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

Bikers decend on Daytona Beach during October for Biketoberfest
Daytona Beach CVB

With the humidity of summer breaking and the Atlantic Hurricane Season drawing to a close, October is one of the best times of year to visit Florida for the weather alone. However, there are also plenty of things to do in Florida this month, including a variety of festive fall events and Halloween celebrations across the state. Whether you're looking to spend a pleasant day at one of the state's many beaches or wandering through a unique cultural celebration, you'll have plenty of opportunities to discover Florida this October.

Atlantic Hurricane Season

Each year, the Atlantic Hurricane Season brings a series of tropical storms and hurricanes to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States, including Florida. The hurricane season typically lasts from June 1 to November 30 each year, and the peak of the season occurs from mid-August to late October. As a result, you should be prepared for severe storms during your trip if you travel to Florida during this period—even if the chances of a hurricane making landfall in Florida are slim.

Florida Weather in October

October brings new life to Floridians every year because the summer humidity and rain are finally slowing down. You can expect temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s throughout the state, but the northern parts of Florida may experience chillier evening temperatures, especially toward the end of the month.

  • Average high: 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celcius)
  • Average low: 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius)

Another great part of visiting Florida in the fall is that the water temperatures are still pretty warm from the summer with the ocean and gulf temperatures in the low 80s all month long. However, there is still a slight possibility of rain, but it shouldn’t ruin your plans since it's only expected to rain on eight days of the month, accumulating an average total of 3.2 inches each year. Overall, October's climate and weather in the Sunshine State make it a pleasant month to visit.

What to Pack

While October offers a welcome relief from the hot temperatures and high humidity of summer, you'll still experience hot, sunny days this month. Be sure to bring sunscreen and light clothing—as well as your swimsuit if you plan to hit the beach this month. 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 in Florida

October is all about celebrating fall in Florida. From Halloween "spook-taculars" to festive autumnal festivals, there are lots of fun activities happening across the state—from the Panhandle down to the Keys. However, fall and Halloween events aren't the only things happening in Florida this month; you'll also find plenty of cultural celebrations and events dedicated to foods, wines, and local beers.

  • Biketoberfest: Daytona Beach's must-attend fall tradition for bikers draws in over 100,000 visitors each year for food, live music, and lots of speed-worthy events over four days in mid-October.
  • Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream: One of Florida's most popular Halloween celebrations, this annual spooky event at Busch Gardens in Tampa transforms the entire park with haunted houses, scare-worthy actors, and festive decorations for the entire holiday season.
  • 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 from September through November each year at Disney's Epcot Resort in Orlando.
  • Fantasy Fest: Experience Key West's wacky, adult-only Halloween celebration full of off-the-wall events, parades, nudity, and lots of drinking. Considered the Mardi Gras of the Keys, the 10-day celebration includes costume contests, body artists, and all-day drinking events throughout late October.
  • Halloween Horror Nights: Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is one of the country's largest and most elaborate Halloween events wherein the entire park is turned into a frightening scare zone filled with haunted houses, ghoulish characters, and lots of screams from late September through the first of November each year.
  • 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. During the event, families also enjoy a complimentary photo, unlimited use of the attractions, and opportunities to trick-or-treat throughout the theme park.
  • SeaWorld's Halloween SpooktacularHalloween meets the sea during SeaWorld Orlando's underwater "fantasea," where youngsters trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids, and pumpkin fish.
  • 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. 

Travel Tips

  • Surprisingly, the theme parks are not too crowded this month. Each has 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 to avoid waiting in line.
  • Expect bigger crowds at major attractions like Disney World on Columbus Day and Halloween weekends.
  • While the summer humidity may have come to an end, mosquitos are still out in full force this time of year. Be sure to bring or buy bug repellant if you plan to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors during your trip.
  • Due to the chance of hurricanes being higher in October—especially earlier in the month—prices at resorts, hotels, and even airlines will be cheaper this time of year.
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