Can You Swim In Florida In the Wintertime?

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  • Post last modified:October 15, 2019

Planning a trip to Florida in the wintertime is a great feeling. Before you pack your suitcase, you might be wondering if you can swim in Florida in the wintertime. After all, it's still winter.

Can You Swim In Florida In the Wintertime?You can certainly swim in Florida in the wintertime. Florida boasts some of the best water temperatures in the continental United States, year-round. But just because you can swim doesn't mean that the water temperature is going to be warm. If you're sensitive to the cold, you may want to consider a wetsuit for your Florida winter trip.

The best time of year to swim in Florida is going to be between April and October when the water is going to be the mildest. The water temperature is usually going to be warmest the farther south you go in the state. If you're heading down towards Key West or Naples, you probably won't have an issue swimming. Also, keep in mind that anything on the western coast of Florida is bound to be warmer because the Gulf of Mexico is actually warmer than the Atlantic.

Where Is The Warmest Place In Florida In The Wintertime?

The warmest average temperature in Florida is going to be found in the Miami area. What's an average year-round temperature of about 74 degrees it is 1 comfortable place to be. That's just the average temperature; in reality, it's usually up around 80 degrees. Orlando's generally about 10 degrees colder, which still isn't bad.

In the wintertime, the Everglades boasted a temperature of about 71 degrees. That's during the day. No matter where you go in Florida in the wintertime picture won't be cold by most standards. Across-the-board, the temperature spread in Florida is pretty close. No matter what time of year you're visiting, the morning and evening are both going to be the chilliest time.

Can You Swim In Florida In The Wintertime?
St. Andrews State Park in Florida during the winter

Is It Warm Enough To Swim In Orlando In February?

Orlando is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. This is where the majority of the theme parks are. The question really boils down to are you talking about swimming in the ocean, or are you talking about swimming in the hotel pool?

The water temperature during the wintertime in Florida is going to be between the mid-60s and low 70s. So it's definitely going to be warm enough to swim in. Especially compared to somewhere say like North Dakota. If you're going to swim in the ocean, you might want to use a wetsuit this will keep some of your body heat in and the chill of the water out. Most of the hotel swimming pools are actually heated. So yes, you can definitely swim in them during the winter.

Can You Swim In Florida In March?

You can definitely swim in Florida in March. This is just before the peak swimming season starts in Florida. Water temperatures are beginning to rise, and the weather patterns are usually lovely. The water may still have a chill on it, especially in the morning and in the evening. Temperatures around Sunrise are generally around 53°. Temperatures in the early evening are usually down in the low 70s. The locals might look at you a little bit funny, but you can definitely swim.

Is Florida Warm All Year round?

In this case, warm is a relative term.

Can You Swim In Florida In the Wintertime?
Orlando, Florida

Compared to the desert, it's not going to be heated. Compared to the rest of the United States, it will be warm in the wintertime. Spring is usually a very comfortable time in Florida. The daytime temperatures are generally in the mid-80s with a gentle breeze. Summertime in Florida can be hot and muggy.

This is also the rainy season. Sometimes you can tell whether the rain is falling down or up. With its subtropical climate, Florida is a beautiful destination, no matter what time of year. The northern portion of the state is usually a little cooler than the southern part. So your relative warmth is going to be in relation directly to your geographic location in Florida. The Panhandle is definitely a little chilly. Keep in mind that the entire state is subject to cold snaps in the winter. Warmth is not a direct science, and you can't predict it. It does occasionally snow even in Florida.

Is Miami Warmer Than Orlando?

Miami Beach
A pathway in Miami beach

Miami is usually warmer than Orlando. The temperature difference is usually about 10 degrees. The average yearly temperature in Miami is around 74 degrees. The average temperature in Orlando is approximately 64. The difference is often ties into the wind and humidity. During the summer, Orlando is going to be less hot than Miami, but you won't really notice the difference because of the moisture. In the evening, the wind can also be a factor.

Orlando is on the eastern coast of Florida, which means all of its wind comes from the Atlantic. Miami is at the southern tip of Florida. It gets the wind from the Atlantic as well as the wind crossing over from the Gulf of Mexico. The winds from the western side are going to be warmer.

Can You Swim In Florida In The Wintertime?
A "sandman" in Florida Beach (we didn't take the photo - found it on a stock photo site and thought it was funny!)


Bring a swimming suit along

Whenever you're traveling, it's always a good idea to bring a wide range of clothing with you. No matter what time of year you're going, don't forget to bring your swimsuit to Florida and be prepared for anything. If the weather is nice, you might just use it to take a dip in the hotel pool - or for a more adventurous outing to the beach, or a local swimming hole.

Consider a wetsuit too

If you're bent on swimming in Florida during wintertime and don't like cold water, a wetsuit might actually be a good idea. This is especially true if you plan on swimming with manatees. Manatees go further inland during wintertime, searching for warmer water, but that temperature may still be too low for comfort for most people.

The solution is to wear a wetsite that helps insulate you from the cold. Here's a recommended model (Amazon link) -

Important tip -

If swimming with manatees is the focus of your trip, take the time and plan ahead. Many state parks and reserves don't allow swimming, to prevent people from bothering these delicate creatures. Your best bet may be to take an organized tour. Tour operators can get you to an area where swimming with manatees is legal. They also know the best spots to find the most manatees, which gets you the best chance for an encounter.

These operators often provide visitors with wetsuits when needed. That's where planning ahead comes handy - you may not need to buy one of your own and bring it along.

Florida can be fun - all year around

As with every destination, you need some luck in getting the best possible weather, but in Florida, there's a good chance you'll get just that during wintertime. Swimming is a definite option. With a swimsuit if you don't mind cool water, or with a wetsuit if you do.

Can You Swim In Florida In The Wintertime?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. George Rudolph

    Orlando is not on the Atlantic coast. It is inland and about 40 miles from the nearest Atlantic coastal area. In summer, it can be much hotter in the daytime than coastal cities farther south…like Miami. It has only snowed in Miami once in recorded history. That was January 19th, 1977. I was there. It has never snowed south of Goulds. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Key West is 41 degrees.

    1. Anne

      Thanks for the additional information, George! We hope to be getting to Florida this summer, so this is helpful!

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