August in Florida: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Panoramic View Of Sea Against Sky
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August is one of the hottest months in Florida, but that doesn't stop the residents of this state from hosting a variety of annual and monthly events and activities. If you're planning to visit Florida during the late summer and want to keep cool, you can spend the day at indoor activities like museum and aquarium trips or enjoy outdoor fun at one of the state's many water parks, monthly art walks, and annual festivals.

Even though August is historically one of the most crowded months at the theme parks, most Florida schools are back in session by mid-month, leaving the attractions to out-of-state vacationers. Florida theme parks' summer specials and extended hours wrap up early this month, so make sure to schedule your Disney World or Universal Orlando vacation for earlier in the month to take care of those.

Florida Weather in August

Regardless of what part of Florida that you're visiting, August temperatures are hot and humid, and the entire state can feel like one big sauna. Avoid the most intense midday heat between noon and 4 p.m. by staying inside or under a shaded area near the beach or a pool. Follow tips on how to beat the Florida heat in order to enjoy your time, such as always carrying around bottled water to avoid dehydration.

  Average High Average Low
Daytona Beach 90 F (32 C) 73 F (23 C)
Fort Myers 92 F (33 C) 74 F (23 C)
Jacksonville 89 F (32 C) 72 F (22 C)
Key West 90 F (32 C) 79 F (26 C)
Miami 87 F (30 C) 78 F (25 C)
Orlando 92 F (33 C)  73 F (23 C)
Panama City 89 F (32 C) 71 F (22 C)
Pensacola 90 F (32 C) 74 F (23 C)
Tallahassee 92 F (33 C) 73 F (23 C)
Tampa 90 F (32 C) 75 F (24 C)
West Palm Beach 90 F (32 C) 75 F (24 C)

The humidity also means that rainstorms are frequent, so it's best to keep your schedule flexible in case of a sudden shower. The hurricane season officially begins on June 1, but tropical activity becomes more likely later in the summer. Keep a watchful eye on weather forecasts, but know that few storms actually make landfall.

The water temperatures for the Gulf of Mexico (West Coast) and the Atlantic Ocean (East Coast) are consistently in the mid-80s degrees Fahrenheit, so you can fully immerse yourself without any worry about it being cold.

What to Pack

Keeping cool is what it's all about when you visit Florida in August. Sunscreen should be the first thing you put in your suitcase—it's an absolute necessity when visiting Florida just about any time of the year, but particularly in August.

Of course, pack a swimsuit, but don't forget flip flops or sandals to keep the sand from burning your feet. Shorts, tank tops, and sandals are pretty much the dress code for most locations you may encounter, but just be aware you may need to cover up a bit if dining in some fancier locations. Usually, resort casual wear—slacks, skirts, or summer dresses for the women and pants and a short-sleeved shirt with a collar for the men—will suffice when going to a fine dining restaurant.

August Events in Florida

Depending on which region of the state you're visiting during the month, Florida hosts many unique festivals and celebrations in August.

  • Harvest Grape Stomp: Enjoy live music, fun carnival games, and lots of wine at the annual Harvest Grape Stomp in Clermont, where you can kick your shoes off and stomp grapes the old-fashioned way. The 2020 festival is canceled, but it returns August 14–15, 2021.
  • Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: One of Disney's most popular events brings out some of the best cuisine and wines from around the world, with booths set-up around the park representing different countries. The 2020 event is being scaled back and won't include usual activities such as concerts and cooking demonstrations, but you can still enjoy this Disney classic beginning July 15 and continuing through the fall.
  • Miami Spice: Top restaurants around the greater Miami area participate in this summertime event where diners can enjoy a three-course meal for just $25 at lunch or $39 at dinner. The event has been extended in 2020 to encourage support for local eateries and takes place from June 1 to September 30.
  • Key West Lobsterfest: Celebrate the beginning of the lobster season with this outdoor festival of grilled crustaceans and outdoor concerts. The Key West Lobsterfest is canceled in 2020.

August Travel Tips

  • August is the low season in most parts of Florida, so you can often find cheaper rates for accommodations before the winter tourists arrive. The exception to this is Orlando, as families flock to the theme parks before school starts again.
  • Especially warm and clear ocean water makes August one of the best times for snorkeling and scuba diving. As long as it isn't stormy, you'll have great visibility and see plenty of fish.
  • Keep a list of indoor activities—aquariums, shopping, museums—for wherever you're visiting in case a last-minute thunderstorm throws a wrench at your plans.
  • Most Florida wildlife also escapes the heat, meaning if you want to see alligators, manatees, turtles, or other animals, August isn't the best time of year to visit.