Travel Tips

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Florida Unveiled: Prime Dates for Sun, Fun & Less Run!

Crave sunshine and thrill rides? Discover when Florida's sandy shores and roller coasters promise peak pleasure without the crowds. Pack your bags after this tease!

Tobi Miles
June 6, 2023

Florida is one of the most popular, fun, beautiful, and busiest tourist destinations in the United States. You can drive or fly to Florida from anywhere in the country and experience views that you’d normally only experience in a foreign country. U.S. citizens and international travelers visit the Sunshine State every year, so what is the best time to visit Florida?

September and October are the best times to visit Florida if you want to book a cheap flight and hotel room. You can avoid crowds if you go to Florida in May or early to mid-June before millions of tourists visit the state. Never go to Florida in early March because it is packed with up to 1.5 million tourists celebrating their spring break.

There is always some sort of festival, party, or themed event going on in Florida. Florida is home to excellent cuisine, warm temperatures, and gorgeous water. Follow along as we explore the best time to visit Florida.

Worst Time To Go To Florida

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March is the worst time to go to Florida as it falls within peak tourism season. Tourism is at an all-time high during March and April which means flights and hotel rooms are expensive. The main reason to avoid Florida in March is because Spring Break makes it nearly impossible to get around key tourist cities like Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

You won’t be able to avoid crowds if you go to Florida during peak spring break time. Florida is one of the most popular spring break destinations for college students throughout the United States. Early March is when up to 1.5 million spring breakers visit Florida, fill up the hotels, and drive up airline costs.

This makes March the worst time for most adults and families to visit March, while it may be the best time for young adults. It is worth waiting until April or May to go to Florida even though it can still get crowded.

Cheapest Month To Go To Florida

September and October are the cheapest months to go to Florida as far as flights and hotel rates go. You can find one-way flights to Florida for $50-$60 throughout September which is a steal. Flight costs are roughly the same during October, but there are several ways to ensure you get the best rate.

For example, try to book your flight as early as July if you plan to go to Florida in October. Purchase your tickets in June if you plan to visit Florida in September to get the best rate. The easiest way to save money on a flight to Florida is to schedule it 3 months in advance of your trip.

Tourism is down in Florida for families in September and October because their kids are at school. You will encounter more retirees, single travelers, and tourists without children during the early fall in Florida. May is also one of the cheapest months to go to Florida as long as you don’t go during Memorial Day Weekend.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Siesta Key

What Time Of Year Is The Best Weather In Florida?

January: Best Time For Art

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Temperatures can get as low as 36 degrees in January and as high as 78 degrees. The weather can be quite unpredictable during January in Florida, but vacationers still visit for warmth. Luckily, there is no shortage of fun to have in January, especially if you go to Miami.

The Art Deco Weekend in Miami is a great way to enjoy beautiful art in a city known for being fun. This puts you in the perfect spot to venture into the city after you listen to jazz and soak up unique art. Art Fort Lauderdale is another chance to admire beautiful art while surrounded by great restaurants and bars.

Otherwise, you can visit the Florida Manatee Festival in Crystal River and appreciate the amazing animals. Adults, children, tourists, and locals alike can enjoy the elaborate Gasparilla Pirate Fest. It may not be warm enough for everyone to jump in the water, but it’s still nice to enjoy the view.

  • Art Deco Weekend
  • Florida Manatee Festival
  • Gasparilla Pirate Fest
  • Art Fort Lauderdale

February: Best Time To See Live Music

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The weather heats up during February in Florida and highs can exceed 80 degrees. Some days will still be as cold as 40 degrees, but February marks the catalyst for warmer temperatures. Live music events run throughout the entire month of February, such as the Gasparilla Music Festival.

Visit Key West if you want to experience Mango Fest and sample the local food. Key West has many great laid-back events such as Art in the Garden at Key West Tropical Forest. This is a great rest from all of the hectic events like the Rolling Loud Musical Festival in February.

Whether it be the Key Lime Festival or Mermaid Festival, you won’t run out of things to do during February in Florida.

  • Gasparilla Music Festival
  • Caribbean Latin Festival
  • Mango Fest Key West
  • Key Lime Festival
  • Rolling Loud Music Festival
  • Art in the Garden
  • Key West Mermaid Festival

March: Best Time For Adults

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The weather gets back into full swing during March with temperatures between 70 and 83 degrees. March is considered one of the best times to go to Florida because of the hotel rates, flight costs, and perfect weather. Temperatures can still drop as low as 45 degrees on a rare night in Florida, but that is uncommon.

Enjoy shorts and feature films from throughout the world at the Miami Film Festival. Stop by Carnival Miami while you’re there to see a fun celebration of the Hispanic population and history in Florida. Swamp Fest is a slighter newer event that is great for tourists that want to experience the unique terrain in Weeki Wachi.

March is the perfect time for adults in Florida as there seems to always be a party going on. Pensacola Mardi Gras is no exception and entails great food, cold drinks, and gorgeous views. The Gulf Coast Renaissance Faire and Pirate Festival is equally fun for adults and children.

  • Swamp Fest
  • Miami Film Festival
  • Carnival Miami
  • Pensacola Mardi Gras
  • Sanibel Music Festival
  • The Gulf Coast Renaissance Faire and Pirate Festival

Related Read: 50 Romantic Things to Do in Miami, FL

April: Best Time To Eat

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Temperatures steadily increase throughout April and fluctuate between 52 and 88 degrees. Humidity increases and rain is common during April but rarely lasts longer than 30 minutes. There are several outdoor events like the Bostwick Blueberry Festival in April.

Blueberries are so significant that there are also blueberry festivals in Avon Park and Mount Dora. Bring your appetite if you visit Florida in April as there are several barbecues as well. BBQ, Bands & Brew, and Grant BBQ Fest are fun events centered around eating and drinking.

The Pensacola Crawfish Festival lets you sample some of the best seafood and southern cuisine in Florida. Head over to the Pensacola Jazzfest if you are in the area to eat great food, soak up the sun, and hear music. Calm events like Spring Fiesta in the Park help mix things up and provide relaxing fun.

  • Bostwick Blueberry Festival
  • Grant BBQ Fest
  • BBQ, Bands & Brew
  • South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
  • Pensacola Jazzfest
  • Spring Fiesta in the Park

May: Best Time For Shellfish

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Seafood is a huge part of the culture and economy in Florida, and that is especially clear in May. Events like Fish to Fork and Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival celebrate excellent seafood. Florida celebrates beer and music during May as well with New Times Brew At The Zoo and Sunset Music Festival.

The party continues throughout the state with Sunfest, Orange Blossom Jamboree, and Rolling Loud. Florida is known for its unique visuals and art, Stay in May is a perfect example of this. The Neon Noir Tour in Fort Lauderdale is one of the most unique May activities in Florida.

Temperatures soar throughout May in Florida with lows in the 70s and highs in the 90s. The water feels great in May and hotels and beaches begin to fill up.

  • Neon Noir Tour
  • Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
  • Fish to Fork
  • Sunfest
  • Orange Blossom Jamboree
  • Stay in May

June: Best Time To Go To Miami

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Miami is one of the best cities in Florida to visit during June because there is always something going on. The American Black Film Festival is a fun celebration of the importance of diversity in film and has run since 1997. Miami Fashion Week also happens in June and lets you get a new appreciation for international fashion and style.

Get to know the history and culture of Miami during Miami Beach Caribbean Heritage Festival. The Pensacola is also home to fun events throughout June like the Pensacola Arts Market. Bands on the Beach is in Pensacola as well and offers leisurely fun vibes for locals and tourists.

Temperatures can reach a rare low of 67 degrees in June, but that is unlikely. The weather warms up during June and you can expect lows of 78 degrees and highs of 93 degrees.

  • American Black Film Festival
  • Augustine Music Festival
  • Ocala Comic-Con
  • Bands on the Beach
  • Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival
  • Miami Fashion Week
  • Downtown Venice Craft Festival
  • Pensacola Arts Market

July: Best Time To Visit Theme Parks

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July is considered the best time to visit theme parks in Florida. They are certainly crowded with tourists, but you can get full access to them. July is when many of the theme parks up their water parks increasing the fun for families.

The hottest month in Florida is July, so the water parks will sound better than ever when you’re in the heat all day. Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando are the two most popular theme parks in Florida. Tourism brings in up to $27 billion per year in Florida, and a lot of that comes from the peak theme park season from June to August.

Visit the Orlando Music Festival while you are in town to take a break from the theme parks. Florida Supercon and SharkCon offer alternatives to the massive crowds you’d find at Dinsey World. High temperatures can reach and exceed 95 degrees during July in Florida.

  • Orlando Music Festival
  • Disney World
  • Universal Studios Orlando
  • Epcot
  • SharkCon

August: Best Time To Relax

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You can still party and visit crowded theme parks in August, but there are plenty of calm events to visit. Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City is a great example of this and while it can get crowded, it’s a low-key event. There are boat shows throughout the whole state and in major cities like Orlando during August.

August is the perfect time to rent a boat, go for a swim, or embark on an outdoor adventure. Parasailing is a popular activity in August. Time your Florida trip in August perfectly and you can easily avoid most of the crowds.

Early August is crowded because families visit Florida as a last hoorah before their children begin the school year. Mid to late August is when things slow down and you won’t encounter as many tourists. You can expect temperatures between 79 and 95 degrees in August.

  • Gulf Coast Jam
  • Downtown Venice Craft Festival
  • Orlando Boat Show
  • Harvest Grape Stomp

Related Read: 20 Best Clear Water Beaches in Florida

September: Best Time To Beat The Heat

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Nighttime lows can be as cool as 65 degrees during September. That is considered quite cool in Florida, but the daytime highs make up for it. The temperature still stays between 80 and 90 degrees during the daytime in September.

September still falls within hurricane season and there is plenty of rain all month. However, that shouldn’t put a damper on your fun when you visit the Florida Scallop & Music Festival. Seaworld’s Craft Beer Festival is another great event that starts in September and runs through October.

Flavor Palm Beach and Pensacola Seafood Fest are a reminder that you won’t struggle to find great food in Florida. Samuel Adams Oktoberfest at the end of September is great fun for adults, but not ideal if you brought your children to Florida.

  • Palm Harbor Craft Festival
  • Florida Scallop & Music Festival
  • Seaworld’s Craft Beer Festival
  • Womenfest Key West
  • Island Hopper Songwriter Fest
  • Pensacola Seafood Fest
  • Flavor Palm Beach

October: Best Time For Families

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Florida’s many theme parks celebrate Halloween all month long in October. Haunted houses open up throughout the state and the theme parks in Orlando all change their décor for the holiday. Even Seaworld celebrates Halloween with its annual Spooktacular.

Halloween Horror Nights is a great spooky event during October in Florida, but it may be too extreme for children. In that case, consider Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party if you travel to Florida with family. You’ll still get to enjoy Halloween festivities at an iconic theme park but without having to terrify your kids.

You don’t have to embed yourself in the spooky holiday when you visit Florida during October. Instead, you can immerse yourself in Florida’s cuisine at the annual Stone Crab Festival. Temperatures drop in October and average 54-88 degrees.

  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
  • Halloween Horror Nights
  • Sea World Spooktacular
  • Stone Crab Festival

November: Best Time To Skip Lines

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November marks the beginning of the coldest time of the year in Florida, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Temperatures plummet between November and January which can put a damper on some of the things Florida vacations are known for. You won’t want to visit the beach or hang out by the pool, but there is still plenty to do.

The temperature drop is good news if you plan to visit Universal Studios, Disney World, and Busch Gardens. None of the theme parks will be too crowded which is arguably the best way to experience the attractions. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is fun for the whole family.

Many Floridians begin celebrating the upcoming holidays in December at the Nights of Lights in Saint Augustine. Temperatures drop to 45 degrees or lower at night sometimes in November, and they rarely exceed 84 degrees.

  • Nights of Lights in Saint Augustine
  • South Daytona BBQ & Blues Festival
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Related Read: 30 BEST Things To Do With Kids Key West, FL

December: Best Time To Celebrate The Holidays

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Sarasota is one of the best destinations in Florida and it is home to the Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival. The Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend kicks off the month and it’s only a short 26-minute drive from Sarasota. Temperatures fluctuate between 40 degrees in some cases and 80 degrees throughout December.

What’s better than watching a fleet of boats adorned with Christmas lights float by? You won’t need to wonder if you visit the Winterfest Boat Parade. Disney World hosts Christmas events all month long, and there’s nothing like palm trees dressed up with Christmas lights.

Pensacola Winterfest is another fun event that lets you enjoy the holiday spirit in a tropical environment. However, there aren’t many holiday events as fun as the Key West Holiday Fest. It’s fun to even simply drive around Tampa, Orlando, or Fort Lauderdale and see the Christmas lights.

  • Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival
  • Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend
  • Winterfest Boat Parade
  • Pensacola Winterfest
  • Key West Holiday Fest

Best Time To Visit Florida With Family

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September and October are the best times to visit Florida with family. You can get great hotel rates and find cheap flights if you book early enough in advance. The weather never gets too hot between September and October and it stays between 65 and 88 degrees.

Halloween and Oktoberfest events begin in September which is fun for the whole family. October is the sweet spot if you travel with family because of how cheap it is. Booking a hotel room or multiple rooms for a family is incredibly expensive, so it’s best to pick the cheapest month.

November is a great time to visit Florida with family as well, but flights can be expensive. Many tourists visit Florida during November to escape the cold or for a pre-Thanksgiving trip. This can make for expensive flights in November-December, so it’s best to visit well before then.

Best Time To Visit Florida To Avoid Crowds

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The best time to visit Florida to avoid crowds is between May and June. Tourism slightly dies down in the early spring because temperatures throughout the country warm up. Visitors trying to escape the cold return to their homes to experience the nice weather there.

This opens up the opportunity for you to visit Florida without having to deal with massive crowds. The crowds in Florida can be a major downside to tourists looking to enjoy a quiet vacation. March is the peak of pre-summer crowds because of spring break, and that’s the worst time to go to Florida.

Mid to late June is when tourism starts to pick back up again in Florida. Time it right, and you can be back in your hometown before the summer crowd shows up if you leave in early June.

When Is Hurricane Season In Florida?

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Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th in Florida and is a potentially dangerous time. Floridians have a healthy fear of hurricane season because of how devastating it can be. Hurricane winds are at least 74 miles per hour, but they are often much more dangerous.

The most recent example in Florida was Hurricane Michael in 2018 which was horrendous. It was a Category 5 hurricane which is the strongest type and the worst-case scenario. Hurricane Michael caused $25 billion in damage destroying homes and unfortunately causing fatalities.

With that said, it is still safe to go to Florida during hurricane season as long as you exercise caution. The best safety measure you can take is to pay attention to weather advisories. An expert cannot always predict a hurricane, but they can generally track the warning signs of when and where one will strike.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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