Miami in January

Miami is the perfect place to jump-start the new year as there are endless things to do during the month of January. There are great weather conditions to escape the cold temperatures of winter and a beautiful blue and breezy coastline.

The month of January tends to be hectic, and school and work can put a limit on vacation time. If the responsibility of a job or school work isn’t a burden, January can be a superb time of the year to visit Miami.

Despite a few downsides like higher crowds and cooler waters, our two Miami residents have together all the tips and information you will need to plan the best trip ever to this city.

We will answer everything you need to know about this month:

  • Is the weather comfortable in January?
  • How often does it rain?
  • What you should pack for January?
  • What should you wear during the day?
  • Is the ocean too cold for swimming?
  • What are the best activities?

Is January a Good Time to Visit Miami?

January is a very good time to visit Miami, as it brings comfortable weather with mostly pleasant temperatures around 76°F (24°C). While it’s the start of the peak season, the large crowds of the upcoming spring months haven’t arrived yet.

Keep in mind that it can be crowded in certain areas, but Miami and its coastline are big enough to find ways and places to avoid the high numbers.

Weather

Janaury is cooler, but the average high temperature is still very pleasant.

January in Miami brings cool and comfortable temperatures. It is ideal for outdoor activities, where you can enjoy your time without the effects of extreme heat.

During January, the average high temperature in Miami is comfortable most of the day, hovering around 76°F (24°C). It is the dry season, filled with bright and sunny skies with a crisp breeze. There is little rainfall this month, with an average of 1.5 inches. Humidity is low.

January in Miami | Average High Temperatures:

  • Early January: 76°F (24°C)
  • Mid-January: 76°F (24°C)
  • Late January: 76°F (24°C)
Rainfall

January is one of the driest months of the year in Miami. It is the middle of the dry season, and there is very little rainfall happening this month. The month of January tends to average around 1.4-1.6 inches.

Good to know: While January is the dry season, we have experienced nights with the occasional thunderstorms. This isn’t too surprising since Florida is the lighting capital of the world.

In general, you shouldn’t worry about rain or unpredictable weather conditions interrupting your plans during this time. There are usually only 8 rainy days this month on average, so chances are there won’t be an issue.

Heat/Humidity

Since Miami has a southern location close to the Caribbean, there are high humidity levels present all year round. However, the shift of the seasons causes humidity to drop in the month of January. There is no need to worry about high humidity levels putting stress on your time.

The humidity levels in January aren’t too noticeable in Miami due to the cooler temperature and crisp breeze from the coastline. The mornings tend to have the highest humidity of 84% but then drop down to 59% in the late afternoons.

Daily Weather Progression

January weather is usually warmest in the afternoons hours, with mornings and evenings being about 10 degrees cooler.

Typical daily temperature progression:

  • Early Morning (6 AM): 66°F
  • Early Afternoon (1 PM): 75°F
  • Evening (10 PM): 67°F

Mornings tend to be bright, filled with sunshine, and have cool and comfortable temperatures. Afternoons tend to get warmer, but humidity decreases significantly.

Evenings: When the sun goes down, the temperatures tend to get chilly, especially with the winds from the ocean.

Water Temperature

Most surfers wear a wet suit in January.

With an average temperature of 73°F (22.7°C), January brings slightly cooler ocean temperatures to the coastline of Miami. For many locals, these conditions are not comfortable enough for swimming. However, water dogs and sports enthusiasts still enjoy the ocean during this time.

💡 Floridians would say January is too cold to go swimming, but it might be comfortable enough for you. It just depends on what you are used to. My personal tip for a wet suit when surfing:  Shorty Wet Suit (via Amazon)

While the waters tend to be too cold for some, these are ideal weather conditions for water sports and boating. It’s also still a nice way to cool off from the hot afternoon temperatures, even if you don’t feel comfortable being in the ocean for longer.

What to Pack | What to Wear

Shorts are usually fine in the afternoon. Mornings and evenings are the time for long-sleeve tops and jeans.

Miami keeps relatively warm temperatures all year round, but it is the middle of winter, so packing for January can be tricky. However, the good thing about Miami is, that anything is acceptable, and visitors are free to dress the way they choose with no judgment.

During January in Miami, layering options are great for what to wear throughout the day. Long sleeves or pants may be needed in the morning hours and late evenings when the sun sets. During the afternoons, visitors can shed their layers and opt for shorts and a t-shirt.

Our recommended packing list:

  • Sandals
  • Walking/Tennis shoes (depending on plans)
  • Shorts
  • Flannels or Blouses
  • Leggings/Cargos/
  • T-shirts & V-necks
  • Jeans (if wanted)
  • Light sweater or jacket
  • Bathing Suit/Swim Trunks
  • Bathing Suit Cover Up
  • Layering clothing items

💡 Tip: January is an ideal month for layering. Mornings and evenings tend to be a lot cooler than the afternoons, and it is convenient to remove and add clothing articles when need be.

Additional items to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug Spray (mosquitos are bad in August)
  • Water Bottle -stay hydrated!
  • Small backpack or fanny pack
  • Water shoes

Restaurant tip: If you are someone who gets cold easily, we recommend that you wear a light sweater or at least keep a jacket handy when dining in indoor restaurants. Air conditioners usually stay on the entire year due to the high temperatures in Miami.

Crowds

Miami holds up to its reputation of being a popular and attractive city all year round. January is starting the high season in Miami, but still not as busy as the upcoming spring months. The beaches tend to be less crowded due to cooler temperatures.

However, there are various events and festivals happening this month that draw in a multitude of visitors.

💡 Keep in mind that there are a lot of snowbirds and seasonal residents this time of year. Be prepared for heavy traffic around the city and higher crowds in certain areas.

Beach crowds: January is the start of the high season in Miami and the last chance to take advantage of lower crowds before the spring. But always remember, it is Florida, so beaches are always going to be somewhat crowded when the weather is pleasant.

Good to know: Even though South Beach and Miami Beach are the most popular beaches in Miami, there are lesser-known and uncrowded beaches in the area as well. So, if you want some quiet time, you can always find a peaceful spot where it’s not busy.

Rates

The ‘Confidante Miami Beach’ is a non-budget tip. You have direct access to its section of Miami Beach. Check prices for Janaury here: The Confidante Miami Beach – part of Hyatt (via booking.com).

January tends to be a very cost-efficient month when visiting Miami. While there is a lot happening, it is also the first month after the holidays. The demand is lower due to fewer vacationers and typically cooler weather.

Prices will be slightly lower on average but can vary depending on place and time.

Miami has a lot going on in January with all the events and festivals happening throughout the region. Be prepared to see slightly higher prices in neighborhoods and areas where and when festivals are taking place.

5 Fantastic and Affordable Hotels

A night in Miami does not have to be outrageously expensive. There are numerous excellent but reasonably priced hotels you can choose from for your January visit. We’ve put together a list of awesome but fairly priced accommodations. If you can’t find one right now, make sure to bookmark the top hotels in Miami with a price match guarantee by booking.com.

  1. The New Hotel (Location: North Beach/Miami Beach): This is a hidden gem! Actually, we don’t think you can find a more affordable hotel that is so good and so close to the beach. The rates per night start from ~ $120. The owner is just lovely and a super helpful lady.
  2. Marriott Vacation Club Pulse (Location: South Beach): What a hotel and location for that price! If you can spend a little more (from ~180 USD), select this one for your January visit! It is an affordable oceanfront hotel situated in the heart of South Beach. Its location is in the middle of everything. Great rooms, comfortable beds, and bathroom, fantastic staff. A+++ for everything, including the cleanliness.
  3. Circa 39 Hotel (Location: Miami Beach): Another gorgeous boutique hotel with amazingly friendly staff and excellent rooms. The location is just perfect, as you can walk to Miami Beach within 3-4 minutes. One great detail: They offer free beach chairs and umbrellas. Ask the staff at the hut, and they set it up for on a pleasant January afternoon.
  4. El Paseo Hotel (Location: South Beach): You can easily walk to South Beach in 1-2 minutes from the El Paseo Hotel. This will save you a lot of time! Furthermore, there are amazing restaurants downstairs, and it’s a safe place in the evenings. The rooms are super clean, the beds are great and comfortable (you will sleep well!), and the staff is very friendly.
  5. Life House (Location: Little Havana): An extraordinary place to experience Cuba’s atmosphere during November in December: Little Havana (Google Maps Location). The hotel is very close to Main Street, with a lovely rooftop bar, and very friendly and helpful staff. We highly suggest this hotel for one or two nights in December.

Places to Visit in January / Things to Do 

January brings loads of festivities and events to the city of Miami. It is hard ever to be bored with the abundance of attractions and activities located all throughout the city during the entire month.

Between the various beaches, museums, restaurants, and shops, visitors have a never-ending list of things to do in Miami in January. Remember to take advantage of this time of year, with January bringing lower rates and crowds to the area.

Beaches

You can’t call a visit to Miami complete without spending a day, or three, at the beach. Miami brings some of the warmest waters and most gorgeous coastlines in all of Florida. Depending on which type of beach you prefer, Miami has various different options for travelers. The two most famous beaches in the area are South Beach and Miami Beach.

  • South Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in the country and is loaded with restaurants, attractions, shops, and sights. It is a very welcoming, energetic, and trendy/upbeat city, so visitors shouldn’t be surprised by anything. It is known for its thriving nightlife and abundance of bars and clubs on the strip.
  • Miami Beach: If you want a more relaxing and peaceful vibe on the beach, head north to Miami Beach. Ideal for all those who are wanting to enjoy their time in Miami during January without all the craziness and upbeat energy that comes along with South Beach.
Festivals

Miami is the home to dozens of festivals throughout the year, and January is jam-packed with them.

South Beach Jazz Fest kicks off the year on the first weekend in January, with all styles of jazz represented in a weekend showcase of musicians and entertainment. Following next is the Juicy Beer Fest, featuring over 50 different breweries for a beer tasting in Miami.

Additionally, Miami is host to other festivals and events too, such as the international chocolate festival, Beaux Art Festival, and the US Open Sailing Series.

Airplane / Heli Tours

This is an incredible experience to view Miami and Miami Beach from a breathtaking bird’s eye view. We did this one 3 times already! It makes you feel as if you are in my own private plane!

We loved this flight! The pilot brings confidence, humor, and experience. Felipe, the guide, is more than attentive and willing to coordinate everything perfectly and adjust to our needs and wishes 100%. An unforgettable experience and more than recommended.

You will see from above (it’s jaw-dropping):

  • South Beach, North Beach, and Haulover Beach
  • Biscayne Bay and its famous lighthouse
  • Colorful Boca Chita and Elliot keys
  • The Miami Seaquarium
  • The Bayside cruise port
  • Skyscrapers of downtown Miami
  • Islands with celebrity homes
  • The Art Deco District and Ocean Drive
  • The incredible Everglades
  • The Vizcaya Mansion and Gardens
  • The Miami Marlins Stadium
  • The Hard Rock Casino
  • The American Airlines Arena and Bayfront Park
  • Incredible Cayo Brickell
  • The Venetian canal and islands
  • Stiltsville homes hovering above the water
  • Indian Creek Gulf Camp
  • Hard Rock Stadium
Everglades

Everglades National Park is just a short 30-mile drive west of downtown Miami. In January, the Everglades are generally cool and dry, with an average high of 76°F (24.4°C) and an average low of 62°F (16.6°C).

It is one of the driest months of the year in the Everglades, and there is a higher chance of spotting animals, as there are more pleasant weather conditions.

We recommend a tour from Miami which starts at 9 AM:

Boat Tours

The city of Miami, especially Biscayne Bay, is filled with various boat tour options you can choose from. Depending on your budget and interests, there is something for everyone. If boats aren’t your thing, jet skis (South Beach Jet Ski Rental) are also available as an alternative.

45-Minutes Speedboat Tour (reservation via GetYourGuide): Our personal tip and absolute favorite. What an adventure! We were blown away at how much fun this was. We did this one three times last year!

You can float by Millionaire Row and Celebrity Island for views of some of the most beautiful residences in Miami, owned by famous stars such as Shaquille O’Neal and P.Diddy. We highly suggest checking out this tour:

City Cruise to Millionaire’s Homes & Venetian Islands. The tour guides are amazing and the whole cruise is simply amazing.

There are also sunset tours, city tours, and boat tours all over the area of Biscayne Bay. Sunset tours are great for group or girls trips, and a superb way to end an evening of exploring:

Sunset Cruise through Biscayne Bay and South Beach: ‘Our guide was an amazing host, entertainer, and historian! The views of the sunset were stunning!’

Water Sports

The abundance of water sports available in Miami is unmatched. You can take part in kayaking/canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, kitesurfing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing all over the city of Miami.

Biscayne Bay Kayak or Paddleboard Rental: Perfect for explorers, as you can get to incredible places that are hard to reach with a car or motorized boat along the shores of Biscayne Bay.

Key Largo Marine Sanctuary has some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the whole country.

Great for beginners and seasoned SUP lovers as well, Crandon Park has calm waters and little distractions, and ideal conditions for stand-up paddleboarding.

Wynwood Arts District

A personal favorite activity of ours is the Wynwood Arts District. This outdoor street museum is filled with street art, graffiti, and art installments that are unique, beautiful, and historical as well. There are guided tours available, which we highly recommend. The stories they tell and their knowledge is intriguing:

Wynwood Art District 1-Hour Street Art Tour by Golf Buggy: Even locals are doing this tour and recommend it as a fantastic experience!

It is also the ideal place to get the perfect new profile picture as there are dozens of backdrops available for creators.

Little Havana

This is a ‘must-see’ if you are a lover of food. Little Havana offers a little taste of Cuba right in the middle of Miami. It is a very walkable neighborhood, and there are fascinating guided walking tours daily as well.

Little Havana: Food & Cultural Walking Tour with Lunch: The tour guides are exceptional and the food on this tour is fantastic! This is a must-do!

While you are here, don’t forget to stop by Versailles restaurant; Miami’s most popular Cuban restaurant dating back to 1971.

Museums

Miami has a museum for every type of traveler. Depending on your interests, Miami is home to history, science, art, and interactive museums. This is a great activity for people of all ages.

Special Tip: ‘Superblue Miami’ Immersive Art Experience Ticket

If you are a lover of music, head downtown to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Friday evenings for live music. If history is more your cup of tea, you may enjoy the Vizcaya museum and gardens, with history and facts dating back to the 19th century, and beautiful views. Additionally, and great for kids, The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is not only a museum but also a planetarium and aquarium.

Bayside Marketplace

Located in the heart of downtown, the Bayside Marketplace is another one of our personal favorite places to spend an afternoon. Located on the Bay close to Miami’s port, visitors can enjoy an afternoon of shopping and snacking at the various stores and cafes at the marketplace. This is an ideal place to grab any last-minute gifts or souvenirs!