Can You Swim In Florida In February?

With its subtropical climate and miles of beautiful beaches, Florida is a prime destination for swimming all year round. But what’s it really like taking a dip in the ocean during the winter month of February? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on swimming conditions, water and air temperatures, top beach destinations, what to wear, and tips for enjoying the water safely during your February Florida getaway.

Average Water and Air Temperatures

Along the Atlantic Coast

Florida’s Atlantic Coast offers a range of options for swimming in February. The water temperatures along the Atlantic Coast can vary based on location, but generally, they tend to be cooler compared to the Gulf Coast.

In the northern parts of the state, such as Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, the average water temperature in February hovers around the mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 18-20 degrees Celsius). As you head further south to cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the water temperatures can reach the low to mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 23-25 degrees Celsius).+

Along the Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast of Florida offers warmer water temperatures in February compared to the Atlantic Coast. In cities such as Pensacola and Panama City Beach, the average water temperature ranges from the mid-50s to the low 60s Fahrenheit (around 13-16 degrees Celsius).

As you move south towards popular destinations like Clearwater Beach and Naples, the water temperatures can reach the mid to upper 60s Fahrenheit (around 19-21 degrees Celsius).+

Northern Florida vs Southern Florida

When it comes to comparing water and air temperatures between Northern Florida and Southern Florida, there are noticeable differences. In general, Southern Florida experiences warmer temperatures than its northern counterpart.

For example, in Jacksonville (northern Florida), the average air temperature in February ranges from the high 50s to low 60s Fahrenheit (around 15-17 degrees Celsius), while in Miami (southern Florida), the average air temperature is in the low to mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 23-25 degrees Celsius).+

It’s important to note that these are average temperatures and can vary from year to year. Additionally, weather patterns and other factors can influence the actual temperatures during your visit. It’s always a good idea to check the current weather forecast and local conditions before planning any swimming activities.

Best Beaches for Swimming in February

Miami Beach

When it comes to swimming in February, Miami Beach is a fantastic option. With its warm temperatures and beautiful sandy shores, this popular destination offers the perfect escape from winter weather. The average temperature in Miami during February ranges from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 24-28 degrees Celsius), making it an ideal beach destination for those seeking some sun and relaxation.

Miami Beach is also known for its vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore after a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

If you’re looking for another great beach to swim in February, Fort Lauderdale Beach should be on your list. With its calm and inviting waters, this beach is perfect for both swimming and other water sports activities.

The average temperature in Fort Lauderdale during February ranges from the mid-70s to high 70s Fahrenheit (around 24-26 degrees Celsius), making it a pleasant and comfortable experience for beachgoers.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is also known for its picturesque views and well-maintained facilities, including lifeguards on duty, making it a safe and enjoyable place to swim.

Naples Beach

Naples Beach, located on the Gulf of Mexico, is another excellent option for swimming in February. With its pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters, this beach offers a picturesque setting for beach lovers.

The average temperature in Naples during February ranges from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 24-28 degrees Celsius), providing an ideal climate for swimming. In addition to swimming, visitors can enjoy various water activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling.

Naples Beach also offers amenities such as restrooms, picnic areas, and nearby restaurants, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for a day at the beach.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, is a popular choice for swimming in February. With its warm temperatures and soft sandy shores, this beach provides the perfect spot to take a dip in the ocean.

The average temperature in Clearwater during February ranges from the mid-70s to high 70s Fahrenheit (around 24-26 degrees Celsius), making it an inviting and comfortable beach destination. Clearwater Beach is also known for its family-friendly atmosphere, with activities such as beach volleyball, beachside playgrounds, and nearby attractions like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Whether you’re looking to swim, relax, or explore, Clearwater Beach offers something for everyone.

So, if you’re wondering whether you can swim in Florida in February, the answer is a resounding yes! With its warm temperatures and beautiful beaches, Florida offers a great escape from winter weather.

Whether you choose Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Naples Beach, or Clearwater Beach, you’re sure to have an amazing time enjoying the sun, sand, and sea.

What to Wear for Swimming

Wetsuit vs Swimsuit

When it comes to swimming in Florida in February, the choice of what to wear can depend on personal preference and the water temperature. While Florida is known for its warm climate, the water temperature can still be quite chilly during the winter months.

For those who are more sensitive to the cold or plan to spend an extended amount of time in the water, wearing a wetsuit can be a great option. Wetsuits are designed to provide insulation and keep the body warm in colder water.

They are made from neoprene, a material that traps a thin layer of water between the suit and the skin, which then warms up and helps to regulate body temperature.

On the other hand, if the water temperature is comfortable or if you prefer a more traditional swimwear look, a swimsuit is a suitable choice. Swimsuits come in various styles and materials, such as one-piece or two-piece suits made from polyester or nylon.

These materials are lightweight, quick-drying, and provide enough coverage for swimming comfortably.

Choosing the Right Swimwear

When selecting swimwear for swimming in Florida in February, it is important to consider factors such as comfort, flexibility, and coverage. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right swimwear:

  • Fit: Opt for a swimwear that fits snugly but not too tight. This will ensure comfort and prevent any wardrobe malfunctions while swimming.
  • Style: Choose a style that suits your body type and personal preference. Whether it’s a one-piece, bikini, or tankini, find a style that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
  • Material: Look for swimwear made from durable and stretchable materials that allow for freedom of movement. Materials like polyester and spandex are known for their flexibility and quick-drying properties.
  • Protection: If you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun, consider swimwear with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Additionally, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your body.

Remember, regardless of what you choose to wear for swimming in Florida in February, it’s always a good idea to check the water temperature and weather conditions before heading out. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

Beach Activities Besides Swimming

While swimming may not be the most popular activity at Florida beaches in February, there are still plenty of other enjoyable things to do. Whether you want to soak up the sun, take a leisurely beach walk, or get creative with sandcastle building, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


One of the best ways to relax and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather in February is by sunbathing. Find a comfortable spot on the soft sand, lay out your beach towel or chair, and bask in the warmth of the sun.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong rays, even in the winter months. Soak in the vitamin D and enjoy the tranquil sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

Beach Walks

Take a leisurely stroll along the coastline and enjoy the breathtaking views that Florida beaches have to offer. The cool breeze, the sound of seagulls, and the scent of saltwater in the air create a peaceful ambiance.

Walking on the beach is not only a great way to exercise, but it also allows you to connect with nature and clear your mind. Plus, you may even come across seashells or interesting marine life along the way!

Sandcastle Building

Get your creative juices flowing and channel your inner architect by building a sandcastle. Whether you’re young or young at heart, constructing sandcastles can be a fun and rewarding activity. Use buckets, shovels, and your hands to shape the sand into towers, moats, and bridges.

You can even invite friends or family members to join in on the fun and have a friendly competition to see who can build the most impressive sandcastle.

While swimming may not be ideal during February in Florida, these alternative beach activities provide a great way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and make lasting memories. So grab your beach gear, pack a picnic, and head to the sandy shores for a day of relaxation and fun.

Safety Tips

Check Ocean Conditions

Before taking a dip in the ocean in Florida during February, it is essential to check the ocean conditions. The weather can be quite unpredictable during this time of the year, and it is important to ensure that the water is safe for swimming.

You can check the local weather forecast or visit the National Weather Service website ( for accurate information on the current conditions. Additionally, pay attention to any warnings or advisories issued by local authorities regarding water quality or dangerous marine life.

Don’t Swim Alone

Swimming alone is never recommended, regardless of the time of year. It is always safer to swim with a buddy or in a group. Having someone else with you can provide an extra set of eyes and assistance in case of an emergency.

If you are planning to swim in Florida in February, try to find a friend or family member who can accompany you. Not only will it be more enjoyable, but it will also ensure that you have someone to rely on should anything unexpected happen.

Watch for Rip Currents

Rip currents are powerful, fast-moving channels of water that can pull swimmers away from the shore. They are a common occurrence in Florida, and it is crucial to be aware of their presence, especially when swimming in February.

Before entering the water, take a moment to observe the surroundings and look for any signs of rip currents. These may include a noticeable difference in water color, a line of foam or debris moving away from the shore, or a break in the pattern of waves.

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, remember to swim parallel to the shore until you are out of its pull, and then swim back to the shore at an angle.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy swimming in Florida in February while minimizing the risks associated with ocean swimming. Remember to always prioritize your safety and be aware of your surroundings. Have a great time exploring the beautiful beaches of Florida!


While ocean temperatures are cooler in February than Florida’s hot summer months, swimming is still very possible if you choose the right location and come prepared. With proper precautions, you can safely enjoy Florida’s beautiful beaches and make memories in the ocean during your February vacation.

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