Florida weather can sometimes make or break a vacation. So what is the
best time to plan your Florida vacation based on the weather?
It depends. (You knew I'd say something like that, didn't you?) Well, what would you like to do? Camping, go to the beach and swim, do some hiking or boating...there are times of the year where each is best.
So, let's take a look at Florida weather and vacations - after all, you do want to know what to expect...and what clothes to pack!
The best time to plan your vacation in Florida depends on what you want to
do. Are you beach-bound? Do you want to go to the state parks?
Touring attractions? Florida weather can be unpredictable at times, but
generally follows a pattern. Let's see what the weather holds in store....
Florida Beaches: Here you have to strike a balance -- when
the sun and surf is warm, but when hurricanes and tropical depressions are
least likely. My picks would be as follows.
Florida Panhandle - from about late May to late August.
The water will be cooler earlier in the season, but since the Gulf of
Mexico is pretty shallow, the water warms up faster.
North Florida - about the same, late May to late August.
Nature Coast - it's on the Gulf of Mexico but a little
further south, so call it early May through late August
Gulf Coast - even further south, you could squeak in late
April through maybe Labor Day
Space Coast - on the Atlantic side, so mid-May through late
South Florida - warms up a little faster, even though it's
the Atlantic. Late April through Labor Day.
Florida Keys - warm shallow waters make it good from late
March through Labor Day.
So why is my cut off late August to maybe Labor Day? Because
September is prime hurricane season. Now, you aren't likely to see a
hurricane - odds are against it. What you might see though is a
tropical depression or tropical storm. Neither is anything to get
overly concerned about (unless a tropical storm is just below hurricane
strength). However, they both produce rain, and sometime days worth.
And you do want to maximize your beach time!
Florida Parks: My choice would be mid October through
April. Fewest mosquitoes, cooler weather, lower humidity.
Florida weather can sometimes get pretty chilly in the November/December
time frame, so if you plan on camping you might want to take that into
consideration. (Even South Florida can get down into the 30's and 40's
Florida Attractions: Just about anytime is OK, but I'd
avoid late June through Labor Day if at all possible. Just too hot and
humid while you are walking around outside. And your chance of a
thundershower is pretty good on any given day.
Just Driving Around: If you plan your Florida vacation
seat-of-the-pants style (get a car, go where the mood takes you) I'd avoid
the major holidays (traffic, mainly) and July through about Labor Day.
Driving in wet weather is just a fact of life for us that live here, but
many people aren't used to the kind of rains we get and tense up while
driving. Relax. Pull over at a rest stop or restaurant or
something and chill for awhile.