October: 80°F (26.6°C), 71°F (21.6°C)

Rain: The months of September and October mark the end of Florida’s rainy season, which lasts from late May through mid-October. During the fall, Florida receives an average of 2.7-8 inches of rain. Throughout the season, visitors should expect a lot of rain.

Water Temperature: Averaging 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the fall months, the waters off Palm Beach and Boca Raton are among the state’s warmest. Miami and Key West will have 79-85 degree average water temperatures. This season’s ocean temps decrease along the Northern and Gulf coasts. A 72-83°F water temperature is expected in the panhandle, and 82 in Tampa and Sarasota.

September

In September it’s still hot and humid and once the rain has passed, the sun will shine brightly. Be careful and stay hydrated. Additionally, wear sunscreen at all times.

While rainfall decreases towards the end of the month, it is still the rainy season and the chances of storms are high.

Average highs in September for the most popular places:

  • Miami: 86°F (30°C)
  • Tampa: 90°F (32°C)
  • Orlando: 89°F (32°C)
  • Jacksonville: 88°F (31°C)
  • Destin: 87°F (31°C)

Crowds: In September, inland Florida is busier than the coast, as many visitors avoid the shore due to the possibility of storms. If you do decide to go to the beach, the crowds are lower but the weather is also unpredictable. Be prepared!

Best Time: This is the best month for surfing, especially on the Atlantic coast. Hurricane season makes for some of the best and biggest waves of the year.

October

In October, the weather is starting to become less rainy. The humidity levels begin to drop, and the evenings become cool and breezy.

Rain showers can still be experienced in October. They are, however, less intense and less common, and will eventually happen weekly, rather than daily.

Average highs in October in the popular spots:

  • Miami: 83°F (28.3°C)
  • Tampa: 85°F (29.4°C)
  • Orlando: 85°F (29.4°C)
  • Jacksonville: 82°F (27.7°C)
  • Destin: 80°F (26.6°C)

Crowds: In Florida, October is one of the quieter months, with fewer visitors. It’s one of the best times for visitors who want to avoid crowded places, as kids are in school, family trips become unlikely.

Best Time: October is the best time to travel slowly through Florida. This is the slowest month for tourism, bringing less crowds and cheaper rates.

November

In November, the weather is typically cooler and drier. The dry season has officially begun. The humidity is present but not oppressive, which is ideal for theme park visits. Keep in mind that there will be a few days this month with hot temperatures or thunderstorms.

Average high temps in November:

  • Miami: 79°F (26.1°C)
  • Tampa: 78°F (25.5°C)
  • Orlando: 78°F (25.5°C)
  • Jacksonville: 74°F (23.3°C)
  • Destin: 71°F (21.6°C)

Crowds: As November goes on, crowds and visitors will increase again, as the ‘snowbirds’ return to their winter homes in the sunshine state.

Best Time: November is the best month for a beach trip in Florida for an ideal combination of warm temperatures along with warm waters.

Florida in the Winter

The weather this time of year allows you to spend the majority of the day outside without being too hot or humid, making physical activities more enjoyable. Florida weather in the winter is a great way to escape the bitter cold of some states in the north.

  • Check out our complete guide to Florida in the winter with unique tips from a Florida resident. We compare the three winter months in this season guide as well.

Average high temperatures during the three winter months:

  • Miami | December: 76°F (24.4°C), January: 74°F (23°C), February: 75°F (24°C)
  • Tampa | December: 73°F (23.7°C), January: 71°F (21°C), February: 73°F (23°C)
  • Orlando | December: 74°F (23.3°C), January: 72°F (22°C), February: 75°F (24°C)
  • Jacksonville | December: 68°F (20°C), January: 66°F (19°C), February: 69°F (20°C)
  • Destin | December: 64°F (17.7°C), January: 62°F (17°C), February: 64°F (18°C)

Rain: You will rarely see snow, and rain will be very unlikely on most days during winter. This is a great season to enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about the weather ruining any plans. During the winter, rainfall usually averages 2.0-3.2 inches, with February generally being the driest month of the year.

Water Temperature: During Florida’s winter, the water temperature in many regions is quite cold (the lowest temperature is 60°F). Most visitors, especially in the north, find swimming to be too cold. However, the ocean gets warmer as you travel south. The Atlantic side is also significantly warmer than the Gulf side.

December

December has some of the coolest and driest weather of the year, with high fog levels and stronger winds. Rainfall is unlikely and rare. Southern Florida, however, will always be warm, and it is still a great place to get away from the freezing temperatures that winter brings to the northern part of the country.

Average highs in December in the most visited places:

  • Miami: 76°F (24.4°C)
  • Tampa: 73°F (23.7°C)
  • Orlando: 74°F (23.3°C)
  • Jacksonville: 68°F (20°C)
  • Destin: 64°F (17.7°C)

Crowds: Every year, a large number of visitors flock to Florida in December. The most crowded cities and regions will be those where snowbirds are, such as Miami and Orlando, or Sarasota and Tampa. The most crowded time will be before and around Christmas and before New Year’s Eve.

Best Time: December is the best time to take part in all the fun festivals and events going on all around the state for the holiday season.

January

The month of January brings crisp air and cooler temperatures. The weather allows you to be comfortable outside for the majority of the day without being too hot or humid. Florida sees very little rainfall during this month and you will almost never see snow, only on rare occasions in the northern parts of the state.

Average high temperatures during January for the most popular cities and places:

  • Miami: 74°F (23°C)
  • Tampa: 71°F (21°C)
  • Orlando: 72°F (22°C)
  • Jacksonville: 66°F (19°C)
  • Destin: 62°F (17°C)

Crowds: January has a low number of tourists. However, certain areas will continue to be crowded during this month. Popular cities such as Miami and Orlando and cities with a high number of snowbirds such as St. Pete or Naples tend to see an increase in visitors, particularly to beaches and theme parks (Disney/Universal in Orlando).

Best Time: January is the best month to visit theme parks and for visitors to enjoy their time without the crowds, high rates, and high humidity levels.

February

February is one of the cooler times of the year compared to other months in Florida. It is usually very dry and windy. An excellent time to visit if you want to beat the heat while avoiding high humidity and rainfall.

Average highs in February (temperatures by location):

  • Miami: 75°F (24°C)
  • Tampa: 73°F (23°C)
  • Orlando: 75°F (24°C)
  • Jacksonville: 69°F (20°C)
  • Destin: 64°F (18°C)

Crowds: February in Florida is not particularly crowded. It’s one of the year’s slower months for tourism. Most places will have fewer visitors, and family vacations are uncommon this month due to school.

Best Time: February is the best time to go watching or spot manatees on the Gulf coast, especially the Tampa Bay region.