Key West is a paradise on earth and one of the most well-known and popular places to visit in the state of Florida. Famous for its dazzling beaches and laid-back lifestyle, Key West is the place to come and relax, enjoy the waves, and escape from everyday life.
It’s hard to imagine a better place to spend the summer other than in Key West, and in our opinion, August is a very enjoyable month to do so.
If you love the beach but hate large crowds or traveling on a tighter budget, August is the perfect month for you to visit Key West.
As residents and experts in the state of Florida, we are here to offer up all of our tips and knowledge about visiting Key West in August, so your trip is the best it can be.
3 Great Activities for August
Is August a Good Time to Visit?
August is a good time to visit Key West if you are looking for fewer crowds and lower rates. While the weather can be unpredictable or unreliable, spontaneous and flexible visitors can enjoy some of the most peaceful times on the island.
Mornings are perfect for enjoying the beach, and rates drop around 30% this month, saving you a few extra bucks.
Location | Florida Keys
Key West is the southernmost island in the Florida Keys. It’s about 90 miles south of Miami and is famous for its tropical climate, beaches, historic architecture, and laid-back atmosphere.
The Florida Keys are a chain of islands that extend for about 120 miles from Key Largo in the north to Key West in the south.
So, how to get to Key West in August or during other months:
Coming from Miami, the most convenient way is to drive down the Overseas Highway. This picturesque route connects the Florida Keys, and the Seven Mile Bridge is definitely a must-see feature of the journey. It connects Knight’s Key (near Marathon) to Little Duck Key.
You can also fly into Key West International Airport, which is located on the eastern side of the island and offers daily flights from Miami and other major cities. And if you’re a water-lover, there are ferry services available that operate between Miami and Key West.
August is one of the hottest months in Key West and the end of the summer season, so expect to see mostly hot and muggy days this month. Visitors are likely to see daily rain showers, as it is the middle of the rainy season and Caribbean Hurricane season.
The average high temperature in August is 89°F (32°C) in Key West. The weather is hot and humid, with frequent rain showers due to being in the middle of the rainy season. The average rainfall is 3.4 to 6.7 inches. Tropical storms are possible from mid-August.
The weather has never been a big issue for me while visiting Key West in August. During my last trip, it did rain more than I had expected, especially in the late afternoons, but it was extremely humid in the mornings every single day, so it was a nice break after spending hours out in the sun on the beach.
There were never any hurricanes, but there was a pretty big thunderstorm one evening with heavy winds, but it was over by daylight.
August in Key West | Average High Temperatures:
- Early August: 89°F (32°C)
- Mid-August: 89°F (32 °C)
- Late August: 88°F (31.1°C)
August is in the middle of the rainy season, and storms start to arrive towards the middle of the month if there are any. Expect daily rainfall in Key West, usually in the afternoon or nighttime hours.
The average rainfall in Key West in August rapidly increases as the month progresses. At the start of August, expect 3.4-7.8 inches of rainfall. You can expect to see 5.9-10 inches of rainfall at the end of the month.
Can it rain the whole day? In August, it rains about half the time. While rain showers are unlikely to last longer than a couple of hours, the entire afternoon may be wet and rainy. We wouldn’t expect to see rain all day, but knowing the potential is there.
While it is hurricane season and storms this month can get tough, it is doubtful that any storm will be as severe as a hurricane. Especially from mid-August, you might experience regular thunderstorms which are intense but usually brief.
August is often one of the most humid months of the year in Key West. Humidity is expected almost 100% of the time, every day, especially it being the middle of the rainy season.
During the morning hours, humidity levels are at their highest at around 79%. While the afternoon hours tend to have the hottest temperatures, they see lower humidity levels averaging approximately 68%.
Daily Weather Progression
Temperatures in Key West in August are progressing as the day goes on, with higher temperatures and higher chances of rainfall as the hours pass, but cooling off some when the sun goes down.
Typical daily temperature progression:
- Morning (6 AM): 82°F (27.7)
- Afternoon (3 PM): 88°F (31.1°C)
- Night (11:30): 83°F (28.3)
Mornings tend to be bright and sunny with higher humidity levels, followed by hot afternoons, with likely rain showers with a potential overcast.
Evenings are still hot, but they start to cool off with a light breeze when the sun goes down. If hurricanes are in the region, scattered thunderstorms and stronger winds are expected.
Resources for August | Saving Money
While August is not that crowded, it’s still necessary to plan ahead and book your accommodation AND rental cars well in advance if you want to save money:
🚗 Rental cars in Florida via rentalcars.com
🚙 Rental car deals in Florida via Discover Cars
💊 Travel Insurance (Rental Car, Delays, Medical)
All of these links open in a new tab. They are exceptionally useful for your Florida trip.
Water Temperature | Swimming
August brings some of the warmest water temperatures of the year to waters surrounding Key West. The average water temperature for this month is 86.9°F (30.5°C), ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports or activities such as swimming, kayaking, SUP boarding, and any other water dog-loving activity imaginable.
Possible storms: While boating is one of the most popular activities in the southern tip of Florida, be cautious and pay attention to the weather forecast before heading off-shore. Warm waters are the main ingredient for tropical storms, and Key West is in the prime location for potential dangers.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are extremely popular activities in Key Wes. Underwater, the island is home to abundant marine life, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and even shipwrecks.
Above the water, Jet skiing and parasailing are also popular options, offering an exciting way to explore the island’s coastline and enjoy stunning views from above.
What to Pack | What to Wear
We love Key West because it is slow-paced and summertime all year long.
During August in Key West, wearing shorts and tank tops is essential to look like a local and to stay cool. Bathing suits and cover-ups are totally acceptable almost everywhere on the island. Flip-flops and bare feet are the norm.
For mornings in Key West during August, a bathing suit, cover-up, or swim trunks and a tank are all you will need. Keep a lightweight poncho or rain jacket for afternoon rain showers.
Evenings are still great for casual wear or a chance for sundresses or cargo shorts. It’s still pretty warm in the evenings, but winds tend to be more prevalent, so keep a lightweight jacket close by just in case.
Packing List for Key West:
- Sandals & Flip-flops
- Tanks & Cut-offs
- T-shirts & V-necks
- Lightweight raincoat or Poncho
- Bathing Suit/Swim Trunks
- Bathing Suit Cover Up
Additional items to pack:
- Umbrella or poncho for rainfall.
- Hat or visor for extra protection at the beach.
- Sunglasses (invest in a good pair)
- Bug Spray (mosquitos come out in the evenings)
- Water Bottle – ALWAYS stay hydrated!
- Small backpack or fanny pack for the beach and day trips.
- Snorkeling gear (there are excellent snorkeling opportunities in Key West)
- Water shoes if you are planning on wading in the water.
- Hand-held fan for hot & muggy afternoons.
Restaurant tip: When staying in Key West in August, we always keep a sweatshirt or light jacket handy for dining out in indoor restaurants. If you often get cold easily, you often need this when dining indoors, as the A/C is typically on high power due to hot temperatures outdoors.
Headache: We suggest bringing medicine for headaches during your trip to Key West in August. The heat in Florida, especially in Key West, is powerful. If you aren’t used to being in a warm climate, this could potentially put a damper on your vacation as it is likely to cause frequent headaches throughout the day.
Thanks to the slower traffic of incoming visitors, and higher chances of hurricanes, rates tend to drop in August and can be as low as 30% or more. August 6 and onward is one of the cheapest times to fly to Key West, and the following weeks and into the fall can see some of the most reasonable rates.
Key West Hotel Deals via booking.com (Tip: save the link and check rates frequently)
You can find some hostels at around $61 a night or lower, depending on your preference and budget. Staying in an Airbnb begins at about $200 (depending on the size), hotels average $96-$178 a night, and full home vacation rentals start at an average of $390 per night and go up from there.
If you want to avoid large crowds when visiting Key West, August is a fantastic month. Family vacations are long gone, schools are starting back, and hurricane season is underway, meaning fewer visitors, fewer crowds, and shorter waiting times.
The beaches are less crowded in Key West during August. This is the start of the slow season for beachgoers, and locals are likely to be seen wandering around enjoying their homes with fewer tourists.
Places to Visit / Things to Do in August
The tropical paradise of Key West offers tons of exciting and unique experiences that are great in August. Here are seven ideal things to do in Key West that will make your trip unforgettable during this summer month.
Explore Key West Cemetery
The Key West Cemetery is known for its quirky and humorous epitaphs, ornate headstones, and interesting history. While a cemetery may not be your first choice of sightseeing spot, we always love to check out different cemeteries in new places that we visit.
You can take a self-guided tour like we did or join a guided tour to learn more about the cemetery’s past residents and their stories. Some of the most notable graves include Ernest Hemmingway, the first female cigar maker on the island, and victims of USS Maine.
Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the loneliest and strangest national parks in the country. It’s a unique and remote destination that offers incredible natural beauty, rich history, and a sense of seclusion and solitude.
We loved taking a day trip to the park and had the best snorkeling experience here during our trip to Key West. We planned our trip for later in the afternoon and were able to enjoy a great sunset as well on the way back.
Visit The Shipwreck Treasure Museum
Pirates and shipwrecks are something that has fascinated us for our entire lives. So, if you’re interested in maritime history and treasure hunting, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Key West, Florida, is a must-visit attraction. The museum features interactive exhibits that tell the story of shipwrecks and treasure hunting in the Florida Keys. We saw authentic artifacts from historic shipwrecks and learned about the challenges and risks of salvaging ocean treasure.
Sunset Sail on Schooner America 2.0
Sailing on a tall ship in the turquoise waters of Key West is a magical experience. The Schooner America 2.0, a replica of the 19th-century racing yacht, offers an enchanting two-hour sunset sail. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the sun dipping below the horizon, accompanied by the gentle sound of the ocean breeze and the creaking of the wooden ship.
Special tip: To make your experience even more memorable, book a private sail for you and your loved ones. These private charters offer a personalized experience, allowing you to enjoy the sunset and the incredible views of Key West in a more intimate setting.
Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Cruise
The turquoise waters around Key West are home to a variety of marine life, including the playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. A dolphin watching and snorkeling cruise provides an unforgettable opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Afterward, you’ll be able to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and explore the colorful coral reefs teeming with fish.
Special tip: Book your cruise early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the waters are calmer and the dolphins are more active. Don’t forget to bring an underwater camera to capture the amazing underwater world and memories of your encounter with the dolphins.
Explore the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Literature lovers and history buffs alike will appreciate a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. This Spanish colonial-style house is where the famous author lived for over a decade, writing some of his most renowned works.
The museum showcases Hemingway’s life and career, featuring his personal belongings, rare photographs, and even the descendants of his famous six-toed cats.
Special tip: To enhance your experience, join a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff who share fascinating stories about Hemingway’s life in Key West. The tours run regularly throughout the day and are included in the admission price.
Many visitors, like me, only wanted to take a quick look first, but then fell into a world of their own imagination and reminisce of a by-gone era. I was really captured by the beauty of this historical property
Stroll Along Duval Street
Duval Street is the heart of Key West, lined with vibrant shops, art galleries, bars, and restaurants. A leisurely stroll down this iconic street offers a glimpse into the island’s unique culture and history. From the lively bars to the laid-back cafes, there’s always something happening on Duval Street.
Special tip: Plan your walk for late afternoon and into the evening, when the street comes alive with live music and entertainment. Be sure to stop by the famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, once a favorite hangout of Hemingway, for a taste of the local atmosphere.
Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a serene oasis filled with hundreds of colorful butterflies, tropical birds, and lush plants. Walking through the climate-controlled, glass-enclosed habitat provides a tranquil and educational experience, perfect for visitors of all ages.
Special tip: Be on the lookout for the “pupa room,” where you can witness the incredible transformation of butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. Additionally, the gift shop offers a range