A calming beach with blue skies during November, the best time to visit Tampa Florida

Best Time to Visit Tampa in 2023 (By a Local)

The best time to visit Tampa is generally October through December. The cooling autumn weather offers a break from the Tampa heat and humidity, while still providing sunshine and warmth. 

When deciding when to visit Tampa, consider what activities or events you are looking to experience when you are here. Each month of the year offers its own benefit depending on your desired itinerary.   

Keep reading as I cover the best time to visit Tampa! I’ll go over the best time to visit for good weather, avoiding crowds, avoiding hurricane season, seeing sports games, and for families and kids. Then I’ll cover the pros and cons of traveling to Tampa based on the month of the year.

After you pick the date for your trip, be sure to check out my articles on what to do in Tampa and on where to stay in Tampa so you can start planning!

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

When is the Best Time to Visit Tampa?

The most popular time to visit Tampa is between October and December. The weather begins to feel cool and crisp. It’s a great time of year to participate in hot weather activities in the Tampa Bay area.

Visiting this time of year will also mean not having to deal with the uncomfortable humidity and weather conditions that come with the summer months. Tampa has a good cloud cover score for the entire year, but the skies are the clearest for these three months.   

Of course, Tampa is still a great travel destination year-round. When you decide to take your trip should be based on the factors that are important to you. These factors could include the weather, the specific activities you are trying to do or wanting to avoid crowds. Let’s jump into it: 

When to Visit Tampa for Good Weather

Long sidewalk of Bayshore Boulevard with a scenic view of the ocean and the city of Tampa
Bayshore Boulevard is lovely during great weather!

Tampa will have the most consistently mild weather between October and March. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean it’s going to be cold! You can still expect weather in the 70°s and 80°s for many days. Even when the Tampa Bay area experiences a cold front, the weather feels cool and crisp.

The humidity won’t be as intense as in other parts of the year which will also make the weather more pleasant. 

The added bonus of visiting this time of year is that you can enjoy all the same outdoor activities the city has to offer while also enjoying all the seasonal holiday events that take place in the winter. The cold air combined with the sunny skies and high cloud cover score feels amazing. 

When to Visit Tampa to Avoid Crowds

A hammock slung between the palm trees with a view of Tampa Bay
Hours spent alone in a hammock in front of the water

One of the best times to visit Tampa to avoid crowds is between January and March. Many tourists visit the city during their summer break or spring break. So, coming at the beginning of the year will help to avoid those crowds. 

Even though January is typically the coldest month in Tampa, the weather generally won’t get cold enough to deter a trip. March often ends up being Tampa’s least humid month, which is a bonus! 

When to Visit Tampa to Avoid Hurricane Season 

Dark stormy clouds in Tampa Bay during sunset
Rain clouds beginning to accumulate over a Tampa sunset

The official hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Your best chance of avoiding a hurricane is visiting the Tampa Bay area from December through July. That way you will completely avoid the hurricane season. 

Don’t let the hurricane season completely deter you, though. Most tropical storms occur between August and October. If you are concerned about a potential hurricane, I would suggest avoiding August through October and trying to plan a winter month trip if you can. 

No matter when you take your trip, consider the potential risks associated with your destination and plan accordingly. 

When to Visit Tampa for Sports Games

View of the players inside the ice hockey rink in an arena in Tampa, Florida
My view from the last Lightning game I went to

Tampa Bay is home to three major league sports teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Lightning. For sports fans, visiting Tampa could be a great opportunity to see some games! 

The time of your visit should be based on when the season of your favorite sport is ongoing. 

There are some brief overlaps between some of the sports’ seasons, but the most notable overlap is between the NHL and MLB leagues. The two seasons overlap for about three months in the springtime. 

This makes April through June a great time for hockey and baseball fans to visit Tampa Bay. The second week of April also has a high tourism score, meaning its an ideal condition to visit. Just another reason to start planning your trip.

Always check out the teams’ schedules to see when and where they will be playing before planning your trip!

When to Visit Tampa for Families and Kids

View of the sign Florida Strawberry Festival outside a building in Tampa
Plant City Strawberry Festival (photo: P. Allison / Shutterstock) 

 Tampa is an excellent travel destination for households with kids. I have found that February through April is the best timeframe to visit with the whole family. 

The temperature during these months begins to rise, but the heat and humidity aren’t near as bad as they will be during the summer. Having warm but comfortable temperatures will allow your family to stay outdoors in the Florida sunshine longer! 

This time of year also offers many different family-friendly experiences. The Florida State Fair comes to Tampa in mid February. The Bay Area Renaissance Festival will be in town from mid February to early April. Lastly, the famous Plant City Strawberry Festival takes place every year in March.

Visiting Tampa by Month / Season

January, February & March

The author Marina Martinelli's dog Athena enjoying the breeze near the Gulf of Mexico
Athena enjoying the breeze brought in by the Gulf of Mexico

The first three months of the calendar year bring the coolest temperatures Tampa will see. The relative humidity is low and the air feels clean. 

February usually ends up being the year’s windiest month. The average wind speed is around 10 MPH. The cool temperatures with breezy wind make this time of year an amazing time to visit. This time of year also isn’t crowded with tourists. 

Come down and avoid the crowds while experiencing unique Tampa Bay experiences like the Plant City Strawberry Festival and the Florida State Fair.

April & May 

Aerial view of the crowded Riverwalk in Tampa
A crowded day on the Riverwalk (photo: Noah Densmore / Shutterstock)

April through May reintroduces the well-known Sunshine State heat back to Tampa Bay. Temperatures rise and the humidity returns at full force! Despite the heat, it’s a beautiful time of year and a great time for hot weather activities.

The city can feel crowded when there is an influx of tourists visiting for spring break. There are many fun activities like MayFest though, which is a family-friendly event that showcases many local Tampa businesses. It’s a great way to experience the city!

June, July, August & September

A serene view of Tampa Beach
A calm day at the beach 

June through September is the peak of the rainy season! You’ll experience an afternoon rainstorm and a muggy day or two. Even though it’s one of the wetter seasons, there probably isn’t a better time to go to the beach.

This is also the hottest time of the year. The maximum temperature Tampa Bay will see usually happens in July. Good thing Tampa is a short drive from some of the best beaches you’ll find in Florida. Escape the heat by taking a dip in the water at Picnic Island Beach or bring your dog along and visit Fort De Soto dog beach. 

If you are coming to Tampa to explore the beaches we have to offer, make sure you rent a car that can handle getting sandy! Also, look for one that has decent trunk space so you have ample room for your beach chairs and gear.

🚗 Where to Rent a Car: Flying into the Tampa International Airport? Look for rental cars on this site for deals.

October, November, December

A sandman with a surfboard-shaped shell on the shore of a beach
Celebrate the holidays on one of Tampa’s beaches

The weather starts to cool down again as the end of the year approaches. This is also a drier season in Tampa and the humidity comfort levels improve. There is an increase in visitors as people begin to visit on their winter breaks, but this time of year has never felt overly crowded to me. 

There are many festive events during the holiday season. If you are in Tampa during November or December, I highly recommend checking out Enchant Christmas in St. Petersburg. 

Tampa Weather & Climate

A calming beachfront in Tampa, Florida
A clear day at a Tampa beach

Tampa has a humid subtropical climate. The changing of the seasons isn’t prominent in this part of the country. Rather, the entire Tampa Bay experiences a wet season and a dry season.  

The wet season in Tampa lasts from May to October. It is characterized by hot temperatures and consistent humidity. The average temperature during this season roughly ranges between 90° and 70° Fahrenheit. In addition to the heat and humidity, there is a daily chance of thunderstorms. Afternoon thunderstorms in Tampa are usually intense but short.

The wet season also slightly coincides with Florida’s official hurricane season which is June 1st through November 30th. Although, most hurricanes have historically occurred between August and October.  The average wind speed is around 8.0 MPH during this time of year.

The dry season in Tampa lasts from November through May. It is characterized by less humidity and milder temperatures. Beginning in November, the average monthly temperature begins to cool until about February when it begins to warm again. Your best chance at rainless days is during the dry season! Don’t be fooled though, this time of year still brings rain and some humidity.   

FAQs About When to Visit Tampa

When is the best time to visit Tampa? 

The best time to visit Tampa is between October and December. The sunny, yet mild weather is great for spending time outdoors. This will allow you to take advantage of your trip and experience all the nature and outdoor attractions that Tampa has to offer. 

When is Tampa’s rainy season? 

Tampa’s rainy season lasts from July to September. August has the highest average monthly rainfall. During this time of the year, the mornings are hot and muggy then the afternoon rainstorms give way for a slightly less humid evening. If you are visiting Tampa during this time, make sure to bring an umbrella. 

What is the hottest month in Tampa? 

The hottest month in Tampa is usually July. The temperature usually averages between 90° and 75° Fahrenheit. July also normally receives over 10 hours of sunshine a day, which contributes to the hot weather conditions. 

***

Ultimately, the best time to visit Tampa is based on your personal preferences. I hope this guide helped give you information so you can make the best decision for you!

For more on Tampa, check out my list of the best day trips from Tampa Bay.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate (you can leave feedback after clicking submit)

Help us help you travel better!

Your feedback really helps ...

What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.