What's the best time to visit Fort Myers?
Fort Myers is one of Florida’s most popular beach towns for a reason. Even in a state with miles of sandy shores and quaint towns, it stands out thanks to its wide range of attractions.
If you’re interested in history and culture, you’ll get a kick out of the massive winter estates belonging to famous people such as Thomas Edison or the many art galleries.
Families will enjoy the massive Edison Mall or the Manatee Park, where you can see the gentle giants in action. Of course, there is always the beautiful nature—you can lounge on miles of sandy beach, go paddling on the Caloosahatchee River, or explore islands such as Sanibel.
There’s a lot to do in Fort Myers, but you definitely want to visit when you can get the most out of the beach. Keep reading to learn the best time to visit this unique town.
The Overall Best Time to Visit Fort Myers
The best time to visit Fort Myers if you want to escape from cold northern weather and have the quintessential Florida experience is in the winter. If you want to make sure that you’ll be able to go swimming, the best time to visit is in the spring, between March and May.
The winter is one of the most popular times to visit Fort Myers for a reason. Winter temperatures are still quite warm. According to the National Weather Service, average high temperatures in January hover around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and go up to 78 degrees already by February!
These months are also the driest months of the year, so you can expect plenty of sun and low humidity levels. This weather is ideal for a gentle stroll on the beach or exploring surrounding nature. The air feels cleaner thanks to the low humidity.
Hardy visitors can even go swimming, although you won’t find many locals swimming—they’re a bit spoiled by warm temperatures and find the winters chilly. Winter is also when Fort Myers’ cultural calendar kicks into high gear.
This season hosts the most events and festivals, such as:
- ArtFest (first weekend in February)
- Edison Festival of Light (February)
- Edison and Ford Holiday Nights (November-December)
These events show that Fort Myers is more than a beach town, but also a place with a lively cultural tradition. Keep in mind that winter is one of the most popular times to visit Fort Myers according to its official tourism board.
You’ll have to book well in advance to take advantage of the balmy “winter” weather. If you are a college student or other young person that wants to enjoy nightlife, then the best time to visit Fort Myers is in March and early April.
This is spring break time, when college students from across the United States descend upon Florida in search of a good time. Spring break is so important for the town that the Chamber of Commerce even has a guide to popular spring break times for local businesses!
Expect the beaches to be packed with young people from across the nation, the clubs to be thumping, and bars to have specials for spring break. This is a great time to have fun and let loose.
However, if you don’t fall into this demographic, it might be a good idea to avoid Fort Myers during this time. For a relaxing beach vacation, the best time to visit is from mid-April to May, after the spring breakers go home.
The weather is hot by spring, reaching average high temperatures of 89 degrees by May. This is the best time to swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, spring is shoulder season, so you may even save some money on your hotel.
Cheapest Time to Visit Fort Myers
The cheapest time to visit Fort Myers is in the fall, when hurricane season reduces demand and forces many local businesses to lower their rates. Fort Myers is on Florida’s Gulf Coast, which is affected by hurricane season.
Hurricane season lasts from June to November, but often peaks in August, September, and early October. The city has been hit by devastating storms in the past, such as Hurricane Ian in September 2022.
Some years, hurricane season is mild, and no storms make direct landfall. However, the risk is present throughout hurricane season, which means many tourists avoid the Gulf Coast during this time.
Their loss is your gain, as many hotels offer discounted rates during this time. In September, you can get deals of 20-30%, sometimes as much as 50%, off of rooms in popular hotels.
This is also the least expensive time to fly to Florida due to low demand. To save money, fly into a bigger airport such as Tampa instead of Southwest Florida International Airport, which has fewer choices and higher prices.
Keep in mind that traveling during this time will mean an additional travel expense—trip insurance. If a hurricane is predicted, you will need to cancel your trip, so get insurance to avoid losing money.
Least Busy Time to Visit Fort Myers
The least busy time to visit Fort Myers is in the fall, when hurricane season lowers visitor numbers. Hurricane season should be taken seriously, but some years it’s fairly mild.
There aren’t storms throughout the entire season, although there is frequent rain, so you can get lucky with good weather during your trip. Minimize your risk of constant rain by traveling later in the season—by October, the rain calms down, but the visitors still don’t come back.
The weather is still balmy in October and November, with temperatures in the mid-80s, meaning that it’s still warm enough to swim. Best of all, you won’t have to fight with other tourists to find a spot to lay down your towel.
This is also a good time to get into nature, since there are fewer people to spoil your experience. You can also enjoy local events tailored towards nature lovers, such as Art in the Wild in October, organized by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge.
Worst Time to Visit Fort Myers
The worst time to visit Fort Myers is the summer, when the combination of the temperature and the crowds makes time on the beach unbearable. Summer is the most popular time to visit Fort Myers. Many families can only travel during the summer.
Visitors who aren’t in the know think that it must have the best beach weather since it’s the hottest season. The result is packed beaches, traffic, long lines at all popular attractions and restaurants, and sky-high hotel rates.
Ironically, summer is the worst season to travel to the Gulf Coast in terms of weather. The rainiest months of the year are June, July, and August, with averages of ten inches of rain.
You’re likely to spend as much time running for shelter as you are working on your tan. The temperatures are so hot they’re unbearable, with high temperatures in the 90s feeling even hotter due to the humidity.
If you do visit during this time, you can enjoy tropical-themed festivals such as Mangomania on nearby Pine Island. Hours for popular attractions tend to be longer in the summer as well. Plus, you can always cool off with a dip in the Gulf of Mexico.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions people asked about finding the best time to visit Fort Myers:
What is the best month to visit Fort Myers?
The best month to visit Fort Myers is May, when the weather is perfect for the beach, and you can also enjoy fewer crowds.
When is hurricane season in Fort Myers?
Hurricane season in Fort Myers formally lasts from June to November, but the strongest storms arrive in August and September.
When is Fort Myers’ off-season?
The only off-season in Fort Myers is the fall. The city receives the fewest visitors from September to November.
Does Fort Myers have a rainy season?
Fort Myers absolutely has a rainy season. The rainiest weather happens between June and mid-October, when you can expect frequent downpours.
Can you swim in Fort Myers in the winter?
Fort Myers is a year-round beach destination, and you can swim even in the winter.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Fort Myers?
The best time to visit Fort Myers is between December and May. December to March is the peak season for getting away from the cold up north, while March to early April is best for spring breakers. For a quiet beach vacation, visit from mid-April to May. Happy travels!