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

2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Steven Diaz/Walt Disney World News

Come March, Northern-dwellers have had it with winter weather, making Florida a suitable vacation destination to escape the cold. And while the weather is relatively mild during this month, temperatures in the 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit range feel like tropical warmth to those who have been wearing their down jackets for months. Families can relax beachside or take the little ones to Disney World, while spring breakers scout out parties and events. Either way, there's no shortage of fun to be had during March in Florida. And even if that occasional cold front moves through, you'll still be toastier than if you stayed at home.

Florida Weather in March

Throughout March, Florida transitions to Spring, and things begin to heat up. Still, the first few weeks can be on the colder side with cold fronts sometimes bringing gusty storms and the rare possibility of tornadoes. Average daily temperatures vary throughout the state with lower temperatures in northern cities like Jacksonville and more tropical conditions closer to the Caribbean in cities like Key West.

City Average High Temperature   Average Low Temperature
 Daytona Beach  74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) 
 Fort Myers  79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius)  60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius)
 Jacksonville  65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius)
 Key West  78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)
 Miami  79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius)
 Orlando  77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius)  58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius)
Panama City   70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius)
 Pensacola  70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)  54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius)
Tallahassee  73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius)  49 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius)
Tampa 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius)
West Palm Beach 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius)  64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius)

If the beach is your prime destination, you should save your trip for the end of the month when temperatures in Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach, and Key West average in the mid to high 70s. Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, will range from the low 60s to middle 70s around this time too. Cities like Tampa, Miami, and Orlando should also be experiencing 70 degrees Fahrenheit air temperatures throughout the month. But in general, the later and further south you go, the warmer the weather will be.

What to Pack

With mild weather and the chance of a cold snap, you may feel unprepared packing only a swimsuit and flip-flops. And rightfully so, as bringing along at least one layering item, a light jacket, and sneakers will ready you for an unexpected weather shift. Mostly though, you'll be comfortable in shorts and sandals and "resort casual" clothing for dining out. Make sure everyone in the family has comfortable shoes, especially if you're visiting a theme park, and don't forget your swimsuit, because March marks the beginning of the long Florida beach season.

March Events in Florida

Events around Florida take off in March from the beachside parties to the theme park festivals. In 2021, some festivals may be canceled or postponed.

  • Seven Seas Food Festival: This SeaWorld event rocks the theme park on Saturdays and Sundays throughout March. And this perfectly coincides with the staggered college spring breaks throughout the month. Enjoy live performances from rock and country acts, as well as real Southern barbecue fare and craft beers. In 2021, the event will run from February until May.
  • Daytona Bike Week: Harley-Davidson lovers and those looking for an authentic (and timeless) party scene will enjoy Daytona's notorious 10-day motorcycle rally. Bike Week festivities include motorcycle racing, concerts, parties, and street festivals. The people-watching is phenomenal as over 500,000 riders and spectators descend on Daytona Beach. Book your lodging reservations well in advance to assure a front-row spot at the affair. In 2021, Bike Week takes place from March 5 to 14.
  • Miami International Film Festival: Artsy college kids can enjoy a more subdued atmosphere and, who knows, you may even bump shoulders with Hollywood stars. This Southern Florida event showcases the hottest movies from a variety of genres and countries. Movie buffs can hit the beach during the day, and then enjoy several movie showings and the rocking Miami Beach nightlife after dark. In 2021, the festival will take place from March 5 to 14 with both in-theater and virtual screenings.
  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival: This festival for garden lovers starts on March 3 and will keep going until July 5, 2021. Roses, wildflowers, topiaries, and herb gardens flourish for a seven-week span that is breathtaking, promising 30 million blooms. This is a great time to visit the theme park too, as the lines for rides will be at a minimum.
  • Florida Strawberry Festival: This event features rides, livestock exhibits, country entertainment, local food, and, of course, strawberries, prepared almost any way you like them. In 2021, the festival will run from March 4 to 14, perfect timing snow-weary folks to get their first taste of fresh spring produce
  • Florida Renaissance Festival: Enchanted craft villages, hundreds of period performers, and valiant knights take over Deerfield Beach during this festival. You can enjoy continuous entertainment, birds of prey showings, and food fit for a king during five consecutive spring weekends. In 2021, the festival has been canceled.

March Travel Tips

  • In 2021, Daylight Saving Time falls on March 14, which means the clocks will spring forward by one hour.
  • If you encounter cold weather during your vacation, this may actually be the perfect time to visit a theme park. Crowds will be thinner and temperatures may be better suited to spending more time outdoors.
  • If you've got young kids in tow, you may want to avoid popular spring break destinations where the often-raucous college-age partiers may disturb the peace of a wholesome family vacation.
  • March marks the beginning of manatee season, although it's possible to see these stunning sea cows at any time of year, the warmer weather means it's more likely. It's a great month to take a wildlife-spotting tour.
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