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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Tampa in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Tampa in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Tampa?

The best time to visit Tampa is from January to May, offering mild weather for beach days and outdoor adventures, with temperatures in the low 70s to mid 80s. This season is packed with vibrant festivals like the Gasparilla Pirate Fest and sports events, enhancing the city’s lively atmosphere. Despite some light rain, it’s an ideal period for exploring Tampa’s natural and cultural highlights.

Tampa is one of Florida’s best cities for vacation because it has something for everyone. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, love nature or creature comforts, you’ll find something for you.

It’s a bustling, lively city with distinct Latin American and Spanish cultural influences, making it a popular destination for lovers of gastronomy, nightlife, and strolling along the Tampa Riverwalk. It’s also a popular family destination thanks to its proximity to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island.

Of course, there is also the glorious beach and many nearby parks for swimming, kayaking, and more. To make the most of Tampa, make sure that you visit when the weather is pleasant, and you can actually spend time outdoors. We’ll show you when to visit below.

The Overall Best Time to Visit Tampa

Streetcar in downtown Tampa pictured from the balcony of a building with clear skies in the background

TAMPA, FL, USA – JAN. 26, 2019: TECO Line Streetcar in Ybor Center in Ybor City Historic District in Tampa, Florida FL, USA/Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Tampa is during the winter and spring (January-May), when you can enjoy gorgeous weather and plenty of events. It never gets cold in Tampa, not even in the depths of winter.

Average high temperatures in January are 70 degrees Fahrenheit according to U.S. Climate Data. The temperatures remain in the low to mid 70s in February and March. Although January, February, and March are some of the rainiest months of the year, the most you’ll likely experience is a light drizzle.

Winter in Tampa offers a blessed relief from the heat and humidity of the rest of the year. If you’re hoping to spend lots of time outdoors, this is the best time to visit since you won’t be sweaty and uncomfortable.

You can go for a walking tour in Ybor City, Tampa’s historic center, without getting sunburnt. This is also the best time of year to explore the waters and natural parks around Tampa. The best time for birdwatching is the winter, since many migrating bird species make their seasonal home here.

While you can go dolphin watching all year long, spending the day on a boat is most pleasant when the temperatures are milder. Plus, by March, it’s warm enough to get on the water in a kayak or paddleboard.

By spring, temperatures in Tampa are warm enough to head to the beach. Average temperatures in April are in the low 80s, before reaching an average high of 87 degrees in May. The chance of rain decreases, and with it the chance of high humidity.

This is maybe the best beach weather that Tampa gets all year. In the end of March/beginning of April, Tampa gets an influx of visitors thanks to spring break.

Spring break here has a more family-friendly atmosphere than in other Florida beach towns, but you can still expect lively nightlife. However, by the end of the month, the crowds die down and you have the beach to yourself again.

Another benefit of visiting in the winter or the spring is that you have so many things to do. This is actually the liveliest season for festivals in Tampa since organizers take advantage of the milder weather to put on events.

Try to make it in town for:

Winter and spring are also the best times to visit for sports fans. The Tampa Bay Rays start playing baseball in the spring, while the hockey season for the Tampa Bay Lightning lasts from October to April.

Cheapest Time to Visit Tampa

Photo of Ybor City pictured during the cheapest time to visit Tampa

Ybor City Tampa Bay, Florida. January 19 , 2019 People enjoying La Septima (7th Ave) in Old town/Viaval Tours/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Tampa is is the fall (from September-December), when hotel prices are at their lowest. Fall is Tampa’s definitive low season. Once summer vacation ends, travelers clear out of the city almost immediately.

Plus, hurricane season is still ongoing in September and early October, which scares away potential shoulder season travelers. The result is far lower hotel prices well into autumn and early winter.

In the fall, you can snag amazing hotel deals at up to 50% off the price you would pay during peak season. This is also the best time to travel to Tampa from out of state.

The city has its own airport, Tampa International Airport, that has flights to most major U.S. and international airports. Flights cost the least in September and October, when there is the least demand for visiting Florida, so it’s a good time to save on that expense as well.

Least Busy Time to Visit Tampa

Photo of the downtown area pictured during the best time to visit Tampa, as seen from the trees looking out toward the waterway

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

To beat the crowds, the least busy time to visit Tampa is in the fall, when the threat of hurricanes keeps many visitors away. Hurricane season in Florida lasts from June to late November, peaking in August, September, and early October.

Since Tampa is on the coast, it’s affected by these storms when they arise as well. However, just because it’s hurricane season, doesn’t mean that hurricanes are guaranteed.

Thanks to our now advanced systems for monitoring storms, you can be notified in due time if a storm will hit your vacation. If one isn’t predicted, then you’ll be enjoying Tampa’s beaches all to yourself without a care in the world.

September’s weather is very warm, a continuation of summer, but without the crowds. By October, temperatures cool down, but only into the low 80s. That means you can enjoy all your favorite beach activities well into fall in Tampa.

The fewer crowds make it easier to enjoy the city of Tampa itself. You can visit the many good restaurants or enjoy a drink at the bar without having to elbow people aside for room. It’s easier to go on tours since they won’t be full of people.

Plus, by October, Tampa comes alive again with plenty of events. Although the weather may not be as crisp as what you imagine your typical Halloween is like, there are lots of seasonal events such as ghost tours and pumpkin patch tours.

For a different type of October experience, check out the Tampa Bay Oktoberfest, a little slice of Munich in Florida.

Worst Time to Visit Tampa

Photo of people lounging around at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, pictured for a piece titled Best Time to Visit Tampa

Tampa, FL USA – 7-4-2021: Crowd of people enjoying themselves at Sparkman Wharf in downtown Tampa/Noah Densmore/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Tampa is in the summer, when the combination of the high humidity and high crowds make it difficult to enjoy your vacation.

Many people visit Tampa assuming summer has the best beach weather in Florida, but nothing could be further from the truth. Average high temperatures in June, July, and August are around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but most days feel much hotter due to the oppressive humidity.

You should temper your expectations of spending the day working on your tan because summer is Tampa’s rainiest season. Expect frequent downpours with rains heavy enough to completely derail your plans for the day.

Due to summer vacation, Tampa tends to fill up with visitors in the summer, mostly families. Hotel prices rise accordingly, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good hotel room for under $200.

Because of the crowds, expect long lines at popular attractions—and you don’t exactly want to spend hot days standing outside in the sun. The benefit of visiting in the summer is that the water temperature is at its highest.

The ocean is at its best for swimming, and even young children have a good time in the bathtub-warm water.

Although summer isn’t the high season for festivals in Tampa, there are still plenty of events going on, such as Tampa Theatre’s BrewFest (July). Plus, there are lots of informal summer events happening, from outdoor concerts to spontaneous salsa dancing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tons of people crowded into a park in Tampa

Tampa, Florida: January 3, 2022: The Tampa Riverwalk shops in the city of Tampa, Florida. The population of Tampa is 407,104/Michael Gordon/Shutterstock

Here are some of the most common questions to help you pick the best time to visit Tampa:

What month is best for Tampa?

May is the best time to visit Tampa because it’s perfect beach weather, but not too humid or crowded yet.

When is the rainy season in Tampa Florida?

The rainy season in Tampa Florida is from the end of May to the beginning of October, when you can expect consistent downpours.

What months are the hurricane season in Tampa Florida?

The hurricane season in Tampa runs from early June to the end of November, but you have the highest risk of storms in August and September.

How many days in Tampa is enough?

Three days are enough to see all that Tampa has to offer, but you may want to stay longer to truly relax on the beach.

Is Tampa warm all year?

Tampa is warm all year round, although winter evenings can get windy and chilly.

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

The best time to visit Tampa is in the winter and early spring, when the weather is at its best and the city is full of lively events. So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip to Tampa today!