From March to May is the best time to visit Florida. The crowds and the heat are both less intense than in the summer, and there are just as many things to do during those months.
Your preferences towards weather, crowds, and seasonal activities all factor into what the best time to visit Florida is for you. Decide what activities in Florida you want to do first. Then, you can figure out when the best time is to visit Florida based on that.
As a Florida native, I’m here to help break down what to expect for each season. Let’s get started!
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When is the Best Time to Visit Florida?
The best time to visit Florida is during the spring in March, April, and May, or in December. During those months, the weather is beautiful and cooler than the regular simmering Florida atmosphere. The crowds are more sparse despite most of the same activities being available.
Summer may be the most popular time to visit the Sunshine State, but winter and spring offer most of the same activities, and with fewer crowds. The comfortably warm weather instead of blistering summer heat is another plus to visiting in spring. You’ll also avoid hurricane season as well if you avoid visiting during the summer and autumn seasons.
A myriad of factors determine the best time for your visit, from budget to the size of the crowds at the most popular Florida theme parks. I’ll cover all of those factors in this article.
Let’s go over the most important circumstances when deciding the best time to visit Florida:
When to Visit Florida for Good Weather
Everyone wants to experience warm and sunny skies on their trip to Florida. For this kind of weather, April to June are the best times to visit Florida. The 99+°F weather hasn’t quite arrived, but the lows of the winter are long gone.
Florida weather can be unpredictable. Hurricane season lasts from June to November, but erratic spells of rain are not uncommon throughout the year. It’s impossible to guarantee good weather.
You could get lucky with nice weather other times, too. Odd warm days do happen even during the coldest months of the year.
When to Visit Florida for Sunny Beach Days
If you’re looking for a sunny beach day, the summer is the obvious option. That said, summer is not always the best choice because hurricane season can hit hard. I’d recommend March through May for a visit because there are plenty of warm days to enjoy Florida’s best beach with lower odds of rain falling.
In South Florida, you have a longer window for beach days. All but the coldest months (usually January) will provide options for days at South Florida’s beaches. It is unlikely to get below 60°F.
North Florida cities like Jackonville rarely dip below 80°F during the summer, but can drop below 40°F in January. If you miss summer, days are often still hot enough to enjoy the beach until the beginning of October.
The Florida Keys weather is at its mildest during the winter months, but still almost always 60°F+. Avoiding hurricane season (June to November) means an almost guaranteed beautiful beach day.
When to Visit Florida for Families and Kids
The summer is the best option to visit Florida for families and kids. There’s an abundance of activities, especially for children. Orlando’s theme parks, Adventure Landing, local sports, and several zoos and family-friendly museums throughout the state are at their peak.
If you’re able, try to visit in May or June rather than July or August. The crowds only get bigger, and it only gets hotter outside, especially when standing with the crowds in theme parks. Another local Travel Lemming writer Katie has an entire guide to the ins and outs picking the best months to visit Walt Disney World.
Shoot for indoor activities like the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island or the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville during intense heat. You can also use indoor back-up plans in the event of wet weather.
👉 Pro Tip: Looking for things to do with family in Orlando that goes beyond just the theme parks? Check out our guide of 21 things to do in Orlando with kids.
When to Visit Florida to Avoid Crowds
To avoid crowds at theme parks–or even throughout the cities–your best bet would be visiting Florida in either the beginning or towards the end of the year. It opens the doors to actually explore and experience the attractions in a way that isn’t possible with hundreds of visitors around.
Most holiday travelers have already left by January. Besides Valentine’s Day and Spring Break towards the end of March, there isn’t anything seasonal or particularly busy going on.
September–November are also less busy. Thanksgiving and Christmas crowds haven’t swarmed in, and a lot of people overestimate how cold the water at the beaches will be. What crowds are present are sparse in comparison.
Florida Travel Seasons
The spring weather in the Florida Keys is fantastic. Highs typically stay under 85°F, and the evenings are cool. Rainfall is light. Hotel costs shouldn’t be as bad in spring, as peak season is over.
Spring is a great time to visit Florida. The temperatures are much more manageable but the days still regularly display how we got our nickname the Sunshine State. If you’ve never visited Florida before, these are the months I’d recommend most.
Summer is the busiest time to visit Florida. From sports games to theme parks, big crowds are everywhere you look. The plus side of that is that there’s always something to do–you’ll be hard-pressed to find yourself bored during the summer.
The humidity and mugginess can be overwhelming, so please use a local weather app to keep tabs on it during your visit. The temperature can and will climb into the 90°F+ region, but it can feel much hotter.
You’re not prepared if you haven’t brought both sunscreen and a poncho–you never know when the beaming sun will get blackened out by storm clouds.
September in Florida is still fairly hot and humid, and it isn’t until October that days begin to drop into the 60°F and 70°F area in North Florida. There isn’t much of a change in the colors of leaves or temperature outside when autumn first arrives in Florida.
Don’t let this discourage you from visiting in autumn, though. Fall and Halloween spirit is still high, and the crowds are virtually non-existent when compared to a busy day in the summer.
Similar to autumn, winter in Florida takes a moment to arrive. By December, we should be nearing our coldest days.
For those still looking for the warm sun in winter, head to South Florida. South Florida rarely gets below 60°F, and the humidity can make it so it’s barely sweater weather.
Winter isn’t too rainy, and while December or January might not be your first thought, they’re actually great months to travel to Florida.
Florida Weather and Climate
Florida is generally a very humid and rainy state. South Florida is slightly more humid and muggy, and is typically five or ten degrees hotter than North Florida. State-wide, though, temperatures will regularly be in the 90°F range during the summer. You can expect temperatures no lower than 35°F in North Florida during the winter.
Hurricanes can bring extremely strong winds in June through November. Rainfall is common throughout the year, with the majority of it being in the summer months. Despite the idealistic idea of a sunny summer, a lot of the summer in Florida comes with heavy rain.
Tips for Visiting Florida
Pack for All Kinds of Weather
Florida’s weather is erratic. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so pack for all possibilities, rain or shine. Bring ponchos, umbrellas, and raincoats for wet weather. As well as the opposite–sunscreen, bug spray, a bathing suit, thin outerwear, etc for hot, sunny days.
Be Prepared for Summer Crowds
Summer crowds are no joke, especially if you’re going somewhere like Disney World or Universal Studios. Don’t be surprised if you’re waiting in line for hours during blistering hot weather just to get a drink. Pack reusable water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, and snacks.
Plan Ahead When Visiting Popular Tourist Attractions
If you’re going somewhere like Disney World or Universal Studios for your Florida vacation, plan ahead. Even when there’s availability, the waiting times can be excruciating, and there’s nothing worse than having to slow down your vacation.
Carefully consider your Disney World itinerary or plans for other big attractions when you know you’re going somewhere busy on a popular day. Don’t visit Disney World during Spring Break without some sort of backup plan!
FAQs About When to Visit Florida
When is the high season in Florida?
In South Florida, the high season is in the winter, from mid-December to mid-April. It’s the opposite in North Florida. Tourists arrive in droves during the summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
What is the best month to go to Florida?
May is the best time to come to Florida. It has the best weather, light rain, and smaller crowds. Most of the best things to do in Florida are year round, like the numerous theme parks in the state. Many of the summer events held seasonally will already be available in May.
What is the cheapest month to go to Florida?
September is the overall best month if you’re looking to save money when visiting Florida. The cheapest months to fly to Florida are September, May, and early June. You can find great deals on hotels and activities in Autumn. January and February also offer lower prices on hotels and flights, since fewer visitors come to Florida during these months.
Thanks for reading my guide on the best time to visit Florida! Florida is a year-round destination that changes regularly throughout the seasons. Have a great time on your trip to Florida! Before you go, make sure to check out our guide on the best spots to visit in Florida.
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