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Your Guide to Visiting the Florida Keys in the Winter

You might be used to hunkering down and cozying up to the fire during the winter months, but we have a better idea: pack your bags and hop on a plane to the Florida Keys!

The Keys promise sand and sunshine year-round – in fact, winter is one of the best times to visit, especially if you’re craving an escape from a colder climate. From Marathon to Key West and all the must-visit spots along the Overseas Highway, there’s so much to do and see all winter long. 

What’s the weather like in the Florida Keys in the winter? 

In a word – warm! In Key West and throughout the Keys, the winter weather is perfect, with highs in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 60s. And with just a few days of rain per month and pretty much nonexistent hurricanes and storms, nothing will get in the way of your dream beach vacation. So pack your swimsuit and sunscreen and keep reading for some of our favorite things to do during winter in the Florida Keys.

Are the Florida Keys Crowded in the Winter?

If you’re longing for a tropical winter getaway, just keep in mind that lots of other people are in the same boat! After all, the winter weather is the best, with almost no chance of hurricanes. You might find that hotel rates are higher during the winter months, but not prohibitively so. If you postpone your trip until March, you’ll even start to see those rates go down. As long as you plan ahead and do lots of research to find the best deals on hotels and flights, you’ll have no trouble booking your winter getaway.

While you’re at it, be sure to browse all the fun things to do in the Florida Keys.

Florida Keys Winter Activities 

Enjoy the Beach

If there was ever a perfect time for a Key West beach vacation, the winter is that time! Plan your ideal beach trip ahead of time by taking a look at our guide to the best beaches in the Florida Keys. There’s a great spot for everyone, whether you’re interested in lounging with a good book or getting some light exercise on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak.

Worried about the water temperature? Don’t be! With consistent water temps in the 70s, you can go swimming year-round in the tropical Florida Keys.

Visit During the Holidays

Contrary to popular belief, some of us don’t dream of a white Christmas. Fortunately, you can still enjoy holiday cheer and festivities down in the Florida Keys. From Christmas lights to New Year’s Eve fireworks, the Florida Keys know how to do Christmas – even without the snow! 

Key West hosts a lighted boat parade and a few unique takes on the New York Times Square Ball Drop. Instead of the giant, sparkling ball you’ve likely seen on TV, Key West locals “drop” a conch shell, a pirate wench, and even a famous local drag queen down to the street! Calypso bands delight patrons with Christmas songs and homeowners deck their porches with classic holiday lights and decorations.

Valentine’s Day is another great winter holiday that feels even more special in the Florida Keys! Treat your loved one to a few days lounging on the beach, getting a couple’s massage, and enjoying all of the amazing seafood restaurants, especially in Key West.

Explore State Parks

The heat and humidity of the summer can make you want to stay in an air-conditioned bar with a cold drink. That’s why, if you’re lucky enough to visit the Florida Keys in the winter, you should take advantage of the pleasant temps and explore the incredible natural scenery throughout the Keys. 

With 10 State Parks throughout the chain of islands, there are so many amazing places to keep you busy. From nature trails and bike paths to coral reefs and historic monuments, the Keys are perfect for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike. 

There’s a botanical State Park and a coral reef State Park in Key Largo, a geological State Park in Islamorada, and a State Park with world-class beaches on Big Pine Key. And those are just a few of the many incredible parks throughout the Keys. 

  • Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
  • Bahia Honda State Park

If you’re looking for a guided adventure in a State Park, there are several great options in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, like glass-bottom boat tours and snorkeling.

Ready to start planning your winter getaway to the Florida Keys? With these tips up your sleeve, all you need to decide now is which Key to visit. 

Learn more about Key West, Key Largo, Marathon, and Islamorada here.