Best Time To Visit Key West (& Monthly Events)

Best Time To Visit Key West: If you’re looking for a holiday destination that is sun, sea and scenery all wrapped into one, then Key West off the coast of Florida is the place for you! In fact, this charming subtropical island was once home to famous author Ernest Hemingway and history buffs can go so far as to tour his former abode on the island.

With some of the bluest ocean waters you’ve ever seen to unbelievable aquatic life, Key West consistently delivers year round. Considering temperatures swing between the mid-70s and low 90s all year round, many wonder when the best time to visit Key West is because the weather seems great year round, right? To be honest, there’s not an outright bad time to visit this tropical haven.

With that being said, there are certain times of the year that are better than others. Certain times of the year are busier and more crowded, and then there are also months where there is more rainfall.

Best time to visit Key West to escape the cold

Key West is a Perfect Winter Getaway
Key West is a Perfect Winter Getaway

January through March is commonly referred to as “snowbird season” because of the tourists who escape the frigid temperatures back home in favor of the warm, tropical climate. In fact many make Key West home for the winter to avoid the cold altogether! Sunseekers will be relieved to hear that Key West generally only has 3 to 4 days of rainfall per month during this season, with daytime temperatures hovering in the warm low to mid-70s.

As a bonus, at the end of January the annual Key West Food and Wine Festival takes place – one of the island’s biggest events of the year and a real treat to experience first hand. January through March is the best time to visit Key West for sunseekers or foodies.

Best time to visit Key West if you love the heat

Not everyone can handle the heat that summer brings to Key West. Florida can get really hot and humid in summer, so expect to get all kinds of sweaty! A lot of people don’t like those kinds of weather conditions but for others, it’s heaven!

If steamy weather is your thing then the best time to visit Key West is between June and August, the hottest time of the year in Key West. You can expect toasty warm temperatures that hover in the mid-80s to low-90s. This time period does coincide with the Atlantic hurricane season so do pack a rain jacket and umbrella for rainy days. You will find cheaper hotel rates during the summer season and the island is quieter overall, which many travelers prefer.

Best time to visit Key West for good deals

If you need to stick to a budget for your trip, visiting during the off season will give you the biggest discounts on hotels, tours and other activities. You’ll find even restaurants and bars lower their prices during the off season. The snag? September and October fall smack-bang in the middle of hurricane season, so rain is a common occurrence.

However, hurricanes don’t fall every year so it’s very possible you get great weather during your stay. It is a risk and a bit hit or miss, so be prepared for that. Take out travel insurance if you book to visit during this time and be flexible with potentially having to change your travel plans at the last minute.

Events in Key West by month

A Sunset in Key West
A Sunset in Key West

If you live in the USA or Canada, then a weekend trip to Key West can sometimes be planned around events and activities taking place on the island. With its own airport, it’s a quick flight away for anyone in North America and Canada.


Food and wine lovers rejoice, the annual Key West Food & Wine Festival is one of the highlights of the year. The festival spans over a number of days and has a jam-packed line-up of events. A VIP pass can get you tickets to all the events over the course of the festival, an invaluable gift for foodies!

In addition, the Florida Keys Seafood Festival is also held in January along with the Key West Literary Seminar for literary buffs.


A long-weekend adventure beckons over Valentine’s Day. President’s Day is also a popular time for short stays. For art lovers, the annual Old Island Days Art Festival takes place in February at the Key West Art Centre.


For a vibrant and festive atmosphere, particularly over St. Patrick’s Day, March is the best time to visit Key West. Crowds pick up in March and colorful St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are held across the island. In addition, many Spring Breakers head to Key West during March so avoid it if you don’t feel like dealing with teens during your trip!

Some fun events that take place in March are the Conch Shell Blowing Contest and the St. Patrick’s Day Bar Stroll.


April is the best time to visit Key West to enjoy long lazy days on the beach or take advantage of popular watersports without the crowds. If you’re an athlete, consider taking part in the Seven Mile Bridge Run.


The beautiful Royal Poinciana trees common to the island are in full bloom in May and sunsets during the month are some of the most spectacular. Event-wise, the Key West Songwriters Festival takes place for music lovers and budding musicians.


If you want to avoid extreme humidity, this is the last month you’ll be able to enjoy summer without the humidity.


4th July weekend is a popular time for shorter visits but be warned, it’s hot! The Key Lime Festival takes place in July over a few days including baking lessons, a pie eating contest and recipe contest.


The ocean is at its warmest in August and practically like a bath.


The island is at its quietest in September and is really peaceful. Beer lovers can enjoy the Key West BrewFest.


Halloween fans will love celebrating the spooky holiday on the island with the annual Fantasy Fest and all-out decorating.


Another very quiet and laid back time to visit.


The holidays are a magical time to visit Key West. Fireworks displays over New Year’s are a highlight along with the annual holiday parade and Lighted Boat and Bike parades.


See Also:

What To Pack For Key West: 14 Things to Bring & What to Leave Behind

Where to Go in Key West: The 4 Best Beaches, Restaurants, and More

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