There are a lot of fall activities in different places to celebrate the season in Florida. From Key West to Pensacola, Florida’s autumn is filled with music & art festivals, culinary events, and splendid weather, so visitors won’t have to stress about dressing. The weather is cool enough to keep travelers warm all day, and jackets may not be necessary. Another plus is fewer crowds and lower costs on accommodation and airfare. While the Sunshine State is generally impressive in autumn, there are better places to experience the best of the state in fall. Here are the 10 epic places to celebrate fall in Florida.
10 Key West
Key West’s major draw in fall is the Fantasy Fest, a 10-day celebration featuring vibrant parties, parades, costumes, and numerous libations and revelry. The celebration has been occurring for over 25 years and is only attended by adults. Fantasy Fest was started back in 1978 by local business people and the Tourist Development Association members to attract tourism to the region. Tutu Tuesday, where people dress in brightly colored tutus, Pet Masquerade, a pet costume contest, and Coronation Ball, involving the Fantasy Fest King and Queen being crowned, are some of the events not to miss during the celebration.
9 Universal Studios, Orlando
First, Fall is not a busy season to explore Universal Studios. This means that visitors are more likely to enjoy great deals and the lowest crowd level. Because there are fewer cars and people around, travelers will find it easy to move between one park to another. This is the best place to experience the Halloween celebration, as the park is turned into a scare-fest, and there are actors always roaming around, ready to scare any person passing by. Pay a visit to Volcano Bay and enjoy nice, breezy weather, with plenty of opportunities to chill and thrill. There is something special about visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Porter in the fall. The atmosphere is perfect, and one can walk around with their themed house scarfs with a hot Butterbeer in hand.
8 Disney World, Orlando
Walt Disney World is known to be very busy, but in fall, the crowd level is significantly lower, giving more space for roaming around the parks. Visiting in October is great for tourists looking for cooler weather with a lower amount of rainfall. But September is better for a much lower crowd level because October is a bit packed. Generally, the fall is the best time of the year to avoid crowds at Walt Disney World. While there isn’t an off-season at this place, vacationers visiting in the fall will not have to wait in lines for long periods. Also, vacationers will find it easier to obtain Advanced Dining Reservations. Don’t miss the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, featuring cultural and themed dishes and drinks.
7 St. Petersburg
Located about a four-hour drive north of Miami, St Petersburg is a fall paradise, thanks to the cooler weather, top-notch restaurants serving delicious eats, gorgeous beaches, and incredible art museums. Housing an incredible collection of Spanish artwork, Dali Museum is one of the best to explore. With the glorious colors of autumn filling the city’s parks and gardens, fall is definitely the perfect time to explore St. Petersburg. The landscapes are decorated in reds and browns, and there are fewer crowds to spoil the fun.
6 Cape Canaveral
While there is still a bit of heat and humidity, the autumn months are some of the best times to explore Cape Canaveral. Visitors will not only enjoy the quiet beaches free of crowds but there are a lot of activities to do in the fall. The Rocket Garden, Kennedy Space Center, and NASA are some of the places not to miss in the fall. Moreover, Cape Canaveral features several scenic state parks glowing in autumn colors of reds, yellows, and oranges. Also, one can visit some of the best local fish spots and enjoy some delicious fresh seafood.
Located in Northeast Florida along the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is a natural haven for vacationers looking for luxurious getaways. Downtown Jacksonville is the best place to be in the fall, thanks to the locals who know exactly how to throw a good party. Jaxtoberfest party is thrown on the waterfront and features several fall activities, including brat-eating contests and beer-barrel racing. Jaxtoberfest is the largest Oktoberfest in Florida.
Pensacola is one of the best places to celebrate fall in Florida, thanks to its annual Pensacola Seafood Festival held every September in its downtown. The celebration features live music and performance as well as some of the most delicious coastal treats. It is important to note that the celebration is not entirely about seafood. Women’s half-marathon and one of the largest arts ad craft fairs in Northwest Florida occur as well.
3 Winter Park
Winter cannot miss the list of top Florida spots for celebrating fall. Its Winter Park Autumn Festival, designed to showcase and appreciate the artwork of the local Florida artists, is a must-attend celebration in the fall. The festival happens downtown Winter Park at Central Park, along Park Avenue. It features live music, incredible food, kid-related workshops, and showcasing artwork from over 100 local artists; this event is mind-blowing. The festival occurs on one of the weekends in October and is totally free to attend.
Micanopy hosts the yearly Fall Harvest Festival, involving the local artists, crafters, and musicians participating in the celebration. Musicians can always be seen performing on the main stage, while artists showcase their artwork in over 200 displays. The main highlight of this celebration is the Saturday afternoon auctioning of the items donated by the local vendors participating in the festival. Micanopy becomes vibrant with activity as the vendors and artists from across the southeast fill the town.
1 Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Fall is a great time to explore Florida’s wild creatures, especially the manatees. Kids are big fans of manatees, so travelers can visit Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to have the best experience of the creatures. The park operates daily, and fall is the perfect time to visit and view manatees up close. Visitors may also see other captive animals at this park, including alligators, red wolves, black bears, and hippos.