Miami in Winter

Wintertime in Miami feels a lot like summer in other regions. While the rest of the country is fighting the freezing temperatures and multiple inches of snowfall, Miami is seeing sunshine and warm temperatures.

You can tan, you can swim, and you can wear shorts here during winter, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions.

Visiting Miami this time of year can be a great escape from the cold temperatures of the north, but there are still some downsides. Additionally, depending on the purpose of your trip, a specific month can be better than others. More about that later.

As Floridians, we have visited Miami at least twenty times in the winter, and we hope this guide will guide you as to why this is an ideal time to visit and which month would be best for your traveling style.

This article includes over 50 tips and answers all your questions:

  • The weather during the winter months
  • The best things to do
  • What to wear / what to pack
  • The best winter month for beach fun,
  • The best winter month for watersports
  • The best winter months for events

3 Must-Do Tours | Everglades – Speedboat – Cruise

All three tours are excellent in winter! However, you are free to book anything else, of course: Miami Activities via GetYourGuide

Is Miami Nice in Winter?

Winter is a very nice time to visit Miami as it comes with a lot of sunshine, warm weather, and very little rainfall. The coastline sees some of the warmest water temperatures in Florida, making it some of the best conditions of the year for water sports.

Rates and crowds will fluctuate due to holidays, but keep in mind winter is the high season in Florida.

Is It Too Cold to Swim in Winter?

The ocean during winter in Miami is colder than in the summer, but it’s usually still suitable for swimming for most visitors and within the range of acceptable swimming temperatures. Especially in the afternoon and on pleasant days, the water feels warm enough.

However, for many locals and some visitors, it’s too cold in the ocean, in particular during the morning hours and on slightly cooler days. It depends on your tolerance and what you are used to.

My personal tip for snorkeling, swimming, and diving: Shorty Wet Suit (via Amazon)

On the days in winter when it still feels like summer in Miami, water temperatures aren’t much of a thought as cooling off is what is the main priority. The only time water temperatures may feel too chilly then, is after the sun sets and the warmth from the rays has disappeared.

Regardless of the temperature, January is probably the most ideal month for swimming, as the waters tend to be rather calm, although they stay pretty regulated throughout the whole season.

The Best Overall Winter Month

The best overall month to visit Miami in the winter season is February. This month brings fewer crowds than the previous winter months, it tends to have lower rates and has the warmest temperatures of the season. While the holiday festivities and events are well finished, there is always something going on and something to enjoy in the city of Miami.

What to Wear | Packing List

You can shed layers when it gets warmer in the afternoon.

In Miami, it is summer all year long! You don’t need to pack your thick coat for the winter months, and you can definitely leave the snow boots at home. However, due to the slightly colder temps at certain times, packing can be tricky during February in Miami. Therefore, we suggest packing clothing items that are great for layering.

During the winter in Miami, wear clothing items that can be layered easily. The morning hours may require a light jacket or a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. In the afternoon shorts and t-shirts are comfortable. Keep a jacket or light sweater with you in the evenings as temperatures drop when the sun sets.

💡 Evenings tend to bring a cool breeze, so jeans are appropriate to wear, as well as a similar outfit in morning hours (shorts and a light sweater).

Our recommended packing list:

  • Sandals
  • Tennis shoes or walking shoes
  • Shorts
  • Pair of jeans
  • Flannel or long-sleeved layering shirt
  • T-shirts & V-necks
  • Jacket or light sweater
  • Joggers or athletic pants
  • Bathing Suit/Swim Trunks
  • Bathing Suit Cover Up

Additional items to pack:

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


In the winter, it’s not cold in Miami. With average high temperatures ranging from 76-79°F (24°C – 26°C), it’s pleasant enough for most activities. It is also the dry season, with little to no rainfall. January and February are two of the driest months of the year in the city.

As wintertime in Miami tends to be very dry, you won’t see snow as well. There was only one snowfall in the past 50 years.

The city often has lower temperatures and higher humidity in the mornings and vice versa in the afternoons.

Miami sees the most sunny days this time of year of any city on the east coast. Expect a lot of sunshine and very few clouds. Keep in mind that fog and winds pick up this time of year, especially in the morning and evening hours.

Monthly Weather Details

December: The average high temperature during this winter month is 76-79°F (24-26°C). It is the beginning of the dry season, with blue skies accompanied by a crisp breeze. There is little rainfall this month, with an average of 1.4-4.2 inches. Very rarely do occasional rain showers exceed 0.5 inches and are usually very brief.

January: The average high temperature is comfortable most of the day, hovering around 76°F (24°C). The skies are typically bright, and summer and there is a crisp breeze. There is little rainfall this month, with an average of 1.5 inches. Humidity is low.

February: The average high temperature in February is 76-78°F (24-26°C). It’s another winter month in the dry season with mostly pleasant temperatures. There is very little rainfall this month, averaging around 1.7 inches. It’s typically a warm month, with sunshine and blue skies.

Things to Do | Overview

The city of Miami is very versatile and has activities for visitors all year round. Whether you are looking for a historical, relaxing, exciting, or wild type of visit, Miami has you covered. There are hundreds of shops, restaurants, shops, attractions, beaches, and nightlife venues all over the city.

What to do when? The month of January will have the best beach conditions, some of the best of the year actually. December has the most events and festivals going on for the holiday season, and February brings a mixture of events and ideal weather conditions for all outdoor activities, such as the Everglades.

Our recommended things to do in Miami during winter:

  • Spend at least a full day at South Beach or Miami Beach
  • Go to the best events and festivals (more later)
  • Have a special Christmas dinner
  • Watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve
  • Take a helicopter or airplane tour (the most stunning views!)
  • Visit the Everglades and take an airboat tour
  • Take part in kayaking/canoeing, or stand-up paddle boarding
  • Have fun in Little Havana
  • Visit at least one museum

Read our tips for each of the listed activities at the end of this article!


Winter is considered the high season in Florida and brings in thousands of visitors each year. Holidays in December increase that amount even more, in addition to the presence of snowbirds and other seasonal residents. To avoid the high crowds, visit during the month of February.

February-April is considered the shoulder season in Miami, being after the holidays of the winter, and before the holidays of the spring. This month tends to see fewer crowds. Beaches will see the highest number of people due to residents of the city taking advantage of the warm winters here in the city.

Rates and Budget Hotel Tips

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

Since winter is the high season in Miami, rates will be higher compared to the previous months of fall. December will see the highest rates due to the multitude of holidays. February will have the lowest rates due to being the start of shoulder season. Overall, visitors should expect prices to decrease as the season goes on.

Budget Hotel Tips

Even in winter, a night in Miami does not have to be super expensive. There are multiple fantastic but reasonably priced hotels. We’ve compiled a list of superb 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

  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 in winter! 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 you on the beach during your winter visit!
  4. El Paseo Hotel (Location: South Beach): You 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 winter: 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 winter.

The Best Winter Month for Watersports | February

One of the most popular things to do in Miami is to take part in some kind of watersport or boating activity. The city is one of the biggest hubs in the states for water sports, and there is a multitude of tour boats and rentals available for visitors. The best winter month for watersports in February.

Water Temp: The water temperatures in Miami tend to be some of the warmest in the state due to its southern location, even in the winter. For most visitors, the water is warm enough to take part in most water sports and activities. The average temperature off the coastline in Miami is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water Sports: Water sports, such as a boat tour, are one of the best ways to see the coastline of the city. Waters are calm now that hurricane season has come and gone, making activities such as kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding a perfect choice. Keep in mind it is the migratory season for many breeds of fish and other marine life this time of year, so there is an abundance of fishing opportunities as well.

The Best Winter Month for Hitting the Beaches | January

Miami – South Beach

The beaches in Miami are gorgeous and an ideal place to spend the winter season. The best month for hitting the beaches in winter, really all year long, is the month of JanuaryJanuary in Miami brings the best overall conditions for a day in the sand instead of the snow.

Crowds: On average, Miami beaches will be pretty crowded most of the season. They start to taper off in February, but December and January are busy. Miami does have a lot of coastline and is plenty of space to distance yourself from others.

However, residents and snowbirds of the area also flock to the beach this time of year, taking in all the advantages of being south for the winter. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, go early in the mornings, late in the evenings, or just wait and go in February at the start of the shoulder season.

Weather: The most ideal beach vacation has sunny and blue skies, hot weather, a nice breeze, and warm waters. Thankfully, Miami has all of those things, especially in the winter. The average temperature is 72 degrees, making the conditions not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

If you are visiting in December or January, do your best to get to the beach as early as possible. Temperatures aren’t as high as in the afternoons, and high humidity levels aren’t much of an issue in winter. This also gives you a chance to pick the perfect spot to spend your day before it fills up with other beachgoers.

Water Temp: Like mentioned above, the ocean water in Miami stays pretty warm throughout the entire year. For most visitors, the water will be warm enough to swim in and take part in water sports. For beach bums, it is the ideal temperature for cooling off from the hot rays of sunshine.

The Best Winter Month for Events & Festivals | December

Miami is a very attractive city, including being the home of hundreds of events and festivals throughout the year. The best month for events and festivals in winter is the month of December. Due to the holidays and the start of the high season, December is a magnet for events.

December: The citys most famous event is the Art Basel, at the beginning of the month. As well as the Art Gaysel and North Beach Music Festival later on. Additionally, December is home to a multitude of holiday events such as the Zoo lights at Miami Zoo, Madelines Christmas at the Playhouse, Fairchild Night Garden, Mistletoe and Martinis, and Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens.

January: This month, Miami hosts 2 events; the South Beach Jazz Festival and the Miami Art Deco. The South Beach Jazz Festival, is perfect for music lovers and beach lovers alike. The Miami Art Deco, was originally started to bring in more tourists to Miami. It worked and is now an annual 3-day festival filled with art, history, culture, and entertainment.

February: This month is host to a lot of different events, and they are all very versatile so everyone can enjoy at least one. February hosts the annual Miami Marathon, Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Miami International Boat Show, the Gay8 Festival, and the Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Winter in Miami is a magical time and a perfect place to escape the winter temperatures or spend the holidays. Each month in winter has its pros and cons, but overall the whole season is perfect; no wonder it’s the high season. However you choose to spend your visit in the city, you will never be bored in the wintertime in Miami.

The Best Things to Do in Winter | With Tips

December | Christmas | New Year

Many hotel restaurants provide excellent lunch and dinner service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve (some buffet, some a la carte).

Your best bet is to wait until late November and then start looking through the Christmas listings and menu options at OpenTable Miami. Typically in early December, they start to show menus for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and update them daily.

Fireworks: Miami Beach (seaside) and Miami (city) host music and fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve for free.

Additionally, there are various Holiday events happening throughout the entire month of December. Most popular is the ever-so-famous “Santa’s Enchanted Forest,” the largest and only holiday-themed carnival in Florida, with thousands of lights and a multitude of games, rides, and snacks.

Miami also showcases thousands of twinkling lights at the “Miami Zoo” and the city also hosts the famous Nutcracker Ballet, available for viewing at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

Beach Fun

A trip to Miami isn’t complete unless you spend a day or three at the beach. Miami has among of Florida’s warmest waters and most beautiful coasts. Depending on the type of beach you like, Miami offers a variety of possibilities. The two most popular beaches in the Miami 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: 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.
Stunning 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.

Visit the Everglades

Everglades National Park is just a short 30-mile drive west of downtown Miami. It is one of the driest times 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:

Book a Boat Tour

The city of Miami, especially Biscayne Bay, is filled with various different boat tour options for travelers. 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 homes in all of Miami, owned by famous celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal and P.Diddy. We highly recommend 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!’

Take Part in 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.

Since Florida has some of the bluest waters in the state, Key Largo Marine Sanctuary has some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the 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.

Visit the 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 if you are interested in learning about the history.

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.

Visit Little Havana

This is a ‘must see’ in Miami 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 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.

Go to the 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.

Experience 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!

Save the 3 Best Activities