The Florida Keys are one of the most unique vacation destinations in the U.S. Composed of hundreds of islands along a 125-mile-long archipelago, the Keys have an island vibe unlike anywhere else. From close-to-the-mainland Key Largo to Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S., these islands attract all types of travelers, from all over the world. But when should you go? Read our recommendations, based on what you’re looking for in your vacation.
For the best weather
Thanks to the Keys’ tropical-maritime climate, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate by more than about 10 degrees Fahrenheit between seasons. But, humidity levels and rainfall amounts vary considerably depending on the time of the year. The Keys have a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy season runs from May through October, and during that time, the islands get three-quarters of their yearly rainfall. The rainy season also brings very high humidity, making days feel hotter than the mercury reads.For ideal weather, aim to visit the Keys in the dry season, between November and April. You’ll still enjoy temperatures in the 80s, but you’re less likely to encounter rain — and you avoid the summer hurricane season.
To warm up
Plenty of snowbirds flock to the Keys during the winter to avoid snow, rain and cold temperatures, making winter the peak tourist season. If you travel to the Keys between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you’ll enjoy wonderfully warm weather, but you’ll have to deal with crowds and higher costs.
To avoid the crowds
If you’re looking for a slower pace and fewer people, head to the Keys during the summer. You’ll pay less for accommodations, be less likely to get stuck in traffic driving to and from the mainland, and have less trouble getting restaurant reservations. However, there’s one downside to visiting in the summer: It’s hurricane season. If you visit the archipelago between June and November — and especially in the typically peak hurricane months of August and September — be sure to keep an eye on the weather report before and during your trip. Also, hurricanes aside, be prepared for very humid weather.
For the best fishing
The Florida Keys, and especially the island of Islamorada, are a popular destination for anglers all year long. However, April and May are the best months for catching big fish. In the spring, Mahi mahi, wahoo, tarpon, blue marlin and yellowtail are in their prime. If you’re looking to snag a specific type of fish, ask one of the local fishing charter companies for recommendations of where and when to visit.
To save money
For a budget vacation, hurricane season is your best bet. Because fewer people visit during this part of the year, hotels drop their prices and more affordable activities and amenities can be found. As long as you keep an eye on the weather forecast and remain flexible with your plans, a budget-friendly vacation can be enjoyed in the Keys. Savvy travelers who visit during this time of year recommend travel insurance in case a storm changes (or ruins) your plans.
Find year-round fun with a second home in the Keys
When you own your own slice of paradise in the Florida Keys, you can explore all year round. With Pacaso, you can co-own a luxury home on your favorite island, without all the hassle and expense that comes with traditional second home ownership. Can you feel the ocean breezes already?