As locals, we want to let you in on a little secret. Based on average weather, crowds, and rates, the best times to visit Florida are March-April or September-October.
We’ll break down the best time to plan your Florida vacation by season, with details on Florida’s eight regions, weather, crowds, activities, and rates.
Florida is a beach vacationer’s dream with 1,350 miles of coastline, a sub-tropical climate, and enough annual sunshine to receive the nickname “Sunshine State,” it’s no surprise that Florida is the second highest most visited state in the US.
The spring season in Florida begins in March and runs through May. This is considered one of the best seasons to visit with pleasant (some might say perfect!) weather and fewer crowds than summer months.
Weather: Temperatures range from high in the mid-70s in PCB to mid-80s in Tampa. March and April tend to be dryer months, with rainfalls increasing in May.
Crowds: The typical spring crowds include families with young children and people trying to squeeze the most sun into their spring break.
Rates: Because spring isn’t considered our peak season, rates are usually lower, but can increase during popular spring break weeks including early to mid-March.
Events: Spring events include craft beer and wine-enthusiasts UNwineD, and music events, like PCB’s SandJam.
From May to early September, the summer season brings heat and sunshine! However, if you’re looking for lower rates and fewer crowds, this won’t be your ideal season to visit.
Weather: Temperatures range from highs in the 80s in PCB to 90s in Orlando. Moisture and chances of stormy weather begin to increase around June.
Crowds: The warmest temperatures of the year combined with summer vacations contribute to the highest number of visitors during the summer months.
Rates: In the height of the tourism season, expect rates to be at their highest during the summer months.
Events: From boat cruises to major festivals like PCB’s Gulf Coast Jam, summer in Florida is filled with activities and events.
As hot summer temperatures turn cooler and the tourism season slows down, mid-September to November can be one of the best seasons to book your Florida vacation. With the reward of fewer crowds and lower rates, there can be risks involved with potential hurricanes or tropical storms.
Weather: Temperatures range from highs in the mid-70s in PCB to high 80s in Miami. Although hurricane season officially starts in June, most hurricane activity occurs from August through October.
Crowds: Once the school year starts, tourism begins to slow down, providing visitors some extra space and shorter lines. Avoid holiday weekends for a more exclusive experience.
Rates: Visitors can usually find last-minute deals around holiday weekends like Labor Day. The best fall rates will be after Labor Day.
Events: Fall festivities include family fun at Williston’s Peanut Festival and Oktoberfest celebrations in PCB.
It’s estimated that in the winter months, December to February, Florida’s population increases by almost one million “Snowbirds” or seasonal visitors who flock to our state, which on average is the warmest place to visit in the US, during the winter season.
Weather: Temperatures range from highs in the mid-60s in PCB to mid-70s in Fort Myers. With almost no chance of snow, don’t plan on a white Christmas.
Crowds: Even with the increase in seasonal visitors, with fewer tourists, Florida’s winter season offers visitors the most secluded experience of the whole year.
Rates: This season offers the most flexibility with rates, including many resorts offering extended stay discounts that include group activities.
Events: Visit Panama City Beach hosts its annual New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop event at Pier Park and authentic Mardi Gras celebrations
When to Plan to Your Panama City Beach Vacation
Still not sure which season is right for your Panama City Beach vacation? Talk to one of our locals to help figure out the perfect time for you.