Summer in Florida

If you enjoy hot weather and can tolerate higher humidity levels, summer in Florida is a great choice for a wonderful vacation.

Despite the heat and rain, this time of year is a great choice for a family holiday because it provides something for everyone. Spend your time at a theme park, go sightseeing around the cities, and relax at the gorgeous beaches when the sun is not at its peak.

However, due to the few drawbacks such as extreme humidity at certain times, more rain, possible thunderstorms, or overcrowded theme parks, there are some crucial tips you should know when visiting in the summer.

Tip: Visit our complete guide to the best times to visit Florida as well.

With our tips and recommendations from a Florida resident, your summer vacation will be unforgettable!

Best Summer Months

The summer conditions in Florida will differ depending on where you visit, and what month. However, summertime offers loads of activities all over the state.

  • Best Weather: If you are looking for the best weather, try and visit during June if possible.
  • Fewer Crowds: If you are looking to avoid crowds, we would recommend the second half of August.

The best areas for water activities will be in the southern regions, and there are beautiful beaches surrounding the whole state. It’s not hard to see why Florida attracts so many visitors during summertime in the sunshine state.

Check out our detailed guides for each summer month:

Tip: Make sure to check out our summer tips for the intriguing Florida Keys at the end of this article. The Keys are a must-see during summertime.

Weather Overview

Florida’s summer months from June to August bring hot and humid weather, periods of rain, thunderstorms, and a chance of hurricanes.

Depending on the region, the average high temperatures in Florida during the summer range from 86°F to 92°F (30-33°C). It is the rainy season, with frequent rainfalls and hot and humid weather. Precipitation is increasing throughout the summer months with an average of 4.5 – 6 inches.

Average high temperatures in June, July, and August:

  • Miami | June: 86°F (30°C), July: 87°F (31°C), August: 88°F (31°C)
  • Tampa | June: 90°F (32°C), July: 91°F (33°C), August: 91°F (33°C)
  • Orlando | June: 91°F (33°C), July: 92°F (33°C), August: 91°F (33°C)
  • Jacksonville | June: 90°F (32°C), July: 92°F (33°C), August: 91°F (33°C)
  • Destin | June: 88°F (31°C), July: 89°F (32°C), August: 90°F (32°C)
Rain
Before a summer hurricane in Miami. You can see the lightning in the sky (top left)

Summer represents the rainy season in Florida which spans from late May until mid-October.

Florida receives on average 4.5-6 inches of rainfall in the summer. Visitors should expect a lot of rainy days throughout the summer season. Rainfall is possible almost every day and is most likely to occur in the afternoons hours.

💡 Rain can be a blessing on hot and muggy days throughout this season. The Florida humidity in the summertime is outrageously high and sometimes unbearable. The short 30-minute rain showers can easily help cool you off after a long morning of outdoor activities.

Rainfall increases as the summer months go on. August is the start of hurricane season, with a high potential for hurricanes and tropical storms towards the end of the summer. Keep this in mind when planning vacations toward the end of the season, and be prepared for any danger that may occur.

Humidity

One of the things that draw so many visitors to Florida every year is its location. It is the only mainland state that has a subtropical climate all the time and is also the closest to the Caribbean.

However, this causes the humidity levels in Florida to be at high levels throughout the whole year, especially in summer. This season can be best described with the word “sticky.”

The humidity levels in Florida during summer range anywhere from 60-92% and are typically higher in the southern regions. The early morning hours tend to have lower temperatures, but very high humidity. Afternoons see lower humidity levels, but higher temperatures.

Heat exhaustion and dehydration are very possible, especially in July and August, as these are the two hottest months of the year. It is important to be prepared and take precautions. Drink a lot of water throughout the day, take breaks, and find some shade if possible. It’s essential to know how to deal with the heat in Florida.

Water Temperature

The water temperature in the ocean stays above 80°F (27°C) in most places during the summer in Florida, making it a perfect time for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. It is often compared to bathwater temperatures and has some of the warmest ocean waters in the country.

Water temperatures vary but are often warmer the further south you go. Places like the Florida Keys, Miami, and West Palm Beach will have the warmest waters averaging around 84-87°F during the summer. The Northern regions, such as the Panhandle area and Northern Atlantic, usually have the coolest temperatures of the state, but still average 80-83°F.

Keep in mind, warm waters are one of the main ingredients for hurricanes and tropical storms. While the waters are warmest and most pleasant in the southern regions, those places are also most likely to be hit with a tropical storm towards the end of the summer months.

What to Wear / What to Pack

Summertime in Florida is hot. It is time to break out the flip-flops, tanks, and sundresses. The temperatures and humidity levels are high, so it is best to avoid dark and tight-fitted clothing.

In the summer you wear flowy and loose-fit clothing in Florida. Pack shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, long-sleeved clothing for the evening, a raincoat, bathing suits (ladies), and swim trunks (men).

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

  • Shorts (fast-drying, not cargo)
  • T-shirts & Tanks
  • Sundresses or flowy pants
  • Long-sleeved cover-up (evenings)
  • Bathing suits/ Cover-up
  • Swim Trunks
  • Raincoat or Poncho
  • Loose fit clothing
  • 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
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water shoes (for water sports or boating)
  • Water bottle- be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day!
  • Sunscreen!!
  • Small portable fan
  • Cooler
  • Mickey Mouse ears for Disney
  • Umbrella – very important for the last few weeks of summer

Restaurant Tip: When visiting Florida, we always keep a sweater or light jacket handy throughout the day for dining out in restaurants. Since the temperature outside is mainly hot, the air conditioners inside are on full blast. This is helpful if you are someone who tends to get cold easily.

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

June is usually the most crowded month of the summer, with the number of visitors getting smaller as the season goes on. June is the kick-off of summer vacations, kids are out of school, and most family vacations are planned for this month.

Visitors are also trying to beat the heat, and take advantage of the good weather in Florida, before the humidity and hurricanes start to roll in. However, beaches like Naples and West Palm Beach will have fewer tourists due to the lack of family-friendly activities and higher prices.

July and August will have a lower number of visitors, compared to June, due to various reasons:

  • The high humidity levels turn a lot of visitors away this time of year
  • There is also a high potential for hurricanes and tropical storms.

Tip: If you are looking to visit Florida in the summertime and avoid crowds, the end of August will be your best option. In the last week of August, crowds start to thin out.

Good to know: Florida is a big state surrounded by coastline and gives travelers plenty of space to spread out. However, theme parks and inland Florida tend to see more visitors during the summer months.

Highest crowds: 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.

Rates

Universal’s Aventura Hotel (booking.com rates and reviews). An amazing hotel and perfect for visiting Universal Studios. Read our Universal Studio tips below in our ‘Things to Do’ section

The rates in Florida during summer are going to vary, depending on when you travel. June tends to be the most expensive summer month, with the highest number of visitors and the most popular month for family vacations. July and August tend to have lower or moderate rates compared to June, especially in cities and beach towns.

In general, summertime is always going to be a bit more expensive due to it being the time of year most vacations happen and kids are out of school.

Travelers Tip: If you are traveling from the EU, August tends to see higher-priced plane tickets due to it being summer vacation in Europe. This month also tends to have a lot more canceled or delayed flights due to bad weather.

Keep in mind: Independence Day is on the 4th of July. This is where you will see an increase in rates and crowds all over the state due to the holiday seasons. Places like Miami, Orlando, and Tallahassee tend to have the highest rates due to big events in these locations.

The hotel links above are really useful to save time and money. Bookmark them if you like.

Airbnbs and guesthouses average around $160 per night and up during the summer, 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 $40 per night. Family-sized hotel rooms will start around $70-$150 a night, and full vacation homes range on average $400-$600 per night.

Places to Visit / Things to Do

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Often, travelers only consider 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 Florida in the summer. There are so many options to immerse yourself in nature and the outdoors in the sunshine state during this month.

July and August are the two hottest months of the entire year. There couldn’t be a more perfect time of year to discover the numerous waterparks in the area such as Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica.

Florida Beaches

The coastline of Florida is a vacation hotspot all year round because of the gorgeous beaches. The ocean is a great way to cool off from the heat and humidity that comes with the summer months. Crowds during the summertime will vary depending on region and time.

The Emerald Coast, such as Destin and Pensacola, is one of the best regions during summertime. Tropical storms are less likely, humidity is lower, and the ocean feels like bathwater.

The Florida Keys is one of the best places to go do anything water-related. Hurricane season brings powerful storms and waves. There are some amazing things in the ocean and the storms have a way of bringing them to shore, so shelling is very popular here in July and August.

St. Augustine and Cocoa Beach will be the quietest part of the state, this is mainly because of their northern location and cooler waters.

The Cultural Coast is one of our personal favorites. Beaches like Sarasota and Siesta Key have water temperatures around 83-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and much calmer waters compared to the Atlantic side of the state.

Naples and Fort Myers are favorites among the older generation, but winter is long over and the snowbirds are gone for the season! Now is the time to take advantage of the lower rates and crowds and enjoy the warm water temperatures.

Miami Beach/South Beach are ideal places in August if you are looking to visit when crowds are lower. The first part of the summer there will be more visitors due to less rainfall.

Jacksonville and Amelia Island will usually have the coolest waters in the state and are some of the most favored on the Atlantic side of the state.

Orlando

The average high temperatures in Orlando hover around 91°F (32.7°C) in the summertime. Especially in August, rain showers tend to be heavier and stronger due to hurricanes.

Universal Studios | Orlando

Universal Studios is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida. June will be the busiest month this season due to more family vacations, and less rain compared to the following 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 (from June to mid-August, on weekends, or if you visit on the 4th of July weekend). It gives you more flexibility.

Skip-the-line-ticket: The crowds in summer can be low enough to do Universal Studios without the express/skip-the-line ticket. However, with kids being out of school, sometimes it’s something to consider.

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, especially for families. Visiting Disney in summer tends to have even more crowds because kids are out of school, especially in June since most vacations happen this month.

However, the humidity can be too hot for some visitors. Disney isn’t as busy in the late afternoons or evenings after the rains.

Additionally, the later in the summer you travel, the higher the temps and humidity and the greater 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:

  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. The park won’t be extremely crowded in summer, as the rainy season causes many disruptions to outdoor events. Expect June to be the busiest month this season.

4 tips for a perfect SeaWorld visit in summer:

  1. Make reservations in advance: It is the rainy season, but it is also still summertime and kids are out of school. It’s no fun waiting in a long line. Save time and money by purchasing (mobile or printed voucher) tickets in advance: Park Admission Ticket Reservation
  2. 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, but be mindful outdoor events can be postponed due to rain showers in the summer.
  3. Check the weather forecast: Check the forecast in the morning and prepare for your visit. Light rain showers are fine, as you can still do many things indoors. July brings likely heavy rainy days, you might plan to visit the Kennedy Space Center instead, for example.
  4. 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)

Summer is a good time to visit the Space Center as it gives visitors a chance to cool off from the humidity. On the downside, crowds tend to increase this time of year, especially on weekends. 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 of the Kennedy Space Center is overwhelming in its size and scope.

Tampa
Busch Gardens in Tampa

In summer, the typical average high temperature in Tampa is 91°F (32.7°C). It’s the rainy season, so rain showers are likely, especially in the afternoons.

Tampa Bay’s Sun Coast offers some of Florida’s best beaches, including Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach.

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 in summer, we suggest you get a skip-the-line ticket: The Florida Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entrance

Sarasota

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 located on the gulf coast and is less likely to see hurricanes and tropical storms compared to beaches more south such as Miami or Key West.

Early Morning: It’s more humid in the morning hours, however, temperatures aren’t as high.

Sarasota is a vibrant place with plenty of great things to do in summer. From the white sandy beaches to sightseeing 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 rainy afternoon in the summer.

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

In the summer, the Everglades is generally hot, with an average high of 89-91°F (31.6-32.7°C) and an average low of 72-75°F (22.2-23.4°C). With the rainy season in session, expect showers especially in the afternoons, with rains getting heavier and more likely as the summer goes on.

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

As wildlife starts to disperse with the rising water levels, the mornings and evenings are the best times to spot animals in the summertime. Since it’s the rainy season, expect a lot of mosquitoes and biting insects, especially after rain showers.

Miami

In Summer, the average temperature in Miami ranges from 86°F to 88°F (30-31.1°C). The beaches are some of the most popular in the state, so expect decent crowds. On the other hand, August humidity and unpredictable weather tend to turn some visitors away.

Crowds: Miami will always see high numbers of visitors due to its location and popularity. The crowds tend to be highest in June, and lowest in August during the summer months due to kids being out of school and the rainy season.

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

Florida Keys
Seven Mile Bridge, Key West

The Florida Keys is one of the best places to visit when exploring Florida in the summer months.

In summer, the average temperature for the Keys is 89-91°F (31.6-32.7°C). This region enjoys the most sunshine in the whole state, perfect for sunsets on the beach. Keep in mind, August will bring many potential chances for tropical storms and hurricanes, and the Keys are the first line of defense.

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! Watch for the lowest crowds in August due to weather.
  • 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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