When trying to determine the best time to visit Miami, folks often make one crucial mistake: assuming it doesn’t matter. After all, Miami is just one long, beautiful season, right? Incorrect. Very, very incorrect. Sure, we don’t technically have much of a winter and we see an awful lot of the sun, but Miami’s personality changes often throughout the year.
Anyone looking to escape bitter cold temperatures and gloomy days should visit in winter, by far the busiest season, when the best Miami beaches are just perfect. In fall, the city comes alive thanks to Art Basel Miami Beach. And spring and summer are for the great outdoors (or a bumpin’ Miami music festival), but also bring the threat of hurricanes. Any time of year is perfect to visit the new Time Out Market Miami (it’s air-conditioned), where our editors have curated all of the city’s best chefs under one roof.
So sit back and let’s decide when you should visit Miami.
When to visit Miami
Winter is the most popular time of year to visit Miami for obvious reasons. While the rest of the country freezes, it stays near-perfect in Miami. We’ll get some chilly cold fronts (at least by our standards) but most days are still just right for the beach or an outdoor happy hour.
While winter falls in a gap between high-profile Art Basel and party-centric Miami Music Week, expect no shortage of things to do and cute sights like boulevards of palm trees wrapped in festive lights. The city really takes advantage of its annual boom in population, and every year brings something new. Just be wary of those snowbird drivers crowding the roads.
Spring is our last real streak of great weather before the steaming hot summer arrives. A generally moderate climate can make for some absolutely gorgeous days—ideal for folks coming to Miami for the beach, fishing or other outdoorsy stuff.
Spring also boasts Miami Music Week (and Ultra Music Festival), a massive gathering of every DJ you can imagine, which happens right at the beginning of spring (around March 20 to March 25). After that, our events schedule starts to cool down but the city remains pretty active.
Miami has a love/hate relationship with summer. It’s the city’s slow season, especially for hospitality. Restaurants and nightlife crowds decline significantly as tourists go back home. It also gets really, really hot and humid. July is the hottest month in Miami with an average temperature of 82°F (and you always have to be alert during hurricane season).
Are there perks? Sure. You won’t have to put up with big crowds like you might in winter. Getting a seat at Miami’s hottest restaurants is a breeze, especially during August and September, when the city-wide Miami Spice promotion arrives, offering fixed prices for dinner and lunch at some really fancy joints. If ogling bikini-clad models and rubbing shoulder with influencers is your thing, Miami Swim Week heats up the city every July.
As the humid blanket of summer begins to lift, Miami comes to life again. Parties and restaurants begin to fill up, while touring acts from major headliners to smaller indie acts grace our various-sized music venues.
Locals mix with a growing tourist crowd and it all ends with the absolute biggest annual event Miami has to offer: Art Basel Miami Beach (also known now as Miami Art Week), which invades the city December 5 through December 8 in 2019. Whether you’re in it for the flood of exhibits, the exclusive parties or the flagship show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, you’ll find something to do during Basel season.