Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March in Key West and March weather in Key West

Two things come to mind when considering March for vacation in Key West: Slightly variable weather and crowds.

Key West is having it's busiest March since 2003 (according to one local barman, and as he deals with it the crowds every day, he should know!).

This means it's very busy.  I must admit that, having not visited Key West in March for over 3 years (coming July to November instead) I'd forgotten quite how busy the place got - it's MAD here!
It's crowds on Duval.
Very busy
And this makes a real difference....  You have to make a reservation for all the better restaurants as they are running 100% full.  The sidewalks are clogged up with people.  It takes ages to get served in shops.  Last time I visited the aquarium there were about a dozen people there - this week there was maybe 80 in there.  There was a bike tour with over 30 cycles in it that I've never seen before (are visitors now unable to cycle around Key West by themselves?).  I even had to wait in 30 minutes for my pizza to be cooked (we're not talking about delivery here) in the pizza place on Duval.

The line to get into the Hemingway House in March.  You should see the line for standing next to the Southernmost point buoy - it goes round the block!
Gangs of 30 or more cycle tours have invaded Key West and really get in the way
It's busy in March.
And I just feel everyone is frantic.  There's no time to chat or be really nice because it's so busy!

Then the extra complication is Spring Break (most of March).  Every college kid deserves to have fun and, yes, even I was young once.  And I wished I could have said that Spring breakers didn't impact my vacation.  But they did.  There do seem to be many of them here in Key West.  Key West Bight walk was ruined because of the awful noisy disco thing (Dante's) they have every day up there.  They seem to love going too fast on scooters.  Or on bikes on the sidewalk.  They took over and occupied Smathers beach.  They always travel en mass in packs of 10 and get in the way on Duval Street.
Restaurants are super busy in March in Key West.  The wait on Sunday at Blue Heaven was 45 minutes.
I understand a lot of visitors now delay their vacation to April to avoid Spring Break and I can see why.  I am not going to visit Key West again in March.  Too busy, and not relaxing enough.

March weather in Key West

The weather in March can still be more predictable than you'd like.  Cold fronts further north that are causing snow up there can still cause some poor weather down in Key West.

I mean, it's almost certainly miles better than back at home.  And also this season's up util now has been pretty good but we saw that variability and unpredictability in action this week.

Unfortunately, during my visit this week we've had a freaky few days with a cold front on Sunday.  This caused 6 hours of rain on Sunday - see when the storm front came through on Sunday when I was in Blue Heaven, how rapidly it came on and how it changed everything! But whilst Sunday was a wash out until 6pm, then it was back to normal on Monday, albeit with strong winds pretty much all week.  (The temperature was fine so actually the strong winds were refreshing).

So in a week we had one very cold night, one very cloudy day, and the wash out Sunday.  Apart from the good sunbathing weather. There is, of course, none of the humidity that you'd get from June onwards.

Finally, of course, you're on vacation so the rain does not ruin vacations - see here!

So in summary, if you like it busy and the buzz that generates.  Then February and March will be good for you.   If you don't then consider April or May.  Or if you don't mind it quiet but a bit humid then choose (non Fantasy fest time) from late September to late November.

See here for my article on when to visit Key West.