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Best Time to Visit Florida | When to Go & Travel Tips

Best Time to Visit Florida | When to Go & Travel Tips

Taking a trip to sunny Florida soon? Doing a little research before you plan your stay will net you the best weather, cheapest prices, and least crowded beaches.

There’s a lot to love about the Sunshine State, and when you know the best time to visit Florida, you’ll come home with lifelong memories (and a healthy glow)! 

We’ll show you the best time to visit Florida no matter what your goals for the trip are – the sunniest skies, most affordable flights and rooms, or least crowded beaches.

Plus, see the worst time to visit Florida (you know, if there were such a thing) and traveler tips to make your trip perfect. Let us be your guide!

Why You Should Visit Florida

Couple sitting on a beautiful sandy beach next to blue water during the best time to visit Florida

Ivan Vasilev/Shutterstock

Sunny Florida (aptly nicknamed the Sunshine State) is home to some of the best beaches and most-loved attractions in the nation. If you’re in need of a dose of warm weather, endless activities or uninterrupted relaxation, and a taste of the tropical in the contiguous U.S., Florida is your destination. 

Florida is one of the nation’s most popular vacation destinations because the state enjoys a warm, subtropical to tropical climate and offers such a wide range of things to do and wildlife to see. There’s something here for everyone!

Sunbathing beach-goers will appreciate the 1,350 miles of pristine coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. On-the-go families make the trek to Florida for its famous theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios, Legoland, Sea World, and more).

Adventurers love to visit and camp at Florida’s national and state parks. Fun activities like wildlife watching (including gators, dolphins, flamingos, and so much more), parasailing, deep sea fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, and zip lining await those who love the great outdoors.

South Florida is alive with upscale hotels, restaurants, and shops.

South Florida party scene on Ocean Drive

Dmitry Tkachenko Photo/Shutterstock

Parts are steeped in colorful Cuban and Latin American culture, perfect for foodies (you’ve gotta try an authentic Cuban sandwich), coffee lovers, and anyone who enjoys dancing the night away.

And if you’re just seeking quiet solitude while you relax on the shore, Florida is also home to some of the nation’s most secluded beaches and resorts for a little R&R. There’s every reason in the world to go – now you just need to know the best time to visit Florida! 

Overall Best Time to Visit Florida

Naples pier pictured during March through May, the best time to visit Florida

Lunamarina/Shutterstock

If you want to plan the ideal trip with great weather and the most options for activities, the best time to visit Florida is March through May.

The spring months offer the most balanced weather conditions, relatively uncrowded beaches, and little rainfall – everything you need for perfect beach days, city exploring, or theme park trips! 

March in Florida sees comfortable, sunny weather with highs in the upper 70s and lows around 64F. The sun hangs out a little longer beginning in March, the ocean hovers around 75F, and spring is in full swing during March.

Mid and late March open up the Spring Break floodgates with visitors pouring in from around the country and globe. You may see higher prices on flights, car rentals, hotels, and activities during March, but it truly is an ideal time to visit Florida. 

April is even warmer (but not yet stifling) with highs in the low 80s and little rainfall. On average, you’ll see about 5 days of rainfall in the month of April in Florida.

That means visiting in April is great if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors – and we know you do! Easter creates a slight uptick in visitors and prices, but it’s short-lived. Prices on hotels, flights, and activities quickly dip after Easter.

May marks the end of Florida’s springtime with average temperatures rising to a perfect 77F (highs around 87F) and ocean temperatures around 81F. Beaches are less crowded as the main throngs of tourists won’t arrive until June.

With fewer tourists during May, you’ll benefit with reduced prices on hotels, restaurants, activities, and flights. It’s a perfect time to visit the Sunshine State! 

Cheapest Time to Visit Florida

Empty beach in Destin during the cheapest time to go to Florida

Jay Beckerich/Shutterstock

For a more budget-friendly vacation, you’ll want to go during the cheapest time to visit Florida – typically January – February and August through mid-November.

These are short-lived low seasons when fewer tourists arrive and prices on flights, rentals, hotels, and activities take a major dip. The overall best time to visit Florida on a budget is in late September.

Flights and hotel prices hit rock bottom during this time as kids are back in school and the steady stream of tourists reduces to a trickle. This is when the hot summer season begins to give way to a cooler, more moderate fall. 

The tail end of winter (January to February) sees mild weather conditions that are more spring-like than wintry. Highs hit the low 70s and lows are near 50F, making these months ideal for camping if you’re the adventurous type.

January and February offer some of the lowest prices on hotels and flights since fewer tourists make their way to the Sunshine State during these months.

Late summer and fall (August through mid-November) offer comparatively cheap prices on flights and hotels due to fewer tourists coming at this time.

Compared to January and February (the other cheapest time to visit), you’ll experience much hotter weather, more hours of sunshine, and warmer ocean water in late summer and fall. These higher temperatures continually drop as fall takes over – from highs in the low 90s (August) to a more comfortable 77F (November). 

Least Busy Time to Visit Florida

Empty street in Venice during the least busy time to visit Florida

Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

If crowded beaches are your vacation kryptonite, you’ll appreciate going during the least busy times of year – usually April to May and mid-September to November.

With the exception of Easter, Memorial Day weekend, and Labor Day weekend, these periods see the fewest tourists and visitors to give you uncrowded beaches, shorter lines for attractions, and lower prices on flights and hotels. 

April to May mark the end of springtime in Florida with sunny skies, little rainfall, and warm temperatures hitting highs from 82F (April) to 90F (May). Plan your visit before or after Easter and avoid Memorial Day weekend to benefit from fewer crowds.

If total relaxation and solitude are your goals for the trip, you’ll want to check out secluded beaches with fewer tourist attractions (like Siesta Key Beach, St. Lucie, and Cape San Blas). 

Mid-September (after Labor Day), October, and November also see fewer tourists for an uncrowded beach or park experience. With less demand during these months, prices drop on flights, hotels, food, and car rentals – another bonus!

Fall temperatures hit highs of 90F in September, 84F in October, and 77F in November. And since you’ll be one of the few on the beach or at the theme park, you can enjoy these warm temperatures that much more! 

Worst Time to Visit Florida

Storm clouds over Pensacola during June, the worst time to visit Florida

Holly Mazour/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Florida is during the hottest summer months with the most severe weather and rainfall – June through August. June marks the start of Florida’s hurricane season and is when rainfall and temperatures really pick up.

June and July experience more than double the rainfall of the fall, winter, and spring months. While coastal rain and thunderstorms usually pass quickly in Florida, you’re still in for a lot of rain and cloudy skies that can ruin your daily plans during the summer.

The hot temperatures (highs in the 90s) can make your visit less comfortable if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. There are more hours of sunshine and a higher UV index during the summer months, so a sunburn may be in your forecast if you forget to lather up with SPF!

Even though summer is considered the “worst” time to visit Florida, visiting at this time doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. In fact, many love visiting during the summer when the kids are out of school and all activities are open.

Plan a few indoor activities you’d like to do for rainy afternoons, stay in a hotel near the beach so you can squeeze in shore time while the weather’s nice, and take advantage of the beauty of Florida in full summer swing. 

More Things to Consider

You know the best time to visit Florida for your upcoming getaway, but what else should you know to make the most of your vacation? Here are a few tips that’ll help you plan your trip like a seasoned Florida traveler. 

  • Know the busiest ($$) holidays. Plan your visit outside of the busiest holidays to enjoy a less crowded, more affordable trip with plenty of hotel and flight availability. President’s Day (late February), Spring Break, Easter, Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend, Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve/Day are some of the busiest times of year for Florida. Remember: If school’s out, you’re sure to run into crowds and higher prices.
  • Explore off the beaten path. There are tons of popular restaurants, shops, and things to do for tourists in Florida, but you’ll enjoy your trip even more by venturing off the beaten path. With the exception of large theme parks (where you’re better off staying onsite and taking advantage of all the shops and eateries within), talking to locals to find their favorite restaurants, fishing spots, and secluded beaches is ideal. You’ll get a taste of what the locals love so much about their town and a deeper appreciation for what Florida has to offer. 
  • Bring the right gear. Whether you’re planning a beach, city, theme park, or national/state park trip, having the right gear makes any trip more enjoyable. Comfy walking shoes and sandals, lightweight attire, 30+ SPF sunscreen, a lightweight jacket for cooler nights, sun protection clothing, and an umbrella are all must-haves in Florida. If you’re bringing littles along, make sure to pack beach gear to keep them busy – sand buckets and shovels, castle molds, sand-proof blankets, and collapsible sun canopies are a great idea.  
  • Always ask about discounts. Most hotels, airlines, rental services, and attractions offer discounts for certain membership groups and print discount coupons in brochures or activity guides. Ask about student, senior, military, corporate, and auto club discounts. Pick up any activity guides and brochures that interest you while you’re there – you’ll always find specials and discounts that range from freebies and BOGO deals to steep discounts on attractions and activities. When in doubt, just ask an employee if there are any discounts offered! 
  • Pay attention to the warning flags on the beach. Florida’s beaches are one of the biggest draws for tourists, but they can be dangerous at times. Follow the helpful beach flag warning system to stay on top of threats and know when to stay out of the water. Beach warning flags are coded as follows: 
    • Double Red: Water closed to public use
    • Red: High hazard (rough surf and currents)
    • Yellow: Medium hazard (slightly rough surf and currents)
    • Green: Low hazard (calm conditions)
    • Purple: Marine pests (jellyfish, sharks, stingrays, etc.)

If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll have the best and most affordable Florida vacation, no matter your destination. 

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Florida?

Couple parasailing in Florida during the best time to go, in the early summer

Robert Hoetink/Shutterstock

We’ve covered a lot of info in this guide, so let’s quickly recap the best times to visit Florida before you go. 

The overall best time to visit Florida is March through May (springtime). The weather’s mild and warm, there’s little rain, and activities and attractions are getting into gear for the busy summer season.

This time of year offers the best balance – good weather, relatively few crowds (except for Spring Break, Easter, and Memorial Day weekend), and average pricing on flights and hotels. 

The cheapest time to visit Florida is January to February (late winter) and August through mid-November. You’ll find the absolute cheapest prices on flights and hotels during late September as the summer season fades, the stream of tourists slows to a trickle, and fall takes center stage. 

The least crowded time to visit Florida is April to May and mid-September to November. You’ll benefit from fewer tourists, reduced crowds, shorter lines, and more hotel and flight availability during these periods.

Most kids are in school, meaning less families are taking to Florida beaches and parks for vacation. This is the time to take in a little R&R on a quiet beach!  

The worst time to visit Florida (if we have to choose) is June through August. Temperatures are at their highest during these summer months, Florida’s hurricane season is underway, and rainfall is highest.

But it’s summertime in Florida, so it’s not all bad during this time – you’ll still have lots of chances to soak up the sun and enjoy a variety of Florida’s most popular activities and parks! 

Now that you know the best time to visit Florida for your trip goals, it’s time to start planning your trip and itinerary. Looking for ideas and activities to keep you busy while you’re there? Check out these guides next!