When the weather’s good, it’s spectacular in Florida, but when it’s bad it can be horrid. So when is the best time to visit Florida?
With its natural wonders, famous theme parks, and long list of attractions, Florida is high on the holiday wish list for a lot of vacationers. But those who don’t do their homework before booking a trip can be caught completely off guard by the weather and crowds.
Southern Florida, which includes Miami and the Florida Keys, has a true tropical climate. Winter is the most popular time to visit South Florida and is when hotels often double their prices and still book full ahead of time. Those who can handle the heat can find some bargains in South Florida during summer.
Hurricane season, which runs from June to November, and Florida’s spring to autumn afternoon thunderstorms should be taken into consideration. But with a little planning, travellers can see the sights in the cooler mornings, sit out the thunderstorms in the afternoon, and enjoy indoor activities in air conditioned comfort when the mercury rises.
Orlando, with its long list of theme parks and attractions, is one of the most popular places to visit in Florida. As Orlando is inland, it misses out on the coastal breezes, so summer there can be hot – hot – hot. And humid to boot.
It’s said that Orlando has two seasons a year – hot and rainy from June until September, and the dry season from October to May. Thunderstorms make their presence felt in Orlando, but the area is less likely to be disturbed by hurricanes than other parts of Florida, which is one of the reasons why Walt Disney decided to build his theme parks there.
While the theme parks in Orlando can be extremely crowded during the holidays, this is also the time when some of the parks extend their visiting hours and put on special parades or events. Before traveling, it’s best to check the parks and attractions to see what’s being offered, and what days and times they are open.
School Holidays in Florida
For some families, the timing of a trip to Florida will be dictated by school holidays, when they can take their own children on vacation without interrupting their schoolwork. Of course, school holidays can lead to crowds at popular tourist spots, so for those who want to travel at quieter times, school holidays are best avoided.
The exact school holiday dates change from year to year, and can also change from district to district. As a guide, the traditional Florida school holiday times are Summer Vacation, which runs from the beginning of June until the end of August, spring break, Easter week, and a two week winter break over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
At the end of the day, there are pros and cons to the various times to travel to Florida. After weighing the weather, crowds, and budget considerations, a traveller can feel better prepared for their vacation ahead, and relax and enjoy their Florida getaway.