Visiting Florida in September is best for people that are open to change and ready for anything. With it still being the rainy season, hurricane season, and still often considered summer, your vacations can be filled with loads of surprises relating to the weather.
Nevertheless, 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.
We have put together all the information you need to have a successful and safe vacation during September.
Considering October or November? Check out our complete Florida Fall Guide.
This guide was written by a Florida local and has many unique insights and must-know tips. Make sure to check the best visiting tips for September at the end of the article.
September is the main month of the year that Florida has hurricane watches and warnings. It is still the rainy season and the chances of tropical storms appearing are high.
The month is still going to be pretty hot and humid, and when the rain is gone the sun shines high in the sky. Take precautions and make sure you stay hydrated at all times and use sunscreen.
The average high temperature in September is 86-90°F (30-32°C) in Florida. It is peak hurricane season, likely filled with rain showers, storms, and hot and humid weather. Rainfall tends to decrease throughout September with a monthly average of 4.2-5.6 inches.
💡 Keep in mind that hurricanes and tropical storms can be very dangerous, be sure to take precautions and be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions on a daily basis.
Average highs in September for the most popular cities:
- 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)
September is still the rainy season, as well as the middle of hurricane season. Visitors should expect daily rain showers, with potential thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. This will most likely happen during the afternoons and early evenings. Florida is the ‘lightning capital of the world’ and has a high chance of affecting visitors who are spending their time on the water or in boats.
Thunderstorms and Hurricanes: It is important to keep in mind that thunderstorms tend to bring lighting, as hurricanes do not. Hurricanes bring potential flooding and high winds. Visitors should pay attention to watches, take warnings seriously and take precautions when need be.
Hurricanes are never a 100% guarantee, and they don’t happen every single year. We have spent multiple Septembers in Florida, sometimes filled with sunshine, few rain showers, and no hurricanes.
The average rainfall in September is 4.2-5.6 inches and very rarely exceeds 8.3 inches. South and Southeast regions of Florida tend to have the most rainfall; it gradually decreases as the month goes on, so expect less rain towards the end of the month, not including potential hurricanes.
Humidity is always high in Florida and lingers all year long, not just in the summer months. September still has hot and muggy weather
💡 It tends to be more humid in the morning hours. Additionally, hurricanes and tropical storms can potentially affect humidity levels, so be prepared for higher levels after storms.
The average humidity in September is anywhere between 58-91%, being the highest around 4 am. Humidity tends to be higher in the southern and eastern regions of the state in places such as Miami, West Palm Beach, and Key West.
Daily Weather Progression
Weather can change very quickly during the month of September. Potential storms and hurricanes can alter the conditions on a daily basis. Typically the early morning hours tend to be very humid and muggy, with warm temperatures, sunshine, and few clouds.
Leading into the afternoons, this is where rain showers and thunderstorms are most likely to happen and can last into the evening hours. Between the hours of 1-3 pm are when temperatures are at their highest.
Here is a typical daily temperature progression in September in Miami:
- 8 AM: 81°F
- 11 AM: 86°F
- 2 PM: 87°F
- 9 PM: 82°F
September brings warm water temperatures all throughout the coastlines. Hurricanes love warm water just as much as we do, so keep that in mind when deciding on where to visit. 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.
Waters on the Northern Atlantic side by beaches such as Jacksonville, St. Augustine, or Cocoa Beach will have some of the coolest temperatures with an average of 82 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as the panhandle region with beaches such as Destin, Panama City, or Pensacola with an average temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
The warmest waters in all of Florida are always around the Southern tip by Miami and the Keys, averaging around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to Bring
Summer tends to linger around a little longer down in Florida, so it’s still the season for flip flops, shorts, and shades.
Dressing for unpredictable weather in Florida tends to be difficult. From our personal experience with traveling around Florida during this time of year, keep an umbrella on hand at all times.
September in Florida is still very hot and muggy, so try to stay away from tight-fitted clothing and wear loose-fit items. Pack shorts, t-shirts, tanks, light sweaters for the evenings, and a raincoat. Bring shoes that you are comfortable getting wet in since rain showers happen daily.
During the month of September, the clothing items in your suitcase should consist of:
- Capris & Bermudas
- T-shirts & Tanks
- Light sweater (evenings)
- Bathing Suits / Cover-up, Swim Trunks
- Raincoat or Poncho
We also tend to pack a poncho for days spent outside at parks or attractions. Ponchos are very thin and can keep yourself as well as your belongings dry during the rainy afternoons.
Comfortable shoes: Comfortable shoes are a must, no matter where you go. Don’t underestimate the amount of walking. Especially in theme parks like Disney, it’s likely that you will be walking over 10 miles. Without comfortable walking shoes, you end up with blisters and hurting feet at the end of the day. Please don’t wear flip-flops in theme parks.
Sandals: In addition to comfortable shoes, sandals with support are a good idea. They are a must when visiting one of Florida’s many water parks.
Other packing tips are sunglasses, a small backpack for day trips, a hat, water shoes (if doing water sports or boating), a water bottle for hydration, sunscreen, a small portable fan, a cooler, and of course your Mickey Mouse ears for Disney.
Restaurant / Evening Tip: When visiting Florida, we always keep 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. If you are someone who tends to get cold easily, this is a great tip to keep in mind.
Headache Meds. A travel tip 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 month of September tends to be a turnoff for vacations in Florida. Hurricanes and tropical storms tend to keep the crowds and the rates low. Hotel prices this time of year are going to be lower than usual or moderate. Prices average $109 per night but can be anywhere from $60-$330.
Airbnbs and guesthouses average around $160 per night, keep in mind beach and waterfront locations are usually the most expensive, but tend to be lower during hurricane season.
- 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. We recommend bookmarking a few.
If you are on a really tight budget or traveling solo, don’t forget Florida is host to dozens of hostels! Most of them are located in populous cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando, but starting prices are usually around $35 per night and go up from there.
Crowds tend to be rather low during the month of September in Florida. Kids are starting back to school, most family vacations have come and gone, and the snowbirds aren’t arriving until after the season. It’s also still very muggy and humid, with hurricane season in full swing causing slightly fewer crowds.
September is one of the best months for longer trips. There isn’t any particular region that is going to be overly populated or taken over by tourists.
💡 Inland Florida in September 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 lower crowds but unforeseeable weather conditions.
Keep in mind Orlandos’ month-long dining fest, as well as various events at theme parks that might attract more visitors. Additionally, it’s never really a quiet time at the theme parks anymore, just less busy.
Things to Do
For your activities, you should keep in mind that September is the peak hurricane season in Florida.
However, the list of things to do during this time is never-ending with the number of things to do and see in Florida. From theme parks, beaches, events, and natural state parks, you can do it all this time of year.
Good to know: Although September tends to be a very wet and stormy month, don’t let that stop you from enjoying yourself. Unpredictable trips tend to be the most fun and have the best memories.
Events: September is the perfect month for food lovers to visit Orlando and the parks. Epcot is host to their annual food and wine festival, and Orlando has a 5-week dining fest happening the entire month.
Visit Florida’s Beaches
Beaches are lovely this time of year because of low crowds and hot temperatures, however, the weather can be a big turn-off for some visitors. Beaches in the South and Southeast are most likely to be affected by hurricanes. The Northern Gulf and other less popular beaches on the Western side will be your best bet for an uninterrupted beach vacation in September.
The panhandle region of Florida consisting of beaches such as Panama City or Destin will have moderate water temperatures and usually the best weather overall. North Eastern Florida will have the better waves for surfing and aren’t as likely to experience a tropical storm.
Finally, Tampa Bay brings an abundance of small beach towns, water activities, and is the last and least likely place in Florida for a hurricane to hit. Keep in mind, it is still the rainy season, so all beaches are likely to have rain showers daily.
The Panhandle beaches such as Destin will have moderate water temperatures and some of the best weather overall.
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.
Miami Beach/South Beach will be less busy in September compared to other 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.
Jacksonville and St. Augustine will have the coolest water temperatures of 83 degrees Fahrenheit and is less likely to experience hurricanes due to their northern location. These beaches also bring in some of the best waves for surfing.
Since September is hurricane season, a lot of travelers tend to move inland and spend less time at the beaches. Due to unpredictable weather and the likeness of storms, travelers stray away from the coastline and explore nature by activities like hiking and camping. Take a trip to central Florida to hike the Florida Trail, and visit the various state parks it has to offer, as well as Everglades national park.
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.
Hurricanes and tropical storms will be very likely because of the warm water temperatures, and the coastal water will be windy, rough, and perfect for shredding on a surfboard! The Atlantic side brings the best waves for surfing, while the Tampa Bay area is great for kitesurfing!
Places to Visit / Activities
Find the must-know tips for all the popular and amazing places to visit in September.
The average high temperatures in Orlando hover around 89°F (31.6°C). Rainfall is very likely most days, especially in the afternoons.
Crowds: It’s not too crowded in September due to kids being back in school. Keep in mind that there is a 2-month dining fest happening for 5 weeks, and tends to bring in more visitors, especially on weekends.
Universal Studios | Orlando
Universal Studios is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida. Kids are back in school and summer vacation has come to an end. This means September is a great time to take advantage of cheaper rates, and lower crowds.
- 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 September 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 special 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 September when most kids are back in school. Visiting Disney in September can be unpredictable due to the weather. Epcot is also host to a wine festival this month, bringing in more guests on the weekends.
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. The park won’t be too crowded in September, however towards the end of the month, the Spooktacular event starts drawing in more families on weekends.
4 tips for a perfect SeaWorld visit in September:
- Make reservations in advance: While it’s not jam-packed in September, it’s still not fun waiting in a long line. Save time and money by purchasing (mobile or printed voucher) tickets in advance: Park Admission Ticket Reservation
- 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 September.
- 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 those extreme weather days in September, 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)
September is an ideal time to visit the Space Center as it is not as crowded as in the summer months. In particular, the shorter waiting lines make it even more enjoyable. However, try to avoid weekends, as no school gives kids more time to visit. Also, keep in mind that you will often spend some time waiting to enter or get onto things, even during September.
- 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 September, the average high temperature in Tampa is 89°F (31.6°C). Rain Showers and tropical storms are likely most days.
Tampa Bay’s Sun Coast offers some of Florida’s best beaches, including Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. They are not too crowded in September, but unpredictable weather makes visitors stay away. It is also the last month before snowbirds start to arrive, so take advantage of lower crowds.
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. If you plan to visit when it’s busier on a weekend, get 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.
Average high-temperature progression during September in Sarasota:
- Early September: 89°F (31.6°C)
- Mid-September: 88°F (31°C)
- Late September: 87°F(30.5°C)
Sarasota is a vibrant place with plenty of great things to do in September. 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 September
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.
Another spot you shouldn’t miss: The Unconditional Surrender Statue, which recreates the famous World War II photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse after returning home.
In September, the Everglades start to become noticeably cooler than the summer months, with an average high of 89°F (31.6°C) and an average low of 77°F (25°C). Rains and hurricanes are likely this time of year.
Please read our complete Everglades guide and find out why September is a not a bad month to visit.
As wildlife starts to disperse with the rising water levels, the mornings and evenings are the best times to spot animals in September. Mosquitoes will usually be a problem during September, and thunderstorms and hurricanes are very likely on most days, causing fewer animal sightings.
Although it’s still the rainy season, weekends can get crowded, so go in the mornings to avoid crowds.
In September, the average temperature in Miami is 86°F (30°C). Miami will always have the hottest temperatures in the whole state and it is one of the most popular beaches in Florida.
Read our full guide for Miami in September for more details and helpful travel tips for this month.
Crowds: This is a great month to visit if you are trying to avoid crowds. September draws in fewer crowds due to the higher chance of hurricanes, because of its southern location and warm waters.
Activities: Keep in mind that there is 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 Florida.
In September the average temperature for the Keys is 89°F (31.6°C) and enjoys the most sunshine in the whole state. Due to its most southern location and abundance of open waters, this region is highly likely to experience hurricanes and tropical storms in September.
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 warm and ideal for living the island life at its best! September has fewer crowds than previous months.
- 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 8:00am until sunset.