The best time to visit the Florida Keys depends on what you want to do and how well you cope with the heat. Summer never really ends in southern Florida, while the northern parts of the state experience a more temperate climate with seasonal weather variation.
Weather in Florida
Northern Florida sits in a temperate climate zone with four seasons, including sub-zero temperatures and a chance of snow in winter. Central and southern destinations like Miami and the Florida Keys have a tropical maritime climate and only two seasons (wet and dry).
Florida summers are generally very hot and humid with daily highs often reaching the mid-30s (90+°F). The wet season is from June to November. It’s particularly hot and muggy down south from mid-August to mid-October, and there's also a risk of hurricanes.
The dry season is from December to May. It's dry and sunny throughout most of the state with average highs of 24°C (75°F) in the south, and a cooler 18°C (64°F) in the north.
When to visit for good weather and events
December to March is typically the best time to visit for good weather. The temperature is pleasant, and the humidity is bearable. The coldest month is January, but with highs of 24°C (75°F) and lows of 10°C (50°F), it's still pretty warm.
December through February is the busiest time in the Keys. The subtropical weather is very alluring for folks in colder states of the USA in need of a winter vacation. Things quieten down at the end of February, but it’s back in full swing in March when throngs of college students arrive for spring break.
Despite the bigger crowds and higher prices, there’s a great vibe in the Keys during the high season with plenty of food, music and art festivals to enjoy, including:
- The Key Largo Boat Parade (December)
- Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival (January)
- Key West Food & Wine Festival (January)
- Original Marathon Seafood Festival (March)
- St. Patricks Day Parade (March)
- Seven Mile Bridge Run in (March/April)
- Conch Republic Independence Day(April)
When to visit for smaller crowds
The most hectic period for storms is mid-August to mid-October, so it's no surprise this is the quietest period. July and August are the hottest months with average highs of 32°C (90°F), while September is the wettest month.
If you don’t mind rocking the sweaty look and ducking in for cover during daily thunderstorms, you can still visit during the wet season. You might even bag yourself cheaper prices at restaurants and tourist attractions. Just ensure you check daily forecasts, follow the local weather advice and pack a rain poncho… you’ll need it!
The sweet spot
April to late May is the sweet spot to avoid throngs of tourists and stormy weather. Winter sun seekers head home, spring breakers go back to college and the hurricane season is yet to arrive. Temperatures hover between a comfortable 22-28°C (72-82°F) in April, and creep up to 30°C (86°F) in May.
The waters are also prime for swimming, snorkelling and diving during these months.
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