Tell a snowbird who has the habit of wintering in Florida that you will be spending your summer holidays in the Sun state and they will tell you that you have gone crazy. During the summer, Southern Florida becomes one big hot and humid sauna. If you survive the sweltering heat, you still have to fear torrential rains that may transform into a tropical storm which in turn could become full-fledged hurricane.
Florida, a State to Avoid during Summer?
Some people might say so but I don’t agree at all: Florida can be a great summer destination. However, it’s important to keep in mind a few unpleasant facts about that season and to plan accordingly, or not rather not to plan too much.
If you don’t happen to be a die hard tanner, it’s hard to stay on Miami’s beach between noon and 3 PM. You will literally feel as if your skin is baking, even if you’ve slathered yourself with high FPS sunscreen and stay under the umbrella that you’ve installed in the shade of a palm-tree. Long hikes or even strolls are best avoided during this time of day. Réjean had to go jogging before 8AM or else we would have risked a heatstroke.
The weather changes quickly, it’s best not to have a strict schedule and enjoy the good weather while it lasts, keeping the inside activities (seaquarium, shopping, museums …) for rainy days. It was sometimes frustrating to drive for an hour only to find ourselves drenched in rain once we got out of the car!
If your are vacationing in Florida during the months of July or August, you have to learn to live in the moment and be a glass half-full kind of person.
Summer Is the Best Season for Snorkelling / Scuba Diving
Crocodiles, birds, Manatee, turtles and big cats are often spotted during the Floridian winters, in the summer they tend to go into hiding. While you won’t see many animals on earth, the month of August in Florida is the ideal time to snorkel or scuba dive because the waters are warm and crystal clear.
I had a great time snorkelling during my summer holiday in Florida, the marine life is rich with corrals and tropical fishes. Surgeons, barracudas, clown-fishes, angel-fishes … it felt like swimming in a tropical aquarium !
We explored the waters at John Pennekamp, the first undersea conservation park and Dry Tortugas National Park. There are many great spots where to snorkel or dive: Biscayne Bay National Park, Hollywood’s beach, Bahia Honda State Park and many others. A few boat wreckages are located along the coast of Florida and can be explored.
We loved snorkelling so much that we would love to go back to Florida in August just to spend some more time under the sea. If we were to return, we would probably look into renting a private boat to snorkel in quieter spots.
August : Low Season
One last good reason to visit Florida in August is that it’s considered the low season, high season being in winter/spring. The prices for accommodations and car rental will be lower due to the fact that less tourists will be visiting. However, if you are European, airline companies tend to hike up their price for the month of August. In 2012, we paid 1 000 € per person to fly from Paris to Fort Lauderdale (1200 € in 2015). I was glad that we had a place where we could stay for free!
There were many Europeans in Florida during the summer, especially at Key West where we ended up in a restaurant where most tables were occupied by French families.
So Is It a Good or a Bad Idea ?
Although the weather can get incredibly hot in Southern Florida during the summer, I would go back in a second. If I could go any time, I would probably choose to go in April or June when the temperatures are milder. It would allow us to go on hikes and see the animals in the Everglades.
Whether it be summer or winter, Southern Florida is an area of incredible beauty. I rarely spent more than 15 minutes without saying how beautiful this place was. Everything from the light, to the colours, the architecture and the vegetation compliment each others and contribute to the beauty of the landscapes.