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Key West Time
July 12th
10:26am · 88°F

Absolute Best Time to Visit Key West

The crown jewel of the Florida Keys, Key West is full of beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and lots of free-spirited fun. With plenty of sunshine and warm, tropical weather, Key West is a year-round destination, but each season has its own unique things to do.

Whether you're looking for a winter escape with a vacation villa on the beach, some spring break or summer fun on the water, or letting loose for Fantasy Fest in the fall - every season offers something special.

Here's a look at Key West by the season to help you plan your visit.

Visiting Key West in The Spring

Spring is the perfect time to go boating

Spring is a great time to enjoy all the outdoor activities and water sports in Key West. It's cooler than in the summer, but the water is still plenty warm enough for swimming and snorkeling. With the exception of spring break, you'll also typically enjoy fewer crowds than in the peak seasons of winter or summer, and there are plenty of great events.


Spring Weather in Key West

Springtime in Key West is warm and breezy. Average temperatures range between the upper 70s and mid-80s, with some cooler mornings and evenings. There's typically plenty of sunshine, very little rain, and no threat of tropical storms or hurricanes this time of year.


Spring Crowds in Key West

Crowds in Key West for spring can fluctuate from low to moderate, with some higher peaks around spring break and Memorial Day weekend. Spring breakers tend to arrive in "waves" from early March to mid-April as schools across Florida and the US let out at different times. Late April through early May is typically less crowded and is considered a bit of a "shoulder season."


Things to Do in Key West in the Spring

Spring is a great time to be out on the water or enjoying the beaches in Key West. You can go boating, kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and much more. The cooler evenings are perfect for pub crawls, ghost tours, or just exploring the famous Duval Street nightlife scene. And, of course, spring has its own unique events to enjoy.


Spring Events in Key West

  • Celebrate literary icons at The Tennessee Williams Festival all month in March. The festival features writing workshops, painting, poetry, short story writing contests, theatrical performances, and more.

  • Party like a local at the Conch Republic Independence Celebration in late April. Learn about the history of Key West and the birth of the "Conch Republic" with this week-long celebration of parties, food, music, fairs, parades, and the famous Pirate Ball and Costume Contest.

  • Find your groove at the Key West Songwriters Festival in early May. This 5-day-long celebration of music features over 100 artists from across all genres. You can also enjoy food, drinks, vendors, and special events at many of the Duval Street bars.

Visiting Key West in The Summer

Stay cool with the sea breeze in the summer

Summer sizzles in Key West with hot weather and even hotter events. It's the perfect time of year to enjoy water activities or indulge in that vacation villa with a private pool. Summer is a popular time to be in Key West, and everywhere you go will feel like one big party!


Summer Weather in Key West

Summer in Key West is hot and humid with average temperatures that can range between the mid-80s to mid-90s with lots of sunshine. But, don't worry, those ocean breezes from the Gulf of Mexico definitely help! Summer is also the rainy season so there's always a chance for some afternoon showers or thunderstorms.

Summer in the tropics also means the start of hurricane season. While most storms that end up making landfall occur in August or September, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on any storm watches when visiting the Keys.


Summer Crowds in Key West

Summer crowds in Key West can fluctuate from low to high depending on the timeframe and the weather. Early summer tends to be the busiest, and crowds drop off towards mid-August, when many schools go back into session. The only exception to this is during event weeks, when popular events like Pride Week, Hemingway Days, and Lobsterfest draw in big crowds.


Things to Do in Key West in The Summer

Summers in Key West are all about staying cool in the water. Enjoy beaches, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, or just relaxing poolside with a frozen Key Lime Colada - a Keys tradition!

The summer months are also a good time to explore some of the indoor attractions like The Hemingway Home or Shipwreck Museum. If it becomes too hot or rainy to walk around, take advantage of the Hop On, Hop Off Trolley. Of course, summers in Key West are also full of some epic events!


Summer Events in Key West

  • Celebrate Pride Month at Key West Pride, one of the island's most iconic events celebrating love, acceptance, and the LGBT community. This 5-day-long celebration in June is one big party with colorful decorations, parades, festivals, live music, block parties, drag shows, and more.

  • Party with Ernest Hemingway as Key West celebrates one of its most famous residents during Hemingway Days in July. Hoards of Hemingway look-alikes take over the island through pub crawls, paddleboard races, and the iconic Hemingway look-alike contest at Sloppy Joe's.

  • Lobster lovers rejoice at Key West Lobsterfest in August. Enjoy several days of food, festivals, live music, and of course - lots and lots of lobster!

Visiting Key West in The Fall

There's nothing better than a bar crawl on a fall day

Fall is an especially fun time in Key West with Fantasy Fest, Haunted Pub Crawls, and Halloween happenings all around the island. The weather also starts to cool down a bit, but is still perfect for outdoor activities and being on the water.


Fall Weather in Key West

Key West weather in the fall can be a mix of warm and cool. Average temperatures tend to range between the upper 70s and upper 80s, with the cooler temperatures typically coming in towards late fall.

September can be just as hot as summer and is one of the rainiest months in Key West. Hurricane season also continues until late fall, with September being a peak month, so it's always a good idea for visitors to keep an eye on any developing storms.


Fall Crowds in Key West

Fall crowds in Key West can fluctuate drastically - from a steep drop after Labor Day to a high peak in October for events. The week of Fantasy Fest is one of the busiest times in the Keys, with accommodations often selling out weeks in advance. The least crowded times in Key West during the fall are mid to late September or early November.


Things to Do in Key West in The Fall

There's so much to do in Key West in the fall. The weather and water conditions are typically still ideal for all outdoor activities, and some of Key West's biggest events of the year take place.


Fall Events in Key West

  • Let loose at Fantasy Fest, a 10-day adults-only festival that's like a mix of Mardi Gras, Halloween, and Caribbean Carnival all rolled into one big street party. Taking place in late October, Fantasy Fest is one of the island's most popular events, bringing in up to 75,000 attendees. There are parades, costume parties, drag shows, live music, and lots of free-spirited fun.

  • Celebrate Halloween in one of the most haunted cities in America. Halloween in Key West serves up lots of spooky experiences like haunted pub crawls and ghost tours, plus costume contests, street parties, and more.

  • Catch a special screening at the Key West Film Festival in mid-November. Film buffs flock to Key West for this 5-day festival featuring films, documentaries, short stories, and other cinematic events.

Visiting Key West in The Winter

Winter is a great time to go on long walks exploring the more local side of Key West

Winter is a magical time in Key West. The weather cools down but is still sunny and warm enough to be out on the water, there's dazzling displays of lights and holiday happenings, and we get to say goodbye to hurricane season! Of course, this also means more crowds, winter is the high season in the Keys.


Winter Weather in Key West

Winter weather in Key West is about as good as it gets all year. Most days are sunny, breezy, and comfortable, with little to no rain. Temperatures tend to stay in the 70s for most of the winter, with some cooler mornings and evenings. Rarely does it ever dip below the 60s in Key West.

Winter also marks the end of the rain and hurricane season, so you won't have to worry about a potential storm disrupting your Keys getaway.


Winter Crowds in Key West

Winter in Key West is one of the most crowded times of the year. December is the height of the tourist season with holiday travelers and droves of "snowbirds" (Northern visitors) that spend winter months in Florida to escape the cold. But who can blame them - Key West is the perfect place to fight the winter blues.

January and February can also be moderately busy, but the bigger crowds tend to dissipate shortly after the new year.


Things to Do in Key West in The Winter

With near-perfect weather and tons of holiday happenings, there's plenty to do in Key West during the winter. You can enjoy all of the outdoor activities, including watersports, on most days.

On the few days when water temperatures might be a bit too cold for snorkeling, you can still get up close and personal with the reefs by taking a glass-bottom boat ride. And, of course, winter is full of fun events!


Winter Events in Key West

  • Have some holiday fun in December with dazzling displays of decked-out boats at the Lighted Boat Parade, admire the nautical-themed Christmas trees at the Harborwalk of Lights, or take a Holiday Lights and Sights trolley tour.

  • Ring in the New Year on Duval Street on December 31st. You'll find block parties, bar specials, and Key West's version of a New Year's Eve ball drop - The Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe's.

  • Crack open some crab at the Florida Keys Seafood Festival in January. This two-day seafood extravaganza features food, games, live music, and just about every type of seafood you can imagine, including Keys' delicacies like conch and stone crab.

A Paradise for All Seasons

Anytime is a good time at Island Rendevous

No matter what time of year you decide to visit - Key West is truly a paradise for all seasons! Enjoy the beautiful beaches, colorful sunsets, and neverending Key lime pie all year round.

Plan your perfect stay with Vacation Homes of Key West. Whether you want to be in the heart of the action on Duval Street or tucked away in a cottage on Sunset Key, there's a vacation home for everyone in the nation's Southernmost city.

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