Spring in Florida

Springtime is like a breath of fresh air and is a perfect time of year for planning a vacation to Florida. This season offers visitors ideal weather conditions, beautiful sights and scenery, and loads of activities.

March and April bring crisp air and sunny skies, and perfect conditions for anything water-related, while May offers hotter temperatures and is filled with events.

This article covers:

  • Weather in Spring
  • Water Temps/Swimming
  • Outfits/Packing Tips
  • Crowds
  • Things to Do/Beaches

Crowds and rates will fluctuate depending on time and location, but Florida is big enough for guests to spread out and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing trip, a fun-filled family trip, or a week of partying to celebrate spring break.

Continue reading this in-depth spring guide or visit our detailed articles for each spring month:

Our complete best time to visit Florida guide provides you with even more tips.

As former residents, springtime is our favorite time of the year to visit Florida. We hope that this local written guide gives you the knowledge to plan an unforgettable trip down south!

Weather Overview

Average high temperatures throughout the spring months.

It’s no surprise that Florida is one of the most favored destinations for people to spend their retirement. This is the only state that keeps a subtropical climate throughout the whole year.

The average high temperatures in Florida during the spring range from 70°F to 88°F (21-31°C). It is the ending of the dry season and the beginning of the wet season. Precipitation is uncommon at the start of spring, and increases as the season continue with an average of 2.0 – 4.5 inches.

Florida has the most ideal weather for springtime: sunny skies, little rainfall, low humidity, and a crisp breeze. The weather in the springtime allows you to be comfortable outside most of the day without it being too hot or humid.

March can be a little dramatic when it comes to weather changes, so expect a lot of sun, but be prepared for very windy and foggy days as well. April and May offer visitors a good glimpse of summer, minus the unbearable high heat and humidity levels, including the occasional rainshower.

Average high temps during spring:

  • 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
Miami Beach on a windy and cloudy day in spring.

During the spring in Florida, rainfall usually averages 2.0-4.5 inches, increasing as the season continues. While less likely, it still isn’t uncommon to see small showers or brief thunderstorms towards mid-spring in April, preparing for the wet season.

In general, springtime in Florida doesn’t have as many “April Showers” compared to other states in the country. March is usually very dry, and April is the final month of the dry season. Meaning that rainfall during this time of year isn’t as likely, as it is in the months to come. The weather at the start of spring is more dry and crisp, with less wind and more sunny days.

Best month: Although it’s the start of the rainy season, May is still preferable to the summer months in terms of weather. It doesn’t rain as much in May and is not nearly the threat of tropical summer storms systems which can happen in the following months.

Humidity

High humidity levels are always present in the sunshine state due to it being located so close to the Caribbean.

During the spring season, the humidity levels in Florida can be as high as 90%, and as low as 60%. Humidity shouldn’t be much of an issue in the month of March, due to higher winds making the humidity levels almost unnoticeable.

May is when you will begin to feel the effects of the higher levels, and it tends to be higher in the western and southern regions of the state.

Water Temperature

Surfer wearing a wetsuit: Jacksonville Beach

For locals and frequent visitors, the general rule of thumb is that the ocean in Florida is warm enough for swimming anytime during the months of April-October.

May tends to be one of the best months of the year in Florida for a combination of warm temperatures along with warm waters. Beaches such as Palm Beach and Boca Raton have some of the warmest waters in the state with an average of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep in mind, the northern Atlantic, as well as the panhandle, tend to have the coolest temperatures throughout the whole year. These are also the two most popular regions in the state for spring break celebrations to take place.

During the spring, northern Atlantic and panhandle water temperatures here will average 64-76 degrees Fahrenheit. The water is getting warmer as the season goes on. Miami and South Beach are popular spots in the springtime, as well as the rest of the year too. Water temperatures here will average 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outfits | Packing Tips

Florida has dreamy weather all the time. With the subtropical climate, according to some, it is summer all year long. The springtime isn’t as humid as the summer months, but you definitely don’t need your winter jacket, and you can leave your boots at home too.

From our personal experience with traveling around the Tampa and Orlando area this time of year, you can definitely feel the shift from spring to summer starting in the month of May.

Make sure to read our tips about what to wear in Miami during March.

Dressing for unpredictable weather in Florida can be tricky:

Springtime tends to be a lot cooler in the mornings and the evenings, at least till mid-May in Florida. Wear outfits that can be easily layered so clothes can be removed or added when necessary. We find it best to either have a light jacket or sweater handy most of the day.

During the spring season, the clothing items in your suitcase should consist of:

  • Shorts
  • T-shirts & V-necks
  • Flannel or long-sleeved layering shirt (men and women)
  • Bathing suits/ Cover-up
  • Swim Trunks
  • Jeans (beginning of spring only)
  • Leggings or Joggers
  • Jacket or light sweatshirt
  • Rain Coat
  • Sandals & walking shoes

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
  • Beach bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water shoes (for water sports or boating)
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Small portable fan
  • Cooler
  • Umbrella
  • Mickey Mouse ears for Disney tips

💡 Don’t forget the following essential items:

Comfortable Shoes
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Comfortable shoes are a must, no matter where you go. Don’t underestimate the amount of walking you will be doing.

In particular, when going to Orlando and visiting the theme parks. Without comfortable walking shoes, you might end up with blisters and hurting feet at the end of the day. Please don’t wear flip-flops in theme parks.

Sandals
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CUSHIONAIRE Women's Lane Cork Footbed Sandal With +Comfort, Stone, 8
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In addition to comfortable shoes, sandals with support are a good idea. They are a must when adding water rides in the theme parks to your activity list.

Light Rain Jacket
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An occasional downpour or thunderstorm is always a possibility in Florida, even during spring. Please bring a raincoat as a precaution.

Restaurant tip: We always keep a sweater or light jacket handy throughout the day for dining in most restaurants. Even in spring, the air conditioners are often on full blast. If you are someone who tends to get cold easily, this is a great tip to keep in mind.

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.

Crowds

Springtime varies when it comes to crowds. March is the busiest month in Florida outside of summer. The locals tend to hate March, especially in busier cities that are attractive to spring breakers. Expect higher crowds for spring break, especially in the Panhandle region, as well as the Northern Atlantic coast, and southern Miami.

The spring months of April and May tend to bring lower crowds in most places in the state. May is also the month when the snowbirds head back north and say goodbye to their winter getaways. April is one of the best times of year to visit theme parks, as crowds tend to be lower and the weather is very comfortable.

💡 Local opinion: We recommend visiting Florida in early May. While not jam-packed, the later you go in May, the busier it will be. Schools in the U.S. all have varying schedules, but some in the south get out already in mid-May since they return in late July or early August.

Good to know: Snowbird cities are going to have higher crowds, at least until May. Expect higher crowds this season in places such as Naples, Fort Myers, and Clearwater.

St. Patrick’s Day: There will be various festivals and events happening around the state celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Expect higher crowds during this weekend.

Memorial Day & Cinco De Mayo: Cinco De Mayo is the 5th of May, and Memorial Day is the last weekend of the season. There will be higher crowds and rates due to the holidays, especially in cities with a high Latino population (Fort Lauderdale and Miami).

Rates

Universal’s Aventura Hotel (booking.com rates and reviews). Our tip when visiting Universal Studios. Read our Universal tips below in our ‘Things to Do and Places to Visit’ below.

March tends to have higher rates for most activities, and travelers will likely see an increase in price rates as well with accommodation. The highest rates will be in cities that attract a lot of spring breakers and where snowbirds are present.

April and May tend to have lower rates for most activities, and travelers will likely see moderate to lower rates as well with accommodation; spring breakers have left for the season and the piles of tourists aren’t due to arrive for a few more weeks.

Search for the best and/or cheapest hotels in spring:

Airbnbs and guesthouses average around $165-$217 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-$50 per night; very popular for spring breakers. Family-sized hotel rooms will start around $50-$106 a night and go up from there, depending on the city you choose.

Places to Visit / Things to Do in Spring

Before visiting Florida, you are probably thinking about the major attractions in Orlando (Disney, Universal, Sea World) and the beaches across the state. However, beaches and theme parks aren’t the only way to enjoy the sunshine state during spring. There are countless options to immerse yourself in nature and the outdoors in the sunshine state during this month.

Fishing: Visitors come from all over the country to take part in some of the greatest fishing opportunities in the United States. April is one of the best months of the year because of the tarpon migration.

Whether you are celebrating spring break, looking to let loose at a festival, relax on the beach, go hiking, or camping; Florida has something for everyone to enjoy in the springtime.

Florida Beaches

The coastline of Florida is a vacation hotspot all year round because of the gorgeous beaches. The beginning of spring will be the most crowded due to the high number of spring breakers flooding the coastline.

Panhandle (Destin, Panama City) Panama city is one of the busiest beaches in the entire state when it comes to spring break. Expect high crowds of younger people, free concerts, and a lot of interesting nightlife.

Miami Beach/South Beach will always be rather busy due to its popularity, warm waters, and spring break during this month too. The waters here will be on average 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Jacksonville and the Space Coast are the original ‘spring break’ spots. Up and Down the northern Atlantic Coast are popular hotspots for young vacationers, with cooler water temperatures ranging from 60-66 degrees fahrenheit.

West Palm Beach offers visitors more luxurious options and has some of the best shopping in the state, less crowded than its neighboring beaches of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It has an average water temperature of 64 degrees fahrenheit.

Anna Maria Island is a personal favorite and a hidden gem on the Cultural Coast. It is great for nature lovers and encourages walking and bike riding. It also tends to have lower crowds this time of year compared to other beaches.

Orlando

The average high temperatures in Orlando hover around 79-84°F (26.1-31°C). Springtime is one of our favorite times of the year to experience this city and its theme parks.

Crowds March/April: In Orlando, it’s very busy and crowded from March until the first weekend of April, when spring breaks are coming to an end. This is the last period to enjoy lower crowds at theme parks due to kids still being in school.

May Crowds: Except for late May, it’s not too crowded in Orlando. However, keep in mind Orlando hosts the Fringe festival every year. This could cause the parks to be a little busier, only because of their location to the festival.

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 more tolerable in terms of busy parks.

Universal Studios | Orlando

Universal Studios is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida. Kids are still in school until mid- or late-May. Other than spring breakers crowding the park in the month of March, the springtime time offers pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, compared to the upcoming summer months.

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 spring are often low enough to do Universal Studios without the express/skip-the-line ticket. However, in March it is useful, as well as in late May.

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! We have experienced many Disney World vacations, and the most enjoyable always happen in the springtime. Epcot is also host to the Flower and Garden Festival every April as well.

Keep in mind, crowds tend to be higher during the month of March, as spring breakers flock to beaches and Disney World.

While Disney World features multiple attractions, including water parks and golf courses, its main attractions are the four theme parks:

  1. Magic Kingdom
  2. Animal Kingdom
  3. Hollywood Studios
  4. Epcot

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. Spring tends to bring higher crowds than the previous season, especially over spring break.

5 tips for a perfect SeaWorld visit in Spring:

  1. Make reservations in advance: Even during times when it’s not jam-packed in SeaWorld, it’s still not fun waiting in a long line for a long time. Save time and money by purchasing (mobile or printed voucher) tickets in advance: Park Admission Ticket Reservation
  2. Pack a light sweater: While spring offers pleasant temperatures in Orlando, the animal exhibits and aquariums which are not outside can get quite chilly in the evenings and early mornings. A sweater helps if you get cold easily.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 early rainy days in May, you might plan to visit the Kennedy Space Center instead, for example.
  5. 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)

Spring is an ideal time to visit the Space Center as it is not as crowded as in the summer. In particular, the shorter waiting lines make it even more enjoyable. However, try to avoid weekends as they are the busiest. Also, keep in mind that you will often spend some time waiting to enter or get onto things.

Must-see attractions:

  • 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.

Lake Whales | Special Spring Tip

Bok Tower Gardens: The Singing Tower

Between Orlando and Tampa, lies a small town named Lake Whales. This is home to the famous Bok Towers, and March is the best time of year to see the blooming of all the spring flowers. The towers offer gardens, a bird sanctuary, a singing tower, and it is usually not too busy compared to other attractions.

Tampa

In spring, the average high temperature in Tampa is 77-88°F (25-31.1°C). It’s about 10 to 15 degrees colder in the early morning and late evenings.

Tampa Bay’s Sun Coast offers some of Florida’s best beaches, including Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. Expect higher crowds in March and April due to the high number of ‘snowbirds’ in the area.

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 on a weekend, get a skip-the-line ticket: The Florida Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entrance

Sarasota
Sarasota: Siesta Key Beach

Sarasota is a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast south of Tampa that was originally the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Tip: Check out our complete ‘Sarasota Guide‘.

Average high temperature progression during spring in Sarasota:

  • March: 74-78°F
  • April: 80-85°F
  • May: 83-87°F

Early Morning: It’s usually about 10°F degrees cooler in the morning (around 8 AM) in spring.

Sarasota is a vibrant place with plenty of great things to do in April. 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.

Must-see/recommended:

  • Ringling Museum: Perfect for a crisp afternoon in spring.

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.

Everglades

The Everglades are comfortable in the springtime, with an average high of 80-86°F (26.6-30°C) and an average low of 66-74°F (18.8-23.3°C). Humidity levels are less noticeable and the dry season also has less mosquitos and bugs.

Please read our complete Everglades guide and find out why spring is still a great time to visit the Everglades.

March is mating season for a lot of animals, including alligators. Be cautious and safe while on your trip. As wildlife starts to disperse with the rising water levels, the mornings and evenings are the best times to spot animals in the spring.

Shark Valley or Homestead entrances give visitors the best chance to spot wildlife.

Mosquitoes and other biting insects won’t become an issue until late May; the winds in the springtime tend to keep them away.

Miami

In spring, the average temperature in Miami is 77-83°F (25-28.3°C). This is a great season to visit as it’s almost perfect beach weather.

Crowds: Miami is one of the most popular cities in all of Florida and will always have average crowds, especially due to its more southern location.

Activities: Keep in mind that there is more to experience than Miami Beach and South Beach. Our tips:

Florida Keys
The Seven Mile Bridge, Key West

The Florida Keys is hands down one of the best places to visit when exploring Florida in the springtime!

In spring the average temperature for the Keys are 78-85°F (25.5-29.4°C), and enjoys the most sunshine in the whole state, perfect for sunsets on the beach. April & May offers less winds than previous months and is great for boating and fishing.

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: The best beach for boating in springtime and one of our favorites in all of Florida. It’s 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.

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