With milder weather, seasonal events, and smaller crowds, fall is a great time to visit Florida. You’ll still be able to enjoy warm weather, but you won’t be dealing with high humidity, frequent storms, and summer crowds. The Sunshine State offers several places to go that are perfect for a fall getaway.
Key West’s cooler weather in fall makes it a good time to visit this scenic area off Florida’s southern coast. Explore historical attractions such as Hellings House Museum, or spend a day snorkeling and enjoying the outdoors at Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson Ferry. Take a sunset cruise, go fishing in turquoise waters, meet dolphins or play a round of golf. Other activities and attractions include art galleries, spas, eco-tours, kiteboarding, Fantasy Fest, and other local events.
The Emerald Coast in the Florida Panhandle offers a few places to go for a fall beach vacation. Plan a getaway in Destin for fishing, boating, and swimming. You can also attend the Festival of the Arts and Destin Seafood Festival during the fall. Check out the pastel-painted Seaside vacation rentals for a quaint and convenient place to stay in the middle of the Hwy 30A coastal route. Head to Santa Rosa Beach for white sand beaches. While you’re there, you can also explore Port Washington State Forest and enjoy the arts at Gulf Place. Other places to visit include Grayson Beach State Park, which offers hiking trails that wind through coastal forests.
St. Petersburg, located a few hours north of Miami, on the Gulf side of Florida, is a perfect fall getaway if you want a wide range of restaurants, museums, and other arts and cultural attractions to visit. Head to the Salvador Dali Museum for surrealist works of art, stroll along the 26-acre St. Pete Pier, and dine at top-rated restaurants in the downtown district. Other places to visit in St. Petersburg include the Morean Arts Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.
A fall getaway in Everglades National Park helps you avoid excessive heat, humidity, and mosquitoes, so you can spend the day exploring your surroundings. The Everglades allows you to see alligators and other local wildlife, including manatees. Hike along the Pine Island or Flamingo Trails, take an airboat tour of the park, or go fishing in freshwater or saltwater. Canoe and kayak trails are available throughout the park if you want to explore them via boat.
Amelia Island offers an ideal fall getaway when you want a quieter and calmer Florida vacation. Located north of Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a barrier island filled with giant oak trees covered in moss, marshes, and scenic beaches. The island’s downtown features art galleries, shops, boutiques, and other charming attractions and amenities. You can even visit the oldest saloon that’s still in operation when you stay at Amelia Island. You can go paddle boarding or ride horses along the beach for outdoor fun.
Head to Orlando in the fall to avoid the big summer vacation crowds at Disney World and Universal Studios. These theme parks offer fun Halloween festivities and events in the fall, including Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and SeaWorld Spooktacular. You’ll also find other notable events in the area, such as EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival and Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic. While you’re in town, you can also go wakeboarding at Orlando Watersports Complex or spend a day strolling around Harry P. Leu Gardens.
Located in central Florida north of Orlando, Ocala National Forest provides opportunities to go horseback riding on the Ocala One Hundred Mile Horse Trail and other trails in the Doe Lake Recreation Area. You can also go fishing in Lake Kerr and Lake George and hike through trails surrounded by cypress trees, swamps, and pine trees. Scenic drives, scuba diving, and canoeing are other activities to enjoy during fall in Ocala. The area’s mild temperatures also mean you can go swimming in Alexander Springs, Clearwater Lake, or other areas.
Steinhatchee, located along the Gulf Coast south of Tallahassee, is a small fishing town that provides a serene fall getaway. Spend your days fishing in the river for trout and redfish while enjoying views of charming Victorian waterfront houses. This is also a good area to go snorkeling for scallops or look for blue crabs and stone crabs. Steinhatchee also offers seafood restaurants for waterfront dining. Head to nearby Hagens Cove Park to explore pine islands and shallow bays in the Gulf.
Located just an hour north of Orlando, Mount Dora provides a small-town environment for a more relaxing fall vacation. The downtown area features numerous antique shops, as well as outdoor cafes, art galleries, and high-end dining establishments. You can also visit a historic train depot, take a trolley tour of the town, play golf, go biking, and learn more about the area at the Mount Dora History Museum.
Located south of Gainesville, this small town is filled with historic buildings, including quaint shops, antique stores, and more. When you visit Micanopy, you’ll stay in Florida’s oldest inland town. Spend quiet days shopping for antiques and exploring the town’s other historic places, or take a short drive to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park for a chance to see bison, go horseback riding, or explore hiking trails.