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

Fall festivals, Halloween celebrations and more highlight month!

Daytona Beach Biketoberfest
© Daytona Beach CVB

October is one of the best months to visit Florida, the humidity of the summer is breaking, so all you are left with is the beautifully warm weather. You can expect high 70’s to low 80’s throughout the state, with slightly chillier evenings in the northern parts. Another great part of visiting Florida in October is that the water temperatures are still pretty warm from the summer, not that they ever get that chilly, but you can expect the ocean and gulf to both be in the low-80’s.

 

Although you won’t find too much fall foliage, you’ll still feel the changing season’s spirit. Fall festivals are abound throughout the state celebrating with corn mazes, pumpkin picking, and lots of hayrides. So, bring your flannel, although you probably won’t need it till the sun sets. 

Florida Weather in October

October brings new life to Floridians every year because the summer humidity and rain is finally slowing down. Mosquitos are still out but their breeding season is ending so you’ll notice less out at twilight (wear bug spray just in case). There is still a slight possibility of rain, but it shouldn’t ruin your plans. Overall, October is a pleasant month to visit the Sunshine State

  • Average high throughout the state: 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celcius)
  • Average low throughout the state: 65 degrees Fahrenheit  (18 degrees Celcius)
  • Average daylight hours: 8 hours
  • Average sea temperature: 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celcius)
  • Average rainfall: 3.23 inches

What to Pack

October offers a welcome relief from hot summer temperatures, but while temperatures and humidity are typically lower, it is still very warm during the day. Do pack sunscreen. It is necessary throughout the year in Florida. The water on both coasts is still warm enough for swimming, so don't forget your bathing suit.

You'll be comfortable in shorts during the day, but it may be necessary to add a sweater in the evening. This is particularly the case if you'll be near the water, such as taking a moonlit cruise. Bug spray is always useful in Florida as well. 

October Events

Florida takes fall seriously! From Halloween spooktaculars to festive fall festivals, there are lots of fun activities happeneing throughout the state — from the Panhandle down to the Keys. 

  • Biketoberfest: Daytona Beach's must-attend fall tradition for bikers!This event draws in over 100,000 visitors from bikers to motorcycle enthusiasts, to just passersby— Biketoberfest can be enjoyed by all. Food, live music, and lots of speed-worthy events. Biketoberfest takes place October 18-21, 2018
  • Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream: One of Florida's most popular Halloween celebrations is a real scream! Get ready to screech at Busch Gardens’ annual spooky event. The entire park is spooked-out with haunted houses, scare-worthy actors, and spooky, dark corners — watch your back! Howl-O-Scream takes place on select nights from September 21-October 28, 2018 
  • Epcot International Food & Wine FestivalEnjoy a celebration of the world's greatest foods and cuisines combined with continuous entertainment, live music, and celebrity chef appearances. This is a great event for the entire family to enjoy, but most of all the foodie in everyone will rejoice.The Food & Wine festival takes place in Epcot from August 30-November 28, 2018.
  • Fantasy Fest: Experience Key West's wacky, adult-only Halloween celebration full of fun off-the-wall events, parades, nudity, and lots of drinking. Think of Fantasy Fest as the Mardi Gras of the Keys. The celebration includes costume contests, body artists, and all-day drinking events. Fantasy Fest takes place in Key West from October 19-28, 2018.
  • Halloween Horror Nights: Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is one of the country's largest and most elaborate Halloween event. The entire park is turned into a frightening scare zone filled with haunted houses, ghoulish characters, and lots of screams. This is not recommended for children younger than 13. Horror Nights takes place from September 14- November 3, 2018.
  • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: This special ticketed event on select nights at Disney World's Magic Kingdom features "Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade," Mickey's Mouse-Ka-Rade costume parties, Halloween storytelling, live shows, and a special Halloween-themed firework display above Cinderella Castle. Families enjoy a complimentary photo, unlimited use of the attractions and opportunities to trick-or-treat throughout the theme park. The event takes place on select nights from August 17- October 31, 2018. 
  • SeaWorld's Halloween SpooktacularHalloween meets the sea during SeaWorld Orlando's underwater "fantasea" where youngsters trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids, pumpkin fish and more. The festivities are included in park admission and begins at noon each day and continues until 8:00 p.m. SeaWorld’s Spooktacular takes place September 22- October 28, 2018. 
  • Florida's Fall FestivalsWhether it's peanuts or turn-of-the-century fashion, Floridians take to the streets in a variety of fall arts and crafts festivals that draw crowds outside to enjoy the lower temperatures and humidity. Look for family-friendly corn mazes and pumpkin patches. 

October Travel Tips

  • Surprisingly, the theme parks are not too crowded this month. Each have their own Halloween festivities and celebrations — some requiring special after-hours admission. 
  • Order tickets to theme park Halloween events ahead of time for discounts and no waiting in line.