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Best Time To Visit Key West

General

Danger Charters Posted by: Danger Charters 1 month ago

Located in the southernmost point of the United States, Key West gives us shorts-and-flip-flops weather year-round. Ahhhhh. Key West weather is influenced by our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, resulting in relatively consistent temperatures but with distinct wet and dry seasons. So, when is the best time to visit Key West? If one is better than any other, what is the best month to go to Key West?? Can you swim in Key West all year??? These are all good questions that we hear often. Here are the facts, straight from a Conch’s mouth (i.e. a local):

In terms of weather, the best time to visit Key West is March through May, and in November and December. And yes, you can swim year-round in Key West!

In this article, we’ll break down Key West weather, including an overview of our weather patterns and a monthly breakdown of what you can expect, share some travel tips, and provide you with a guide to what’s going on in the Keys during the best weather months. It’s your Key West travel guide: weather edition. Let’s get into it!

Beautiful Key West Streets

Overview of Key West Weather Patterns

As we mentioned, there is a wet and dry season in Key West. The bulk of the year is marked by the wet season, i.e. April through November. The dry season tends to settle in in November and lasts through March.

You could say that the wet season is in two parts, too. From April through about August, “wet” generally means daily rain and, in the summer months, an afternoon thunderstorm. But neither usually lasts long; they blow over pretty fast. In September and October, though, we keep our eyes on the Gulf and the Atlantic for tropical storms and hurricanes. 

OK, now let’s look at what you can expect during the “best time” windows we’ve identified, starting with some monthly weather averages.  

Weather Breakdown: March – May

This first best weather period has one foot in the dry season and the other in the wet season. That means in March, as temperatures and humidity start to increase, we start to see more frequent rain showers. Afternoon thunderstorms are to be expected once we’re in April and are pretty much a guarantee come May. 

March

Average high temperature: 78°F; average low: 68°F

Average water temperature: 75°F

Average sunset time: 6:38 PM

April

Average high temperature: 81°F; average low: 71°F

Average water temperature: 78°F

Average sunset time: 7:00 PM

May

Average high temperature: 84°F; average low: 75°F

Average water temperature: 81°F

Average sunset time: 7:27 PM

Now, keep in mind that June through October is usually lovely in Key West too – it’s just hot and humid, with minimal variation between day and night. This time of the year is considered the Key West off-season. In fact, the months of September and October are generally the cheapest months to visit Key West. Although these are the best months for Key West travel deals on accommodations, activities, and dining, they are not necessarily the least crowded. We see a dip in tourism during these months compared to peak season, but Key West attracts visitors throughout the year.

Key West Florida as seen from Danger Charters

Weather Breakdown: November – December

When most of the US is preparing for winter, we’re gearing up for the most wonderful time of the year (for totally different reasons) down here in Key West! Dry season kicks in and the water temperature is still chef’s kiss perfect.

November

Average high temperature: 81°F; average low: 71°F

Average water temperature: 79°F

Average sunset time: 5:37 PM

December

Average high temperature: 77°F; average low: 66°F

Average water temperature: 75°F

Average sunset time: 5:33 PM

Again, January and February are also picturesque in the Keys. The water dips to an average of 65°F, making it a little too chilly for some folks – and also, still plenty warm for others. 

A group enjoys a day sail on a schooner in Key West with Danger Charters

Best Times To Visit Key West For Various Activities

From an activity point of view, plenty is going on in the Keys during these “best” months. With the sun setting later and later March through May, you have an enormous window for beach time, water sports, and incredible sunset experiences – including the daily Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Of course, the water is always crystal clear down here, so you have access to all things Key West in November and December too. 

Festivals and cultural activities abound across the year, including: 

March 

NAS Key West Airshow

Features the Blue Angels and talented civilian performers

April

Conch Republic Independence Celebration

Celebrates Key West’s quirky history with parades, live music, and street parties

Earth Day 5K Run/Walk 

Benefits a non-profit dedicated to cleaning and restoring shallow mangrove habitats

May

Key West Songwriters Festival 

Top songwriters gather to perform their hits in intimate venues across the island

Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo

Family-friendly fishing tournament; all proceeds donated to local teens 

November

Key West World Championship Powerboat Races

Offshore world championship powerboat racing – a highly anticipated annual event

December

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

The “Bight Before Christmas” – a cherished, 30+ year tradition in Key West

Pro Tip – you can watch the Powerboat Races with Danger Charters, and even watch or participate in the Lighted Boat Parade with us! If you’re in town, these are not-to-be-missed opportunities!

Have questions about how to spend your time during your Key West vacation, or need support figuring out the best Danger Charters tour for your crew? Connect with us – we’re here to help! Wishing you fair winds and following seas!

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Friends enjoy a glass of white wine while on a sailing charter with Danger Charters in Key West, FL
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