Best time of year to travel to Florida Keys

Discussion in 'Florida' started by d360, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. d360

    d360 Administrator

    We are thinking of traveling to the keys "for the first time" and have a pretty flexible schedule. What is the best time of the year to travel to the Keys? We were thinking of flying into Miami and driving down. But then also my wife would like to take our daughter to Orlando. I requested only a couple days pleaseee..

    One thing I'm not going to miss is Florida Beaches ->

    If you were a first timer to Florida and had to see Disneyworld and wanted to go to the keys what would you do? any other destinations between here and there?

  2. The Travel Slut

    The Travel Slut 6 continents, 87 countries & 64 cruises so far

    Dan...You can't lose in terms of enjoyment by any of your choices....

    The Keys and Disney (WDW) could not be any more different and diverse however and about 6 hours separate the two also depending where in the Keys you plan to go.

    The "top" of the Florida Keys are 60-90 minutes south of Miami and can easily be reached in a car (there is limited or no real public transport). You can get a flavor of the Keys by staying in Key Largo between mile markers (MM) 104 and 94 (try to Marina del Mar--a diving resort about MM 96 or 98) but as you drive further south, the waters and views get nicer and the pace much slower until you reach Key West at MM 0. Key West is a whole another world.....but probably not best experienced with kids--although I NEVER turn down a chance at Key West.

    I would avoid the Keys during holiday periods or major Festivals (like Fantasy Fest) due to crowds & prices--although in this economy--there are some deals to be had. The best time for the Keys is late spring or late fall for best water conditions if you plan to snorkel/dive and to avoid or minimize both the heat/humidity and the hurricane & rainy season (June-Nov but really August-October).

    Otherwise, the Keys are great year-round. One downside if you drive from Miami to Key West (about 160 miles and 3-4 hrs or so).. is that you are then about 6-8 hours from WDW up north in Central FL. and that is without a stop in the Everglades for the requisite Airboat rides to see the alligators.

    WDW is about 3 hrs north of Miami if you take the toll turnpike and about 4-5 hours if you take the free Interstate 95 up the coast..... There are some nice sidetrips off I-95 like the Navy Seal Museum, Kennedy Space Station & NASA, Daytona Beach, etc.

    WDW itself can be a week-long adventure if you spend 1 day in each of the 4 major theme parks, and one day in a waterpark.

    If you had to pick a time to see WDW, I'd really avoid holiday times and stick to mid-weeks during normal school years to minimize crowds.

    Is there something more specific you want or need? I'll try my best to help you out.

    TS (in Florida for the time being--lol).
  3. d360

    d360 Administrator

    Also seems like two trips but begin westcoaster's I'd prefer to stay longer and do it all. 10yo daughter likes to do everything "except we don't allow her in bars". Diving a must!

    I'll check into a couple options.

    flight; seattle >orlando > miami and return miami, seattle.
    flight; seattle >orlando > keywest and return seattle.

    maybe there's a option to eliminate driving so much.

    I think WDW 4 days will be more than plenty. After that ready for beach and beer.

    Where you stationed in Fl?
  4. The Travel Slut

    The Travel Slut 6 continents, 87 countries & 64 cruises so far

    You are on the right track....better to enjoy at locations you want than spend driving 12+ hours for the better part of a week.

    I know that Alaska Airlines had some great (under $200 total) fares a while back from SEA to MIA.

  5. frdsmth9

    frdsmth9 New Member

    December to May is the best and most popular time to travel to the Florida Keys. Temperatures are high and agreeable, but not too high.

    You may prefer transitional months as March or September, October and November. They are also excellent months to visit the Florida Keys with one advantage: hotel rates are lower than in the most popular season.

    There is another yet more radical alternative, for those who don't mind to support lots of humidity and daily rainfalls: June to October. The rewards are significant reductions in hotel rates - and fewer crowds...
  6. The Travel Slut

    The Travel Slut 6 continents, 87 countries & 64 cruises so far

    Just be aware that if you go in October, during Fantasy Fest (usually the last 10 days of the month) that accommodations and prices will be scarce and high....
  7. samabhi111

    samabhi111 New Member

    Best of Luck. Enjoy your vacation and after returning post some pics of it.
  8. Rakhi Chowdhary

    Rakhi Chowdhary New Member

    The Florida Keys and Key West (Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, Key West ) - According to the International Game Fish Association, the Florida Keys features more saltwater world records than any other destination. Accommodations, exciting events, or a Florida Keys sunset wedding is what you desire.

    The 120-mile-long Florida Keys island chain is linked to mainland Florida by U.S. 1, the Overseas Highway. Visitors to the Upper Keys can fly into Miami International Airport or Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. From there, they can hop on shuttle buses or rent cars and arrive in the Upper Keys in about an hour from Miami or an hour and 45 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale.

    In addition, visitors can now fly to Marathon, the small city at the mid-point of the island chain, aboard small airlines such as Florida Coastal Airlines and SeaCoast Airlines. Ground transportation is available in Marathon including shuttle buses and rental cars by Avis, Budget and Enterprise.

    As always, visitors can fly to Key West International Airport via connections or direct flights from a host of Florida cities. The airport offers a host of ground transportation options, including local shuttle buses and rental cars.

    General aviation enthusiasts and corporate jet operators will find plenty of services at the Florida Keys Marathon Airport and Key West International Airport.

    If you choose to drive to Key West from the mainland, or take a shuttle bus, the trip will take about 3.5 hours over U.S. 1, the Overseas Highway.
  9. troyan

    troyan New Member

    We've a chance to go to the Keys with our kids this summer, but im concerned about the weather..any thoughts?
  10. Ruby

    Ruby Guest

    I've been there in August and I can say that it was hot and humid, though I still had a great time diving. Either way, don't let the weather put you off as there's almost always a nice breeze throughout the day and nights aren't too bad. Mu advice since you have kids is to take it easy during the hottest part of the day (12-3pm).

    By the way, don't buy into the saying that the northern part of the Keys is matter where you stay in Florida Keys it won't make a difference as it will still be hot and humid.
  11. strongbolg

    strongbolg New Member

    best time to visit florida keys

    I personally think there isn't really a best time to visit florida keys as weather is warm and pleasant throughout the year, though the water is warmer in July.

    Having said this, there is a cheaper time to travel to Florida Keys and one of them is September. The month of September is great if you're on a budget as room rates drop dramatically especially after Labor Day.

    However, do remember that September is hurricaine season so you're always taking a chance of being in the Keys when one passes.
  12. monkaT

    monkaT New Member

    hurricane season in florida keys

    yes agree that the Florida Keys are great all year around, but seriously people avoid going to florida keys during hurricane season, which is June and November. For me, it's not worth the risk since hurricanes are becoming more frequent and deadly in recent years.

    Of course, as someone posted on this thread, you can travel to the Florida Keys during hurricane season since you'll get the best vacation deals.
  13. Bonnys

    Bonnys New Member

    go to Key Largo or Islamorada

    I agree with previous posters that the heat in Florida Keys during the summer is unbearable. I found it myself way too humid, though I was always every minute in the water.

    If you want to snorkel (with or without a group) or dive go to Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, or Islamorada as these two spots have dive shops offering party trips.

    By the way, Key Largo and Islamorada are about 45 minutes apart though Islamorada is closer to Key West and Marathon if you are planning on exploring all the Keys.
  14. skananansie

    skananansie New Member

    go to Florida Keys during low season

    the best time to be in Florida Keys have to be during the low season! Overpriced hotels and large crowds who would want that for their holiday? not me that's for sure!

    Here it's some food for thought...did you know that hotels in the Florida Keys are $200 cheaper during the off-season than the peak-season?

    The only draw back could be the that low season is also hurricane season so the weather can change at any second. However, the fact that flights to the Florida Keys are cheaper, hotels are discounted and there is hardly as many tourists..the low season is king!
  15. antonifuller

    antonifuller New Member

    florida keys during christmas break

    I think the Keys are a blast during the christmas break if you fancy a tropical christmas for a change. I would suggest staying in Annes Beach in Islamorda as the drive there is amazing, and the hotels there boast nice views.

    Marathon also has Sombrero Beach which is a great beach to spend the christmas break with family as it boasts a Dolphin Research Center.
  16. bongoDas

    bongoDas New Member

    September is also in the middle of hurricane season

    Someone aid that the weather in September will be pleasant needs to know that September is one of the hottest and most humid months of the year, and you may even get quite a bit of rain.

    September is also in the middle of hurricane season and no you won't know if one is heading until a few days before it hits, which is why anyone traveling to Florida Keys during hurricane season needs to know.

    I should say though that it's been a very long time since Florida Keys has had a hurricane that caused significant damage so I guess it should not deter you from having a vacation in the Keys during hurricane season.
  17. popthetrse

    popthetrse New Member

    Disneyland or Disney World

    Going to a Disney resort with the family is not so simple as most people think. You really have to weigh up where you actually want to travel and what you actually want to do. In other words, is it Disneyland or Disney World you want go?

    Disneyland has great facilities, fantastic places to explore, and that Universal Studios is just around the corner; while Disney World is somewhat similar content, but there you can experience all that Orlando has to offer such as Six Flags’ theme park

  18. eternal9

    eternal9 New Member

    avoid Fantasy Fest

    October is a nice time to be in the Keys as the weather is much cooler than other months, though if you're traveling with kids do avoid the last week of October when Fantasy Fest gears up. This festival lasts about ten days and it's a festival for all adults and not kids.

    There are events for kids but believe me when I tell you that Fantasy Fest is not a family celebration as it's a festival of outrageous fun and debauchery on display.
  19. travelhobo

    travelhobo New Member

    driving to Key West

    Flying into Miami is only better if you need to get there fast, otherwise, I think the drive to Key West is the best way (at least the one I'd choose doing).

    The drive from Miami to Key West is fairly long (about 4 hours), but I have to say that getting in and out of Miami can be a pain in the toe. Also, the car rental places are outside the airport in a maze of little side streets so choose the rental company wisely.

    Either way, the trip is a beautiful drive and very scenic in spots like the Seven Mile Bridge, though you can also stop for lunch at the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key for nicest pizza ever!
  20. hamsrter_23

    hamsrter_23 New Member

    much more to Florida than Disneyworld

    hey Dan, I know what you mean. Me, my wife, and kids wanted to visit somewhere in Florida less crowded than Disneyworld. You'll find that there's so much to do other than the parks such as camping outdoors.

    Don't know where you'll be staying at, but if you stay at Fort Wilderness, you'll be able to do all kinds of outdoorsy stuff with the kiddo like fishing, horseback or pony rides, biking, archery, tennis, volleyball, swimming, wildlife, etc.).

    Blue Spring State Park is another great place you can head for your vacation as it boasts a natural spring and a crystal-clear river where you can enjoy lots of water activities.

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