Miami in May

May is one of the most exciting times of the year to visit the vibrant city of Miami, Florida. The weather tends to be ideal with warm waters and mostly sunny skies, making it easy to enjoy your time outdoors in the sunshine state. Visitors of all genres will easily be entertained in Miami in May.

This month is great for those looking to have a trip packed with activities and fun. Miami hosts dozens of events and festivals this month, especially during holidays like Cinco De Mayo and Memorial Day.

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Despite the downsides of higher crowds and rates due to the multitude of events and holidays, our Florida residents have still managed to put together all the information needed for you to have an awesome trip to Miami in May.

We provide you with everything you need to know about:

  • The weather
  • Outfit tips: What to wear and pack
  • Busy times and rates
  • Best things to do and beach tips

3 Tours We Love

We did each of these three activities and loved them all! The Everglades tour is a must when you are in Miami in May! It’s unforgettable! We highly recommend booking in advance, but you are free to buy tickets later of course.

Is May a Good Time?

Miami Harbor view in May

While the city can be quite crowded, May is a very good time to visit Miami if you are wanting some of the most ideal weather conditions. This month brings warm waters and temperatures and is jam-packed full of events and festivals.

Weather

Downtown Miami skyline from Bayfront Park in May. Temps are average highs.

The weather in Miami in May is almost perfect. Besides the occasional rain showers, May has warm and ideal temperatures in and around the city. Take advantage of the low humidity levels before the summer heat takes effect.

The average high temperature in May is 83-86°F (28.3-30°C) in Miami. It is the start of the wet season with frequent rain showers and warmer weather. Rainfall will start to increase as the month goes on average 2.6-8.3 inches.

Average High Temperatures:

  • Early May: 83°F (28.3°C)
  • Mid-May: 85°F (29.4 °C)
  • Late May: 86°F (30°C)
Rainfall

May is the start of the rainy season. Be sure to pack an umbrella or a light raincoat. Miami visitors should expect frequent rain showers throughout the month of May. Rainfall typically happens in the late afternoon hours after 3 pm, with an average of 2.6-8.3 inches over a 15-day time span.

Can it rain the whole day? Rainfall shouldn’t spoil your trip this month. While it is the first month of the rainy season, showers aren’t as prevalent as compared to what’s to come during the summer months.

The rainfall will start to quickly increase as the month goes on when it comes to the amount of rain Miami will see. The beginning of the month starts low with an average of 2.6 inches but will increase to 5.5 inches by the end of the month.

Heat/Humidity

Florida has high humidity levels all year long due to its close proximity to the Caribbean. In May, the average humidity level for Miami is 72%.

The morning hours tend to be the highest with a humidity level of 83%, dropping down to 59% by the early afternoon. May still brings in winds from the spring season and occasional showers. Once the morning hours are over, humidity isn’t much of an issue in May.

May is the month when you can feel the shift from spring to summer starting to take place. Humidity levels will increase in the mornings. That’s why we suggest bringing a refillable water bottle to keep with you throughout the day.

Daily Weather Progression

May tends to be bright and sunny most of the time, with the occasional rain showers and overcast. Temperatures average within a range of 10 degrees most of the time during each day.

Typical daily temperature progression:

  • Early Morning (6 AM): 74°F
  • Early Afternoon (1 PM): 83°F
  • Evening (10 PM): 86°F

Mornings tend to be bright and filled with sunshine, leading to rain showers in the afternoon. Mornings tend to have higher humidity levels, but lower temperatures compared to the afternoon.

Evenings: It isn’t quite as cool as in the morning hours, but temperatures drop a few degrees once the sun goes down.

Water Temperature

Surfer at Miami Beach in May. No wetsuit needed.

May brings ideal water temperatures to the coastline of Miami. The average ocean temperature is 81°F (27°C). Surfers and swimmers will love this time of year because the water temperatures are quite warm.

💡 The ocean is definitely warm enough to spend time in the water without a wetsuit.

It is also a great time to take part in activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking because the waters are not as rough as in the upcoming months.

What to Pack | What to Wear

Miami is a city where any style is accepted. People are free to be themselves and express who they are with the clothes they choose to wear. This can make packing for a trip to Miami fun and exciting.

During May in Miami shorts and t-shirts or tanks are great to wear in the mornings while the humidity levels are high, and temperatures start to increase as the day goes on. In the evenings, a great option is loose or flowy pants or a light sweater due to lower temperatures when the sun goes down.

Prepare for rainfall: Keep a rain jacket handy for the start of rain showers, most likely in the late afternoons.

  • Sandals
  • Walking shoes
  • Shorts
  • Loose fit long pants
  • Tanks & Cut-offs
  • T-shirts & V-necks
  • Raincoat or Poncho
  • Sundresses
  • Bathing Suit/Swim Trunks
  • Bathing Suit Cover Up

Additional items to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach Bag
  • Bug Spray
  • Water Bottle -stay hydrated!
  • Small backpack or fanny pack
  • Water shoes

Restaurant tip: When we are in Miami, we always bring a sweater or light jacket for eating out in indoor restaurants. If you get cold easily, keep in mind that air conditioners are on high due to the summer heat, thus indoor locations might be rather chilly.

Headache: When traveling in Miami we suggest always bringing medicine for a headache. May is when the season will start to shift; if you aren’t used to being in warm climates, this could really damper your trip.

Rates

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

The rates in Miami in May will be a bit higher compared to the start and end of the month. Certain rates will really depend on which neighborhood you are in, but overall prices are on the higher side due to holidays. Cinco De Mayo and Memorial Day will cause a big demand for accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.

Miami will not be as expensive compared to the following month of June, so if you are traveling on a budget, try to plan your visit during the middle of the month of May.

Depending on your preference and budget, you can find hostels starting at around $50 a night. Staying in an Airbnb starts around $66-$218 a night (depending on the size), hotels average $38-$145 a night, and full home vacation rentals start at an average of $340 per night and go up from there.

3 Fantastic and Affordable Hotels in May

A night in Miami does not have to be outrageously expensive. There are various wonderful but reasonably-priced hotels you can choose from for your May visit. We’ve put together a list of fantastic but reasonably-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 in May 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. This is our top tip to avoid crowds and visit Miami Beach in the mornings.
  2. 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 a pleasant May afternoon.
  3. 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 May.

Crowds

May is usually not that busy, but the beaches can get a little crowded, depending on the day and the weather.

Miami is a very popular city all year round and tends to have a high amount of visitors most of the time.

May is usually busy at the beginning and end of the month, due to various holidays. The middle of the month is the last chance to beat the high summer crowds that will arrive in June. The time from mid-May until late May (before Memorial Day weekend) is typically the best option to avoid high crowds.

Snowbirds are finally heading home as well, usually between early May and mid-May. Some already left in April.

Miami has a very high Latino population due to its southern location. This means there will be loads of events and activities going on to celebrate Cinco De Mayo on the 5th of May.

Additionally, Memorial Day weekend at the end of the month also draws in high crowds and has an abundance of festivities as well.

Beach crowds: Always remember, it is Florida, so beaches are always going to be somewhat crowded when the weather is pleasant. Beaches in Miami aren’t as crowded as in previous months caused by spring break but tend to start getting more crowded as the month goes on.

Tip: There are many less-crowded parts of the shore in the Miami Beach area. Therefore, if you need some peace, you can usually find places where you can sit in solitary, even on busier days.

Places to Visit / Things to Do

There’s always something going on and Miami is a city where it is hard to ever be bored, especially during the month of May.

Between the various beaches, museums, restaurants, and shops, visitors have a never-ending list of things to do in Miami in May. Remember to take advantage of this time of year, with May being the last month before the summer season kicks off.

Beaches

A trip to Miami isn’t complete unless you spend a day or three at the beach. Miami has some of Florida’s warmest waters and most beautiful coasts. Miami offers a variety of beach options for visitors, depending on their preferences. South Beach and Miami Beach are the two most popular beaches in the Miami area.

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: For visitors wanting a more relaxing and peaceful vibe on the beach, head north to Miami Beach. Ideal for travelers who are wanting to enjoy their time in Miami, without all the craziness and upbeat energy that comes along with South Beach.

Festivals

During the month of May, Miami is host to the Miami Grand Prix, International Piano Festival, and the Memorial Day Beach Air and Sea Show. Additionally, due to the large Latino population in Miami, the city will be filled with dozens of events and celebrations for Cinco De Mayo.

Everglades

Everglades National Park is just a short 30-mile drive west of downtown Miami. In May, the Everglades is generally hot, with an average high of 90°F (32.2°C) and an average low of 76°F (29°C).

It is the first month of the rainy season and visitors should expect frequent showers most afternoons. Mornings and evenings will be the best time to spot animals due to rising water levels in the afternoons. That’s why we recommend a tour from Miami which starts at 9 AM:

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 think it’s a must-do activity in May:

We really 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 incredible):

  • South Beach, North Beach, and Haulover Beach
  • Biscayne Bay and its famous lighthouse
  • The Bayside cruise port
  • Skyscrapers of downtown Miami
  • … and so much more!
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, especially on a rainy day in May.

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!

 

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