The fall season is a fantastic time to take a trip to the sunshine state. Temperatures are more moderate in the fall than in the summer months. Fall offers a multitude of events and festivals, comfortable temperatures, and of course the chance to soak up some of Florida’s best beaches.
Rain showers and humidity are still present but will start to decrease as the season goes on.
Written by Florida residents! We have put together all the information you need to have a successful and safe vacation during the fall season.
Tip: Save our best time to visit Florida guide for visiting tips for any other season.
Best Fall Months | Overview
September is one of the best months of the year to spend some time in the sunshine state while being able to enjoy lower crowds and lower rates, while October is the slowest month of the entire year for tourism. November will be the coolest month, but one of the busiest.
Continue reading or visit our detailed guides for each month:
Fall still brings warm weather; it is Florida you know. However, the start of fall is peak hurricane season, so expect thunderstorms, tropical storms, and a chance of hurricanes.
The average high temperatures in Florida during the fall range from 70°F to 91°F (21.1-32.7°C). It is the rainy season, as well as hurricane season at the beginning of the fall season. Precipitation is decreasing throughout the fall with an average of 2.7 – 8 inches.
- 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)
The fall months from September to October represent the final months of the rainy season in Florida which spans from late May until mid-October. Florida receives on average 2.7-8 inches of rainfall during fall. Visitors should expect a lot of rainy days throughout this season.
September is known for being the peak hurricane season. It is very important to take precautions and warnings seriously and be prepared for potential danger depending on the weather. The further south you go in Florida, the bigger the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms.
Humidity is always high in Florida and lingers all year long, not just in the summer months.
September still has hot and muggy weather and tends to be more humid in the morning hours.
Once October hits, there is a noticeable difference in the humidity levels. As the rainy season is starting to come to a close, the winds start to pick up and the temperatures start to go down. This causes high humidity levels to become less intense, and some days go unnoticed, especially in November.
During the fall season, the humidity levels can be as high as 90%, and as low as 52% in Florida.
Florida’s water temperature in the ocean is still pretty warm at the start of the fall season, and hurricanes love warm water. This is one of the main ingredients for a major tropical storm.
The further south you go, the warmer the waters become. The Atlantic side also tends to be a lot warmer than the opposing Gulf side. Waters in the northern regions tend to be a bit cooler, compared to southern regions, giving you a lower chance of meeting a hurricane or tropical storm.
💡 November is usually one of the best months of the season, and the year, in Florida for a combination of warm temperatures along with warm waters.
Florida’s beaches such as Palm Beach and Boca Raton have some of the warmest waters in the state with an average of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Miami and Key West will also average higher water temperatures throughout fall ranging from 79-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Northern and Gulf coasts tend to see slightly cooler waters, decreasing as the season goes on. The panhandle region will average water temperatures of 72-83 degrees Fahrenheit, and down just a bit, the Tampa and Sarasota regions will average 82 degrees.
What to Wear / What to Pack
The start to the fall season still brings ‘summer-like’ temperatures and doesn’t really start cooling off till mid-October. Depending on when you visit, some articles of clothing may vary.
During the fall season in Florida, the clothing items in your suitcase should consist of:
- Shorts (September/October)
- T-shirts & V-necks
- Long sleeved cover up (evenings)
- Bathing suits/ Cover up
- Swim Trunks
- Raincoat or Poncho
- Loose fit clothing (start of fall)
- Leggings or Joggers (end of fall)
- Jeans (November)
- Jacket or light sweater
- Sandals and flip flops
There are also some other essential things that shouldn’t be left at home such as:
- Small backpack or fanny pack for day trips & theme parks
- Comfy walking shoes (alternative: sandals with support)
- Beach bag
- Water shoes (for water sports or boating)
- Water bottle- be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day!
- Small portable fan
- Mickey Mouse ears for Disney
- Umbrella- very important!!!
Keep in mind: Florida is host to various Halloween events and festivals throughout the entire month of October, all over the state. Kids and even adults can have the chance to dress up in their favorite costumes and characters.
Restaurant tip: When visiting Florida, we suggest keeping a sweater or light jacket handy throughout the day for dining out in indoor restaurants. Since the temperature outside is mainly hot, the air conditioners are on full blast.
Meds: A travel hack that we have learned from traveling in Florida is to always bring some medicine for a headache. The Florida heat is no joke and if you aren’t used to a warm climate, this could really bring a damper to your visit.
The season is one of the best times for longer trips. It is perfect for people who don’t need a plan, and who aren’t worried about the weather disrupting their plans.
There isn’t any particular region that is going to be overly populated or taken over by tourists in the fall. Inland Florida tends to be more crowded than the coastline, as most travelers avoid the coast because of potential storms. However, if you do plan on visiting a beach, expect low crowds but unforeseeable weather conditions.
Mid-season will start to bring a lot of festivals and events all around the state, due to the various holidays, so expect higher crowds in the final weeks of fall in the month of November.
Keep in mind: Certain cities in Florida such as Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville, are always going to have higher crowds due to popularity and the abundance of activities and events.
Halloween: The end of the month brings in more visitors, mainly due to Halloween. There are dozens of harvest events and ghost tours going on throughout the state. Especially in Orlando and St. Augustine, because of their history and activities within the area.
The beginning of the fall season tends to be a turnoff for vacations in Florida. Hurricanes and tropical storms tend to keep the crowds and the rates low.
Tourism is at its lowest point in October, and low demand makes it great for people traveling on a budget. November is when you will start to see an increase in prices, due to the return of the snowbirds and the start of the holiday season.
Airbnbs and guesthouses average around $160-$200 per night, keep in mind beach and waterfront locations will always be more expensive. If you are traveling on a budget, there is also a big selection of hostels located all throughout the state, usually starting at $35-$60 per night. Family-sized hotel rooms will start around $65-$400 a night.
- 10 Best Hotels in Orlando (via booking.com)
- 10 Best Hotels in Sarasota (don’t miss this city! Read more below)
- 10 Best Tampa Hotels (via booking.com)
- 10 Best Hotels in Miami
The hotel links above are really useful to save time and money. Bookmark your preferred destinations.
Thanksgiving & Black Friday: Keep in mind, Thanksgiving and Black Friday are the last week of November. This is where you will see an increase in rates and crowds all over the state due to the holiday seasons. Especially cities farther south like Miami, are popular with beach crowds such as Clearwater.
Places to Visit / Things to Do in Fall
Hitting the beaches and visiting theme parks aren’t the only ways to enjoy Florida in the fall.
Florida is great in the fall season for people who enjoy beaches, nature, sports, and festivals. Watch a football game in Gainesville or Tampa, go pumpkin picking in some of the dozens of patches in the state, hike the scenic trail, and end your day with a walk on the beach.
September is peak hurricane season. So while there will be an abundance of storms and unpredictable weather, there will also be the best surfing waves in Florida!
The coastline of Florida is a vacation hotspot all year round because of the gorgeous beaches. Fall tends to bring fewer beach crowds due to the weather.
October is one of the slowest months for tourism, so expect low crowds and emptier beaches this month.
Tampa Bay brings an abundance of small beach towns and water activities. It is also the region least likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical storm.
Panhandle beaches, such as Destin, will have cooler water temperatures during this time of year. Crowds are higher during fall, compared to other seasons, because of their northern location and less potential for storms.
Miami Beach/South Beach will be less busy in September compared to other fall months of the year, this is due to its southern location and potential threats of storms and hurricanes. However, this area has a decent crowd all year due to its popularity.
Sarasota and Fort Myers will be some of the busiest places, with seasonal residents (snowbirds) arriving back in town in November, and locals taking advantage of the last few weeks of peace before the holiday season.
Amelia Island and St. Augustine will be the least busy, this is mainly because of their northern location and cooler waters. This is also a popular destination for ghost and historical tours in October.
The average high temperatures in Orlando hover around 78-89°F (25.5-31.6°C). Especially in the second half of the season, rainfall starts to decrease as the rainy season comes to an end.
Good to know: The theme parks in Orlando (Disney, Universal) are never really quiet anymore. Throughout the year crowds are either lower, higher, or a lot higher. However, there are still times when it’s tolerable.
Universal Studios | Orlando
Universal Studios is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida. Kids are back in school and family vacations have come and gone. Take advantage of good weather, cheaper rates, and lower crowds (except for Halloween).
- Tip: Hotels in Universal Studio Resort (stay there to save time)
Is the park-to-park ticket worth it? The park-to-park ticket allows you to roam between the three parks (see below) on the same day. You definitely should get it if you are a Harry Potter fan, as you can only ride the Hogwarts Express with this ticket.
Additionally, some visitors always get the park-to-park ticket as they love to move around, particularly if it’s too busy in one park (for example, if you visit on a weekend). It just gives you more flexibility.
Skip-the-line-ticket: The crowds in fall are usually low enough to do Universal Studios without the express/skip-the-line ticket.
Three parks: Universal Studios is not just one park. There are a total of three Universal parks, each with its own theme and unique attractions:
- Universal Studios Florida
- Islands of Adventure
- Volcano Bay Water Park
Walt Disney World | Orlando (Nearby)
Disney World is Florida’s most prominent attraction and perfect for a less crowded area in the fall when most kids are back in school. Also, visiting Disney in October gives you the chance to experience Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, as well as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Additionally, the later in the month you travel, the lower the humidity and the lower chance of daily rain showers in the parks.
While Disney World features multiple attractions, including water parks and golf courses, its main attractions are the four theme parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
Tickets: For a hassle-free experience, get the base tickets in advance: Walt Disney World Orlando – Admission Base Tickets 2-7 days (mobile voucher or printed voucher)
How many days? 5-7 days are recommended for the best Disney World experience. If you only have two or three days, visit Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom or Epcot. Magic Kingdom is the best park as its rides and attractions have more magic than anything else.
In general, plan 1-2 days for each of the four parks in Disney World Orlando. Park experts recommend two days for each park, except Animal Kingdom, which can be easily done within a day.
SeaWorld | Orlando
When visiting SeaWorld in Orlando, you get the fantastic chance to see penguins, otters, dolphins, and other amazing sea creatures up close.
5 tips for a perfect SeaWorld visit in the fall:
- Make reservations in advance: It’s never fun waiting in a long line. Save time and money by purchasing (mobile or printed voucher) tickets in advance: Park Admission Ticket Reservation
- Pack a light sweater: While October offers pleasant temperatures in Orlando, the animal exhibits and aquariums which are not outside can get quite chilly in the evenings. Bring a sweater if you get cold easily.
- Arrive early at the shows: As the number of daily shows is limited, they often fill up quickly. In particular, the dolphin show, Dolphin Adventures, and Shamu’s close-up, Orca Encounter. Try to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before showtime, especially on weekends in October.
- Check the weather forecast: Check the forecast in the morning and prepare for your visit. Light rain showers are fine, as you can do many things indoors. However, many outdoor shows close due to bad weather (rainstorms or lightning). During one of the last of the rainy days, you might plan to visit the Kennedy Space Center instead, for example.
- Bring rain gear: You can get wet easily during one of the water rides or in the splash zone of the shows. We recommend bringing some rain gear or wearing clothes that dry quickly.
Kennedy Space Center | Orlando (Nearby)
The Kennedy Space Center is worth visiting and is only a 50-minute-drive from Orlando. You can either buy the admission ticket (mobile or printed voucher) solo or one where you don’t have to worry about driving as it includes transport from and to Orlando (via GetYourGuide – safe booking)
Fall is an ideal time to visit the Space Center as it has fewer tourists. In particular, the shorter waiting lines make it even more enjoyable. However, try to avoid weekends, as there are more families visiting. Also, keep in mind that you will often spend some time waiting to enter or get onto things, even during the slow days.
- Watch a rocket launch
- See a real space shuttle
- Go behind the gates (NASA restricted areas)
- Take the bus tour to the Apollo/Saturn V Center
Guided tour: You can explore everything on your own, but a guided tour is highly recommended since the area is overwhelming in its size and scope.
In fall, the average high temperature in Tampa is 78-89°F (26-31.6°C). It gets cooler as the season goes on, and becomes chilly in the early mornings and evenings.
Tampa Bay’s Sun Coast offers some of Florida’s best beaches, including Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. They start to become more crowded in November with the return of the snowbirds.
If you are a football fan, Florida is a good place to be in the fall season. Tampa is home to the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers and hosts football games and events all season. Another great place for sports just a few hours north is Gainesville, as it is the site for the University of Florida, home of the Florida Gators.
Besides hitting the beaches, Tampa has some great activities to offer for the whole family. Our tips:
Busch Gardens: Tampa’s huge theme park features intriguing wildlife with more than 2000 animals from around the world, huge roller coasters, live shows, restaurants, and games. Spend a full day at Busch Gardens. Ticket reservations (mobile voucher or printed): Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Ticket & Multi-Park Options
Florida Aquarium: The Florida Aquarium is located on the southeastern edge of downtown Tampa. It’s truly fascinating and has a huge collection of marine life, with 14,000 animals, including stingrays, moray eels, and turtles. Consider 2-3 hours for your visit. Fall tends to have low enough crowds to not need a skip-the-line ticket: The Florida Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entrance
Sarasota is a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast south of Tampa that was originally the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Sarasota is a vibrant place with plenty of great things to do. From the white sandy beaches to golfing and shopping or nightlife activities.
The Mote Marine Laboratory, which is ideal for small children, and the historical Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are two of Sarasota’s main attractions.
Tours by bike or bus are a fantastic way to experience the city, but you can also do it on your own.
- Ringling Museum: Perfect for a rainy afternoon in fall.
Tip: To discover the main attractions as well as the hidden neighborhoods, book a Sarasota sightseeing tour. It covers the historic downtown neighborhoods of Gillespie Park, Burns Court, Laurel Park, St. Armands Circle, and the Rosemary Design District.
A site you shouldn’t miss is The Unconditional Surrender Statue, which recreates the famous World War II photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse after returning home.
In October, the Everglades are still pretty hot, with an average high of 81-89°F (27.2-31.6°C) and an average low of 69-77°F (20.5-25°C).
Please read our complete Everglades guide and find out why fall is a good time to visit.
As wildlife starts to disperse with the rising water levels, the mornings and evenings are the best times to spot animals. The number of biting insects starts to decrease, and there are more tours starting to become available later in the fall season.
October will be the last month of daily rainfall, and crowds will start to increase. Take advantage of the end of the offseason.
In fall, the average temperature in Miami is 79-86°F (26.1-30°C). This is a great month to visit as the crowds are still pretty low. Hurricanes and tropical storms are common, getting lower as the season goes on.
Activities: There is so much more to experience than Miami Beach and South Beach. Our tips:
- Everglades National Park: Airboat Tour and Wildlife Show (starts in Gator Park)
- Miami: 45-Minute Sightseeing Speedboat Tour (mobile tickets): A thrilling ride through Miami with the best sights
- Miami: South Beach 30-Minute Plane Tour: Experience amazing views of South Miami with a terrific pilot
- Miami: City Cruise to Millionaire’s Homes & Venetian Islands (our tip!)
The Florida Keys is hands down one of the best places to visit when exploring the sunshine state.
In fall, the average temperature for the Keys ranges from 79-89°F (26.1-31.6°C). You experience some of the best sunset views here.
The Keys are the front line of defense for hurricanes and tropical storms that may appear this time of year. Keep that in mind when planning, and take all precautions needed to have a safe and happy visit.
The Florida Keys cater to various types of travelers and there is something for everyone. This area is great for sportsmen, beach lovers, foodies, and history buffs of all ages.
Activities around the Keys
- Key West: One of our favorites in all of Florida. It’s always warm and ideal for living the island life at its best!
- Key Largo: Famous for being the Dive Capital of the world and being the site for the biggest artificial reef. Make sure to visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during your visit.
- Dry Tortugas National Park: The most southern National Park in the country, is the perfect place to learn about history. Take a tour to the island and learn about legends of sunken treasures, pirates, and ghostly civil war stories. Divers will also love this place because it has some of the least disturbed reefs in the whole country.
- Snorkeling: There are countless world-class snorkeling spots all over the Florida Keys. You can take boat tours to various locations, or just walk right in the water and explore at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
- Seven Mile Bridge: This is amongst the longest bridges in the world, connecting the Florida Keys islands. It was also featured in various television dramas such as Burn Notice. Drive down over the water for some of the most spectacular views of a lifetime!
- Bahia Honda State Park: Bahia Honda State Park offers visitors an award winning beach, a historic bridge, snorkeling tours, kayak adventures, and the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.Keep in mind, this park will close if it gets too crowded, to protect the environment and assure visitors enjoy their time. The park is open daily from 8:00 am until sunset.