10 Reasons to Visit Florida in the Fall

by Amelia Mularz
Sponsored by

10 Reasons to Visit Florida in the Fall

by Amelia Mularz
Sponsored by

Sure, the Sunshine State sparkles in spring and summer, plus provides a warm-weather escape in winter, but don’t rule out fall. Head to Florida in autumn, and you’re in for both food and fright fests, beachside camping, travel deals, and manatee sightings. Plus, you’ll beat the heat and extreme humidity (that beachside camping is sounding better and better). Here are 10 reasons to visit Florida in the fall.

Sure, the Sunshine State sparkles in spring and summer, plus provides a warm-weather escape in winter, but don’t rule out fall. Head to Florida in autumn, and you’re in for both food and fright fests, beachside camping, travel deals, and manatee sightings. Plus, you’ll beat the heat and extreme humidity (that beachside camping is sounding better and better). Here are 10 reasons to visit Florida in the fall.

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1. Score seasonal deals on flights and hotels.

As kids head back to school and crowds start to drop, so do some travel prices. September is one of the cheapest months to fly to Florida. Save even more by booking weekday flights in the afternoon. Also, keep an eye out for shoulder-season deals at luxury hotels. For example, the acclaimed Fontainebleau in Miami Beach has a Fall for Bleu promotion, which offers savings of up to 25% off plus a $100 resort credit when you stay four nights or longer.   

As kids head back to school and crowds start to drop, so do some travel prices. September is one of the cheapest months to fly to Florida. Save even more by booking weekday flights in the afternoon. Also, keep an eye out for shoulder-season deals at luxury hotels. For example, the acclaimed Fontainebleau in Miami Beach has a Fall for Bleu promotion, which offers savings of up to 25% off plus a $100 resort credit when you stay four nights or longer.   

Sebastian Inlet State Park
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2. Camp at a state park without fear of frost.

Florida’s mild weather means you don’t have to pack away your sleeping bag just yet. Book a site at one of the Sunshine State’s more than 900 campgrounds. Top spots include Sebastian Inlet State Park, where you can set up a stone’s throw from the beach; Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which also has riverside cabins; and Anastasia State Park, known for its ancient sand dunes.

Florida’s mild weather means you don’t have to pack away your sleeping bag just yet. Book a site at one of the Sunshine State’s more than 900 campgrounds. Top spots include Sebastian Inlet State Park, where you can set up a stone’s throw from the beach; Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which also has riverside cabins; and Anastasia State Park, known for its ancient sand dunes.

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3. Get a hero’s welcome (and discount) at Hawks Cay Resort.

Calling all service members: You’ve been summoned for rest, relaxation, and watersports in the Florida Keys. Every fall, Hawks Cay, a secluded island resort, runs its Heroes Salute program. As part of the promotion, active and retired military members, fire rescue, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals can score special room rates, as well as discounts on activities. Plus, the property offers a 15% Heroes Supporters discount for civilians who donate $5 or more to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.      

Calling all service members: You’ve been summoned for rest, relaxation, and watersports in the Florida Keys. Every fall, Hawks Cay, a secluded island resort, runs its Heroes Salute program. As part of the promotion, active and retired military members, fire rescue, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals can score special room rates, as well as discounts on activities. Plus, the property offers a 15% Heroes Supporters discount for civilians who donate $5 or more to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.      

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4. Celebrate Halloween in the “Theme Park Capital of the World.”

In Orlando, spooky season just might be the most wonderful time of year with Halloween festivities at every major theme park in town. Get your heart pumping at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, soak up seasonal lighting and decor at the Magic Kingdom’s Disney After Hours Boo Bash, and have yourself a kooky (not spooky) time at Legoland’s Brick or Treat celebration

In Orlando, spooky season just might be the most wonderful time of year with Halloween festivities at every major theme park in town. Get your heart pumping at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, soak up seasonal lighting and decor at the Magic Kingdom’s Disney After Hours Boo Bash, and have yourself a kooky (not spooky) time at Legoland’s Brick or Treat celebration. 

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5. Feast at Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival.

If ghouls and witches aren’t your thing, but gourmet grub and wine are, head to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. This famous fest happens each year between July and November and includes global marketplaces complete with treats from six continents. Travel the world through your tastebuds, plus catch live entertainment.

If ghouls and witches aren’t your thing, but gourmet grub and wine are, head to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. This famous fest happens each year between July and November and includes global marketplaces complete with treats from six continents. Travel the world through your tastebuds, plus catch live entertainment.

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6. Be a bookworm in Miami.

Hit the books, even if you aren’t in school, at the Miami Book Fair. Each November, this epic literary event brings readings, author conversations, workshops, and a street fair to the Magic City. Past author appearances have included Tim O’Brien, Andrea Bartz, Patti Smith, Isabel Allende, and Gary Shteyngart.    

Hit the books, even if you aren’t in school, at the Miami Book Fair. Each November, this epic literary event brings readings, author conversations, workshops, and a street fair to the Magic City. Past author appearances have included Tim O’Brien, Andrea Bartz, Patti Smith, Isabel Allende, and Gary Shteyngart.    

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7. Go leaf-peeping on the Panhandle.

Missed the fall foliage elsewhere? Late-season peepers can head to Torreya State Park in the north Florida Panhandle. Catch colorful displays of elms, sweetgum, maple, and hickory around mid-November. While there, you can also hit 16 miles of hiking trails, fish along the Apalachicola River, and spend the night in a yurt. 

Missed the fall foliage elsewhere? Late-season peepers can head to Torreya State Park in the north Florida Panhandle. Catch colorful displays of elms, sweetgum, maple, and hickory around mid-November. While there, you can also hit 16 miles of hiking trails, fish along the Apalachicola River, and spend the night in a yurt. 

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8. Spot megayachts in Fort Lauderdale. 

In the “Yachting Capital of the World,” vessel viewing takes the place of leaf-peeping at the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which takes place every fall. For megayacht sightings, stay downtown at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas, which is right on the river and just 10 minutes from the boat show. The hotel’s rooftop pool and speakeasy, 901, sweeten the deal.

In the “Yachting Capital of the World,” vessel viewing takes the place of leaf-peeping at the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which takes place every fall. For megayacht sightings, stay downtown at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas, which is right on the river and just 10 minutes from the boat show. The hotel’s rooftop pool and speakeasy, 901, sweeten the deal.

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Take a “runcation” in Orlando.

November is the start of runDisney, a slew of race events that kicks off with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Join a 5K, 10K, or the half-marathon. Afterward, celebrate at a post-run party. To stay race-day ready, book a runner’s package at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa. The package includes a resort credit, early-morning shuttles to races, and late checkout. The hotel also offers healthy meal options and foot-soothing spa treatments.     

November is the start of runDisney, a slew of race events that kicks off with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Join a 5K, 10K, or the half-marathon. Afterward, celebrate at a post-run party. To stay race-day ready, book a runner’s package at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa. The package includes a resort credit, early-morning shuttles to races, and late checkout. The hotel also offers healthy meal options and foot-soothing spa treatments.     

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10. Make friends with manatees (or at least paddle with them). 

Also in November: Manatee season begins in parts of Florida with warmer water. One such spot is Crystal River (about 80 miles north of Tampa), where you can watch the marine mammals as you paddle in clear-bottom kayaks. Book a two-hour tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking. While you'll also spot dolphins, turtles, and an array of fish, the manatees are the main attraction.  

Also in November: Manatee season begins in parts of Florida with warmer water. One such spot is Crystal River (about 80 miles north of Tampa), where you can watch the marine mammals as you paddle in clear-bottom kayaks. Book a two-hour tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking. While you'll also spot dolphins, turtles, and an array of fish, the manatees are the main attraction.  

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