By the end of October, Floridians usually start to accept the fact that summer is over and fall is coming. The mosquitoes are slowing, the pool toys are put away, and the rainy season is usually getting replaced by blue skies and drier weather. It’s during this time that a popular joke starts floating around on the autumn wind. To paraphrase, the joke goes something like this:
“How do you know when it’s fall in Florida?”
“The license plates start changing colors.”
If you’re a local (or a snowbird), you’ll get this joke. Funny or not, it does bring to mind a question. With mild weather and warmer temperatures, how do we define fall in Florida?
The answer may surprise you.
North vs. South vs. Central Florida
Some parts of Florida do experience something of a traditional fall, especially throughout the central and northern parts of the state. The southern-most part of the state, however, has a much milder fall season. There are some color changes, but you don’t see them until much later in the year. They are also quite muted when compared to their counterparts. To see the signs of the season, you have to look very closely at a few other factors.
Tourism & Events
“Season” has a whole new meaning in the south and central parts of Florida. That’s what the joke above is in reference to. In some places, it feels like the population doubles as our seasonal residents (aka snowbirds) come down to escape the harsh of winter. Just in time for the population boom, festivals like the Sarasota Chalk Festival, Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest , and the Treasure Coast Beer Fest begin. Florida receives quite the economy boost during this season, and it has very little to do with our beautiful beaches.
South Florida is known for its warmer temperatures, its beaches, and its state parks. However, in the hottest parts of the year and the rainy season, you don’t see natives out quite as often. As the temperatures start to cool, you will see the reemergence of locals as they start to enjoy the outdoors. Pools get replaced by hiking trails; pool parties get replaced by camping trips. Believe it or not, South Florida has a lot of hiking and camping options. Click here for a great list of some of these options.
While we may not be suffering from colds, as our northern counterparts often do, Floridians are just as prone to runny noses during the fall season. Here, we aren’t breaking out the tissues because of falling temperatures. Instead, we’re getting reacquainted with the allergies that accompany the fall season. Plants like ragweed and optimal conditions for mold growth start to usher in lovely seasonal allergies.
Pool owners in south Florida don’t have to worry as much about with falling leaves in the fall. Many Florida trees stay green throughout the entire year. However, that doesn’t mean south and central Florida won’t see fall colors at all. While the trees may not be changing in fall, they do sometimes change in winter. Also, the savvy gardener can surround his or her pool, home, and garden with fall colors by planting seasonal chrysanthemums.
There is one part of fall that is not unique to Florida, and it’s one of the best parts of the season. It’s the fun, family holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. While we may not have the pool parties, or fun of summer, we can bring our friends and families together for unique, seasonal events. These traditions are far-reaching and have a certain magic to them. They build communities and help us remember why we are thankful… all just in time for the winter holidays!
So remember, while you may not be pulling out your swimsuit or lounging in the pool, fall can be just as fun in Florida as summer.