When's the best time to visit Florida?
Sunshine, alligators, theme parks, hurricanes. Florida appeals to families and the jet-setting party crowd alike. But with its impressive size – the Sunshine State is larger than England and Wales combined – it’s not surprising that the weather in the region can differ wildly. But there are some real bargains to be had (and crowds missed) if you plan your next trip right.
Spring: From March to early April, university students head to Florida’s northwest to celebrate spring break (that's pronounced "spriiiiiiiiiiing breeeeeeak!", just so you know). The theme parks of Orlando are also busy over this time as parents take advantage of the Easter holidays. But the weather is cooler at this time of the year, with temperatures ranging from 23-30°C. Late April to May can be particularly pleasant, with fewer crowds.
Summer: Hot, humid, with some days reaching the dizzy heights of 35°C. Expect daily, but short, thunderstorms and be prepared to seek sanctuary in air conditioned malls, or head to the coast where there is a sea breeze. If you can face the subtropical south, hotel prices do drop between June and September, and Orlando quietens down from mid-August.
Hurricane season starts in June and can affect the whole state, although they’re most common from August to October. Miami is the most likely to be hit but Key West (the most southern point of the continental US) and Tampa are also vulnerable. Keep an eye on the local news if you are travelling at this time.
Autumn: As the cooler weather sets in from September to October, the theme parks and northern beaches are noticeably less crowded. Consider a visit to the Everglades while it’s still officially the wet season, when the alligators are at their most active. November tends to be Florida’s driest month and is the best time to hike, providing hurricane season has ended.
Winter: Tourists flock to subtropical South Florida from mid-December, but the biggest influx of snowbirds from the north is in January and February. It’s busy throughout the state over Christmas and New Year - particularly in Orlando. Temperatures in the north can get as low as freezing at night, although snow is rare.
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